• Photo gallery: Kid party venues
By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer
Shotarou's smile was all Eiko Dunster needed to confirm her son's jungle-themed birthday party was a hit. The peals of laughter from about a dozen of his best buds — all surrounded by monkey cupcakes, a lion piñata and balloons galore — were a nice bonus, too.
And all Dunster really had to do was show up to the party, which was held at Cupcake Boutique in Ward Warehouse.
"They did everything for me, and I just brought Starbucks coffee for the adults," said the Nu'uanu resident, 39, who also has an 18-month-old. "It was great." The store's party offerings include invitations, sandwiches or pizza, and gift bags for guests.
Local venues such as Cupcake Boutique, 808 Bounce, Clay Cafe, The Lego Store and Honolulu Zoo offer special party packages that can make the birthday planning process a lot easier for parents with crazy schedules. (See list.)
Cupcake Boutique offers "complete packages so that the parents don't have to worry about anything," said store owner Jodi Mizumoto. "Parents nowadays are so busy as it is."
Party packages at various venues can typically range from about $100 to $400, but many packages can be customized for parents on a budget.
Dunster, who paid nearly $400 for Shotarou's party for 12 kids and 15 parents, said it was well worth it.
"He really enjoyed and loved it," Dunster said. "And I heard his friends say it was a great party. I was happy about that, too."
We've compiled a list of venues — both popular and little-known gems — that offer birthday party packages for all kinds of keiki. Whether you're planning a bash for your girly-girl princess, gaming-obsessed tween or creative little cutie, there's definitely something for you.
Is your child a darling diva who lives for dressups and tea parties? Try these:
Where: Ward Warehouse
Contact: 597-8305, www.cupcake-boutique.com
Cost: Prices start at $375 ($415 starting in April) for 12 children. Packages include a room for 90 minutes decorated with balloons and themed decor, printed invitations, gift bags, food and beverages, and a gift for the birthday child. The "Princess Tea" party includes pottery painting, picture taking with accessories, and princess wand craft making. Other themes: "Posh Pampering," "Hello Kitty" and "Elmo."
THE DRESS UP CORNER
Where: 1922 Colburn Street, Suite A, in Kalihi
Contact: 772-1066, www.dressupcornerhawaii.com
Cost: Prices start at $335 for eight children. Packages include princess costumes, hairstyling , makeup or face paint, food, invitations, party favors, a gift for the birthday child, and thank you cards.
PIGTAILS & CREWCUTS
Where: Moanalua Shopping Center
Contact: 422-4300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: Prices start at $150 for five children. The "Pretty Little Princess" package includes dressup in princess gowns, glittery hairstyles and braids, makeup and nail polish, as well as paper goods for the party, juice boxes and party hostesses. Other themes: "Let's Luau," "Ahoy, Matey!" and "Darling Divas."
FOR THE BOYS
Tumbling. Racing. Gaming. What more could a little boy want?
Where: Windward Mall and Pearlridge Center
Contact: 354-6703 (Windward), 354-8509 (Pearlridge), 366-6055, www.808bounce.com
Cost: Prices start at $30 for a table and six chairs for two hours, plus $8.25 per child ($8.75 at the Pearlridge location) for all-day access to the indoor inflatable party and play facilities.
AMERICAN BOX CAR RACING INTERNATIONAL
Where: Race track is on the corner of Kupuna Loop and Kupuohi Street in Kunia
Contact: 382-5653, 947-3393, www.boxcarracing.org
Cost: Prices for the family event program start at $250 for up to 35, who watch or drive (children younger than 18 must be with a parent). The cost includes private use of a pavilion area for three hours and private use of a three-lane box car race track for the middle two hours.
MOBILE GAMER GUYS
Where: The MGG Bus goes to wherever your event is.
