Are you looking for something a bit different than clowns, homemade birthday cake, and pointy party hats for your child's next birthday? Think creative, whether spending an afternoon learning a new dish a cooking school, rock climbing, painting pottery, or perfecting a magic trick from an expert. There are many great places around Pittsburgh where you can throw a memorable birthday party that will have everyone leaving with a smile.
Fun With Science
A popular place for parties, the Pittsburgh Science Center offers a number of different birthday party themes with a group flat rate that includes Science Center admission for all paid guests. Or, you can choose to have them bring the party to you, complete with liquid nitrogen and ice cream.
Play With Pottery
Do you have a budding artist in the family? Pottery Playhouse in Greensburg offers pottery painting and mosaic-making birthday parties in its private party room. Bring your own cake and pizza, or the playhouse can order it for you. The birthday child receives a personalized painted signature dinner plate. Another Pittsburgh area pottery studios that offer birthday parties is Fireborn Studios on the South Side.
Use Your Imagination
From spy detectives and swashbuckling pirates to pom-pom princess and pop-rock party, Oogles n Googles in the South Hills offers a host of specially themed birthday parties for ages 3–10. These two-hour theme parties offer all the extras including invitations and thank you notes, party cake, party favors, plates and cups, souvenir photos for each child, and a special gift for the guest of honor.
On the North Side, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is all about imagination, with specially themed birthday parties for ages 1–10.
Young children have a lot of energy to burn, which makes a sports-minded party perfect. There are dozens of quality options in the greater Pittsburgh area, from Highmark Sportsworks at the Carnegie Science Center downtown to Fun Fore All Family Fun Park in Cranberry Township, which offers batting cages, bumper boats, go-karts, and mini golf. The Washington Wild Things host a cool party option for baseball fans, as do the Pittsburgh Pirates, complete with a special party place and tickets to a game.
Several gyms, such as Gymsport Athletic Center in Bridgeville, offer birthday parties for your budding ballerina or gymnast.
Be Party Animals
The National Aviary hosts exciting Bird Day birthday parties where everything is provided from lunch to clean up, and you can purchase add-ons, ranging from bird encounters and duck feeding to a painting done by a penguin especially for the guest of honor. Or you can celebrate your child's special day with some real party animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, where birthday parties are offered daily in the summer and on weekends during the rest of the year. Alternatively, your child may enjoy a more hands-on animal experience such as horseback riding at Rolling Hills Ranch in Bridgeville.
Cook up Some Fun
If you're willing to invite a little mess into your kitchen, the Children's Cooking Connection provides hands-on cooking parties for children in private homes or rented kitchen spaces.
Host the Ultimate Birthday Party
For a really wild birthday party that your child's friends will be talking about for years, you could host your own birthday carnival complete with awesome inflatable bouncers, carnival games, clowns, magicians, caricature artists, and pony rides as well as a popcorn, snow cone, or cotton candy machine from Windswept Promotions. The company comes to your house or location and provides as much or as little of the above entertainment that you desire.