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Two In Tow & On The Go | Gig Harbor’s top venues for kids’ birthday parties

Posted on January 12th, 2024 By:

Kiddo Birthday Party at Galaxy Theatres, 2023

If you’ve ever Googled “birthday places near me”and become totally overwhelmed by the choices — I’ve got you. Here’s a list of all the places, prices and packages for your kiddo’s next party!

For the second time* in my life, I can officially declare I’ve spent 76 hours compiling a list of more birthday party places than any one person should know about in their lifetime. But I do it all for you guys! 🙂 Plus, even if you’re not planning a birthday, most of these places are great picks for some indoor fun with all this cold weather we’re having lately.

This list came about because, if you recall my Nov. 17 column, December is a jam-packed season for us with Clara and Wyatt’s birthdays both happening three days apart, roughly two weeks before Christmas. I research like crazy every fall to find the perfect party venue to avoid having 30 elementary school children stuck inside our house party on a rainy day.

And then I share all that research with you. Because I’m cool like that. I do still have some fine print, though:

🎈In each listing, the place’s name/title text is linked to its birthday party page so you don’t have to hunt for it. And believe me, sometimes that stuff is — surprisingly — WAY buried!

🧁 The places aren’t listed in ranking order. I didn’t alphabetize them either because who has time for that??

🎁 The prices/terms/details published here can always change and aren’t guaranteed. I didn’t collaborate with these places and they didn’t pay to be on the list. Most of them don’t even know I did this. The bulk of my research took place from August to December 2023.

🎉 I encourage everyone to use this guide as a reference point and then contact the venues yourselves to hash out any questions or specifics relating to your particular parties.

✏️ Per venue, the cost range of each package/rental is listed from least to most expensive.

💰When you see a plus (+) sign after a price, it means the venue has additional options or terms that add to their package pricing. These circumstances often include party add-ons such as balloons or character visits; as well as pricing changes related to guest count, or length of the party.

🗓️ All party places require a reservation. I linked their online booking forms or their phone/emails. I reserve our December party 2 to 3 months in advance.

Now that you’ve slogged though all that … here’s the list! I’m adding more local cities, so check back often and email me or comment on Facebook if you want to suggest a place. If you like this guide, check out our related Youth Sports Directory!

Gig Harbor

PenMet Parks

Various locations | (253) 987-1889 | Book online | [email protected]

Local parks district offering indoor and outdoor recreation facility rentals in unincorporated Pierce County, west of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and east of the Purdy Bridge.  

Parties/Rentals: Reserved use of picnic shelters, open space and indoor venues each have their own pricing, capacity limits and included features. Rates are hourly. To reserve a spot, use the online rental/reservation system. There’s an additional form to apply for an indoor facility rental. Available PenMet rental sites include:

  • Sehmel Homestead Park: Outdoor park picnic shelter with tables near a playground: $20 per hour; (Sehmel) park meadow: $60 per hour; (Sehmel) park amphitheater: $80 per hour; Volunteer Vern Pavillion (indoors at Sehmel): $150 for two hours for a child’s birthday party + deposit; or $150 per hour or $1,000 for eight hours for other events.
  • Rosedale Park: Picnic shelter with tables: $20 per hour; Rosedale Hall (indoors): closed for renovations.
  • Hales Pass Park: Picnic shelter with tables: $40 per hour. Arletta Schoolhouse (indoors at Hales Pass): $150 per hour + refundable deposit. Capacity: 78 people, with seating for 60 people. Included: use of two party rooms, two restrooms, sink, refrigerator, microwave, access to outdoor event shelter with power and lights, tables and 60 chairs. Arletta Schoolhouse was renovated in 2022. Website also says the outdoor event shelter can be rented separately.
  • McCormick Forest Park: $10 per hour.
  • Narrows Park: $10 per hour.
  • Sunset Beach Park, the Fox Island Fishing Pier, and Harbor Family Park don’t have playgrounds and aren’t your typical party venues. That said, use of their picnic areas is free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each site has limited facilities such as maybe one or two picnic tables (but no picnic shelter), limited parking, and possibly no restrooms either. 

