If you’re anything like us, you might not welcome the idea of having your child’s birthday party at home (not least because of the prospect of the mother of all clean-up operations afterwards). Whether it’s chocolate or history, gore or go-carts that float the birthday child’s boat, thankfully there’s somewhere in York that will put on a party just for them. Here’s some inspiration for panicking party planners. Details were correct at time of writing, but do contact the venue to confirm.
FUN AT THE ATTRACTIONS
Little Viking going through a Viking or pirate phase? Hosted by a Viking host, partygoers at DIG go on a treasure hunt complete with games and surprises. Includes a tour of DIG, costumed host, party games and prizes and use of the mezzanine level and activity room. For 3-9 year olds; 2 hours; from £10 per child; party bags from £1.
Contact 01904 615505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. DIG, St Saviourgate, York YO1 8NN; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – DIG was highly commended in the Best Attraction category in the Little Vikings Awards 2016
A party fit for knights and princesses! Partygoers will enjoy historic and traditional games with prizes, a tour of this hidden gem and maybe even a feast in the medieval banqueting hall, all led by a Tudor host. For 3 to 9 year olds; 2 hours; from £10 per child; party bags from £1.
Contact 01904 615505 or email email@example.com. Barley Hall, 2A Coffee Yard, Off Stonegate, York YO1 8AR; visit the website.
Dinosaurs at the Yorkshire Museum: kids can join an explorer searching for strange and mysterious huge beasts that he believes are out lurking in his midst.
Toys at York Castle Museum: party-goers will help a museum worker looking to prove that the toys come alive at night once the visitors have gone home.
Both parties take children on an exciting quest to find clues, and there’ll be some great activities like the chance to handle some of the museums’ more child friendly objects like dinosaur poo (delightful!) and some fantastic toys. And of course, like every good party, there’ll be games and the chance to enjoy party food and the all-important cake. Themed invitations, decorations, an outfit for the birthday boy or girl and a visit to the whole museum following the party are also included. The parties are available all year around and start from £150 for ten children and ten adults. Food and party bags can be arranged separately. You can read our review of our son’s 6th birthday party at York Castle Museum in Issue 11 (New Year 2016) of the Little Vikings magazine.
For more information visit the York Museums Trust website.
Rated by our readers – York Castle Museum won Best Attraction in the Little Vikings Awards 2016
Bushbabies/Woodland Adventure Co.
For woodland adventurers: shelters, tepees, fires and stoves keep the elements at bay while the kids play. Different themes to suit children aged between two and eleven. Toasted marshmallows, freshly popped popcorn and hot chocolate included! £150 for up to 15 children at the Woodland Adventure Co’s site in Stamford Bridge. Book early – these guys are popular.
Call Adam on 07854 377777; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – Bushbabies won Best Active Class in the Little Vikings Awards 2016, and was highly commended in the Best Party Provider category
Piglets Adventure Farm Park
Partygoers enjoy the Piglets activities, a guided tractor & trailer ride, then pick some seasonal fruit and veg and meet some farm animals. There’s a healthy party tea and party bags for all. From £15 per guest (discounts for adults, accompanying siblings etc).
Piglets Adventure Farm Park, The Farmer’s Cart, Towthorpe Grange, Towthorpe Moor Lane, York YO32 9ST; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – Piglets was highly commended in the Best Day Out with Animals in the Little Vikings Awards 2016
The Web Adventure Park/Creepy Crawlies
Slickly run birthday parties with packages to suit almost any child, e.g original Creepy Crawlies soft play, make a bear, animal petting, quad biking, and high ropes. Food and party bags can be provided. From £10.50 per child.
The Web Adventure Park, The Arena, Wigginton Road, York YO32 2RH; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – The Web Adventure Park was highly commended in the Little Vikings Awards 2016
Award-winning parties for little ones hosted at your choice of venue. Activities include exploratory play in the airflow tunnels, bouncy castle and soft play before action-packed fast moving activities. £150 per party.
firstname.lastname@example.org; visit the website.
Who doesn’t love bowling? Tenpin’s party packages vary but usually include two games of bowling, dancing, food, drinks and invitations. For kids aged 4 to 12; from £12.50 each.
Tenpin, Stirling Road, Clifton Moor Centre, York, YO30 4WZ; visit the website.
Ever-popular performing arts academy, Tread the Boards, offers a variety of themed parties at the venue of your choice. Choose from dancing, pop star, musical theatre star, pirate adventure or storytime adventure parties. Lots of active, creative fun is guaranteed. Parties are £150 for two hours, party bags are just £2 and they can provide pass the parcel for £10.
