Planning a birthday party for your kids can be exciting but it can also be so stressful! Especially if you are trying to combine organising it around working and getting the kids to all their activities. Sometimes it’s just easier to hire somewhere so you can keep the chaos and party games out of the backyard (or living room).
So here are a few suggestions of places to check out.
Outdoor playground parties and indoor ones where you hire a local community hall and some soft play equipment (or a bouncy castle) were definitely the most popular suggestions to come from Mums when I asked in our local facebook groups.
Outdoor Playground Party
If the weather’s good then a very cost effective place to have a party is at one of the local playgrounds. Mair Park and Mander Park are both popular options. Mair Park has a few picnic tables and you can always take the kids down to see the ducks. Mander Park has great play equipment but it isn’t fenced so I would avoid that one if you have run-away toddlers and pre-schoolers like I had.
The one at Onerahi beach is awesome when the weather’s good and is one you might not have thought about. There’s toilets, a playground, the beach (obviously) and if you get there in the morning you can grab a picnic table under the trees for shade in summer! So great! Use paper plates, bring some snack foods or have a sausage sizzle…no dishes at all so clean up is easy! Just take a rubbish bag with you!
Northland Events Co (Soft Play Equipment)
These guys have a very cool range of pastel coloured soft play equipment which would be perfect for younger kids under 5yrs. Hire a local hall to put it in and you have an awesome party option. Play Sets start from $250 and you can see all these colours and options on their website. https://northlandeventco.co.nz/home
They also have a really cool summary of the various venues people have used to host parties with their soft play equipment on their Instagram page.
Jump Party – Bouncy Castles
They have bouncy castles in a variety of sizes and themes. You can also get combo bouncy castles with slides and obstacle courses for added excitement! (They also have options for older kids too). Castles start at $220 for a 6 hour hire.
Whangarei District Council have a list of all the Community Halls available for hire around the area. Popular ones which are not too far out of town seem to be Kauri Hall, Glenbervie Hall and Whareora Hall. Most don’t seem to advertise their rates online but do have contact details for booking enquiries.
Marist Sports Club
You can book the upstairs area at the Marist Sports Club at Kensington Park which has lots of room to put an indoor bouncy castle, plus a full kitchen. Obviously there are some limitations on bookings on Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays) throughout the winter sports season. For bookings, call 09-437 2416 or email email@example.com
Whangarei Parents Centre
Another great indoor option which is centrally located off Central Ave. Ideal for a small party.
This was always a favourite in our house for bowling, laser tag and arcade games. Make sure you take your own socks if you are going bowling!
Active Attitude is a gymnastics and trampoline centre in Kensington that offers a range of activities, including tumbling, trampoline, and parkour. The centre has birthday party packages for boys and girls which start at $319 for a 2 hour party for 10 kids. (BTW: These guys got lots of shout-outs and recommendations from Mums in the Facebook group).
For kids who love a bit of adventure, a birthday party at Adventure Forest is sure to be a hit. The park offers a range of exciting activities, including a high ropes course, zip lines, and a giant swing. It advertises as suitable for children aged six and up (but I think I would wait til they are a bit older than six for this one!) They have a small picnic area you can set up for a BYO party.
Cakes and Castles
A range of bouncy castles for kids from 1yrs – 10yrs. They even have Princess and Dragon bouncy castles which are cool! So many great options to choose from and smaller castles start from $80 per day. They also have some child sized trestle tables and chairs for hire if you need some extra seating.
Their castles need to be set up outside on the grass and you need to pick up and set them up yourself.
Flip Out Whangārei
This is a great place to have a kid’s birthday party. Everyone can Flip so you can bring your friends, parents and grandparents! They do promote the fact that “No matter what age you are, you’re never too old to Flip” – although I must admit, it’s a little tough on the old pelvic floor muscles after you’ve had kids! They have an online party booking system which is helpful for planning your party and sending all the invites out. Plus there are options to have everything done for you, or for a cheaper price you can BYO your own food & drink. Party packages start at $25 per person.
Kiwi North / Heritage Park
Trains, trains trains … If you have a train mad child, then this is the perfect place to organise their birthday party. They have a room you can hire and plenty of space if you wanted to hire a bouncy castle as well.
The Slumber Squad
Although this one isn’t an option if you want to take the party chaos out of the backyard, I thought their slumber party set ups were too beautiful not to include in my list. They have gorgeous balloon garlands, all white bouncy castles and options for someone to come and set up beautiful tepee/mattress parties at your home.
Whangarei Aquatic Centre
If your child loves swimming, why not have a pool party at the Whangarei Aquatic Centre? The centre offers a variety of pools, including a toddler pool and a hydro slide. The party package includes a party room and a lifeguard to ensure the safety of all the children.