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12 Birthday Party Hot Spots

Tapped out of ideas on where to have your child's next birthday party? Don't want to have that party at home? Here are some great local places to try.

One birthday party a year multiplied by the number of kids in your household and the idea of hosting yet another party at your home gets your skin crawling. Have all the other friends or kids in the class had their parties and you're looking for something fresh and different? We have assembled a list of great locations to host your child's next celebration.

If you have yet another idea to add to this list, log in and post it to this article. The more options, the better when planning a party.

1. BE A CHOCOLATIER! Grab an apron and go play in the chocolate! in Grayslake lets you do it all from making chocolate pizza to concocting s’mores, smiley face Oreos, chocolate dipped pretzels and marshmallows on a stick. Each of the newly-trained chocolatiers gets a box to pack up their goodies to take home. Then when the candy making is done enjoy lunch and games, with cupcakes to top it all off. Uniquely Sweet supplies the birthday gift list, balloons and suckers, and plenty of chocolate goodies for the entire family. Prices start at $185 for ten kids.

Parties are held at Uniquely Sweet at 888 E. Belvidere Road Unit 106 in Grayslake. Contact them at 847-548-0001 or email uniquelysweet@att.net

2. BE PAMPERED LIKE A PRINCESS at in Grayslake. Here your daughter and her friends can enjoy the star treatment as they get mini-manicures complete with glitter, their hair curled into an updo or even hair BLING! Stylists at My Friends Salon with give the girls all-start treatment and will customize the party so it’s just right for your princess. You can bring your own food, drink, cake and decorations. Also, you can supply a craft for the girls to do during downtime.

My Friends Salon is located at 326 E. Belvidere Road in Grayslake. Contact them at 847-543-4711.

3. FLIP, BALANCE AND BOUNCE to burn off all that birthday energy at in Grayslake. Rent the place for two hours; spend the first one in the gym with ropes, balance beams, bars, vault, trampolines, a foam pit and more. There is also equipment especially for younger kids. Then, head upstairs to have the food, drinks and cake in the party room. The Gymnastics Factory also supplies the invitations. Prices start at $100 for 15 kids.

The Gymnastics Factory is located at 888 E. Belvidere Road Suite 202 in Grayslake. Contact them at 847-223-1555.

4. BEAD YOUR OWN BAUBLES at in Grayslake. String together a necklace, bracelet or anklet with fresh-water pearls, glass, metal and wood beads in all shapes, sizes and colors. Then, assistants will help attach a sterling silver lobster claw to wear your new jewelry home. All supplies are included. Parents will also have 45 minutes to eat, drink and open gifts. To Bead or Not 2 Bead is best for ages six to 15 years. They can accommodate a maximum of 12 kids during business hours, or more during an after-hours party. Prices start at $15/child.

To Bead or Not 2 Bead is located at 141 Center Street in Grayslake. Contact them at 847-548-7556.

5. CREATE YOUR OWN POTTERY at in Grayslake. Here kids will work with clay in the ceramic studio to create a bowl, plate, vase, or anything their imaginations let them. The creations will be glazed and fired at the studio. Parties last an hour and a half, with the last 30 minutes allowed for food, drinks, cake, and opening gifts. Prices start at $20/child for a minimum of six children.

Neil Estrick Gallery is located at 888 E. Belvidere Road Suite 101 in Grayslake. Contact them at 847-223-1807 or neilestrickgallery@sbcglobal.net.

6. NINJA TRAINING CAMP, HIP HOP FITNESS, DIVA FOR A DAY OR ARTS AND CRAFTS. You pick the theme at the , and the staff does the rest. Here you get one hour in the kids room where they can climb and play until their hearts content. Then spend the second hour in the party room to serve your food, cake, drinks and open gifts. The YMCA’s themed parties are best suited for kids ages 4 to 10 years old. Prices start at $10 / child for YMCA members with a minimum of 10 kids. Non-member prices start at $15 / child.

