First Coast offers unique locations for the perfect party


Special to the Recorder

Florida’s First Coast has lots of variety when it comes to children’s birthday party options! After reviewing more than 350 local vendors, here are 10 unique ideas for a local birthday party.

1. Corn maze parties – Every fall, Amazing Grace Crop Maze opens for family fun on the farm! Party goers will enjoy the corn maze, a huge drum of corn kernels, human rat races, duck water races, a ball pit and jumping. $100 plus $8/person entry. Includes 10 snow cone coupons.

2. Candy store parties – Try a hands-on chocolate making, hand-pulled lollipop class or taffy-making class at the sweetest destination on earth, Sweet Pete’s! Enjoy a personal tour of the candy store and a scoop of ice cream. The classes are educational and make science fun…with candy! $20/child with a 10 child minimum.

3. Spa day parties – Head to the spa – a little-girls-only spa, that is! Located in the revitalized Murray Hill area of Jacksonville, Princess Patch Girls spa sports pink walls, a diva photo op area, and mani/pedi stations. Party goers are pampered with special robes, and the personal treatment and sheer pleasure of getting their nails painted is such a joy for watching parents…and the girls, too! $385 for 6 girls, drinks, pizza and décor.

4. Eco-friendly birthday party – Go all natural! Bay & Bee is an indoor play space for ages 5 and under. It hosts wooden toys, a wood play gym, and wood floors with use of all natural cleaning products. Kids can use their imagination in the play kitchen, play house, costume area or stand at the train table. Register for gifts online at their shop and guests can purchase and pick them up wrapped. Parties start at $285, but are free for annual members. 

5. Engineering parties – Build robots with Legos and watch your creation come to life. Or design, build and test your own straw rockets, enjoy “sweet girl chemistry” and create your own lip gloss and ice cream. Shiva Robotics Lego robotics parties start at $300. Engineering for Kids parties start at $175.

6. Knockerball parties – Step into a huge, clear inflatable bubble ball and play soccer with Knockerball Jax! The kids will laugh, get exercise and work as a team. Knock each other over as you play a game of soccer. Six Knocker balls for an hour of three v. three fun is $250.

7. Surfing parties – Local surf companies offer birthday parties. Enjoy a lesson and cake right on the beach. Endless Summer parties are $40/person for one hour and Jacksonville Surf and Paddle parties are $350 for 6 people and a two-hour session.

8. Butterfly parties – From April through September there are thousands of butterflies flitting through Butterfly Hollow at Jacksonville Zoo! Children can experience the magic within this lush, tropical garden at a birthday party. Add this $2 per person experience to the zoo birthday package, starting at $189.

9. Mermaid character parties – We’ve all heard of character parties – but mermaids? Mermaids will swim, read stories, hand out gifts from their treasure chest and take photographs with mesmerized little girls. Outfits are complete with mermaid tail and cockle shell tops in the theme of Disney princesses! Girly Girl Par-Teas mermaids start at $279 for 45 minutes with two mermaids.

10. Bazooka ball – Shoot soft, foam balls at Battle Zone Jax, a laser tag/paint ball style indoor arena! Teams aim to hit individuals from the other team as many times as possible, as they hide and climb through obstacles. Bigger than life graphics swirl, lasers shine, and music plays for team fun. Games start at $6.99/person.          


Terri Mashour is the creator and publisher of, a website that offers families ideas for fun-filled parties, summer camps, sports programs, educational classes and more.