Contact: 692-2729, www.mobilegamerguys.com
Cost: Prices start at $350 for one bus and two hours of service. Each MGG Bus has eight XBox 360 game stations and eight 19-inch LCD monitors, all of which are wall mounted. A Wii game console is provided outside each bus along with a 42-inch monitor. Software for all games (for all ages) and required gaming accessories are provided. Gaming technicians are also provided to monitor and organize game play. Each bus accommodates 12 players at a time; players are rotated for large parties.
Let your wee one's imagination run wild at these sites.
CHILDREN'S DISCOVERY CENTER
Where: 111 'Ohe Street in Kaka'ako
Contact: 524-5437, ext. 3; www.discoverycenterhawaii.org
Cost: The basic "Birthday Bash" package is $15 per person, for a minimum of 10 guests. It includes use of the party room for two hours, all-day admission to the center, a carousel ride for the kids and decorations.
Where: Aina Haina Shopping Center
Contact: 377-1808, www.claycafehawaii.com
Cost: For children's birthday parties, hosts are asked to spend at least $10 for a piece to paint per guest, a minimum of eight guests and maximum of 32. Pieces include plates, bowls, cups, banks, picture frames, vases and cookie jars. Reservations are for two hours.
THE LEGO STORE
Where: Ala Moana Center
Contact: 942-5346, http://stores.lego.com/en-us/Honolulu/birthday.aspx
Cost: The Lego birthday party packages start at $169.99 (prices change after April 1). It includes an hour-long in-store party for up to 10 children, invitations and thank you cards, "Birthday Pick A Brick" boxes to be filled at the store for each guest to take home, Lego goodie bags, and a 30-minute Lego activity.
OLDIES, BUT GOODIES
You probably have fond childhood memories of these "classic" venues. Now your kids can, too.
CHUCK E. CHEESE'S
Where: Pearl City Shopping Center and 1199 Dillingham Blvd., suite102, next to City Square in Kalihi
Contact: 455-1448 (Pearl City), 851-7400 (Kalihi)
Cost: Party prices start at $11.95 per person. The basic package includes pizza, drinks, game tokens, decorated table, hats, and a jumbo balloon with the birthday child's name. There's a guest minimum of 10 and maximum of 160.
FARRELL'S ICE CREAM PARLOR & RESTAURANT
Where: Pearlridge Center and Windward Mall
Contact: 488-9339 (Pearlridge) and 247-3788 (Windward)
Cost: The basic "Ice Cream Party Package" is $7.95 per person for a minimum of 10 guests. The package includes a 90-minute reservation, balloons, drinks and the "Honolulu Zoo Sundae" or "Mauna Kea Hot Fudge Volcano Sundae."
ICE PALACE HAWAII
Where: Stadium Mall
Contact: 487-9921, www.icepalacehawaii.com
Cost: Prices start at $113, which includes a reserved table for 10 for two hours, eight skating admissions with skate rentals, pizza and drinks.
For the keiki who loves nature and wildlife (or just acting like an animal):
HAWAI'I NATURE CENTER
Where: 2131 Makiki Heights Drive
Contact: 955-0100, ext. 18, www.hawaiinaturecenter.org
Cost: $300, which includes a $50 one-year family membership, for up to 20 children 5 years and older or up to 15 children ages 3-5 years. The two-hour birthday program includes three nature activities: fishing at the stream, hiking in the forest and creating a nature craft to take home. Facilities include an open-air lānai with three picnic tables to set up gifts and outside food and refreshments.
Where: 151 Kapahulu Ave.
Cost: A basic party costs $275 for 20 guests and includes cake with the child's name and a picture of one of the zoo's animals, ice cream, fruit punch, paper craft and a guided tour accompanied by a fish and turtle feeding at the lemur pond.
Where: 94-538 Puāhi Street in Waipi'o
Cost: $399 for a standard party package. The two-hour reservation includes a 90-minute playtime with seven bouncers for up to 27 children and eight adults.
Reach Zenaida Serrano at 535-8174. Follow her Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/zenaidaserrano.