I often consider how I’ll celebrate our son’s 1st birthday this summer. Although I try not to think about it too much, since I just can’t come to terms with him actually turning 1 in just a little over 4 months, I know that eventually I am going to have to give it some serious thought. Cincinnati is bursting with fun ways to celebrate and let the kids, no matter their age, burn off a little energy. Prior to having our son I had no idea just how many options there were when it comes to throwing a birthday bash, but it seems no matter what part of town you’re in, you’re probably right down the street from a tri-state favorite.
Here are 5 under-the-radar birthday party venues in Cincinnati:
East Side: Red Balloon Café + Play
Though we haven’t visited Red Balloon Café + Play just yet, I keep hearing wonderful things. They offer a range of options for birthday parties from simple, hourly space rentals to packages including play time, healthy snacks and drinks, and themed decorations for the kids as well as …sigh… coffee and cleanup for the grownups. (applause!)
North Cincinnati: Entertrainment Junction
I can’t wait to take our son here once he’s a little older. Again I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about Entertrainment Junction in West Chester but have yet to step inside, unfortunately. They also offer a range of packages for every budget and each option seems to include plenty of perks to make things easy on the parents. Everything from admission, party supplies, invitations, food and drinks and some engineer gear and free admission for the birthday boy or girl.
Downtown: Carol Ann’s Carousel
This one might be more appropriate for the younger birthday babe but still holds potential for great fun. For around $200 (depending on the size of your group) your birthday party includes printable invitations, a cake, party supplies, admission for guests and a gift and tokens for future rides for the birthday boy or girl.
Over the River: Totter’s Otterville
This Northern Kentucky gem features several different interactive play areas, so every kid at the party will find something they love. It’s also a totally peanut-free facility, which is great if your child has allergies. Totter’s Otterville charges $12.99 per child, and includes admission (for both child and their parents), pizza and drinks! (Parents of the birthday kid must provide cake). You’ll also get a free return pass for your birthday kid, plus use of the private party room for an hour!
Guess what? No one says you have to leave the comforts of your own home to celebrate! Not only is it likely to keep you within budget, but who doesn’t love an excuse to binge-pin for a few hours on Pinterest? Though it does not include set-up and clean up, it does include the peace of mind knowing you are steps away from a fresh set of clothes or an extra diaper (or a glass of wine – because you worked hard on this party you deserve it!) The internet is chock full of adorable themes and decorating ideas, so put the kids down for a nap and let your imagination run wild!
Emily grew up just north of Cincinnati in Hamilton, OH and now lives in Western Hills with her husband Jim, their son James and their lunatic yellow lab, Rosey. Emily graduated from Xavier University (Go Muskies!), and is now a stay at home mom after working in marketing and promotions for local radio and TV stations.
Emily spends most of her free time visiting the manatees (James’ favorite) at the Cincinnati Zoo, shopping at local antique shops, or singing Beatles songs with James who typically just stares at her like she’s crazy. Emily hopes one day he’ll join in but for now she enjoys his giggles. She also enjoys photography and has quickly turned into a Pure Barre addict while trying to melt away the daily milkshakes she consumed while pregnant. So far it’s going well, but Skyline frequently gets in the way.
Emily loves to write and is looking forward to connecting with other Moms in Cincinnati while writing for Cincinnati Parent.