The YMCA is located at 1850 E. Belvidere Road in Grayslake. You can contact Annette at 847-410-5336 or by email at atarchala@ymcachicago.org

7. SPORTS, HOT WHEELS, LITTLE TYKES OR SHAKE & GIGGLE your way around with the . GLPD offers a number of ideas for birthday parties, or simply create your own. The GLPD supplies the toys, play equipment and space to let your little ones run. These parties include activities, games, plates, napkins, cups, utensils, and a table for cake and gifts and party decorations. Kids will also receive a FREE open gym pass for a future visit. Prices start at $150 for up to 20 kids.

Parties are held at the Park District Recreation Center at 240 Commerce Drive in Grayslake. For more information contact the Grayslake Park District office at 847-223-7529.

8. EXPLORE AND LEARN at the Children's Neighborhood Museum in Round Lake. This is a tot-sized replica of a town built especially for kids. They can drive a car to the grocery store, gas up at the local gas station, be a star on stage or a pizza stand owner! Birthday parties run two hours at The Neighborhood. The first 75 minutes are in the ‘play zone’ and the following 45 minutes are in an adjacent room where you can serve food, cake and beverages and open gifts. Included in the party price is a special goody bag and a "Happy Birthday" helium filled balloon for the birthday child. Each child will receive an appreciation gift which includes a FREE visit to the Neighborhood. This Neighborhood is best for children ages 1-6. Prices start at $100 for 10 kids.

The Neighborhood Museum is at the Round Lake Area Park District Robert W. Rolek Community Center at 814 Hart Road in Round Lake. Contact the RLAPD at 847-546-8558.

9. ICE SKATING, LASER TAG, MINI GOLF, GAMES GALORE and more at Rink Side Sports and Family Entertainment Center at Gurnee Mills. All parties start with your own Party Pro helper and reserved tables to enjoy pizza, soda and a cupcake or ice cream for each child. They also receive game credits and a turn in the Fun Machine. Then,  add on anything or everything from black-light miniature golf, ice skating, laser tag, unlimited video time play, even pinata, goodie bags and extra game credits. Rink Side also has party packages to accommodate younger children. Packages start at $6.00 per person with a minimum of six.

Rink Side is located in Gurnee Mills Mall. Contact them at 847-856-1064 or book online at www.rink-side.com.

10. JUMP UNTIL YOUR HEART IS CONTENT at  Bounces R Us in Round Lake Beach. Between a princess castle, a 40’ Batman obstacle course, a pirate slide, Sponge Bob moonwalk and more your child and their friends will burn off plenty of energy. This is the largest jump area in Illinois, with more than 5,000 square feet of jump space. These parties include jump time, party room, plates, cups, napkins and forks, gift registry list and invitations. You can also order balloons, pizza, drinks and goodie bags for an additional cost. Bounces R Us parties start at $140 for 8 kids. Want to have the party at home? Bounce equipment is available to rent.

Bounces R Us is located at 1844 Circuit Drive in Round Lake Beach. Contact them at 847-740-KIDS (5437).

11. SPLIT, SPARE, STRIKE at Lakes Bowl in Round Lake. Lace up your shoes and get ready to hit the pins. Lakes Bowl offers two different birthday packages including a game of bowling, shoe rental, pizza and soda. The birthday girl or boy will also receive a bowling pin to remember their visit. Packages start at $7 / person with the option of adding additional games.

Lakes Bowl is located at 601 Railroad Ave. in Round Lake. Contact them at 847-546-2800.

12. BOWL, BAT, GOLF, GO-CARTS AND MORE at Kristof’s in Round Lake Beach. This place has a bit of everything from bowling, billiards, arcade, batting cages, mini golf and go carts. Birthday party packages include a game of bowling or round of miniature golf, pizza, soda, ice cream, arcade tokens, party table and coupons for attendees to come back and play again. Prices start at $13 / person.

Kristof’s is located at 421 W. Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach. Contact them at 847-546-2512.

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