Birthday Party Places for Kids in Washington, DC (and nearby)

This fabulous, informative guest post is by my friend and idol, Becky Hill of Silver Spring. Becky is a mom of three boys – a twelve year old and seven year old twins – and if it’s an educational or entertaining activity for families in the DC area (and most of the East Coast), Becky and the Hill crew have done it. She’s also the witty writer of Elvis, Corgis and Me.

And this mom sure knows how to throw a party!  Here are her kid party location and theme party first-hand recommendations.

Black Belt Martial Arts Center located on Metropolitan Avenue in Kensington (301-946-5425) is a family run martial arts school that throws an awesome party with karate moves and fun games.  At our parties here, no one has been bored! Best perk: They set up and clean up! Note: you do not have to be a member of the club or have kids enrolled in classes to have a party here.


White Oak Duck Pin Bowling in Silver Spring can’t be beat for a winning birthday party for a party, especially one with a mix of ages. Everyone will have a great time. The smaller balls are perfect for little hands.


Croydon Creek Nature Center in Rockville does a nice job for a nature party and it’s a beautiful facility, with animals and exhibits to explore both inside and out. The staff really makes an effort to educate and engage the kids.


Shadowland Laser Tag in Gaithersburg, for the more adventuresome child (my guys have loved it since they were 6). Parents can walk through with their child if the child is nervous about what to do (there’s no charge for parents as long as they are not playing). There is also an area that you can stand to watch as the teams play. They will include other players or combine party groups for the game itself.  (Note from Jessica: We had a sixth birthday party for Charlie at the Columbia Shadowland location and also recommend – we included the parents in the laser-zapping fun, and were impressed that non-aggressive sportsmanlike conduct was stressed and enforced.)


Earth Treks (locations both in Columbia and Rockville) is an out-of-the-ordinary party choice if your child loves to climb. With your party you get two hours of challenging fun.For the food and drinks, they have tables set up but no chairs so the kids eat inbetween climbing (but it works out fine this way, the floors are well padded and comfortable for sitting). You have your own area but there are other climbers and parties at the same time in the building. Though you can have more than 10 kids, it is best to not have more than 10. Anything more, then they have to wait too long to climb.


Rockville Climbing Gym also hosts birthday parties for children 7 and older. It is tucked behind Glenview Mansion in a maintenance building. The walls reach 20-feet high with over a dozen routes. If you book a party here,you are the only group using the facility. Its quiet and more self contained than Earth Treks. While kids are not climbing they are offered other play options. There is a separate room with table and chairs for the party. The staff there was great.


Twinbrook Community Recreation Center located at 12920 Twinbrook Parkway Rockville, Md. 20851 (240-314-8830) is a great facility for creating your own party that can be rented by the hour (no 4 hour minimum).  The cost is cheaper for residents of Rockville. It is a beautiful building with the most awesome playground outside! We rented the combined multipurpose rooms 1 and 2 and hired Mad Science to come and entertain the party. My sister rented the same rooms and hired a music person to come when her daughter was a young preschooler. She brought tons of dress up clothes and bucket of instruments. The kids had a blast dressing up and dancing around and playing instruments.


And here are my birthday ideas for getting kids back to basics and involved in helping others:
  • If you don’t want an over abundance of gifts and would like to make it more about the giving than receiving…. consider requesting guests to donate books,  hats and gloves (if cold outside) or childrens pjs (most kids in the shelter have none) for a local shelter.
  • You can also collect non-perishable food items for a local food pantry (Arleeta’s Pantry, located in the Woodside United Methodist Church on Georgia Avenue, serves many in need in our community and can always use the food donations).
  • You can have an activity at the party where the children are planting flowers in pots for a seniors home, making cards for injured service personnel, or putting together care packages for a shelter or firehouse. Choose something that is dear to your child’s heart.

Many thanks to Becky for contributing this guest post!

Would you like to write for A Parent in Silver Spring about your recommended activity ideas and resources for parents? I’d love it!  Here is my philosophy and guidelines for guest posts on this site. And here are the wonderful guest posts that have been featured on this site throughout the years.

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