New birthday party themes and venues for kids in greater Phoenix

Kids enjoying a paint party at
Carrie Curran Art Studios in Scottsdale. Photo courtesy of Carrie Curran Art Studios.

Do you feel like you’ve been to every birthday party imaginable? It’s tough to keep these annual celebrations fun and fresh. Here’s a roundup of new birthday venues in the Valley as well as new parties offered at favorite haunts. Plus, new themes to consider. Have a favorite birthday idea, venue or tip? We’d love to hear it! Email us:

As You Wish
Locations Valleywide
This pottery-painting haven now offers parties to go! The cost is $4 per painter plus the price of pottery. Visit your closest As You Wish (with six locations in metro Phoenix, including Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace) to pick out pottery pieces and take paints and supplies with you. Return everything to the studio, and As You Wish will glaze and fire the pieces, which will be ready for pick-up four days later.

Carrie Curran Art Studios
8300 N. Hayden, Suite A100, Scottsdale
480-478-8121 •
Ages 6 and up. This longtime local art studio has an all-new location with waterfront views that should help inspire your child’s inner Van Gogh. Pick from a popular theme or have the staff design a work of art of your child’s choice to recreate. Bring all your own food, beverages and cake. $35 per painter, 10-painter minimum with discounts for more than 15 people.

Bach To Rock
7325 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.,
Suite 104, Scottsdale
480-990-8000 •
This music school franchise offers a “Rock Birthday Party” for ages 7 and up, including a two-hour jam/recording session with an audio technician where the birthday child and guests each learn an instrument (or bring their own), then record a song from a list of popular music. The Karaoke Birthday Party for ages 6 and up pairs guests with a vocal instructor for a 90-minute singing lesson and song recording. Guests get a CD of their recording and a goodie bag to take home. Bring your own food and cake. Packages include a party room and T-shirt for the birthday child. Rock party: $299 for up to 12 guests; Karaoke party: $279 for up to 14 guests. $15 for each additional guest.

i.d.e.a. Museum
150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa
480-644-4332 •
This Mesa children’s museum offers a new Robo-Bash party (in addition to its Artville parties) for up to 12 kids and 12 adults that includes a coding/robotics activity and two hours in a party room. $330 includes a party host and all-day admission for party guests to enjoy the museum’s art and hands-on activities. Customized options available. $9 per additional adult; $12 per additional child. Maximum 65 people.

9206 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
480-712-4359 •
Ages 3 and up. Phoenix’s first indoor skydiving facility uses giant fans to form a wind tunnel that propels guests into flight. Basic party packages includes two hours of flight time for 12 guests (one-minute flights per guest), a flight certificate and a video download for each child. Swooper party package includes an hour in a VIP room, two large pizzas, drinks and snacks. $669.95-$949.95.

15495 W. Bell Road, Suite 104, Surprise
623-584-2767 •
Ages 12 and younger. This indoor playground includes an 8,000-square foot, tri-level playground with slides, tunnels, a ball pit with ball blaster, arcade games, and kiddie rides. Play in a grocery store, theater, doctor’s office and beauty parlor. Separate toddler and baby play areas. Birthday packages include unlimited playtime, 45 minutes in a party room, a $5 game card plus either pizza or PB&J for each child with unlimited soft drinks. Plates, napkins and utensils included. $295 Monday-Thursday, $365 Friday-Sunday for 10 guests. $20 per additional child up to 12.

Mad Science Birthday Party
480-222-2233 •
Ages 6-12. Mad Scientists come to your child’s party with surprising chemical reactions, physics and air pressure demonstrations and slimy experiments. Base packages include an hour of science excitement with your birthday kid as the Mad Science lab assistant. All parties include a Mad Science sticker and a slime-making activity for each child to take home. $225 for up to 10 kids; $300 for up to 20 kids. Add-ons include a rocket launch, sweet-treat creations, lab coats, test tubes that can be filled with candy and more.

