Kids between the ages of eleven and thirteen feel they’re too old for Chuckee Cheese and “too cool” for Paint-Me-Pottery. But middle schoolers aren’t quite ready for teenage parties. Some ideas for a tween birthday bash:
- Incredible Pizza. An older kids’ version of Chuckee Cheese. Your middle-schoolers will have a blast riding the go-karts and playing the arcade games that are more suited for tweens than toddlers. Currently located in five states and Mexico, visit the Incredible Pizza web site to find exact locations. Prices start from $ll.99 per person and include pizza buffet and drink, a five-dollar game card and a party bag for the birthday child. On Friday nights, this place is a middle school kids’ hang out.
- Batting Cages. Batter up! Unless your child’s birthday is in the middle of winter, take the kids to the batting cages. Many facilities offer complete party packages and indoor options if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Some even provide other games specifically for birthday parties.
- Tech and History Museums. Dinosaurs and microscopes are still popular with older kids. Check your local museums for party packages. And many advertise adult supervised over-nights at the museum.
- Nascar Speed Park. Located in four states and Canada, this place will bring out the Mario Andretti in your child. Each park offers various birthday party packages which include indoor or outdoor racing, arcade games and laser tag. If you don’t have a Nascar Speed Park where you live, check in the yellow pages or on the internet for go-kart tracks.
- Laser Tag. Wherever you find go-karts, you’ll probably find laser tag. This is a huge favorite with middle-schoolers and it’s great for a big party. Laser tag is similar to the original game of tag, but it’s usually played indoors, sometimes involving mazes and different modes of game play.
- Glow in the Dark Mini Golf. Traditional putt-putt with a contemporary spin. The balls and the backgrounds glow with neon lights. These indoor facilities are popping up all over the country. “Putting Edge” has eight locations in the United States and seven in Canada. Parties start at $11.95 per person including eighteen holes of golf, one hour use of glow-in-the-dark party room, invitations, and glow-in-the-dark name tags.
- Skateboard Parks. You’ll see these in malls across the country. You’ll also find them at YMCAs and recreation centers in many cities. Some offer thousands of square feet of ramps, curbs and bowls, so your little Tony Hawks can twist and turn to their favorite music. You can even hire an instructor for novice skate boarders.