If you’re anything like me, once your kids hit school-age, it becomes a sanity-pleaser to outsource your child’s birthday parties to outside venues. The kids are generally louder, messier, more demanding (although my 3 y.o would give them a run for their money) and crave the variety.
Venue parties can be costlier than parties at home but you can walk away afterwards without having to sell your soul for a decent vacuum cleaner and a bucket of Panadol. I’d pay good money for that, particularly living in inner Melbourne in a relatively small (cough, cosy) house.
There are plenty of options throughout Melbourne, but you do have to look around. This post looks specifically at parties for 5+—it’s not an exhaustive list by any stretch, but I hope it gives you some inspiration. This post is not sponsored.
1. Roller and Ice Skating parties
- Icehouse. Based on minimum spend, not per head, it will cost you $300 for up to 10 kids for food, gear hire and a skating lesson. Docklands, Central.
- Skaterz. A perennial and retro fave, and somewhere the adults can have just as much fun as the kids. OK, until you’ve fallen flat on your arse thinking you’re a totally hot roller derby girl when actually you’ve forgotten that gravity took a turn for the worse after 2 kids. The food is pretty basic, but you tell me someone who ever ate anything but chips and sauce at the Saturday arvo roller session in the 80s? It’s one of the cheaper options around at $20-25 per head depending on the day. Eltham, North.
2. Gymnastics and Circus parties
- Twisters. You have to bring your own food, but $320 for up to 15 kids gives you 2 hours of dedicated gym host, gymnastics activities and access to a huge room with kitchen facilities overlooking Ceres Environment Park on the other side of the river (i.e. it feels peaceful amidst a sea of 15 squealing kids). Northcote, North.
- Little Devils Circus charges $22 for a circus workshop and access to their kitchens (you bring your own food). Moorabin, South & Box Hill, East.
3. Trampoline Park parties
- Bounce Inc. is the bomb, you’ve heard me say it before. $26 per child for free jumping, food and drink. Glen Iris, East.
4. Disco parties
- Kidz Zone does disco parties on the 3rd Friday of every month. It’s dirt cheap, from $14-19 depending on the night you go and the catering options you select. Coburg, North.
5. Combat parties
Similar to disco parties but with a blokier twist.
- Laser Tag. Fun City charges $30 per person for a variety of all-inclusive laser tag packages. Sunshine, West.
- Mini-Golf. OK, not strictly a combat but I know some pretty competitive 8 year olds who would go you on a Mini-Golf field. Wetlands Golf and Games costs $21 a head for mini-golf + party food. Wheelers Hill, South.
- At Kemizo you get the option of a laser tag party ($22 pp), rock climbing party ($22 pp), playground party ($16 pp) or rollerskating party ($22). Somerton, North & Pakenham, South.
6. Pool/Waterpark parties
- Watermarc is $26 a pop for an hour of fully supervised water games and a “feast” is a great deal. Greensborough, North.
Many local pools have party options that include a lifesaver and water activities. Some even have huge blow-up slides that they reserve for parties:
- Aquarena. They don’t “do” parties as such (although they do cater from the cafe if you need) but there’s so much space here to spread out and make crazy. And the watersides are awesome (height restriction, though). Doncaster, East.
- MSAC have a variety of fully inclusive packages at around $26 a head. Albert Park, Central.
- Northcote Aquatic Centre costs $132 for up to 12 kids for supervised activities. Cafe catering is extra. Only available for parties on the weekend. Northcote, North.
- North Melbourne Rec Centre is a wonderful facility that do parties (you can self-cater if you wish) but are only available from November-March. North Melbourne, North.
7. Zoos & Environment parks
- Zoos Victoria. Werribee Zoo and Melbourne Zoo both have party options which include a stack of cool stuff and no need to lift a freaking finger as everything is included (and that means CAKE, people). Neither are cheap, at between $40-50 a head but it’s all inclusive (did I say that already?) and 10% discount for FOTZ members—wooohooo!
8. Movie parties
9. Cooking/tea party parties
For the more demure child in your life (read: none of mine)
- Gourmet Kids has party packages for between $350-400 for up to 12 kids. All you have to bring is CAKE. Glen Iris, East.
What is your favourite outsourced party venue in Melbourne?