Octane Raceway
9119 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale
602-427-4405 •
Ages 10 and up; 54-inch height requirement for racing. Octane Raceway recently added a heart-pounding Velocity Virtual Reality experience (recommended for ages 13 and up) to their daily go-kart racing options. The VR game transports players to a distant planet to fight aliens or into a zombie survival scene. VR parties include two hours of game time, mini-bowling, a $5-$10 game card for each guest, plus pizza, drinks, a T-shirt for guest of honor and medals for the top three players. Racing party also available. Eight-guest minimum; includes reserved tables at the Octane Brickyard Grill. Call for prices.

Party Jungle
12046 N. 32nd St., Phoenix
602-923-9444 •
Ages 2 and up. Party Jungle recently opened in the former Jambo’s Amusement Park space. Attractions in the renovated indoor play center include mini-golf, a jungle gym and laser tag (for ages 5 and up), plus carnival-style rides and arcade games. Birthday packages include all-day park play plus 90 minutes in a private party room with a party host, two slices of pizza per child, unlimited fountain drinks and a T-shirt for the guest of honor. You can bring your own cake. Add-ons include adult lunch menu, arcade tokens and cake. $249 for up to 10 guests, $12 for each additional guest.

Rachel’s Young At Art Studio
6990 E. Shea Blvd. Suite 115, Scottsdale
480-621-6155 •
Ages 2-9. This art studio caters to little ones, and no one here is afraid of messes. Parties include one big teacher-led activity, table crafts, unlimited easel painting, unlimited glass window printmaking, a decorated art bag for the birthday child and time for free play. Available on Saturdays and Sundays. $350 for up to 12 children; $15 per additional child.

Storybook Entertainment
All ages. This local company brings just about any character, princess or superhero to life, and most are trained actors. They perform, interact with kids and host a craft project or event. Storybook offers brilliant party packages, such as the Swimming Mermaid Party (that comes with both a mermaid character and a lifeguard) and even a Music Video Party (kids learn a dance routine and a videographer tapes a 30-minute performance). Prices range from $95 to $575. Add-ons include everything from additional characters to party favors and decorations.

Top Golf
9500 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
1689 S. Santan Village Parkway, Gilbert
480-240-2402 •
Topgolf isn’t exactly new, but it keeps expanding in the Valley, including a planned Glendale facility. At this high-tech indoor golf range, you can hit microchipped balls into huge targets equipped with sensors that award points based on accuracy. Birthday packages include two hours of unlimited play, choice of kids menu items and unlimited drinks. A breakfast birthday package comes with mini waffles, bacon and fruit. Add-ons include Topgolf’s famous “injectable donut holes” and goodie bags with sunglasses and water bottles. 12-guest minimum with two adults per bay. $25-$35 per guest.

Toys & Playtime Oasis
13802 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
480-948-4630 •
Ages 5 and younger. This longtime local toy store has a new cozy location north of AZ Airtime. The safe indoor playroom features developmental, creative, bouncing and building toys. $250 for two hours; no per-child fee. Available on weekends. Food can be brought in.

Urban Jungle Fun Park
5741 E. McKellips Road, Mesa
480-256-8749 •
This east Mesa indoor playground opened in March, and offers birthday parties that include 90 minutes of play on trampolines, indoor climbing walls that look like skyscrapers, super slides, an obstacle course, a ball-blaster arena and a multi-level play structure. Parties include trampoline socks for guests plus pizza, drinks, tableware and 30-minutes in a private party room. $225-$565.

The Westin Kierland
6902 E. Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale
480-624-1202 •
This resort offers fully customizable birthday packages for all ages. Base package includes two hours of activities in the OK Corral (lawn chess, limbo, water-balloon fights, basketball, hula-hoop contests, relay races and a craft). Pool party packages includes full access to the waterpark, private seating, the FlowRider surf simulator, a 110-foot-long slide, a lazy river with float tubes and a splash pad. The Ultimate FlowRider package includes two hours of FlowRider (simulated surfing) time, plus full access to the waterpark and five large pizzas. All packages include a customized birthday cake, dedicated party host and balloon bouquet. $450-$950. Add-ons include cabanas, sno-cone machine, face painting, gaming truck, laser tag and more.

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