Whether renting out a space for the special occasion or bringing the entertainment into the home, most busy parents appreciate the bliss that comes from handing off organizational details to a professional with the right experience and resources. San Diego offers a buffet of options to parents who want to treat their child to a royal afternoon or truly memorable event. Venues county-wide cater to every interest. Here are our choices for treating your child to a special day, a memorable party or a luxurious Sweet 16, Quinceañera, Bar/Bat Mitzvah or other milestone event.
Drop-in princess treatment
The Nail Lounge of La Jolla offers Little Princess spa packages that include full manicures and pedicures or polish-only.
The Bellemani Nail Salon in La Jolla offers non-toxic, fume-free beauty treatments to moms and girls aged 7 and older. Enjoy full-service manicures and pedicures in a clean and wholesome environment. Bellemani uses pedicure tubs with disposable liners and a full pouch of disposable tools for each client.
Escape at Tiffany in Mira Mesa caters to 8-12 year olds with a spa manicure and pedicure designed just for them. An extra nice feature is a free play room filled with games and entertainment where kids can amuse themselves when mom needs a little bit more pampering time. Clients of all ages enjoy free drinks and fruit.
Paradise Point is a destination resort located on its own 44-acre island on Mission Bay. In the spa, little kids and teens can pick what they like best from a menu of options. Treat your child to a cupcake pedicure or splurge on the ‘mom-and-me’ package that includes side-by-side massages as well as manicures and pedicures. Cupcakes come with the service.
The Catamaran Spa on Mission Bay accommodates children who are old enough to be treated like adults. When the time comes for indulgence, teens 16 and older can visit the spa for a full menu of services that includes body wraps, facials, massage, nail care, hair care and water therapy.
Exceptional private parties for boys and girls of all ages
The Roar & Snore Safari is a truly unique overnight experience offered by the San Diego Safari Park in Escondido. Guests relax in safari tents with basic or upgraded accommodations, surrounded all night by the sights and sounds of wildlife. Sleepovers include nighttime and early morning viewing of the wild life, guided walks, campfire programming, full dinner, evening snack, full breakfast, and a souvenir. The park offers several age-appropriate sleepover themes. Activities are tailored to fit different age groups from toddlers to adults.
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is a world-class science museum for all ages, with special exhibit areas designed for infants, toddlers and preschoolers in addition to eight interactive exhibit galleries for older kids and adults. Birthday parties are especially popular for the 5-13 age range. Attendees get access to the entire facility in addition to the decorated private party room. A staff person helps plan and manage the event. Fun features include grab bags, food, an IMAX theater show and choice of several different science workshops (four are designed for ages 5 and up, one for kids 8 and up). To broaden the experience even more, the museum offers sleepovers for kids 6 to 13 (plus one chaperone for every five children). The overnight experience includes workshops, Giant Dome movies, a scavenger hunt and breakfast.
Pigtails & Crewcuts is a delightful hair salon where partygoers are treated to fancy up-dos and braids and major royal treatment in private party rooms. Signature party themes (including accessories, decorations and party favors) include luau, princess, pirate, divas, dolly-and-me and super heroes. Fun activities include face painting, colored hair gel, makeovers, karaoke, hula hooping, fashion shows, treasure hunts and tea parties.
K1 Speed offers go-kart track excitement in two locations, Carlsbad and downtown San Diego. A go-kart party is an exhilarating experience for any guest who meets the minimum height requirement of 48” (58” for the full-size karts). Racing head-to-head against family and friends an exciting experience that the children won’t soon forget. Staff coordinates and manages the event.
KidVentures play facility in Eastlake and Poway (coming soon to Point Loma) will cheerfully handle everything from set-up to entertainment to clean-up. The most parent-friendly package includes invitations, paper goods, gifts for each child in attendance, special gifts for the guest of honor, snacks, pizza, drinks, dedicated staff and private use of the facility for up to 2.5 hours. Parents bring the cake.
Luxury no-holds-barred royal treatment
The Catamaran rolls out the red carpet (literally) for Sweet 16, Quinceañera, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, prom and other teen celebrations. Special events at this 4-star Mission Bay resort are unrivaled. Of its three main ballrooms, two have beautiful water views. The third room features a 25-foot wood beam A-frame ceiling adorned with hanging chandeliers. Courtyard events are elegant, breezy bayside affairs decorated with exotic flowers and warm candlelight. Regular summer activities (which can extend into other seasons for private events) include sunset luaus, the nightly Bahia Belle cruise on Mission Bay and movies on the 16-foot outdoor screen. Excellent food is a Catamaran signature feature. Banquet selections are first class, artful presentations of fresh, gourmet dishes. The Catamaran’s award-winning California coastal cuisine restaurant, The Atoll, recently underwent a $2 million renovation.
The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, one of the most desirable members-only beach clubs in California, can arrange a spectacular event for partygoers of any age. (Minimum guest room booking requirements apply to non-members.) Every party is a custom affair (recently, a little girl and her guests were delighted by a scripted mystery-themed birthday party on the club’s private beach). The beautiful Walnut Lounge, one of the club’s signature highlights, offers unparalleled panoramic views of the Pacific ocean. The club offers a long list of kid-friendly options (bounce houses, face painting, balloon artists, a playground, ping-pong and more) at its private park adjacent to the duck pond at the front of the property.
Take to the sea and celebrate your special occasion aboard a stunning Hornblower yacht. Hornblowers feature elegant décor, themed buffets, DJ music, games, and scrumptious dinner menus (buffet or plated). We highly recommend the yacht experience, but those who prefer dry land will enjoy The Abbey on Fifth Avenue, the Hornblower’s beautiful and historic on-land venue. In either location the venue can provide (temporary) tattoo artists, caricaturists, strolling magicians, photographers and other special services.
If you’ve had a spectacularly royal experience, we’d love to hear about it. If you have a venue or idea in mind, we’ll research it. Let us know in the comments.
Author: Danielle Simmons
Coffee-drinker by day, wine-sipper by night, Danielle is a work-at-home mom to two beautiful kids, ages 3 and 5, and expecting one more in February 2015. She enjoys sharing her family life in San Diego and features everything from delectable recipes to tech fun, crafting and more on her site, www.simmworksfamily.com.