Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Making Your 'Tween Birthday Party a Hit
Birthday Party Packages Offer Up Big Fun for Big Kids—And Big Savings

by Kimberly Harms

July 01, 2010

One thing most parents discover early on is that a cardboard box and a magic marker make a wonderful pretend car. Pots and pans make nifty drum sets and buttons are fun to push regardless of the object on which they’re attached.

But as Suzy or Johnnie gets older, there is a need for her or him to feel like she or he is a big girl or boy and those ‘tween years are as difficult for Moms and Dads as they are for the kids. That’s when local amusement parks come to the rescue for a day full of fun for the family or no hassle birthday parties for their friends without the mess and stress at your home! Here’s a breakdown of some of the possibilities in the Indianapolis area.

Greatimes Fun Park


5341 Elmwood Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46203

There’s food aplenty at Greatimes Fun Park on Indy’s south side featuring pizza, nachos, salads, chicken tenders and sandwiches along with a buffet on Fridays. You might want to bring a change of clothes if you plan to bump around at the park. The bumper boats seat one or two passengers and are armed with a blaster gun capable of spraying anyone who gets too close. There’s also a multi-level indoor Playland, which features a couple large ball pits, an air bounce, several tunnels, ladders, climbing ropes, slides and more. There are also two 18-hole Tiki-themed miniature golf courses that have fountains and waterfalls. If your tike is feeling the need for speed, he can put the pedal to the metal on three different tracks. The Road Course is a long, twisting track that offers a road race experience. The Slick Track is a short track with wide lanes that offers a fast paced ride with a lot of passing. And the Kiddie Track is designed for the young ones.

There are a few birthday party options at Greatimes Fun Park for just $10.95-$22.95 per person and include everything from tokens to pizza and cake! Visit for complete details.

Incredible Pizza Company


8707 Hardegan St., Indianapolis, IN 46227

NEW LOCATION! Opens in July at the former site of Xscape in the Lafayette Square Mall


3919 Lafayette Rd., Suite 600, Indianapolis, IN 46254

This family fun place on the north side of Greenwood (at the corner of US 31 and E. County Line Rd.) serves up an all-you-can-eat-buffet with an extensive salad bar, soups, baked potato bar, taco bar, pasta, 30 varieties of pizza and a dessert bar. Incredible Pizza Company offers go-karts, bumper cars, mini glow miniature golf, mini bowling, a developmental area for the wee tots (ages 1-6), simulators and traditional arcade games for a wide range of ages. Everything is indoors, so weather should not be a factor.

They’re offering a special of three rides for five bucks with the purchase of the food and fun combo. You may also want to ask about their free unlimited food and drink buffet this summer.

Party options range from $9.99 - $19.99 per person and include everything your party needs! Visit for full details.



141 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46225

Jillian's is a three-floor food and entertainment center in the heart of downtown Indianapolis featuring a full-service casual restaurant, a video cafe with over 30 giant screen TVs and a menu specializing in classic American favorites. There’s something for every age with interactive video gaming, hi-life cosmic bowling and billiards. Family Day is held each Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and again on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to close for the rest of the summer. General pricing is $4.99 per child: Kids Meal, $10.00 game card or two games of bowling. Jillian’s can even do lock-ins (after hour parties) in which youth groups can have their own private party and spend the night gaming downtown. Everything is indoors, so weather is not a factor.

When it comes to birthday parties, Jillian’s has a few options for kids 5-17 years old from $9.95 -$20.95 per person. For complete details, visit

Rascal’s Fun Zone


629 US 31 South of Greenwood Park Mall in Whiteland, IN 46184

The game room at Rascal’s features crane games, arcade and video games with winning tickets that are redeemable for prizes. The property also has four different go kart tracks for racing. Two of the tracks are inside so there are no worries if the weather is bad. The kids can also make a splash in bumper/blaster boats, roll a few frames of miniature bowling or hit a few balls on one of the 18 hole miniature golf courses. The food bar serves pizza, hot dogs, breadsticks, nachos, chips, ice cream & slushies. General pricing is $5 for one ride or three attractions for $12.75, all day wristbands are also available for $22.75. Tokens are four for a dollar, 25 for five, 60 for $10 or 130 for $20. Most games take one to three tokens. $15 per person buys two hours of non-stop fun with go-karts, miniature golf and blaster boats. The price also includes one game of mini bowling and four game tokens.

When it comes to birthday bashes, Rascal’s offers packages from $14.75 - $17.75. For complete details, visit

Other things to keep in mind include the fact that hours and prices vary from summer to winter months and some offer pop up specials. Some venues offer discounts if you book online while others do by phone. It’s a good idea to call ahead to make reservations for groups. And if you do bring a group of children, have them wear matching bright colored t-shirts and save yourself the stress of trying to find one of your kids in a large crowd of people running around having fun.

Kimberly Harms has four children (5-24) along with a grandchild and is the associate director of media relations at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, You can follow her on Twitter @kimberlyharms.