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Monday, April 25, 2016

Best Places For Your Child's Next Birthday Party In Fort Thomas and Northern Kentucky

Marlowe Duke celebrates her 1st birthday at Fort Thomas Coffee. Photo provided by Jessica Duke. 

Celebrating a child's birthday is momentous and exhausting—especially if this is the year you're going big with a birthday party that involves extended family and friends. Take the party out of the house, though, and things simplify quickly. Many fun, affordable and unique places exist—both in Fort Thomas and in surrounding communities. Here are some of our favorites.
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This 8th birthday party celebration included a hike and a scavenger hunt at Tower Park.

• Shelters can be rented at Tower Park, Highland Hills Park and Rossford Park. Prices range from $25 to $75 and cover the entire day but reservations fill up fast—rent early. Riggs Memorial Park, which has a small shelter, requires no reservation and is first come first serve. Depending on the location amenities include picnic tables, grills, play equipment, basketball courts, sand volleyball courts, disc golf courses, walking trails and seasonal restroom facilities. Bring some snacks and cake, minimal decorations (decorations may not be hung or attached to the shelter) and maybe a party game or two. But the play equipment provides plenty of entertainment, as do the trails should you wish to take the children hiking, especially in Tower Park. 

Griffin Zins, dressed as Batman at his 6th birthday party, held at the Armory Game Room. Photo provided by Taryn Zins. 

• The City of Fort Thomas also allows residents to rent space in the Armory Game Room. The room can accommodate up to 80 guests and includes eight round tables with 80 chairs, three long food tables, three pool tables, a foosball table, two putt putt courses, two ping pong tables, two air hockey tables, Pop-A-Shot and cable TV. "We wanted a large enough venue to make sure we could include friends and family, but also affordable," says Taryn Zins, who recently held her son Griffin's birthday party at the Armory. "We decided to go with the Armory Game Room. It was $80 for three hours (the time includes setup and teardown) and had a dance floor, basketball hoop game, putt putt and pool tables. There was plenty of room for kids to run around and have fun. Everyone had a blast!" 

The Campbell County YMCA offers instructed gymnastics parties plus meeting room space for cake and presents. 

• The Campbell County YMCA in Fort Thomas offers gymnastic parties and pool parties, complete with instruction. Party reservations include use of the meeting room, for snacks, cake, party games and presents. Visit the front desk or call (859) 781-1814 for more information.

Finley Duke's 1st birthday party at Fort Thomas Coffee in February 2013. Photo provided by Jessica Duke.

Fort Thomas Coffee (FTC) offers a delightful rental space, available Monday through Saturday 5pm to 10pm, and on Sunday by request. "Fort Thomas Coffee is where we have had both girls' first birthday parties," says Jessica Duke. "We normally go all out for the first party and I tend to always have winter birthdays so her venue is always perfect for our needs in the dead of winter." 

• For the little painter in your family, consider hosting a birthday party at Gallery to Go. Each attendee will receive a pre-drawn canvas and paint supplies to paint their favorite picture.

The Art House in Fort Thomas offers birthday party rental space. Call (859) 279-3431 for more details and information. 

Simon Dickow celebrates his 6th birthday by cutting his cake with a real sword at Summit Martial Arts. Photo provided by Maggie Dickow. 

Summit Martial Arts offers a karate party that includes an instructed class with games, and personalized invitations and gifts for each guest. "Getting to cut his cake with a real sword and being an honorary black belt for the party was a very big deal for Simon," says Maggie Dickow, whose son Simon celebrated his 6th birthday at Summit Martial Arts. "All the kids had a great time."

Belladance, a dance studio opening in the Hiland Building in September, has some birthday party plans in the works.

Kaleidoscope Dance Company located in the Midway District also hosts birthday parties.

Jordan Cole celebrates his 4th birthday at home with a bounce house rental. Photo provided by Kena Cole.
• Also popular is at-home parties but with a bounce house rental. Kena Cole did this recently for her son Jordan's 4th birthday party. She used Cincinnati-based Bounce N' Play Inflatables. Another option is Newport-based Maxwell Jump, owned by Fort Thomas resident Dave Fisher.

• Another at-home option? Consider hiring 14-year-old Joey Holt, a performer with Circus Mojo. Whether you want a clown or someone to teach children to juggle, this Highlands Middle School performer is using money earned to go to Germany with Circus Mojo this summer. Contact his mother, Gina, at (859) 802-6334 or to set something up.

• To sweeten your party no matter the location, consider handmade cake pops from Sweet Lucy's Cakery

Many options outside of Fort Thomas exist as well.

Next Level Academy in Wilder offers a wide range of birthday parties. Depending on the package parties include use of batting cages, a basketball court, a volleyball court, the Simulator and use of a conference room. Food, such as hotdogs, soft pretzels and popcorn can be purchased through the Next Level concessions. 

• Kids can go old school with a skating party at RECA Roller Rink in Alexandria. Party packages include admission and skate rental for all guests, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, pizza and drinks. Guests can bring in cake or cupcakes, and packages include an area with tables and chairs for food and presents. 

 Paint & Bake Ceramics in Highland Heights offers a party room that seats up to 25, $15 per item painted (children can choose from a shelf in the party room that includes vases, bowls, mugs and animal figurines), postcard invitations and a birthday plate with your child's name on the front and guest signatures on the back.

Manyet Dance in Highland Heights offers birthday dance parties for children ages 4 to 11. The two-party includes a dance instructor and assistant who will lead children in limbo, basic tumbling and freeze dance, and dances will learn a choreographed jazz routine. There's time for birthday treats and presents, and children will showcase the dance they learned to parents during the final five minutes. 

• For summer birthday check out the Veterans Memorial Pool in Newport. "You can rent out the pool and shelter after hours and it is inexpensive," Melissa Lewis says. "They let you bring a ton of people. I've been to two parties there with 50-plus people. Also, it's fun for all ages of kids and even the adults." 

• For crafty children ages 5 to 12, Bellevue Beadery in Bellevue offers classes using memory wire and seed beeds so that each child can make a necklace and bracelet for $5 per guest. 

• Another Bellevue option? Witt's End Candy Emporium. "I took my son to a birthday party at Witt's End Candy in Bellevue, and the cozy setting and excellent service provided a unique experience," Emily Kidd Anderson says. "John Witt is a very nice man who truly loves being a part of the community. He had fun with the kids!" 

Top Flight Gymnastics in Crestview Hills offers gymnastics games, activities, obstacle courses and trampoline time, plus space for refreshments and gifts. 

Totter's Otterville in Covington is billed as an educational entertainment center. Parties include access to water play tables, train play area, pretend village house, climber and slides, child-size mazes, a fire engine spray area, a dinosaur dig/sand pit, fishing pond, pretend village supermarket and more.

• Depending on the package a party at Lazer Kraze in Erlanger includes laser tag, and access to an indoor trampoline park and an arcade. 

Jump!Zone in Florence offers an hour and 15 minutes of jumping with inflatables and access to a private party room for treats and presents. 

Did we miss your favorite Northern Kentucky party spot? Leave a comment and we'll add it to the list!

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