When it’s time to plan birthday parties for kids, parents pretty much have two options — have the party at home or have the party at one of the many venues that offer birthday party packages.

It may seem easier, cheaper and more traditional to go the at-home route, but once you factor in the cost of buying food, party favors and decorations, plus the time investment of cleaning, cooking and prepping for the party, lots of parents (including me) opt for the offsite party as a better investment.

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You could choose pizza places, movie theaters or inflatable centers for the party. There’s nothing wrong with those choices (we’ve done quite a few in our family). But, if you’re looking for something a little different, a little outside-the-box, here are a few extra cool choices in the Milwaukee area.

Picture ‘Me’ Pretti Beautique & Spa

414-458-3631

Facebook: @picturemeprettillc

picturemepretti.com

What makes this venue special: The best part of this venue is that it’s mobile. Nicole Goins, owner of the beautique and spa, said, “We travel to families’ homes, hotels, wherever you want me to be. I have a full setup available, and I go crazy blinging out the tables because it should be magical for the guest of honor.”

Party guests can get facials at a Picture Me Pretti birthday party. (Photo: Submitted Photo)

There are two packages to choose from for your birthday child’s spa party.

Diamond package

  • $250 for 6 guests
  • 2 hours
  • spa robes
  • manicure and pedicure
  • friendship oath and friendship toast
  • decorations and set-up

Sapphire package

  • $350 for 8 guests
  • 3 hours
  • spa robes
  • manicure and pedicure
  • facial, eye and lip color
  • friendship oath and friendship toast
  • decorations and set-up

There are also optional extras to add on to packages, such as specialty themes, custom tutus, princess cocktails with fruit garnishes and party bags.

Tosa Block Party

7251 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa

414-554-5346

tosablockparty.com

Facebook: @TosaBlockParty

At Tosa Block Party, kids get to build with tons of LEGO bricks. (Photo: Submitted Photo)

What makes this venue special: You know how fun it is (for both adults and kids) to build with Legos? That’s the whole purpose of this place. With the added bonus that there are way, way more blocks available for you to build with than you have at home.

Parties are available seven days a week, although preferred times are Saturday and Sunday, 1-3 p.m. or 4-6 p.m.

The birthday child picks out a special Lego theme, such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Elves, Friends, Minecraft or City. The folks at Tosa Block Party set up a display for the kids to play with that includes theme-related mini-figures, along with a large bin of Legos to build with.

Kids typically build for 60-75 minutes and eat and open presents for 45-60 minutes.

  • $150 for up to 15 builders
  • Food can be brought in
  • table cover, plates, napkins, cutlery
  • 2 hours in private block party room
  • souvenir gift for birthday boy or girl

Add-ons are available such as a custom mini-figure for $5 and an add-on container of bricks for $10 per person.

ComedySportz

420 S. 1st St.

414-272-8888

cszmke.com

What makes this venue special: Watching people make up hilarious skits right on the spot is a different kind of birthday party than your kids have probably been to. Plus, it’s super fun.

Birthday kids can participate in the action during a ComedySportz show. (Photo: Submitted Photo)

Every Saturday, the 3 p.m. show is geared specifically toward kids and parties. The show lasts an hour and a half, and ComedySportz offers two options for birthday parties.

First, you could just attend the show with your party (make sure to call ahead to alert them that there’s a birthday child in attendance).

  • $8.50 regular admission fee for each guest
  • Birthday child gets his or her name on the jumbo-tron before the show
  • Birthday child gets the opportunity to get on stage to help the players play a game
  • Birthday child gets a photo opp with the players after the show

Or, you can buy a birthday party package.

  • $16 per person
  • Jumbo-tron name, on-stage opportunity and photo opp for birthday child
  • Each guest gets a grilled cheese or hot dog meal basket with fries and a fountain drink
  • Each child gets a wacky prize (such as a whoopee cushion or a silly fake mustache)

You can also add on a cake (candles, plates, napkins and silverware provided)

  • $25 for a cake that feeds 10-15 kids
  • $45 for a cake that feeds 25-35 kids
  • $75 for a cake that feeds 45-65 kids

You can also bring in your own cake for a $20 fee.

