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Birthday Party Ideas

Any recommendations for places to hold a birthday party for a two year old? Some place that offers some type of diversion, but has food or would allow food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?


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I wanted to have Tati's 1st birthday at Urban Grind - Eastside location (somewhere around NE 20th just north of burnside), a coffee shop w/wifi and tons of space and great coffee panini. It's this humoungous industrial, lofty space with room to run and chase and play. They've got a bucket full of toys in the corner, a kitchen set, and a train table. There are tables, lounge chairs, and couches interspersed everywhere. It is a perfect spot for parents to gather and sip some coffee while the kids romp 'round.

a href="http://www.urbangrindcoffee.com/"http://www.urbangrindcoffee.com//a

i've been to a bunch of birthday parties at It's a Beautiful Pizza on Belmont/34th - they don't have much to do but it's good for a 2-year-old party - lots of room to run around, and they usually don't mind if your group takes over half of the store for an hour or two in the middle of the day. they also have a big pull-down screen that (i think) you can put movies on if you plan ahead. when i was there one day they were doing some documentary about indymedia. and their pizza is great! everett loves it.

the children's museum does birthday parties, but that would fall in the "arm and a leg" category.

in my experience, most restaurants and coffee shops usually don't mind having kids' birthday parties early in the day - like 11 a.m. - when they would usually be slow. as long as you don't have any destructive types in your party ;)

I'm not sure about cost, but the Portland Parks and Rec community centers usually have space you can reserve for a birthday party. I specifically remember seeing information in the Mt Scott Community Center Schedule on birthday parties, but I don't remember the details.

I just wanted to echo the Mt. Scott suggestion. Our daughter recently went to a party at the Clackamas Aquatic Park, which was only there
because they couldn't book Mt. Scott. We were at Mt. Scott a month ago, and it's fabulous! Of course, for a 2 yr old party, each guest would need to be accompanied by an adult.

I noticed a "party room" at the Clackamas Town Center by the train and ferris wheels.

I'll echo the idea about having it in a community center. No matter where you live, there should be one close by that has rooms available. We had a baby shower at one in SE (off of Stark, near Floyd Light Middle School), and the space was fabulous. Didn't cost too much, and the staff was very friendly and easy to work with. Plus, you can be LOUD and the folks in other parts of the center can't hear you, at least in this location. You can bring in whatever food and cake you want (which is not an option in most restaurants) and you can decorate it however you wish.

PS - I realize my comment is coming about nine months past the original post, but since people are always looking for party space... :)

These are probably suggestions for older-child parties, and not for a two year old.... but:

I was at Mimosa Studios (http://www.mimosa-studios.com) the other day, and there was a group having a birthday party. Mimosa is a fun shop where you can paint your own pottery. The activity would appeal to the older bunch, probably for kids over 5 years old. The studio has a range of products to paint, so I imagine that the price could range from $5 to $20 per child. They can make you a table from 15 tiles or so. It'd be neat to have all the friends decorate one tile and create a keepsake corner/coffee table.

Another place where we've attended a children's party is Rainbow Playground Depot, which is really a showroom for tons of outdoor play equipment. The showroom doubles as an enormous birthday party space. The rental is $150 on a Fri, Sat or Sunday, for kids under 9 years old and for up to 25 children. They have a party room in the back (we went to the NE Portland location), and you can bring in food and cake. See more info at http://playgrounddepot.com/2005/birthday_parties.htm

We've also attended parties at the Zoo (http://www.oregonzoo.com), where you can rent a room or covered picnic area for nominal charge. We have also celebrated a birthday with no dedicated space, we all just convened on the grass (near packy the elephant) and had snacks there. Finally, the Children's Museum has some party rooms in the back (http://www.cm2.org). I don't know what cost was like, though.

Another older child birthday party idea came across in our OMSI newsletter: camp-ins. Kids need to be in the 3rd grade and up, but they can spend the night at OMSI ($38 per camper) or on USS Blueback ($51 per camper). The group can be as small as 4 persons.

Here's the info:

We've just received this from an inquiring mama: "My little one will be 3 later in the fall, and I'll actually need to host a *real* birthday party for her this year - ie, friends in addition to family. My place is much too small, so I'm trying to find a space to rent. Has anyone had a great experience with renting an indoor space for their child's birthday party? If so, any suggestions are appreciated. Cheap and N/NE are preferable!"

Any ideas??

Depending on the amount of space you need, here are a few suggestions:

We have gone to a party at The Rainbow Park and Playground. Basically you get exclusive access to their indoor showroom full of a variety of great play equipment. They have an eating area and you can bring in outside food:


Full potentially obvious disclosure, my wife and I own Milagros: You can rent The Family Room at Milagros for parties, the rate is $15 per hour (we allow outside food). We had Mila's fourth birthday party in the room. More info and some pics are at our website:


The Concordia Neighborhood Association (another disclosure, I am a board member) rents the Community Room at McMenamins Kennedy School for $25 per hour. It is pretty basic and has chalkboards but is charming in its own way and parents have easy access to beer, contact Anne Rothert at 503-493-1938 for more info.