City of Gig Harbor

Various locations | (253) 853-8253 | [email protected]

Municipality offering indoor and outdoor recreation facility rentals within city limits (map linked here). General park rules say all parks are open from dawn to dusk; restrooms are on automatic timers from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. but can change seasonally; alcohol and smoking are prohibited; and, of particular interest to the birthday crowd: bounce houses, dunk tanks and slip ‘n slides aren’t allowed. The city asks folks to haul out their own party trash. Available sites include:

The Little Gym

5151 Borgen Blvd., Gig Harbor | (253) 987-1889 | Book online

Gymnastics place featuring movement-based learning and imaginative play.

Parties: $450 – $500+ | Packages for kids 1 to 12 years old, offering included services such as  getting the private facility; paper plates, napkins etc.; planned games, music, and activities; staff setup and cleanup; and add-ons like choosing a party theme.

AGA Northwest Gig Harbor

9672 Bujacich Road, Gig Harbor | (253) 525-7795 | [email protected]

Gymnastics center offering recreational classes and competitive teams. Classes are available for boys and girls up to 18 years old. 

Parties: $250 – $600 | Three packages* based on your total guest count. The setup is one instructor per each increment of 10 children, with the option to add additional guests in increments of 10 for an extra fee. Reservations include tables and chairs for guests; staff assistance with setup and clean up; and planned sessions for cake, presents, organized gymnastics, games, obstacle course time and free-play (trampoline, balance beam,  etc.). For children ages 4 and older. Book online. *Viewing the packages may require signing up for a free online account.

Discovery Village

4835 Borgen Blvd., Gig Harbor | (253) 858-4835 | [email protected]

Preschool and play place offering structured activities, crafts, camps and special date night drop-offs for younger children.

Parties: $300 – $360+ | Packages include exclusive use of the play area; staff setup and cleanup; tablecloths and plates in choice of color, and planned activities. Outside food OK but must be nut-free.

Galaxy Theatres

4649 Point Fosdick Drive, Gig Harbor | (888) 407-9874|

Eleven-screen movie theater with concessions and a former VIP Lounge available.

Parties: $350 to $800+ | There’s a little extra to unpack here: Galaxy’s rental page lists general information, but not pricing. Instead, you’re directed to contact them directly. There’s contact info above and a contact form online. I emailed using the general info address, and an employee replied saying their general manager handles rental reservations and would be in touch. Then, that manager emailed me within the next 24 hours which I totally appreciated. The gist? The theater doesn’t offer structured party packages, but it does rent its individual auditoriums to the public for exclusive use for a set time. Those auditoriums can be used to watch a movie or play giant video games! The auditoriums come in three sizes of seating capacity: small – 50 seats/the one most people use; medium – 90 seats; and large – 120 seats. (HUGE TIP: Auditorium #9 includes the former “VIP lobby” and it’s available at no additional cost if you rent that auditorium! Our friends did that for a second grade birthday party last year and it was perfect for setting up presents and mingling. Once you have the auditorium, you prepay for a movie ticket for each of your guests. The date and time also play into your rental price as peak Friday and weekends slots are at a premium and Mondays to Thursdays are cheapest. Concessions are the final factor. Bringing in outside food and drink costs an extra fee. Concessions aren’t discounted, but staff recommends getting the little $7.75 kid pack/value meal box of popcorn/mini candy/soda for each ticketed guest. You can prepay for that, too. For the gaming party options, the costs are about the same, and you bring your own console, games and controllers. Online games aren’t allowed. 

The Kindship Studio

4793 Point Fosdick Drive, #200, Gig Harbor | (253) 244-0065 | [email protected]

Boutique event venue for birthday parties, baby or bridal showers, business meetings and photoshoots. The studio is part of a local, family-owned collection of small retail businesses such as Paper Luxe and The Curious Bear Toy and Book Shop in Fircrest. Aside from parties, the studio also offers Paper Luxe classes in calligraphy, watercolors, floral arranging, or wreath-making sessions. See the event calendar here.

