Finding the perfect party spot for tots is no easy task. Now that I am planning parties for my fourth child I know that the most important thing to look for in a venue is simplicity followed closely by a place that will keep the kids active and engaged for at least a couple of hours.
While the focus of birthday parties is always the kids, I want to host a party that is also as hassle-free as possible for me so that I can enjoy the day with my child and not have weeks of stress leading up to the big day.
My son has been going to the Playseum since he was an infant tagging along with his older siblings and specifically requested that we have his party there.
The Playseum offers different packages based on the number of children, whether you want to serve pizza, and other options. We choose the middle package which was perfect for my son to be able to invite his preschool class and a couple of other special friends.
Playseum parties can be as open or as structured as you like. Typical parties involve a special storytime for the party where you can choose a theme (for example, dinosaur or princess books), a trip to the “pet shop” to pet the bunnies, and time to decorate cupcakes and sing happy birthday.
There is plenty of time for open play throughout the Playseum as well so that kids can explore the dress-up room, fire station, grocery store, art studio, etc. Each party also gets a special room reserved in the back with a place to eat pizza, store gifts, and hang out. The room has both kid-sized and grown-up chairs so everyone is comfortable.
Every party guest also gets Playseum Dollars included in the party package they can use to create a custom favor. At my son’s party, kids made slime, sensory jars, and painted dinosaurs. Their creations were packaged in cute bags for the kids to take home.
Playseum Dollars can also be used to purchase books or toys from the Playseum shop, but for my son’s party we encouraged the kids to do an activity or craft. Not only did the kids love getting to choose a special activity, but I loved that I did not send kids home with the typical plastic trinkets that are often given out at birthday parties.
Cupcake decorating was a highlight for my son. Some parents may opt to have a birthday cake as well, but we decided to stick with the cupcakes which was more than enough.
The kids got to choose the flavor cupcake they wanted and my son choose the toppings each child got to decorate. The Playseum even took care of candles!
The opportunities for open play at the Playseum are endless. Unlike other parties where there is a one-size-fits-all approach. There is a firetruck room, a stage with a puppet theatre and puppets, musical instruments, a supermarket, a Chinese restaurant, an art studio with paint and projects, animals to pet, boards to “drill,” a doctor’s office and more.
It was so great seeing all of my son’s friends exploring and doing what they enjoyed the most.
The staff at the Playseum was so helpful during the party. They set out drinks and pizza (included in the party package) and made sure that our guests had what they needed throughout the party whether it was enough pizza or slime that was just the right shade of blue.
The Playseum is contained so there is nowhere for kids to run off to. While most of our guests had a parent that stayed on-site, the self-contained nature of the Playseum meant that I could easily keep track of the few kids who were dropped off.
The Playseum also knows that parents will at their parties and ensure that parties include beverages beyond juice boxes for adults and provides cupcakes for them as well.
I did not bring any additional decorations for our party. I didn’t think any were needed since the Playseum is so festive and colorful to begin with, but some parents bring balloons or other decorations to go along with a specific theme.
While no additional entertainment is needed at the Playseum, my son is a huge fan of the Great Zucchini and he performed at the party as well.
In addition to providing some “extras” for parents the Playseum also allows siblings in to play at no additional cost (although there is an additional charge if they fully participate in the party by having pizza or redeem Playseum dollars). All guests are also welcome to stay for as long as they like to play after the party.
We had our party at the Playseum in Bethesda. The location in Annapolis is even bigger and also hosts parties.