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How to choose the best place for a kids birthday party

Here are 7 things to know before you choose your next birthday party venue.

Your Son or Daughter has been excited about their birthday party for weeks and cant stop talking about the big day. As a parent you've been non-stop busy planning out every detail. You've helped your kiddo choose the theme, who to invite, and now you're looking for the perfect place to host the party to make it go off without a hitch. Where do you go to make it all happen? Skip the usual Pizza Places, and use what you know about your Kiddo to choose a venue that will be a perfect fit! If your child is an artist, think about hosting the party at a paint your own pottery place. Are they a Ninja? Think about hosting it at a Ninja Warrior gym like Skyhook Ninja Fitness, complete with Ninja obstacles, trampolines, Parkour, gymnastics, and climbing wall.

Here at Skyhook we believe you should ask a lot of questions so that you can make a totally informed decision for your kids, and for your bank account! Visiting where you are thinking of hosting the party so you can see the actual space in person, what it looks like, and where things will be. Websites and photos can make spaces look a lot bigger then they are, and might be very out of date. During your visit, or when you are making an initial phone call to narrow down the list of possible birthday locations, be sure to figure out the answer to these important questions:

This is the insiders guide from someone in the business so you know what to ask.

1. What does the experience consist of?

If the party is held at a bowling alley, chances are that the party will include bowling; but how many games? Will your child receive unlimited until they run out of time? Or will they get two games no matter how long they take. Some party places here in Portland, Oregon charge extra for certain features. For example a skate rink which also has a climbing wall, but the kids only get the climbing wall if you pay extra money, and they only get to climb it twice. How likely is the venue to make that clear to you if you don't ask?

Here at Skyhook Ninja Fitness, if you book a party when there aren't classes, you get the whole gym the whole time! When you book a birthday, for no extra money, you get access to the whole gym, unless you book at the same time as when we have four classes going on at once. Luckily we have over 12,000 sq. feet of space and tons of equipment, so this isn't usually a problem, but its good to be informed!

2. Is the Party room Private or Shared?

If they say you get a party "area", chances are you are not going to be happy with the picnic table among a sea of picnic tables, or a large space, with the only thing separating your child's birthday party from another party a thin curtain? It is important to specify that you want a private party room if that is what you want!

Here at Skyhook every birthday party gets a private party room, with easy access to a fridge and freezer. This might not be common practice anymore at many venues so be sure to ask!

3. Are you allowed to hang Decorations on the wall?

A lot of birthday party places do not allow tape on their walls. It's a good idea to know this in advance before you spend any money, and before your child gets their heart set on specific decorations.

We don't care what you put on the walls here at Skyhook, as long as you don't tape over any of our beautiful hand painted murals (since they are delicate). You're welcome to hang things up around them though!

4. Will there be any staff supervision during the party?

If your party is not in a totally private space, or you don't book out the whole facility, many business's make money by cramming as many bodies into one space as possible at a time. If you are a responsible adult (we know you are) then you don't want the stress of keeping track of 10 kids in a business like Chuck'E Cheese with a million other kids running around. Keeping things stress free was the whole reason that you decided to book a party somewhere other then your house right? If there is staff supervision, is it a bored teenager who doesn't want to be there and couldn't care less if your kids have fun?

At Skyhook, when you book a party, it begins with an hour of professional Ninja warrior coaching where the kids get to do fun courses just like on the TV show American Ninja Warrior, then they get twenty five minutes of free time supervised by our coaches. All Skyhook Birthday parties are fun, engaging, and will leave your Birthday party Ninjas with huge smiles on their faces!  Ninja coaches are on the floor at all times with the kids.  All parties are led by professionally trained, certified & background checked instructors.

5. Are you allowed to bring your own Food and Drinks?

At least here in Portland, we know that many other party venues do not allow you to bring your own food. Some venues insist that even the birthday cake is purchased from their caterer. If your child or one of the birthday guests has a food allergy, will they be able to accommodate, and if they cant, are you allowed to bring in an allergy free alternative?

Many businesses make more money off of the food they serve then the actual experience and will insist you purchase their overpriced greasy pizza. Here at Skyhook you will never be locked into something like that. We will eventually have a catering option, but when we have it, it will stay just that, an option. We encourage people to bring in their own food and drinks, although we do ask that you try to make them nut free, for the above reason of allergies!

6. Can they accommodate special requests? Are you allowed to bring entertainment?

If the success of your party hinges on you being able to bring in an outsider performer, or that your kids get to do a Nerf Battle during free time, then you need to know if the venue can accommodate that! It is important to ask as early as possible so you aren't finding out at the eleventh hour, and your kiddo winds up disappointed.

Many venues will accommodate special requests, here at Skyhook we can do just about anything, but some special requests are only possible if you book the whole space or come in outside of normal hours. Nerf is a perfect example of this, since it is not possible when we are during our normal hours, but if you come in after we normally close to the public your birthday kid will have the best Ninja/Nerf experience ever! Don't be afraid to ask if there is something else your child might enjoy! You might be surprised what different places can do. For example, here at Skyhook we have our "Blades of Light" class, so we have gotten multiple requests for a Jedi themed birthday, and boy, were our coaches happy to make that happen!

7. Will my Birthday Child and their Friends have fun here?

This is the most important question of all to ask, even if the person you are asking is yourself, since you know your own child best. There is a huge difference from doing a birthday party at an Ice Skating Rink, to doing one in a Parkour Gym, to doing one in a Trampoline Park. While one idea might seem fun at first, what skill level do they need in order to have fun, and for their friends to have fun? Will they get bored if there is only jumping on trampolines arcade games (which cost extra of course!). What kind of experience do you want your child to have?

Skyhook believes that every birthday party is special, if you give us a chance your child and their friends will have the time of their life, and leave happy and exhausted. No matter their initial fitness level, we have something they will enjoy here. From our full scale Ninja warrior obstacle course rig, to our Gymnastics and Parkour floor where we set up fun balance and agility courses, to our trampolines and air bag, not to mention our full scale climbing wall (soon to include a slide off of the side!), we know that Skyhook is the right fit for your kids to have a great time, get out of their shell, and be Ninjas!

On that final note:

If you are interested in booking a birthday party here at Skyhook Ninja Fitness, and you are close to Portland Oregon, we would love to have you. Whether your kid is 6 years old, 12 years old, or even a full blown teenager, there is something here for them. If you are interested in learning more about our parties or any of the class offerings that we have, click on the blue links above. Regardless of where you choose to have your next Birthday party, we hope you are better able to make an informed decision and that you have fun!



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