If you need ALOT of space, I think that the Capoeria Studio at 3016 Ne Killingsworth is still available for private rentals, 503-287-5555. We had Mila's second birthday there.

I hope this info is helpful!

I can add an unbiased recommendation in favor of the Milagros Family Room. We hosted my daughter's 1st birthday party there in June, and a good time was had by all ages. Tony was great and the rental price is a steal.

Previously, when my son had turned one, we rented out the Historic Kenton Firehouse. It costs more than Milagros and required us to do 100% of the decoration and cleanup ourselves, but the building is spacious and lovely. There is also a safely fenced garden area. Rental information is posted at www.historickenton.com/firehouse.html.

A friend recently held her son's third bithday party at Kruger's Family Farm. We weren't able to attend, but she said it was fabulous. I may not have all the details right but it was something like $100 for a set number of kids (10 maybe?) and included a hayride, or something like that.

We've gotten another question about birthday party location ideas, especially that weather is now more cold and rainy. More ideas for Kim, mamas?

"My daughter turns 3 in December and our house is under renovation so I need to find an appropriate indoor venue to host her birthday party. I am interested in learning about Portland locations (not the burbs) and was hoping someone might have some great ideas."

My goodness, it's strange to read the first comment of this post about planning Tati's first birthday. Now, she's turning three and we've decided on St Johns Community Center. Here is a link to all the Portland Parks & Rec Community Center Rentals: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/?c=39172

The format is great - if you rent a gym, you can often use the center's indoor play park equipment: cars, balls, hula hoops, other items for gross motor indoor fun. There are also special rooms like craft rooms or poolside rooms (and a 3-yr old birthday may or may not be too young for the swim party).

My husband's coworker said her son had his party at the Children's Gym in Hollywood: http://www.childrensgym.com/display.html. The website doesn't have specific info on parties, but I believe they have trampolines, mats, bars, and balance beams, perfect for tumbling tots.

I also like the suggestions from above: Rainbow Park & Playground (we've been to a party there: FUN!) and Kennedy School sounds cool (and affordable) too.

Don't forget to check out all the suggestions on CAKES: http://urbanmamas.typepad.com//urbanmamas/2006/11/if_i_knew_you_w.html

My oldest son will turn 11 in Sept. Any ideas on venue's for birthday party. We live in Beaverton and it seems there is nothing close.

Here's an idea for a birthday party venue. I had the most fantastic stress free birthday party for my 5 year old twins. Even though my kids are younger, their older cousins (12 & 9 yrs) had a blast too. You have got to check this one out! It's in Wilsonville over by Costco off of Hwy. 5, it's called PUMP IT UP. My kids left tired and sweaty and we left the party mess there. My husband and I had so much fun jumping and playing with all of the kids. We felt like we got to know their friends and thier parents a little bit more too. Our party was completely private, we were the only people in the room so it is easy to keep track of the kids. The staff let all of the parents play with the kids; we jumped, jousted, and boxed and even got to go down the big slide. I am definately going to bring my kids back to play during the week at thier playtime. Mom's... Go and check this one out when the rains hit. Your kids will run and jump like crazy and not get cabin fever. It would be a great play date place!

Ok - so this is basically an ad...

We had taken The Family Room at Milagros off-line for rentals for a while, now it is available for rentals again. So if you you need a place for your party rental, please consider us:


All the best,


Hello - I am looking for a recommendation for my 'girly' girl's 5th birthday party. I am thinking fairy, princess, pink, fluffy... that kind of thing. Please, any ideas for an entertainer, or venue, or anything really... I'm struggling!

For my daughter's 5th we had a fairy tea party at home. A neighbor volunteered to do all of their nails. I made wands out of wood dowels and paper stars that they then decorated as a craft activity. We also made fairy skirts (my partner knows how to sew so it was not hard) and headdresses. I love to cook so I made a lunch for the girls - heart and star shaped sandwiches, deviled eggs, fruit salad and veggies with dip. They had cupcakes with fairy piks in them that I got at the Deccorette shop in Tigard - I got a cool sparkler candle there also. We decorated the table with a lace tablecloth and served juice out of silver tea pots into fancy cups from our punch bowl set. The girls loved it and still talk about it more than a year later. If you want more specifics let me know.

It was a lot of work which but I love doing this type of thing. This year's pool party left me feeling like I wasn't really throwing a party but it was really easy.

My daughter has attended parties where the parents have hired a princess person. The person comes in with outfits and dresses all the girls up. It is fun but expensive. We spent a lot less, the kids had a dress up thing to take home but we put more work into it.