Parties: $150 – $250+ | Studio space rentals include a two-hour minimum Monday to Thursday; and a three-hour minimum Friday to Sunday. Kindship Studio, located at Uptown Shopping Center, is 1,000 square feet and includes free parking and wifi. It has a kitchen, bathroom and main gathering space with tables, chairs, and couches. The max capacity is 50 guests, but up to 30 or 40 people is recommended. Rental inquires can be made using the online form at the bottom on this page or with the contact info above. Note: “The Kindship” is the name for owners’ five collective businesses while “The Kindship Studio” is the event space. If you get lost, the actual Kindship Studio’s URL is: .

Java & Clay Café

3210 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor | (253) 851-3277 | [email protected]

Paint your own pottery studio and walk-up coffee shop with coffee, wine and beer for the public or table-side service for pottery guests.

Parties: $195+ | The Private Party Room Package seats 20 people for a painting session with staff to assist. Outside food, cake and decorations are welcome. Contact to reserve your timeslot.

AR Workshop Gig Harbor  

3208 Tarabochia St., Gig Harbor | (253) 844-3041 | [email protected]

A boutique DIY studio offering supplies and instruction on various craft-type projects more than 125 franchises across the country. From woodwork to paint projects and more, the business offers group events, to-go kits for home, a custom project service where staff makes the item for you and a retail shop.

Parties: Contact the studio for group pricing | Sessions include a tailored workshop group experience to for various styles and budgets. We went to a party last year for a group of third grade girls and they made the cutest dream catchers to take home! Fill out the online inquiry form or use info above.


5268 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Gig Harbor | (253) 258-7938 |[email protected]

Bowling, laser tag, arcade and entertainment venue for the whole family. Ocean5 also has an in-house restaurant and food service available on the lanes.

Parties: $350 – $720+ | Bowling party package: $350+ for up to 12 bowlers. Includes a reserved party space for two hours, one hour of bowling, arcade play points; lemonade, two large pizzas and a dedicated server. Laser challenge party package: $400+ for up to 12 players and includes a reserved party space for two hours, one hour of bowling, arcade play points; lemonade, two large pizzas and a dedicated server. Adventure party package: $500+ for up 12 players for one hour of bowling and a 30-minute laser challenge game per player plus the same amenities as the other two packages. There are also options for private rooms including the VIP Harbor Suite – $720+ for up to 24 people; and the VIP Narrows Suite – $420+ for up to 12 people. Book online.

*20% service charge and 8.8% sales tax added to all packages

Snapology Gig Harbor

3006 Judson St., #202, Gig Harbor| (253) 313-5832 |[email protected]

Lego play place and educational programs

Parties: $359 – $389+ | Includes private party space for a two-hour party with up to 16 kids at the Gig Harbor location; or $249+ for a 90-minute mobile party at a community rental space you rent on your own. At-home parties aren’t currently offered. All packages include a facilitator to set up, lead a hands-on learning activity, and clean up after. These parties also offer activity station freeplay with time for pizza, cupcakes and gift opening. Party activity packages range from building, to robotics coding to slime-making and more. Select add-ons include adding a party theme around a sampling of popular movies, games or characters.

Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club

9721 Burnham Drive, Gig Harbor | (253) 858-9023 | [email protected]

Local shooting range that’s open to the public.

Archery Parties: $250 | Includes two hours of archery with equipment included, typically limited to 12 shooters, dependent on age and experience.
All range users must sign a waiver. The club encourages participants of all ages, but says “those incapable of handling the equipment in a safe and sane manner will not be allowed on the archery range. Anyone under the age of 18 must be supervised by a parent or designated adult, at all times.” Contact to book.

Round Table Pizza

5500 Olympic Drive, Gig Harbor |  (253) 851-6250 | Gig Harbor location

Pizza eatery with televisions and an arcade.