First Stage Children’s Theater

Todd Wehr Theater: 123 E. State St.

Milwaukee Youth Arts Center: 325 W. Walnut St.

414-267-2964

firststage.org

What makes this venue special: A play put on by First Stage is always special. The shows that are specifically tailored to kids are perfect for introducing children to live theater. Enjoying the show with all your best friends makes it even better.

The Diligent cast rocks out in First Stage’s “Matilda.” (Photo: Paul Ruffolo)

All parties include a personalized party sign, a performance poster and birthday shout-out after the show.

There are two different locations for the parties

Todd Wehr Theater package

  • $175 for 10 guests
  • balcony seating
  • Each child receives a cookie and a beverage
  • For an additional charge, tickets can be upgraded to the main floor

Milwaukee Youth Arts Center package

  • $150 for 10 guests
  • reserved seating and a party table

Add-ons are available, including a private extended talk-back session with cast members for $4 per person; a party space for before or after the performance; and a private backstage tour following the performance for $4 per person.

Ingleside Hotel and Water Park

2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee

262-970-5262

theinglesidehotel.com/waterpark

What makes this venue special: It’s a waterpark. Need I say more?

Ingleside Hotel’s water park is a popular venue for birthday parties. (Photo: KENNEL_J)

There are three different party packages available

Splashtacular

  • 9 party guests and two adult swim bands
  • $185 for a Monday through Thursday party ($18 for each additional guest)
  • $225 for a Friday through Sunday party ($25 for each additional guest)
  • two hours of swimming time
  • one hour in the party room (with no host)
  • 1/4 sheet birthday cake
  • beverage for each guest
  • 25 arcade game credits per guest

Ultimate

  • 1 free birthday child plus 9 party guests and two adult swim bands
  • $275 for a Monday through Thursday party ($29 for each additional guest)
  • $350 for a Friday through Sunday party ($35 for each additional guest)
  • 3 hours of swimming time
  • one hour in the party room (with a host)
  • 1/4 sheet birthday cake
  • beverage for each guest
  • same meal for each guest (hot dog, pizza slice or chicken strips meal with chips and a beverage)
  • 25 arcade game credits per guest
  • goodie bag for each guest
  • birthday gift for birthday child
  • birthday party invitations

Splish-Splash

  • 20 guests
  • $450 for a Monday through Thursday party ($21 for each additional guest)
  • $550 for a Friday through Sunday party ($30 for each additional guest)
  • 4 hours of swimming time
  • 1 hour in the party room (no host)
  • 1/4 sheet birthday cake
  • beverage for each guest
  • 5 large 16-inch pizzas (cheese, sausage or pepperoni)

Add-ons are available, such as a half-sheet cake, ice cream, Molly’s cake or cupcakes that are free of gluten, eggs, nuts and dairy; extra game credits and extra food and drinks.

Goldfish Swim School

12565 W. Feerick St., Brookfield

262-239-7503

goldfishswimschool.com

What makes this venue special: There’s swimming. The pool feels as warm as bath water. And, you get private access to the whole facility for your party.

A group of children enjoy their swim class at Goldfish Swim School. (Photo: Greg Anthony)

  • If you have 24 or fewer guests, two certified lifeguards will supervise the swimming. If there are more than 24 guests, there will be additional lifeguards.
  • 2 hours private access to the facility
  • cupcakes and beverages for the children
  • centerpieces, balloons, tropical decorations
  • forks, napkins, plates, table coverings and birthday invitations

Urban Ecology Center

Menomonee Valley location: 3700 W. Pierce St.

Riverside Park location: 1500 E. Park Place

Washington Park location: 1859 N. 40th St.

414-964-8505

urbanecologycenter.org

What makes these venues special: These are perfect parties to encourage getting outside and enjoying nature. Plus, to go along with the natural theme, the parties are adorably termed “b’earthday” parties.

Party packages are for birthday children turning 5 or older; packages cost $175 for members, and $200 for non-members

  • 10 children ($5 for additional children up to 20 total)
  • 2-hour party with a theme of the birthday child’s choice, including materials for activities
  • dishes, silverware, napkins provided 
  • You’re free to bring your own food and drinks
  • Themes are slightly different, depending on the location. Some of the coolest include:
    • Air Adventure: air pressure experiments, creating aircraft that fly and outside games
    • Winter Wonderland: playing in the snow, following animal tracks, building snowpeople and throwing snowballs
    • Brilliant Bats: pretending to turn into a bat to search for food throughout the park

Milwaukee Wave

UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave.

