Do you have a summer baby and are looking for great places around Columbia to celebrate their birthday? My son is turning 3 in July, and I don’t necessarily want to host his birthday party at my home if I can help it. I dread dealing with the frantic cleaning spree that comes before company comes over, getting one million wasteful decorations, and buying enough food and activities to entertain a few kids for a couple hours, just to have them leave my house in shambles.
So, I’m looking to outsource and host his party somewhere locally. There are tons of great places around Columbia to celebrate your kiddos’ birthday. Check out the awesome list below of potential party spots I’ve rounded up!
There are three areas you can rent for a birthday party at Saluda Shoals; Environmental Center, six picnic shelters (with good amenities for outside comfort and close to restrooms), and the River Center which is indoors and has specific rooms. I’ve been to parties at both the picnic shelter area (the one closest to the splash pad) and the River Center was where we had our wedding reception dinner and a friend’s baby shower. There are endless options at Saluda Shoals!
Gymboree Play & Music is located in Richland Mall across from Barnes & Noble. This birthday celebration would be a great idea for children ages 1-5! You can create a private, personalized party for your child. There are several themes to choose from, and zero cleanup. Yay!
At the Columbia Marionette Theatre, there are four different themed party areas for birthdays. Parties are only available on Saturdays. No party set up/food/utensils included and you have to clean up. Your birthday kiddo will get a special gift. The kids also get prime seating to the current production.
Parks and playgrounds are great venues to have your child’s birthday party, especially if they are young and easily entertained! You will have to bring all your own decorations, food/utensils, and clean up after yourself. But, there’s already a playground, so there’s no need to bring any kind of extra entertainment unless you want to. And best of all, parks are FREE! Just check ahead of time to determine if any of the shelters require a rental.
We recently attended a birthday party at Roy Lynch Park and everyone brought a bike/scooter kind of toy and just shared them with each other. It was so perfect! Here is a list of some of my favorite parks in the area (for a comprehensive list, click here). All of the ones listed below bathrooms, except for Roy Lynch Park. But it’s just too great of a park not to include!
- Cayce Historical Park
- Cayce Memorial Park (1605 State St)
- Northside Middle School Playground (near Howard Park Baseball Field)
- Irmo Community Park
- Virginia Hylton Park
- Roy Lynch Park
Named Best Gym Party by Parents Magazine, an Awesome Birthday Bash at The Little Gym gives your birthday kid and their friends the full run of the facility, filling the celebration with instructor-led games, music, and fun LEGO® Juniors or LEGO® DUPLO® building activities created especially for your birthday boy or girl. And you don’t have to worry about setup or cleanup, making it totally awesome for you too!
Flight Deck is a really unique restaurant in Lexington. It has literally everything on the menu, cool historic airplane paraphernalia all around the restaurant and they also have an in-house, indoor arcade. Fun and food for everyone!
I was really surprised when I saw Michael’s offered birthday party celebrations. I know they have a project room in their store, but I never imagined they would host birthdays there. They have so many different themes for all ages! It would be a really cool and creative experience! I think this would be better geared towards elementary and middle school-aged children.
If you haven’t been to EdVenture before, why not go big with a birthday party celebration? The kids will love it, I promise. It’s the most fun and coolest museum around for elementary age (and younger) children! They even have a safe place for children 3 and under. EdVenture has several rooms/space available for rentals and specific “party” packages.
My Gym was born out of our passion to teach children in a fun, physically engaging environment. They offer choreographed and customized party themes for your child, including superheroes, princesses, or anything in between. They also have a super fun zipline, trampoline, and climbing wall. You just show up and they handle everything. The only one in our area is in the Northeast.
There are so many different combinations for birthday packages. To start, they have three basic ones to choose from, but so many add-ons and upgrades. All packages include a ticket blaster experience for the birthday child where they get to grab as many tickets as they can in a windy air chamber, as well as a reserved table for 2 hours, tablecloth, paper plates, utensils and a dedicated server, and more!
This is the closest thing Columbia has to a beach, and a great way to beat the heat in the summer! There is a small fee to enter the park ($2-$5 based on your vehicle). They have several picnic shelters and also beach-like lake access. This park is only open from April through Labor Day, and make sure you check the hours on their website.
HiWire is so much fun! If you haven’t been before, I encourage you to go at least once. We actually went there, for the first time, for an adult birthday party. They offer several different party packages for kids of all ages. Just bring a cake or cupcakes (no other outside food is permitted but the party package you select comes beverages and the option to add on pizza), and their staff will handle the rest! Choose a package for an hour of jump time or add additional options like laser tag, bouncing houses, roller skating or more (options vary by location). You can have a blast at either the Sandhills or Irmo location!
The Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is one of the biggest hot spots for families in Columbia. Did you know it is ranked in the top 10 zoos of America by TripAdvisor? They have a great variety of animals and the area is extremely kid-friendly. There are also several spots for shade and resting along the way to the exhibits. The waterpark/garden is fun for kids of all ages and a lifesaver during the summer. Members will receive a small discount on birthday party packages and they are held on both the zoo and waterpark sides. This is a really fun and convenient option for birthday parties and they do all the work for you.
The State Museum offers fun and exciting birthday experiences for families of almost any size and age! There is a limited number of party guests you have to have, party supplies (not food) are included, a fun craft for each child, and you have a specific two-hour time slot. Choose from options like science activities, a planetarium show, 4D movie, and more. Take a look and see if they have something your child would enjoy!
Personally, bowling is not my thing. It’s fun every now and then but I am not a big bowler. Maybe that’s because I’m not very good. But, maybe you have a child who loves to bowl or the members of your family are pros! Either way, it’s a fun place to host your child’s next birthday party, and it will be air-conditioned. You can always get bumpers for younger children!
We love Frankie‘s Fun Park! They have mini golf, go-carts, laser tag, bumper boats, a fun house and more. You could invite a bunch of friends to hang out, play and celebrate with your birthday boy/girl on your own time, or sign up for Frankie’s birthday/group packages. The birthday packages are designed for children 12 and under.
There are always party rentals if you have a big property or access to a large space. Laugh N Leap has several different birthday party packages that remind me of the fair and are carnival style. They have popcorn, snow cones, HUGE bounce houses and slip and slides.