JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Seven-year-olds Dakota Miller, right, and T.J. Uehara share a silly moment while jousting at Leapin' Lizards, a new party facility in Halawa.
For low-stress and no-mess, the best place for a birthday is any place but home
The house is a mess, the pizza is burning in the oven and the guests are restless. A child's birthday party can be a frenzied affair of spilled punch and chaos as parents scatter, trying to provide entertainment and maintain order.
Pick a place
Considerations in choosing a site for a birthday party:
Cost: An average party will run $200 to $400 and can go higher depending on what you are seeking and number of guests.
Outside food: Some places will allow you to bring your own food or at least the cake, which saves a few dollars.
Capacity: Be clear on how many children can attend or if there is a minimum number that you must guarantee. Is there a separate charge for adult chaperones?
Time limits: Do you have to clear out by a certain time?
Extras: Do they provide decorations or invitations?
For a no-stress, no-mess solution, move the party out of the house. Many establishments offer birthday-party packages, suitable for personalities from young jock to princess.
The concept can appear pricey at first, but an elaborate in-home party could easily add up to just as much. Hiring entertainment, such as a clown or magician, starts at about $175 -- throw in the meal, a bounce house or other amenities and the advantages of an outside establishment might well seem worth the price.
"One of the best parts is that parents can show up and we take care of everything," said Laura McVaney, owner of Leapin' Lizards, one of the island's newer party places.
Outdoor party adventures can be found at the Honolulu Zoo, Hawaii Nature Center, Sea Life Park, even aboard a glass-bottom boat. Girls can opt for a princess party where they'll be pampered for the afternoon. Celebrate at Mililani Consolidated Theaters, and the kids get a tour of the projection room. Glow-in-the-dark golf and jumping around the Tumblebus are other choices.
Leapin Lizards in Halawa Valley offers a 12,500-square-foot play area filled with inflatables such as a 24-foot slide and 40-foot obstacle course. A jousting area, boxing ring with oversize gloves and a volleyball court are other options. "When a husband and wife get into the boxing ring, it is a hoot," McVaney said.
The establishment is McVaney's retirement business, founded after 20 years as a manager for Xerox. "I regret not having children ... because I really wanted grandchildren. Now I'm a grandma to everyone," she said.
Adults like the place as well -- especially for guys in their 20s, she said. "They lose their minds and have a blast. We have booked a few 21st-birthday parties with adults only."
One party comprised four generations of women, said McVaney. "We had a 75-year-old lady go down the slide."
The cost of a two-hour children's private party is $224 Mondays through Thursdays; $295 on Fridays, weekends and holidays. The package includes 90 minutes of playtime for up to 25 children, 30 minutes in a party room, invitations, paper goods and a T-shirt for the birthday child. Pizza and drinks are extra. Six adults may attend free. Call 485-5327.
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Pick a place for a party
Here is a selection of locations on Oahu that offer party rooms or party packages for children's birthdays:
Seating for six to 70, with a three-hour time limit. Cost is $12.95 per person plus tax, which includes golf, slice of cheese pizza, jumbo hot dog or teri burger, drink and ice cream. With a minimum 25 guests, outside food may be brought in. At Pearlridge; 488-8808.
Cost is $10 for one round of golf, $15 for two. Party room available for two hours for $100. Bring your own food. Each golfer gets two rounds of golf for an additional $10. At Windward Mall; 235-6600.
Choose 18- or 36-hole courses. Cost is $2 to $9. Buffet available for parties of 20 or more at $9 to $11.25. Bento, hot dog and pizza also available. Outside cake and ice cream allowed. In Kaneohe; 247-0451, ext. 22.
Wheeler Air Force Base: Eight-lane bowling alley may be rented for $85 an hour, with $1.50 per person shoe rental, for up to 80 people. Outside food and drinks allowed. Open to public. Call 656-1745.