Have fun.

I have a 8 year old boy- we live in Tigard...don't want to do a home party again...and can't afford a big party (we have done the children's museum, etc.). Anyone aware of a cheap, easy, fun place to rent??

You should consult Kool Bounce Party http://www.koolbounceparty.com/. They are experts & I'm pretty sure that they can help you.

For $5 a child you can have unlimited rides on the Jantzen Beach Carousel for 1.5 hours and you get up to three tables and 24 chairs to decorate and host. The only catch is any food (except cake, etc) has to come from the food court. We had our daughters birthday there and it was so fun and so easy.

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I don't know if this location has already been suggested on Urbanmamas, but we had our son's 6th birthday at Pearl Court http://www.pdxcourt.com/ and it was perfect and very affordable. We invited the whole class, so with siblings I bet we had 30 kids show up. There was plenty of room to play games and dance and it's a really convenient location too being at the North end of the Pearl where parking is not an issue.

I like your Idea.

Here's an idea for the mom who was looking for a girly-girl kind of party for her 5 year old . Little Pixels studio does a fashion show party where the girls dress up and practice modelling down a pretend runway and have photos done. It's a real photo studio and you get to keep the photos . My daughter had her party there last month . It is not a huge studio so maybe up to 15 people could go . Really super fun though . On the $$ side but not too bad . Their website is www.littlepixels.net

thanks you all urban moms for sharing your ideas. I was in desperate need to find some great ideas for a birthday party i am planning for a 7 year old girl, and here i found what i need. thx

I know some of the moms seeking birthday venues will have already availed themselves of something, but last year I had my son's 6th birthday at a great place called "Out Of This World Pizza." It is a little out of the way, off the 26 freeway and Shute Road. Not a trip for the feint of heart, but well worth it when you finally get there!! The place is 2 stories high and contains within it a 2-story high activity center (like those found at most McDonald's playlands), with a grand slide that the kids all loved, a bouncy house, a bouncy slide, go-carts and an area for smaller children.

The cost to enter is something like $2.50 per child, including the birthday child. Parents are free.
We did not organize a formal birthday party, nor rented a room, but availed ourselves of the "more private area upstairs" during one party, and in the open area near the games.
Out of This World serve awesome pizza, bottomless drinks, and when we were there last October, allowed food from the outside to be brought in, including your own cake.
They have all sorts of options for party packages; parents are welcome to join in the fun and games.
I guarantee a great time will be had by all and all your little ones will go down easy and early that night!!

We weren't able to attend but I heard the party was awesome. Try Sound Roots on N. Williams (http://soundrootsmusic.com/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16). Here's what their site says:

Need a ROCKIN' idea for your child's next birthday celebration? Sound Roots offers two hour parties that are music filled, high energy fun--with your child featured as the star of the show! Lessons in how to be a rock star, music related games, and even an opportunity to write a song about the guest of honor fill the first hour.

In the second half, our teacher is available to answer specific questions, show kids some tricks on individual instruments and help guide the party through cake, presents and even some craft projects.

Our parties are priced on a per child basis with an 8 child minimum. There is also plenty of room for accompanying adults, who are free to attend. You are welcome to bring your own food and beverages or choose from our on-site options!

Birthday usually comes once in a year, but when it comes to celebrating your child’s first birthday celebration there should be something unique and bouncy. Almost every parent arranges some special arrangements to celebrate their first child’s birthday. So, if you are one of those who are looking for something to make your child's birthday a memorable one for your child. So, why not try bouncy castle to make this party celebration bouncy and jumpy.

For a two-year old kid, it's never a failure to set a party as chaotic as you have never witnessed! Chaotic in a way that the kids are enjoying every single way possible. Two years ago, I gave my youngest a birthday blow-out! It was CRAZY! The kids went crazy throughout the party.

We love the Playground Gym by the convention center. They can cater to a wide range of ages and for the kids old enough, like 3/4 and up, they can run them around in age appropriate activities and obstacle courses, while the parents get to visit. You provide your own food, but the eating area is adjacent to the play area, so parents or tired kids can snack while watching the playing kids. I think they even have partnered with a cupcake company if you want them to do the cake. It is affordable compared to some of the other venues and includes the entertainment!

anyone here knows any idea on how to plan the perfect party at a party venues in Melbourne? id like it to be cheap and perfect for a suprise comeback party to my husband. guests 50! any ideas ? :)

Party space should be really unique to enjoy the functions and many parties. It's facilities are according to the new trends.

At your yard. And give them a Hawaiian motif. Pure hotdogs, sausages and pineapples. Sure the kids will enjoy that.

I noticed a "party room" at the Clackamas Town Center by the train and ferris wheels.

Wow what great ideas for a party. Thanks for posting.

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