For something with a little more pizazz than pass the parcel, a circus skills party is a guaranteed win for girls and boys. You can book a place at one of the regular Experience Days, which is a three-hour workshop session on Saturday afternoon. Alternatively, you can book a private hire session and enjoy learning circus skills, including static trapeze, acrobatics, juggling and tightwire walking along with party games too.
- Best for: Ages 8+
- Cost: £75 (incl VAT) per person, based on 10 people. (Experience Day workshops: £58)
- Contact: Tel: 020 7613 4141; National Circus, Email Workshops team.
- Address: Coronet Street, N1 6HD; nearest tube station, Old Street
A party where they get to make their own candy… We’re not sure if anything could possibly be more fun for little ones?! Hosted by London candy experts Spun Candy, party guests get the chance to play the role of Willy Wonka in Spun Candy's amazing candy-filled demo kitchen, lead by entertaining Master Candy Makers, who guide them through choosing flavours, designing, mixing, rolling and hand making their very own candy. And of course the best bit is eating it all on the way home.
- Best for: Ages 6+
- Cost: From around £25 per child to join a standard one-hour experience. Private bespoke parties are available.
- Contact: Tel: 020 7377 2419, email: Info at Spun Candy, visit spun-candy.com.
- Address: London Spitalfields, 58 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7AL; nearest tube station, Aldgate East
High-seas adventure beckons from aboard this replica pirate ship. Little pirates are invited to come dressed in their best pirate costumes ready for treasure hunts, pirate hide-and-seek and dramatic tales of life on the open sea. After the mayhem, guests can head to the dungeon room, just a few footsteps from the ship on Clink Street, for a celebratory feast. For an added dash of piracy, your child can invite their guests using special scroll-style invitations, available from the Golden Hinde.
- Best for: Ages 5+
- Cost: From around £300 Contact: Tel: 020 7403 0123; goldenhinde.com, for private hire email Events.
- Address: Clink Street SE1 9DG; nearest tube station, London Bridge.
No matter what they want their theme to be, the My Kid Atelier will create it beautifully. Located in west London (Fulham and Notting Hill), the team specialises in bespoke celebrations for boys and girls of all ages and their parents. Whether you want a location-based party, where everything is handled for you, or a home-based party (or even garden party) the My Kid Atelier team will arrange it all for you. There is a plethora of options available, so we advise the best thing is to call and discuss requirements.
- Best for: Any age.
- Cost: From £690 bespoke packages available.
- Contact: Tel: 0330 131 3332; Email the team, visit the website.
- Address: Fulham - 179-181 Dawes Rd., London, SW6 7QP: nearest tube station, Parsons Green.
- Notting Hill - 59a Portobello Road, London, W11 3DB: nearest tube station Notting Hill Gate.
It’s not an organic restaurant, that’s for sure, but what it lacks in a healthy menu, it definitely makes up for with the fun factor. The Cereal Killer Cafe has over 100 international cereals to choose from, with over 30 types of milk! Kids can sit on beds and check out the ‘80s and ‘90s memorabilia, while gorging on bowls of breakfast! The cafe offers party packages for birthday boys and girls of all ages, day or night, including cereal, party bags and balloons - plus an add-on magician and cake to make your party perfect if you desire. For a more bespoke party, you can hire the entire cafe, too. (Keep their eyes off the Cereal Cocktail list, language might not be appropriate on some cereals!).
- Best for: Any age (if you can handle the sugar rush!)
- Cost: From £6 per head for standard party packages, POA for private hire.
- Contact: Brick Lane 020 3601 9100 / Camden 020 3393 8857, Email the team.
- Address: 39 Brick Lane, E1 6SB / Mexx 2, Stables Market, Camden, NW1 8AH
The city made for just for kids is a great venue for birthday parties. Situated at Westfield, it is a huge 75,000 sq.ft. child-size city for kids. They can try out jobs, act in their own TV shows and enjoy living the grown up life! And best of all - the kids are in charge. Naturally, in a city designed for kids, birthday parties are well thought out here. There are organised party events, along with the public - and there are room hire add-ons for extra wow.
Whether it’s hiring the party room, or the Town Square for celeb-style partying, they’ll be sure to have a blast. Our favourite is the Dance Club hire as well as the Stadium, or even better get the Town Crier announce your child’s birthday! If that’s not up their street, then there are firefighters, news readers, a flight crew, or something else entirely - a city-load of fun.
- Best for: Ages 4-14 in the Stadium hire, from age one elsewhere.
- Cost: From £375+ bespoke packages available.
