Parenting

6 Reasonably Priced Spots for Kids’ Birthday Parties

Have fun without breaking into anyone's college fund.
Who doesn't like a party? (Photo via the Smithsonian's National Zoo Flickr page.)

Silver Spring B&O Railroad Station

All aboard for an awesome party your little railroad enthusiast will never forget. The fully restored historic station boasts a great model train display, toys galore for kids to use, and has a platform along the tracks, so tykes can go outside and check out the choo-choos. Contact John Sery at rentals@montgomerypreservation.org to book the space. $275 for three hours–$75 for each additional hour–for up to 50 guests.

8100 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

The Agility Center

Can you imagine your child competing on American Ninja Warrior one day? Your future contestant can swing, jump, run, and climb all over this indoor play space to hone their chops. Partygoers get exclusive use of the gym for an hour, so no one will get in the way of their training regimen. Starting at $265 for 10 children.

301-770-2710; 4990 Boiling Brook Pkwy., North Bethesda

The Little Gym

It’s a workout for the body and the mind. Over the course of two hours, kids play games, jam out to tunes, and do Lego building exercises. By the end of the party, little ones will need a nap, so parents can get a few quiet moments for themselves. Starting at $340 for 20 children.

301-696-1616; 5805 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick

Rockin’ Jump

Bouncing off the walls, flipping out, and jumping on everything is actively encouraged at this indoor trampoline park. For two hours, there are no holds barred. Pizza and drinks are included to help refuel mini gymnasts. Starting at $250 for 10 children.

301-703-3707; 18620 Woodfield Rd., Gaithersburg

Little Loft

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Let your pint-sized artist get creative with their friends. Choose a theme–such as Intergalactic Adventure or Monster Mash–and they will tackle a hands-on project they get to take home at the end of the party. The space is yours for two hours, including 15 minutes each for set-up and breakdown. $350 for 12 children.

240-292-9695; 7007 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Critters and creatures and creepy crawlies, oh my. Children don safari hats and get a walking tour of the zoo and a goody bag, as well as access to a party room where they can wolf down cake and open gifts. To book a party, you must be a Friend of the National Zoo (FONZ), which costs $50 and up per year. Starting at $425 for 10 children.

202-633-4888; 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW

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Parenting writer

Nevin Martell is a parenting, food, and travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Saveur, Men’s Journal, Fortune, Travel + Leisure, Runner’s World, and many other publications. He is author of seven books, including It’s So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for Kids, the travelogue-memoir Freak Show Without a Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations, and the small-press smash Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip. When he isn’t working, he loves spending time with his wife and their four-year-old son, who already runs faster than he does.