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Plenty of options available for kids' birthday parties

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

There was once a time when having a birthday party simply meant having children come over to your house, where you played Pin the Tail on the Donkey, maybe some musical chairs, and you ate cake with ice cream. Then everyone sang happy birthday and went home with a treat bag.

Nowadays, the array of birthday options available is mind-boggling. Here are some choices from businesses and organizations in our local neighborhoods:

• Chuck E. Cheese, on Washington Pike in Bridgeville, is a popular kids' birthday spot.

Chuck E. Cheese himself also will pay the party a visit.

• The South Fayette Township School District rents out its middle school pool for private parties on Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. or 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Food and drinks are permitted but not balloons.

Similarly, the pool at the Jewish Community Center of the South Hills, Kane Boulevard, Scott Township, is available for rent for two hours, or the staff can provide a 90-minute party for children in kindergarten through the sixth grade.

• A cast party can be held at Phoenix Big 18 Cinemas, Bridgeville (the former Destinta Theatres). Movie admission plus snack pack combos are included.

• Valhalla Indoor Airsoft, 4214 Campbells Run Road, Carnegie, offers a “heroic” birthday package that includes three hours, hot dogs or pizza with drink, paper products, rental guns with 1000 BBs, and mask and barrel cover for each guest.

Similarly, Steel City Airsoft, 1 Willow Ave., Oakdale (formerly in Bridgeville), offers its indoor, close-quarter combat training area, dividing its arena into 21,000 square feet for parties of more than 30 people, 18,000 square feet for parties between 16 and 30, and 3,000 square feet for parties of 15 people or less.

• Urban Assault (paintball) has eight outdoor fields at 201 Cecil-Sturgeon Road, South Fayette Township, or two indoor arenas in McDonald. Partygoers must be 10 or older.

• AMF Noble Manor Lanes, on Noblestown Road, Green Tree, is another busy birthday site. Other bowling packages are available at Sports Haven on Carol Avenue, Bridgeville, and Crafton-Ingram Lanes, Crafton-Ingram Shopping Center.

• Studio Pantera, 21 E. Main St., Carnegie, offers Zumba parties. You supply the decorations, drinks and a birthday cake while the studio provides a three-hour rental for up to 15 guests, a 45-minute Zumba class with a dance instructor, and Studio Pantera gifts for all the children.

The music and choreography is adapted to the age of the children.

• Thomas Dance Studio, 111 Washington Ave., Bridgeville, incorporates age-appropriate activities centered around dance and gymnastics, usually on Sunday afternoons.

The set-up, entertainment, serving and clean up plus games, trampolines, foam pit, and jungle gym, is all provided with a package at Gymsport, 98 Vanadium Road, Building C, Bridgeville. These parties are designed for ages 10 and younger.

• Girls' birthday parties are offered at Little Snips, Scott Towne Center, Scott Township.

Staff will crimp, curl or braid their hair while the girls get their nails and a little make-up done.

Also located in Scott Towne Center is Toys2Try, offering exclusive use of its indoor playground and toys, along with pizza and juice for the children, and coffee/tea for the adults.

Wherever you go, you'll be creating memories for the birthday child that will last a lifetime.

Charlotte Smith is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media and can be reached at 724-693-9441 or

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