When I dreamed of having kids, one thing I pictured was sunny (free) birthday parties with laughing kids running through the sprinklers and swinging at pinatas in the park. Somehow, we ended up with all of our kids born in December and January. Planning three winter birthday parties within weeks of Christmas has always been a challenge, but one I love taking on. I don’t get all Pinterest about it, but do love an excuse to celebrate our kids on their special days. Here are some of our favorite winter birthday party ideas. And hey, if you don’t have any winter babies, then just go have some fun!!

Helium Trampoline Park, Eldridge, IA – This place is awesome! Their glow party room is cool but pricey, so we usually track down some coupons and just pay to bounce for a couple hours. They sell pizza and snacks too, which the kids will definitely devour after bouncing off all that energy. Parties for 10 kids start at $170.

Combat Dartz, Davenport, IA – This place just opened last year and has been a favorite of our 12 year old. Their parties are $150 for an hour of Nerf gun fun and an hour in the party room with 10 kids. Bring your own food, and some Nerf guns and watch them battle for the flag. 

Combat Dartz

Comedy Sportz, Rock Island, IL – One of my mom friends and fellow blogger Meghan Cooley is also blessed with lots of winter babies, so they are exploring Comedy Sportz this year for a party. CS is always family friendly, hilarious, and different every time.  I mean, who doesn’t love improv, with some slapstick thrown in. Tickets are $12/each, but you can usually find coupons and group discounts (notice a theme? I love coupons even on birthdays).  

Rock Island Fitness & Activity Center– We have been to so many parties here, and they are always awesome. They have different packages including combinations of party room, jungle gym, gym and even pool. There’s a reason this one is a go-to spot. Rental starts around $100/hour, more for the pool.  

Jump Start Gymnastics, Bettendorf, IA– Meghan Cooley says “Jumpstart was fantastic.  The kids did an obstacle course, played in the pit and jumped off the rope swing (even the littlest kids).  The coaches were very helpful too.” Their parties start at $250 for 90 minutes and 10 kids.

Jump Start Gymnastics

Tea parties – With two girls, some of my favorite birthday parties are tea parties (I reinvented this with the themes of Paris, Teddy Bears, Fancy Nancy and American Girl, just to keep having them). We rented out the First Lutheran Parish House, Rock Island, IL , complete with fancy antique furniture, but you could do this anywhere (Hauberg also rents space). The girls LOVED bringing their dolls, painting nails, making molded chocolates, doing crafts and of course, drinking tea.

Finn’s Fun Spot – Because we didn’t know about it yet during birthday season, we haven’t hosted a party here, yet. Our kids did have fun playing with all the old school video games and have discovered their love of pinball. They have several larger party packages listed, and when I asked they also had a smaller mini-party package that would be just right for 10 friends. 

 JC Penney’s Portrait Studio, Moline and Davenport – This was perfect for our pre-teen girls. They got to do a group photo shoot, and each got individual pictures taken too. Each girl went home with a group portrait with their BFFs , and an individual portrait. With the Perks Club there was no sitting fee and each sheet of pictures cost $3.99. Not bad for hours of entertainment, and it made all the girls feel special.  

La’James School of Hairstyling, Davenport & East Moline – We JUST booked this place for my 7 year old’s birthday and I am SO excited. She and her friends will get princess hair and make-up, and they even have a party room! Minimum of six kids, and parties start at $14/kid. Both of us can’t wait!!

Once in awhile we get brave and host parties at home. It’s usually a lot more fun than I think it’s going to be, but from experience I know I have to keep them busy the WHOLE time or it turns to complete chaos. Our favorite was the fairy scavenger hunt where we hid prizes (picture little rocks that we called fairy dew drops, and beads that held fairy magic) and the kids had to use clues to find them, and the party where we hired a magician (thanks Rick Eugene!) who entertained the crowd for the whole party. Meghan highly recommends Star Wars Jedi training, which involved light sabers and an obstacle course.  

There are so many other spots to check out in the QC, such as Family Museum, Skate City, Hy Vee cookie decorating, Jungle Bungle, Frozen Landing, Mad Potter and QC Family Entertainment. I better start thinking about next year! Where are your favorite places to party in the QC with your kids?


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