Iowa City Area Birthday Party Guide

If you’re planning a birthday party in the Iowa City area, you’ve come to the right place! We are proud to showcase some of our area’s great venues, activities, bakers, and more, making your planning easier and the entire experience more enjoyable for everyone.

We all want birthday parties that are fun, easy, and memorable, so let’s get to it!


Little Lights is a quaint and cute event center located in downtown historic West Branch (15 minutes from Iowa City) next to a national park. Little Lights has great farmhouse tables and chairs, space for food and drinks and is furnished with decor! You just come in, use our wifi speaker system, have your party without the fuss, and leave it as you found it! It’s $50 a hour at a 4 hour minimum.

We would love to host your happy birthday at Little Lights!


Put the ART in pARTy! We offer canvas painting parties at our studio and also travel to event locations. Our instructor will guide you step-by-step through fun paintings, and with advanced notice we can create a specific painting to match your party theme. You are welcome to bring in treats to enjoy after painting!

Suggested age is 5+.


Big Picture offers 2-Hour Art Birthday Party Packages: Canvas Painting, Clay Creation, and Beautiful Bisque! For each package type, our highly qualified studio director will lead your group through the creation of a fabulous piece of artwork. We are able to design custom canvases and ceramic pieces as well.

Studio Director, Ms. Becky Popelka is also available to travel for parties on location.


Customers can enjoy more than 250 rotating cupcake flavors, giant cookies, mini cookies, unique cupcake shakes, fresh fruit smoothies, fresh lemonade, and more! Scratch offers at least 20 award-winning cupcake flavors each day…from the ever-popular Wedding Day and Peanut Butter Cup, to specialties like Carnival and Cuppy Chow and new flavors like Peanut Butter Brownie and Raspberry Cream!


The Stable loves a party! It was built in 1838 and completely restored with new air conditioning/heating, four ADA accessible restrooms, and the building is easily accessible. Full kitchen, including a freezer, stove, and refrigerator. Included 5′ round tables and chairs for 200 people, tubs on wheels for drinks and ice, and decorations, too. Outside there is a 30′ x 60′ hard surface patio under string lights, with a steel fire pit for bonfires and s’mores. 



Molly’s Cupcakes offers birthday party and decorating classes for kids of all ages! Classes and parties both include decorating of cupcakes, beverages, and decorating your own chef hat!


Bella Vida is a large three-room venue great for your next birthday party, bridal shower, baby shower, and other gatherings. It is centrally located on 2nd Street in Coralville. Tables and chairs are available and included in the rental.


The Iowa Children’s Museum birthday parties are loads of fun for kids and a piece of cake for adults! The children’s museum has been voted #1 for Best Birthday Party by the Press Citizen for 6 years in a row. Your child and their friends get to enjoy cake and gift opening in a private party room as well as active play in our exhibits. Parties include an ICM Party Pal (specially trained PLAYologist to make your party a huge success!), colorful paper products, a special t-shirt for the birthday kid, an ICM souvenir for each child, and more!


We offer hour-and-a-half long birthday parties at our studios. We host the location and provide a dance teacher to do dance, games, and dress up for 45 minutes and to help out with the 45 minutes of the birthday aspect (gift opening and any refreshments). The cost is $85 for 12 kids, $3 per additional child at the door. Parents can go as minimal or decorative as they wish, and then our dance teacher will clean up after the party. Bringing decorations, cake, food, and/or refreshments is always an option if the parents decide to do so. NDA will also send the guests home with an NDA related party favor.

(319)337-4976 (Coralville)

(319)351-7593 (Iowa City)


Iowa Gym-Nest provides one hour of selected games and activities that include our gymnastics equipment, trampolines, foam pits, overhead belt, etc. Our trained staff plans and supervises all the activities for your birthday party, so you have time to videotape or just enjoy the party. Then we provide you with a birthday party room with table, tablecloth, and chairs, for opening presents, eating cake and ice cream, or whatever you want to do. No need to arrive early, you will have plenty of time to set up while the kids work up an appetite!


We offer weekend birthday parties at our North Liberty location. By far our most popular party is Nerf Wars. Set in a 2-hour block, we run individual and team Nerf Wars. We provide Nerf guns, safety glasses, and run the party for you! Recommended for ages 6 and up. Younger groups need adult volunteer.


Birthday parties at Debut Dance are 90 minutes long, with the first 60 minutes being used for dancing, craft, and games. The last 30 minutes are reserved for gifts and treats. You may choose to have your guests decorate cupcakes next door at Molly’s Cupcakes or have treats delivered by Countertop Cakes. You may also bring in your own birthday snacks and treats. Parties are scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year and are perfect for children ages 2 and up.

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Lianna is a homesteading mama of three: a sparkly seven-year-old daughter, a joyful five-year-old boy, and a confident three-year-old boy. After graduating from the University of Iowa’s college of education, she started Wondergarten Early Enrichment Home, a multi-age, play-based early childhood program. A self-proclaimed Queen Dabbler, she has a long list of hobbies (from gardening and canning to sewing and painting), and doesn’t mind being only mediocre at all of them. She lives with her husband, mother, three kiddos, dog, cat, rabbits, dwarf goats, and chickens on an acreage in the country. The Cornally family spends their time talking about education, learning how to grow and preserve their own food, and romping around in their woods.


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