When you live in the South, you assume you won’t have to deal with the bitter cold. But this winter has straight up broken that rule! When the frigid temperatures hit, the amount of available outdoor ideas starts to dwindle. Even worse, what about those winter birthday parties? You definitely have to rethink that Saturday afternoon in the park!
I was born in February (and so was my son). Many of my memories growing up include birthday parties canceled due to snow or cold temperatures. I also remember not having many options on what we could do for a party. It’s becoming clear that some of the same issues continue today, but thankfully times have changed a bit. Smart people are getting business savvy and realizing there is a niche in this birthday business.
I decided to see just how many indoor options I could find for my son’s birthday party in February. So here we are … I did the work and found some wonderful ideas! If you’re in the same boat as me, enjoy these options and have fun planning Mama!
I have two boys, and the thought of inviting other children into my home seems exhausting. That’s why when I think of party ideas, I go for ones that involve my child being active and away from the home.
Ice skating is probably better suited for the older kids, but can bring joy to any age! In Columbia there are a few options to get on the ice. If you are looking at next year, Main Street Ice is open from Thanksgiving till about mid January. Or play it safe and enjoy indoor ice skating at Plex Hiwire in Irmo (bonus: they offer ice skating birthday parties year round).
Bowling is something I think most of us can agree is fun and hilarious at the same time. Why not share that fun with a group of kids? There are many bowling alleys in the Midlands. If you live in the NE, Royal Z Lanes in Spring Valley is a great choice. For the Lexington area, my family enjoys JC’s Lexington Bowl.
I have fond childhood memories of roller skating during my birthday. Why not carry on that tradition! Some of the more popular roller skating rinks are Skateland (NE), Three Fountains (West Columbia), and Skate Station (Lexington).
Who wants to deal with a huge mess at their house, right? Why not take the party on the road and have someone else clean it up! The YMCA offers a few birthday party packages, depending on location. A personal favorite is the swim party. We go so long in the winter without water, let’s bring the water to the kiddos!
Local Gym or Gymnastics Facility
I’m not talking about your YMCA here. I’m talking about The Little Gym in Forest Acres or My Gym in the NE. Both of these facilities are geared towards children and take care of all the details to ensure kids are entertained and having a great time! Show up with a cake and they handle the rest. It doesn’t get much easier than that! Also, many local gymnastics facilities offer super fun parties along the same lines. The best part regardless of which option you choose is that kids get to work out their energy, meet new friends, and mama hopefully can look forward to a good night’s sleep as a result.
Imagine all of the cuteness from a ballet themed birthday party. Even better, the kids you invite actually learn ballet. TuTu School is a studio in Forest Acres that not only offers classes, but birthday parties too, and it is ADORABLE. The party includes a craft and a short class led by a real costumed ballerina (among other things). I mean, you can’t get cuter.
Plex Hiwire (Irmo and the NE)
Plex Hiwire offers two locations, one in Irmo, and the other in Sandhills. Each location has a few differences (Plex in Irmo has ice skating and ice hockey; Plex in Sandhills has inflatables, laser tag, roller skating, and indoor sports). Both locations offer many options for parties including trampolines!
Educational, Mind Stimulating, and Easy on the Wallet
I understand not everyone wants to watch a group of kids running around like banshees. So here are some wonderful ideas for a more contained or educational party.
The movies are always a great choice. It can also be a last minute decision (if you forgot, but who forgets)! There are theaters all over the Midlands and if you plan it right you could spend under $100. Looking for a real bargain buster? Consider Spotlight Cinemas with movie prices at only $3 a person. The showings may not include the newest releases, and they don’t have a birthday party package, but you could have fun with a group of kids at a reasonable price.
We are lucky in the Columbia area to have a marionette theatre, dedicated to providing puppet shows to our community. These aren’t the hand puppets you may be used to, but actually puppets on a string that are maneuvered by professionals. If you haven’t checked them out, you need to. They offer super fun packages with themed party areas to choose from – Undersea Kingdom, Dino Park, Land of Oz, or the Medieval Castle.
My son absolutely LOVES Legos. I am pretty sure most of the kids I know LOVE Legos too. Why not make a whole party out of the silence that comes with a child building and using their mind? There is this sweet company called Little Brick Creators that will bring thousands of Legos for guests to build with. There are many different packages to choose from, score!
A full proof way to have fun, and stay out of the weather, is a local museum. Edventure is a blessing for our community. As a person who has lived many places, I can vouch for that comment. Let your children not only run around like wild animals (if you are into that kind of thing), but also soak in some new knowledge. Bonus: members get a discount!
OK, so parties can get expensive. There is always the thought of having a free venue at your house. Sweet price, but lots of hassle. There are many games to choose from on Pinterest. I have even done Pin the Tail on the Donkey. The oldies are sometimes the most fun.