Schofield Barracks: Lanes reserved depending on number of bowlers in your group. Cost is $2.25 per game, $1.75 for children. Shoe rental $1.50. Snack bar offers party package meals and trays. Open to public. Call 655-0573.
Gymboree Play & Music Party: Tunnels, colorful tumbling mats, slides and more. Parties include one hour of playtime, juice boxes, paper goods and party hats. Bring your own cake. Cost is $219. Deluxe package includes pizza, $309. Pearlridge, 486-7529; Kaimuki, 737-8111.
What's Up Gymnastics: Kids can tumble, jump on trampolines, swing on rings or climb on beams. Rent gym for $100 for two hours. One coach must be hired to supervise every 15 children at $50 per coach. Rock climbing wall costs $50 more for 30 minutes. In Waipio, call 680-0777, 497-6448 or visit www.whatsupgymnastics.com.
TumbleBus: Obstacle course, relay races, parachute games and more in a traveling gym. Cost is $200 for one hour; up to 15 children, plus $5 per additional child. Call 230-8408 or visit www.tumblebushawaii.com.
All-Star Paint Ball Games:
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Makana Kimoto chases a ball in the bouncing volleyball court at Leapin' Lizards. Joining the game are Toni Bissen, left, Lianne Kimoto and Patricia Arashiro. Leapin' Lizards is one of many places on Oahu where kids can celebrate birthdays.
Cost is $25 per person, $15 if own guns provided. Tents available with grills so you can cook your own food. Pizza and Chinese food delivery or a local lunch wagon are other options. No charge for spectators. Near Honolulu Airport; 842-7827 or visit www.hawaiiallstarpb.com (click on field info).
Pizza or "hot dogger" party includes two drink pitchers, reserved table that seats 10 and eight skate admissions. Cost is $95. Near Aloha Stadium; 487-9921.
Pool parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Cost is $200 for up to 50 guests. Includes two hours of swim time with a lifeguard, party area with picnic tables. You may bring an inflatable jump house. In Kaneohe; 247-2124, ext. 14.
Laser tag parties start at $15 per player. Party room available for two hours, includes drinks and decorations. Pizza, cake, favors and unlimited soft drinks cost $26 per guest. At the Ilikai Hotel; call 973-9936 or visit www.ultrazonewaikiki.com.
Fit for a Princess
Cost is $320 for Birthday Princess and minimum of seven guests; $25 for each additional guest for a maximum of 14. Includes costumes, fancy hairdo, makeup and nails, photo souvenirs, small fashion show, tea party meal. Downtown; call 528-4552 or visit lisarosehawaii.com.
Paint It Pottery:
Up to 20 guests may create their own ceramic pieces costing $7 to $40. Outside food and beverages allowed, but $20 is charged for tables for food or gifts. At Pearlridge Uptown. Call 486-4900.
Do-it-yourself pottery; pieces run $6.95 to $30. Outside food allowed. At Mililani Town Center; call 625-8808.
Pampered Princess Party:
For girls 4 to 12; includes foot baths, hairstyling, nail-painting and makeup. Cost is $350 for up to eight girls, $25 each additional child. Includes lunch and cupcakes. In Aiea; 486-1482.
Traveling Tea Parties:
Full-service tea party delivered to your home for $200 for party of eight; $20 per additional guest. Includes invitations, dress-up chest, nails, makeup, tea service with sandwiches and desserts, little heart cakes, keepsake photo and thank-you cards. Party favors, goodie bags and DVD slide show of the party available for additional fees. Call 622-1043 or 258-9849 or visit www.travelingteaparty.com.
Hawaii Nature Center:
Fish, hike or making bamboo shakers or kites. Make crafts such as kites, terrariums and nature baskets. Birthday packages available for ages 3 and up, with party themes customized. Cost is $300, $175 for center members (annual family membership is $50). In Manoa; call 955-0100 or visit www.hawaiinaturecenter.org.
Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park:
Parties start at $22.99 per person from September to May, $23.99 June to August. Includes pizza or a jumbo hot dog with chips and drink. All packages include admission, reserved party area and gift for birthday child. Minimum 10 persons. In Kapolei; call 674-9283 or visit www.hawaiianwaters.com.
Glass-bottom viewing, sightseeing and fish feeding for up to 50 people costs $250. Call 292-8470. Snorkel and swim tours available for up to 35 people; $350. Depart from Heeia Pier in Kaneohe. Outside food allowed. Call 942-2504.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Quinn Fletcher, 5, and Kaitlyn Escuardo, 8, take in the view on a train ride from Ewa to Kahe Point.
ZOOper Birthday Party includes party facilitator, cake, juice, ice cream, a craft and an animal feeding. Outside food allowed, or book a deluxe package with pizza, piñata and stickers. Cost is $225 for up to 20, $8 for each additional guest. Maximum is 45. Deluxe packages is $325, $10 for each additional guest. Additional $100 applied for more than 45. In Waikiki; call 926-3191.
Sea Life Park:
Party packages include cake, ice cream and park admission for $10.42 per child, $15.52 per adult. Packages with pizza or hamburger lunch, park admission and sea lion feeding are $15.62 children, $20.83 adults. In Makapuu; call 259-7933.
Members may rent facility from 5:15 to 10:30 p.m. any night but Wednesday (annual family membership is $60). Cost is $750 for up to 75 people, $6 for each additional guest. Must set up and break down yourself and provide food and entertainment. Tables and chairs may be rented. Call 923-9741.
Arcades, movies, more
Children's Discovery Center:
Outdoor parties are from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person, including admission and a helium balloon for each child. Birthday Extravaganza package adds pizza, juice and a craft for $20 per person. Minimum 10 people, maximum 50. One adult must attend for every four children. In Kakaako; call 524-5437.
Chuck E Cheeses:
90-minute party with the giant mouse is $9.95 per person. Minimum of 10, maximum 40 guests allowed. Includes pizza, drinks, game tokens and cake. Pearl City, 455-1448; Aina Haina, 373-2151.
Dave & Buster's:
Several buffet menus and entertainment packages available. At Ward Entertainment Center; 589-2215.
One hour of unlimited play on video games and rides is $12.50 per person, minimum 12. Mililani Town Center, 623-4383; Market City, 735-4041; Pearlridge, 487-2449; Kapolei, 674-2166.
45-minute tour for 30 guests is $100; additional guests are $3 per child or $4 per adult. Includes stories about history of railways in Hawaii. A 90-minute tour for 30 people is $175; additional guests are $5 per child or $8 per adult. Picnic area is provided for a two-hour time slot. Bring your own food. From Ewa to Kahe Point; call 681-5461.
30-foot Lego play area will be set up at your party location. Includes houses, buildings, parks, raceway, boats, airplanes, dinosaurs and even a few aliens. Cost is $200 for the first hour, $50 each additional hour. Up to 25 kids. Additional fees for larger groups. Call Stan Ritchie, 554-2779.
Mad Science Parties:
Interactive science shows include chemical magic, laser lights, glow-in-the-dark reactions; set up at your party site. Program lasts 45 minutes to one hour. Cost is $249 for up to 15 kids, $299 for up to 25. Add-ons include choice of bubbling potions, voice-warp generators, laser light shows, rocket launching, cotton-candy making, periscope construction for $40. Call 737-2400 or visit www.madscience.org/hawaii.
Teddy Bear Creations Build-a-Bear Workshop:
Parties for six to 19 at Ala Moana; 951-9200. Hanai Bear at Pearlridge Uptown offers parties for five to 10; 484-2327. Larger groups may be accommodated at both locations after store hours. Prices vary.
Consolidated Mililani Theatres:
Premiere package offers tour of projection room, kid's tray, movie admission, reserved seating and recognition of birthday child before show. Cost is $15.75 per child, age 2 to 12; $16.75 adults. Minimum 10 guests. Party room may be rented for $75; outside food allowed. Call 627-0677.