I haven’t triple checked this, but from a few friends’ parties we’ve attended I think folks can book one of the two party spaces at this eatery for free if you buy food. Even more promising, The national chain’s FAQ website says: “If you’re looking to have your party at the restaurant, free banquet rooms are often available with advanced booking. Our party rooms are great for team parties, holiday parties, or any legendary occasion. Many of our restaurants offer group rates for dine-in, carryout, or delivery.” At the Gig Harbor location, the two areas are a traditional party room in the back one the shuffleboard side of building, or the little breakout seating area adjacent to the arcade in the front. Party space reservations are required. Please contact your local restaurant , each location may vary.” Some locations also offer catering.

GameTruck Gig Harbor

Travels | (866) 253-3191 | book online

Decked out video game truck/trailer that comes to you.

Parties: $525 – $1,125 for two to five hours | 32-foot GameTruck Trailer party: Up to 20 gamers at once (15 gamers recommended) to play various video games on eight large TVs (six inside and two outside) and eight small TVs set up inside the trailer with a comfy 20-foot-long custom couch. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Lots of options listed here. GameTruck@Home Party: (scroll down). The video game service is setup in your house for up to six guests. $300 – $600 for two to five hours.

Escape Hour Gig Harbor

3212 50th Street Court, Suite 104, Gig Harbor | (253) 313-0107 | Book online

Venue with several themed rooms designed to challenge participants to solve puzzles to get out after being locked inside.

Parties: No specific party packages but there’s Special Group Booking: custom time-slot, guaranteed booking, discounted rate for groups of 22+ people, private booking, tiered pricing. Various options.  

Harbor Balloons

[email protected] | Inquire online

Not a place, but a party service that comes to you.

Harbor Balloons is run by another local mom and she designs and installs the best garlands, bouquets, jumbos, minis, mosaics, wands, and DIY kits – all made from colorful balloons. We’ve used her twice. Her pricing is listed here.


NOTE: NASA Gymnastics at 2905 Jahn Ave NW #11 is a popular kid place in town, but under the “what we offer” section near the bottom of its homepage, NASA says birthday parties aren’t currently available.

Fox Island

Fox Island Equestrian

977 Kamus Drive, Fox Island | (651) 270 – 6331 | [email protected]

Family-owned horse facility offering riding lessons, pony party birthdays, team-building exercises, children’s events and boarding.

Parties: *$400+ | The Pony Party Birthday Package costs a $225 base fee with an additional $35 participation fee charged per child for up to 15 kids (and a five-child minimum). Waivers must be signed. The package includes two hours and includes guided riding sessions with two horses in the arena; and time grooming/interacting with the horses and ponies. Cake/presents/mingling is held in the grassy space outside of the barn and features one pop up tent, two tables, 15 chairs and one gift table. There’s also a swing set kids can play on. Some add-ons include popcorn, a bubble machine, more party time, and an additional horse/pony. Balloons aren’t allowed because they scare the animals.

*The math behind the $400+ price above is: the $35 participation fee x 5 kids + the $225 base fee.

Nichols Community Center 

690 9th Ave. Fox Island | [email protected]

Former schoolhouse turned community center on the National Register of Historic Places. The center is run by the Fox Island Community and Recreation Association and makes the building available to the public as members, non-members and nonprofit groups.

Rentals: Half-day: $300+; All-day: $500+ | Prices are scaled for members, non-members and nonprofits. See the chart at the bottom of this page. Building amenities include a large auditorium with a renovated/lighted stage, two meeting rooms, kitchen, outdoor gazebo/picnic shelter and firepit. Consult the center’s online calendar for availability. $500 security deposit required. The community center allows for public access, so its outdoor features could be in use during your rented time. However, paid renters have priority over the outdoor gazebo and fire pit. Those areas can be taped off by request.

*My first party venue list was done in 2018 for San Luis Obispo County, California and it continues to be my top ranking Google post five years straight!

Mom and two kids standing with water and boats in the background.


Tonya Strickland is a Gig Harbor mom-of-two, longtime journalist, and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. Her blog, Two in Tow & On the Go, was recently named among the 10 Seattle-Area Instagram Accounts to Follow by ParentMap magazine. Tonya and her husband Bowen moved to Gig Harbor from California with their two kids, Clara (9) and Wyatt (7) in 2021. Find them on Facebook for all the kid-friendly places in and around town.