Children love birthday parties. For parents, however, planning, organising and running a kid’s birthday party can be stressful and take a lot of time and effort. Even small-scale celebrations need food, drinks, invitations, decorations and activities.
Whether you’d prefer to let someone else do all the work, or don’t mind a more hands-on approach, you’ll want to ensure your child’s special day is one to remember.
In this article, we’ll outline what to consider when choosing a venue for your kid’s party, and share some of the best venues in Canberra.
What makes a great kids birthday party venue?
Like any event, the secret to a great kid’s birthday party is planning. Doing everything you can to get organised well ahead of the party helps the day run smoothly. That includes deciding on a theme, activities and a venue.
It can be helpful to keep the following in mind with your child’s party.
- Venue. Successful parties can be planned at short notice, but if you’re looking to hire a venue you may need to book several weeks (or even months) in advance.
- Activities. There’s no end to the type of activities you can have. Don’t go overboard with the number of activities. If you’re organising the party on your own, you’ll need supplies for games or other activities. If you’d prefer, hire a party organiser or select a venue set up to run activities.
- Number and age of guests. The number and age of guests is important when deciding which venue to choose. Some venues are suited to smaller parties while others can easily handle larger parties.
- Budget. Set a budget and stick to it. Without a set budget you may get lost when deciding on a venue or activity. Memorable kids parties don’t have to cost an arm and a leg but some cost more than others.
- Food and cake. Incorporate this into your budget. Do you want just snacks or a full meal, for example? Consider if guests have food allergies or intolerances. Decide if you’ll make the food or have a supplier do so. The same goes with the birthday cake. Will you create a memorable one or source from a specialty cake place?
The best kids birthday party venues in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Metaphysica specialises in virtual reality experiences that are a real blast for kids. Founded by 4 lifelong Canberra locals and friends, the team at Metaphysica are passionate about providing an interactive, exciting and fun escape room experience.
Birthday parties are made the more special with Metaphysica’s escape rooms. They’re a great chance for kids to spend time together in a fun and unique way that will always be remembered.
Escape rooms are tactile gaming experiences where players work together to solve challenges using hints, clues and puzzles to ‘escape’ a room within a time limit. Players have around 45 minutes to finish the game. Birthday party experiences include becoming a time traveller, becoming a hero and transcending reality with virtual reality rooms transporting players into exotic destinations in seconds. Will they escape?
Players under 18 years of age require an adult or guardian to sign a waiver on their behalf before starting. Equipment is designed to be adjustable and fit kids of all sizes and shapes comfortably.
On Google, Dylan Nagle wrote, “Awesome. Loved it. Great experience.”
Want a dino-mite kid’s birthday party with the giants of the past? The National Dinosaur Museum is a venue the kids will never forget. Day and night party options are available, with hands-on activities and unique photo opportunities making for an impressive birthday experience.
The two-hour party program includes fossil casting workshop, guided museum tour, T.rex tooth experience, dinosaur excavation activity and a themed party room for food and cake. Guests receive unlimited museum access after the party ends.
Food can be self-catered, or museum catering can be ordered in advance. Minimum age: children turning 6 years old. Minimum 10 children and maximum 20 per party. Day parties available Saturdays and Sundays. Night parties Fridays and Saturdays.
Parents who want to organise their own party can hire the themed dinosaur party room. Bookings can also be made online.
Dan Sutherland wrote on Facebook, “We had our son’s 7th birthday party there and it was perfect. Great host who was fantastic with the kids, informative tour just for them, day pass to the museum, digging for fossils… getting to hold part of a real T-Rex tooth, and getting a party bag to take home at the end… Fantastic way to engage kids for a couple of hours, and very easy going on the parents. Highly recommended!”
Power Kart Raceway hosts parties for kids aged 6 to 16 and has birthday packages to suit every budget. Safety is a priority but that never stops kids from having a fun-filled and memorable time.
As Joseph Willmott wrote on Google, “Very well-kept facilities. Very friendly and helpful staff. Very large range of activities. Whole family had a blast!”
Indoor Rock Climbing is an active birthday party for groups of 10 or more with no time limit on the party. This is a great way to have fun and exercise at the same time. Access downloadable birthday invites are available. Two locations (Hume and Mitchell).
On Google Sharon Babyack wrote, “So much fun rock climbing, a great activity to do with the kids.”
Kids Party is a cooking school and kitchen garden for kids hosting classes, school holiday programs and birthday parties. Teresa has an easy to use online shop where you can customise your kids birthday to include games and even treats for the adults. Facebook reviewer Anna says: ‘Easiest and best quality way to celebrate a birthday with friends. The staff were amazing!’
Bowling, laser tag and a handful (or two) from the Candy Caddy can be included in birthday packages for kids aged 5 and up at ZONE BOWLING. Midweek birthday specials and extra cake decorations are also available. Parties are great for kids of any age.
On Google, Daniel Tyson wrote, “It’s a pretty good experience and a load of fun for kids and adults of all ages.”
Since 2004 Fizzics Education has been hosting a range of different themed kids birthday parties. From super slime, dinosaurs or hands-on science parties, kids aged 5 and up have been learning, eating birthday cake and having fun. Shoot off an enquiry through their website and Lisa will get back to you quicker than the speed of light… well almost. Facebook reviewer Jessica says: ‘Fabulous 6th birthday for our son- kids loved the experiments- thoroughly enjoyable and fun.’
Lollipop’s Playland is the coolest place to play in Canberra. Kids of all ages have hours of fun each time they visit, rain, hail or shine. An exciting venue for kids birthday parties, Lollipops Playland gets kids sliding, jumping and exploring.
For kids parties, Lollipops Playland has three different party rooms and four party packages to choose from—Lollipops Party, Super Party, Ultimate Party and Mid-week Party.
Michelle Marraffa wrote on RiotACT, “Great party options, choice of party rooms, newly renovated with barista trained staff etc. They also offer a range of special characters (Marvel, Disney) to attend the party, including their new pet turtle Chester.”
Birthday parties at the Canberra Reptile Park are educational and fun. There are more than 50 species of reptile and frogs for the kids to meet and learn about while eating birthday cake and socialising.
Shane Merry wrote on RiotACT, “Had my son’s 7th bday party at the Canberra Reptile Zoo… absolutely fantastic. It was informative (was like the excursion his classmates couldn’t have this year), interactive and were so easy to work with. Would highly recommend it.”
Quzzic Alley is a thrilling venue for a birthday party. Party goers become a witch or a wizard, jump on their broomsticks, make potions, stir cauldrons and cast spells. Quizzic Alley is a magical place where kids embrace magic and learn the language of wizardry. The venue stocks the biggest range of Harry Potter merchandise in Australia.
Rosalie Ryan wrote on Google, “Fantastic set up and atmosphere. A must-have for any Harry Potter fan or lovers of the magical and whimsical.”
Zone 3 has been hosting kids birthday parties for kids in Canberra forever and knows how to do it well. Laser tag is fun, noisy and active. Available to kids aged 6 and up. Everyone gets a briefing before they play. Tuesday to Thursday party specials are available.
Janet O’Dell-Teys wrote on Google, “Fantastic fun for all ages. Great for groups, birthdays or a fun night out.”
If you’re looking for more information on kids birthday parties, you might like our articles on custom birthday cakes in Canberra, school holiday activities in Canberra and, if you’re planning a big celebration, the best function venues in Canberra.
Your experience with kids birthday party venues in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the kids birthday party venues listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.