9 great places to party for every age and budget

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By Katie Riley

Are you looking for a fun new way to celebrate a birthday or other occasion in the Baltimore/Annapolis area? Don't get stuck in a party-planning rut at the same places every year.

Last summer Carmel Conaty of Severna Park decided to plan something totally different for her daughter Maeve's 13th birthday party. They had a stand-up paddleboarding party on the Magothy River.

"Stand-up paddleboarding is the hottest water sport out there right now. It's a popular party choice because kids love it," says Carleen Birnes, owner of Mantra Fit, which planned the party. "It's a great way to reconnect with friends, nature, and it feels good."

PartiesMantraFitWMaeve's party was a hit with her friends, and even the parents were excited for their kids to try something new.

"The kids loved it," Conaty says. "For most of them, it was their first time paddleboarding, and we got such great feedback. ... All of the kids were able to master it immediately and the girls had so much fun"

If you are planning a party in the near future, there are plenty of unique party options inside and out at a range of prices, depending on what you plan. Check out nine different party ideas that range from $25 to $300 and up.

Outdoorsy parties

Patapsco State Park
Kids can explore Patapsco's trails, streams, waterfalls and playgrounds and celebrate in a picnic shelter. The 48 shelters in all areas of the park have picnic tables and grills, and some have fireplaces for roasting marshmallows. Rent a small shelter next to the tire park playground in the Hilton area or a larger pavilion right on the Patapsco River in the Orange Grove area where you can hike to a waterfall, swim in the river or bring your own gear for a fishing party.
Cost for 10 people: $50 and up
Guests must pay $2 per vehicle to enter the park during the week and $3 per person on weekends (kids in car seats are free). Many small pavilions, such as No. 217, rent for less than $20. Larger pavilions, like No. 106, rent for $66 per day.
Avalon/Orange Grove area, 5120 South St., Halethorpe
Hilton Area, 1101 Hilton Ave., Catonsville
410-461-5006 or dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/patapsco.aspx and click on picnic shelters on the right.

Homestead Gardens Barnyard Parties
Partygoers can visit with barnyard animals such as baby llamas, goats and donkeys and jump on the enormous jumping pillow, which is similar to a moon bounce. A tented pavilion in the nursery can hold up to 120 people.
Cost for 10 people: $200+
Party packages start at $200 and include setup, cleanup, private tented picnic pavilion, time with barnyard animals and the giant jumping pillow.
743 W. Central Ave., Davidsonville
410-798-5000, homesteadgardens.com/parties

PartiesTerrapin2WTerrapin Adventures
Daredevils will love the zip lines, swings, ropes course and aerial adventures at Terrapin Adventures in Savage. Birthday packages range from easy challenges like a treasure hunt or the zip line course to more challenging adventures like the Soaring Heights course. The Terrapin Trailblazer package for kids ages 5-9 includes mini zip lines and a 20-foot rock wall. Older kids will love the Escapade package with a complex ropes course, Tarzan swing and the choice of a 330-foot zip line or a giant swing with 2Gs of force.
Cost for 10 people: $250-300 and up
Party packages start at $30 per person and include eating area, private use of courses and staff assistance. Individual rates for the Terrapin Explorer, a ropes course designed for kids 5 years and older, are $25/per person.
Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage
301-725-1313, terrapinadventures.com

Mantra Fit Paddle Boarding
This fitness studio in Severna Park offers parties on land and in the water for fitness-minded kids, but their stand-up paddleboarding parties are a big draw for the teen set. Parties meet at the Fair Winds Marina in Cape St. Claire before setting out on a 90-minute journey on the Magothy River. Each outing includes instruction on paddling techniques, paddle time and free time to swim. Owner Carleen Birnes can tailor parties to specific interests, like the yoga paddle parties with on-board yoga.
Cost for 10 people: $350
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) parties are $35 per person and include instructor and all equipment. A picnic area is available and hosts may bring food, drink and craft/party items. Parties also have the use of Mantra Fit's pontoon boat during the party. Recommended for children 12 and up, but parties are available for younger children if parents join in.
760 Ritchie Hwy., Severna Park
443-691-4372, mantrafit.com

Click Next directly below for parties that include sweet treats as part of the fun.

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