414-908-6362

milwaukeewave.com

What makes this venue special: If you’ve got a soccer fan, this is a great way to celebrate, and a personalized way (think meet-and-greets with players and the mascot) to enjoy professional sports.

Birthday party guests get to enjoy Milwaukee Wave games from a special suite. (Photo: Submitted Photo)

There are three different packages. Each includes 10 tickets to a game.

Rookie package: $200 ($20 for each additional ticket)

  • Each child receives a pair of Wave athletic socks
  • The birthday child receives an autographed soccer ball
  • The birthday child’s name will be on the scoreboard

Pro package: $250 ($25 for each additional ticket)

  • Each child receives a pair of Wave athletic socks
  • The birthday child receives an autographed soccer ball
  • The birthday child’s name will be on the scoreboard
  • Pre-game meet and greet with the team
  • Pre-game on-field photo with the Brad Beach mascot
  • cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes

Once in a lifetime package: $450 ($45 for each additional ticket)

  • Each child receives a pair of Wave athletic socks
  • The birthday child receives an autographed game ball
  • The birthday child’s name will be on the scoreboard
  • Pre-game meet and greet with the team
  • Pre-game on-field photo with the Brad Beach mascot
  • cupcakes from Classy Girl Cupcakes
  • First Ball fan experience for the birthday child
  • opportunity for a halftime high-five tunnel

Here are a few other cool places that host birthday parties in the Milwaukee area:

Adventure Rock

  • Brookfield location: 21250 W. Capitol Drive
  • Milwaukee location: 2220 N. Commerce St.

Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

929 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee

The Big Backyard

2857 S. 160th St., New Berlin

Bounce Milwaukee

2857 S. 160th St., Milwaukee

Chasing Tales

7265 S. 1st St., Oak Creek

Chuck E. Cheese

  • Brookfield location: 19125 W. Blue Mound Road
  • Milwaukee location: 2701 Chase St.
  • Racine location: 5612 Durand Ave.
  • West Allis location: 2990 S. 108th St.

Dave & Buster’s

2201 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa

Fun-Timez!

6544 S. Lovers Lane Road, Franklin

Helium Trampoline & Indoor Adventure Park

16235 W. Beloit Road, New Berlin

Incredi-Roll Skate & Laser Tag Family Fun Center

10928 W. Oklahoma Ave., West Allis

Marcus Theatres

  • Bistroplex Southridge: 5210 S. 76th St., Greendale
  • Hillside Cinema: 2950 Hillside Drive, Delafield
  • Majestic Cinema of Brookfield: 770 N. Springdale Road, Waukesha
  • Menomonee Falls Cinema: W180-N9393 Premier Lane, Menomonee Falls
  • North Shore Cinema: 11700 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon
  • Renaissance Cinema: 10411 Washington Ave., Sturtevant
  • Ridge Cinema: 5200 S. Moorland Road, New Berlin
  • Saukville Cinema: 350 S. Riverside Drive, Saukville
  • Showtime Value Cinema: 8910 S. 102nd St., Franklin
  • South Shore Cinema: 7261 S. 13th St., Oak Creek
  • Southgate Cinema: 3330 S. 30th St., Milwaukee

Milwaukee County Zoo

10001 W. Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee

Milwaukee Public Museum

800 W. Wells St., Milwaukee

Monkey Joe’s

  • Kenosha location: 4237 Green Bay Road
  • Waukesha location: 2040 W. Blue Mound Road

Organ Piper Pizza

4353 S. 108th St., Greenfield

Pettit National Ice Center

500 S. 84th St., Milwaukee

Pump It Up

195 N. Janacek Road, Brookfield

Skateland

1931 E. Main St., Waukesha

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

  • Greenfield location: 4940 S. 76th St.
  • Waukesha location: W229-N1420 Westwood Drive

Stone Fire Pizza

5320 S. Moorland Road, New Berlin

 

 

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