- Contact: Tel: 0330 131 3332; kidzania.co.uk
- Address: Westfield London, Arial Way, W12: nearest tube station, Shepherds Bush.
The Mayfair Pizza Co Kids Pizza Making Masterclass is that perfect combination of entertainment and dinner (or lunch) all wrapped up into one no-effort package. You can let the kids experiment with making their favourite pizza while the Mayfair Pizza Co team provides the rest; snacks, drinks, ice cream and much more.
A Kids Pizza Making Party includes: Chef hats and aprons, popcorn on arrival, unlimited soft drinks, ice cream for dessert and a pizza chef certificate. If you would like to book the entire restaurant, a bespoke package can be arranged.
- Best for: Ages 5-12 (max 18 in a standard party package).
- Cost: From £35 per child (private hire extra).
- Contact: Tel: 020 7629 2889, or Email the team. Visit the website.
- Address: 4 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, W1S 1EY. Nearest tube: Bond Street.
For when you want a beautiful, well planned party with all the trimmings. The Beaufort House team can arrange any type of theme or style of party that’s completely tailored to you. There are various sized rooms to accommodate 10 to 60 children and they have two different 2hr 30 min hour party slots in each room (plus 30 minute set-up time). Beaufort House works with all the party planners for you, so all you have to do is arrive, with child, looking fabulous.
- Cost: Room Hire - Members Lounge – £250, Champagne Bar – £200, Club Room – £150.
- Menu: Babies & Children – £15 per child, Teenagers – £20 per child (Maximum 60 children).
- DJ: From £150
- Email or Call the Events team for a full proposal, on 020 7352 2828 or by email. Further info: Beaufort House website.
For a classic American-style bowling party choose from one of three All Star Lanes venues in Holborn, Bayswater and Brick Lane. Each has a private bowling alley and function room, perfect for private parties. For lanes with buffers, opt for the Bayswater or Brick Lane branches.
The Bayswater and Holborn branches can also lay on themed decorations and karaoke. American-style food is available at an extra charge, with mini beef burgers, chocolate brownies and shakes to sustain all that bowling action.
- Best for: Ages 4+
- Cost: From around £500
- Contact: Visit allstarlanes.co.uk
The Bees Knees is an indoor garden designed by theatre artists for 0-5s to explore and play in. With grassy hills, toys and a secret cave, adults can play too, or just relax within clear sight of their children. It is the perfect place for a tot's birthday party. The team at Battersea Arts Centre can manage all aspects of the catering and set up, to allow you to have a stress free celebration. In addition, you can hire entertainers (either your own, or they can help source them for you) and you can also arrange catering through the centre, or again, through your own contacts.
- Best for: Ages 0-5 supervised by parents (or hired staff).
- Cost: From £228+ packages available.
- Contact: Tel: 020 7223 2223; Email the team.
- Address: Lavender Hill, Battersea, London, SW11 5TN: nearest station, Clapham Junction.
For a birthday feast with a difference, head to this tropical-themed café in Soho. It’s a great option for younger kids, as orang-utans, elephants and a snappy crocodile peer out from the undergrowth, while they tuck into their food. There are plenty of birthday party options to personalise your event, too. The standard package includes party bags for every child and a yummy free birthday cake if there are more than six guests in your party. For a private hire we recommend the Butterfly Room, which seats 25-30 for dining - although larger areas are available, too.
- Best for: Ages 2+
- Cost: From around £15 per child
- Contact: Tel: 020 7434 3111; therainforestcafe.co.uk
- Address: 20–24 Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 7EU; nearest tube station, Piccadilly Circus.
For the ultimate party experience, book in for a sleepover party at the world’s most famous toy shop. Guests are treated to a red carpet arrival and a list of luxury experiences including a VIP visit from Hattie or Hamley the bear, luxury gift bags for everyone, a special gift for the birthday boy or girl, a themed cake, games and activities and a private magic show all recorded by an in-house photographer. Everyone gets the chance to stop off at the Sweet Factory for some sugar-loaded treats, before charging off on a treasure hunt around the store and there's an excursion to Gordon Ramsay's Heddon St Kitchen for complimentary ice cream. Everyone then tucks into a late-night birthday feast before settling down in the Hamley's bedding for a movie and in the morning a special Hamley's breakfast is provided before the store re-opens. Phew! We're reaching for a sleeping bag just thinking about that schedule!
- Best for: Ages 6+.
- Cost: £450 per child (non-sleepover parties also available).
- Contact: Tel: 020 7479 7319; hamleys.com.
- Address: 188–196 Regent Street W1B 5BT; nearest tube station, Oxford Circus.