Visit the Tread the Boards website for more information
Rated by our readers – Tread the Boards was highly commended in the Little Vikings Awards 2016 in the Best Active Class category
Girl or boy racers aged four upwards can hurtle round the track at York Motorsports Village from £95 for 30 minutes. A trophy is included in the price!
York Motorsports Village, Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross, York YO32 9JS; visit the website.
Children aged 10+ can enjoy a bouldering party at Red Goat Climbing Company with lots of climbing-based activities and games.
Red Goat Climbing Company, 6 Redeness Street, York YO31 7UU; visit the website.
Energise does a great range of birthday parties for kids aged 5 and over. Choose from swimming, rollerblading, football, climbing and multi-sport. Party food can be provided. Half sports hall hire from £62.
Energise, Cornlands Road, York YO24 3DX; visit the website.
Play and party games, Rugbytots style. For kids aged 2 to 7, with various options to suit all ages. From £8 per child.
Contact email@example.com; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – Rugbytots were highly commended in the Best Active Class category in the Little Vikings Awards 2016
As well as their ever-popular sporty holiday clubs (we’ve been – they’re really fun), Total Sports runs birthday parties in the venue of your choice. Choose between a Total Football or Total Energy party. The 60 minute version costs a budget-friendly £65 for up to 20 children, and the 90 minute version is £90 for up to 20 children.
Total Football – lots of fun games designed to improve football skills, including shooting, dribbling, passing and goalkeeping. Playing in World Cup style mini-matches at the end is the perfect way to show off the skills they’ve learnt.
Total Energy – an action-packed birthday treat with the emphasis on fun! Using a mixture of activities and equipment including parachute games, soft balls, team games, space-hoppers, music and much more, everyone will go home tired and happy.
For more info, visit the Total Sports website
Crazy Fun Bus
Bring the entertainment to your home (or just outside it!). The Crazy Fun Bus is a bright yellow double decker bus that’s been converted into a self-contained children’s party and soft play area, including ball pool, slides and swing. Upstairs dining area for party tea. For kids aged 3 to 8; from £110.
Call 01904 750 667; visit the website.
For an arty party, a paint-an-animal (or plate, bowl or mug) party could be just the thing. Rainbow Ceramics offers party packages for 12-14 children for £12 a head, with a minimum of 6 children painting; 6o – 90 minutes; party food extra.
Rainbows Ceramics, 15/17 Bootham, York YO30 7BW; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – Rainbows Ceramics WON the Best Party Provider award in the Little Vikings Awards 2016!
Me & Mrs Fisher
Enjoy private use of the craft room and a fun workshop (cake decorating, jewellery making, creature creations or superheroes!) Afternoon tea is then served on vintage china – lovely. £12 per child; 90 minutes.
Me & Mrs Fisher, 18 Lord Mayors Walk, York YO31 7HA; visit the website.
York Cocoa House
Fab chocolate-making parties for ages 4+. They’ll take home a bag of their own chocolatey creations, special recipes and an insight into the magical world of chocolate. Buffet and birthday cake can be provided if required; from £18 per child.
York Cocoa House, 3 Blake Street, York YO1 8QJ; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – York Cocoa House won the Best Hot Chocolate category of the Little Vikings Awards 2016
York’s Chocolate Story
Enjoy a practical 45-minute workshop in the Chocolate Kitchen, learning how to make chocolate lollies, experimenting with flavours and making your own truffles. From £15 per child.
York’s Chocolate Story, Kings Square, York YO1 7LD; visit the website.
Rated by our readers – York’s Chocolate Story won the Best Chocolate Experience category of the Little Vikings Awards 2016
Even the fussiest eater loves a pizza. Parties at Pizza Express include the chance to craft your own pizza (and then eat it). Party games, a balloon and certificate and invitations included. From £11.95 each.
Visit the website
…OR HIRE A HALL!
The other, often cheaper, alternative is to hire a village or school hall or similar. York has lots, just ask around where you live. They often have a small kitchen and parking as well as a decent amount of space for the kids to run around in. Bear in mind that the cost of any entertainment will ramp up the cost. If it’s magic you’re after, check out the Magic Hatter (0845 475 2124; visit the website) who won our Best Party Entertainer Award in the Little Vikings Awards 2016. The Henrietta Rabbit entertainers are also worth looking at (01904 345404; visit the website). Book early!