We all know it’s true: we live in a city that’s unlike pretty much any other. That also means that when it comes to celebrating your child’s birthday in Austin, you can get a little creative. Parents, when you are planning a birthday party for your kids, we suggest you consider the following Austintatious options:
Alamo Drafthouse, various locations
There are movie theaters, and then there is the Alamo, a true Austin original. Choose from a variety of birthday party themes for kids up to age 12, including a Cartoon Cereal Party, PJ Party, Superhero Party, Monster Stomp party and more. Discounted pricing is available at 9am on weekends.
Austin Nature & Science Center, 301 Nature Center Drive
Kids ages four to 8 can choose from a Wildlife, Dinosaur and Planetarium theme for a Nature Center party, which take place on select Saturdays in the morning or afternoon. Older children (ages 9-12) can opt for an Adventure Experience with two experienced staff guides who take you caving or climbing in the Austin area.
Austin Tinkering School, 1122 Airport Blvd.
Bring your maker and friends to the Austin Tinkering School for a great birthday experience. Choose from a dozen activities, including Messy Party, Design Your Own Board Game, Marshmallow Shooters and Bows and Arrows.
Dart Bowl, 5700 Grover
Dart Bowl has been a destination for Austin families since it opened in 1958. Birthday parties take place Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30am, 1pm or 3:30pm. There are two different party packages, depending on whether you would like pizza. You can also add a trip through the Lazer Maze for a discounted price of $2 per turn.
Kiddie Acres, 4800 W. Howard Lane
Smaller kids will have a blast at Kiddie Acres, an amusement park perfect for little people. Hosts can purchase tickets at a discounted rate for the rides, which include a vintage carousel, Ferris Wheel, airplanes, boats and boats. Kids will also enjoy pony rides and a trip on the train. Picnic tables are available.
Lake Travis Zipline Adventures, 14529 Pocohontas Trail
Have a thrillseeker, or looking for a really special experience? Get a bird’s-eye view of Lake Travis from five ziplines, ranging from 250 feet to over 2,800 feet. After finishing the ziplines, your guests can spend some time picnicking near the lakeside property with over half a mile of beachline, hammocks and beach games. The minimum weight to participate is 70 pounds.
The Little Yoga House, 1211 Parkway
Celebrate your little’s birthday with a yoga style birthday party. Choose from birthday packages, including spa yoga or a glow in the dark yoga party, or design your own party.
Mural Scavenger Hunt, all around town
Austin’s ever-changing murals provide just the backdrop for lots of fun photos. For older kids, send them off with clues to some of Austin’s hippest landmarks. We can’t lay out a better party plan than Rebecca from R We There Yet Mom?. Check out her article with great ideas for a mural scavenger hunt here.
Patricia’s Table, 1510 W. 35th Street Cutoff
If you are raising a little foodie, your pint-sized chef and friends can whip up tasty treats and enjoy them in the backyard garden. Party chefs can nibble on seasonal fruit and popcorn and the birthday chef goes home with a special apron. Different themes are available for children ages 2 and up.
Peter Pan Mini-Golf, 1207 Barton Springs Rd.
When it comes to miniature golf, there is no course that says Austin quite like Peter Pan. Sure, there is the new Texas Totem Pole, a horned toad and a skull and cactus, but there are also old favorites such as the whale, T. rex and of course, Peter Pan himself. Guests can enjoy a round or two of golf and take a break on the shaded picnic tables afterwards. The birthday child will be thrilled to see his or her name on the sign out front. Call to reserve your tables (for no charge) and pay standard rates for golf.
Pinballz, several locations in the Greater Austin area
Admittedly, Austin is a hub for all things tech, so it comes as no surprise that we have some gamers-in-training in our midst. Where can your guests choose from over 500 pinball, classic and new arcade games and games where you can earn prizes? Pinballz. Party room sizes, packages and extras vary by location.
Rowing Dock, 2418 Stratford Drive
Your birthday child can experience Lady Bird Lake with friends on a SUP, canoe or paddle boat. When the kids are done on the water, they can relax on the shaded picnic area. Parties are scheduled during non-peak hours (weekends from 9-11am only).
Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave.
Austin’s children’s museum offers four different party packages, with discounts offered for members. Two themes are for ages 0-4 and two are for ages 5 and up. You can also choose to reserve a party room to have a home base while you explore the museum or choose add on DIY activities.
Is there any bliss comparable to snuggling with little animals? Tiny Tails brings the petting zoo to you for a unique celebration. The birthday child gets to open baskets of animals and stay within provided fencing as friends cycle through, having the chance to sit and pet of at least five species on the partygoer’s lap. Kids even get a chance to learn about the animals from the staff member who helps everything run smoothly.
Zilker Park Train Ride & Playground, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
Train lovers can enjoy a ride on the Zilker Zephyr, a miniature train that has been a favorite for Austin families for generations. No advanced tickets are available, so head to the ticket booth right when it opens at 10am to purchase your tickets the day of the party (cash only, $2-$3/ticket). You can reserve a table under the covered pavilion for a nominal fee and kids can have fun on the playground afterwards. If you have particularly hearty souls on a warm day, slip on your water shoes and head to the shallow end at Barton Springs to catch minnows or to observe the aquatic creatures who make this Austin favorite their home. Keep in mind that parking fees apply on weekends.
What’s been your favorite kid birthday party in Austin?
A recovering workaholic, Nicole Basham now spends her time rediscovering Austin through her 10 year old son’s eyes. A soccer-playing mom, Nicole also enjoys tickling too close to bedtime, making and consuming baked goods, and being silly.