Want to break free from the Singapore indoor play centre merry-go-round party scene this season? Love food and love the idea of treating your special little partygoer to a birthday bash at a cool cafe or restaurant? (We also love the idea of not having to deal with the post-party cleanup!) What you need is our hit-list of child-friendly restaurants that offer parties for kids that are not only delicious, but super fun too; places that are quirky and think outside the box when it comes to entertaining a junior entourage. Read on, party people…
UK household name Pizza Express has just landed on Singapore shores (in Orchard to be exact) – dough balls and all. To say we are excited is an understatement (check out our review of Pizza Express to see why!). It’s slated to offer some pretty fun hands-on kid’s cooking parties in September once the show is fully up and running. Pizza-making parties run for two hours – during which time your little chefs will don a hat and apron and get messy with flour, dough and delicious ingredients (our pick is pepperoni with olives). A slice of cake and glass of juice will round out proceedings nicely. Watch this space for more deets…
Scotts Square, Unit B1 08/09, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore, 228209; www.pizzaexpress.sg/parties
Timbre @ Gillman Barracks
If you were a festivalgoer in your pre-kid days, then Timbre @ Gillman has the vibe you and your cool kids are after. Off the beaten track in the arty Gillman Barracks enclave, this venue offers a huge sheltered alfresco space, a sprawling green lawn and rocking live band, which takes requests! You’d be mad not to hold the birthday bash on a Saturday afternoon (from 4pm) to make the most of the cracking weekly barbecue. The entertainment on offer for the little terriers is amazing – including a crafty kids corner (with creative staff), two bouncy castles, bubbles and monthly themed activities (when we were there it was Nerf gun wars) Ridiculously fun! You can order al-a-carte (on iPads no less) or opt for a food and beverage package: 10-12 pax at $312++ or 18-20 pax at $630++. Let the good times roll…
Gillman Barracks, 9A Lock Road, Singapore 108926; www.timbregroup.asia/timbresg
If you’re after a super-chilled venue with bang-on mod-European nosh, then look no further than Kith Cafe. There’s good reason it’s hard to snag a seat with the family on a Sunday morning! The outdoor tables all offer a great spot for kids to treat as a base – while scooting, playing on the rocking horses and generally running off excess energy. You can tailor the party to suit your special birthday poppet, with the Kith peeps willing and able to organise balloons, magic shows, toys and goodies (or anything else their little heart desires – just ask!). Rough cost is a fab $20++ per head.
Robertson Quay, Millenia Walk and Sentosa Cove; www.kith.com.sg
Nestled in the lush green surrounds of Dempsey Hill you’ll find family-friendly Tree Lizard cafe (keep going a minute or two once you spot RedDot Brewhouse). It’s a lovely spot for the active kiddo’s birthday party – as they’ll love scaling the playground with their buddies, playing tag on the lawns and jumping up a storm on the bouncy castle. All that activity will make them ravenous, so they’ll happily devour the fresh child-centric menu of burgers, pasta and pizza. It will set you back $38++ per head for full buffet and unlimited soft drinks and juices (minimum 30 pax). (Want more family-friendly faves in Dempsey? Check out our guide to Dempsey Hill!)
Tree Lizard, B1-01, 25 Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249670; www.treelizard.com.sg
We’re happy to hit up Jamie’s Italian any time! It’s the place where wholesome kids’ nutrition, impeccable styling and service collide – all with a good dash of fun. Your kid and their crew will receive the VIP treatment as mini-pizza chefs – kicking off with a guided tour of the herb garden, followed by a stint on the giggle-inducing pasta extruder machine and a make-your-own rustic Italian pizza sesh. Junior diners then enjoy their spoils while being entertained with all the usual Jamie’s Italian extras like old-school viewmasters, stickers, crayons and colouring sheets. Feel free to bring your own birthday cake or else outsource the pressure to them on just three days’ notice. And the whole event is affordable (phew!) at only $45++per kid (minimum of 10).
VivoCity and The Forum; www.jamieoliver.com
We are massive fans of EatPlayLove Café all year ‘round for its unique ability to make the whole family happy – offering quirky crafts and delicious Thai and Western eats (we do let the kids join in the craft sometimes, promise…). So imagine a birthday party filled with paper puppets, DIY dolls and monsters, foil art, sock monkeys and CAKE. And with barista brews for the parents, it’s our kinda shindig. Party packages are bespoke for the special party person.
#01-07 Aliwal Arts Center, 28 Aliwal Street, Singapore 199918; www.eatplaylove.com.sg
Okay, this isn’t a restaurant, but this cool cooking school sure knows how to throw a party! Culinaryon is more than a place for your kids to have a good feed – it’s the Disneyland of cooking schools (we can confirm from first-hand experience that it is truly magical). The party mojo starts flowing the moment you walk through the doors with up-beat tunes filling the big and bright kitchen. The kiddos then enjoy a culinary master-class – mixing, kneading and tasting three delicious recipes (100% from scratch). You can pick your mini-chef’s favourites from a knock out kids’ menu (think colourful pasta, spring rolls and pizza faces) and opt for a raft of other fun activities including competitions and quizzes, apron decorating and a chocolate fountain. They’ll have had such a blast come cake cutting time that the birthday wish will be to do it all again! And you can watch on with a glass of wine in hand. Perfecto! Cost $88++ per head.
#04-63, Tower 2, One Raffles Place, Singapore, 048616;www.culinaryon.sg/kids
Another café with rustic charm offering fabulous Birthday parties with a difference is cooking school Cravings. Aiming to provide a one-stop service, the lovely people at Cravings provide catering (from a super cheap $11 per person), event entertainment like face painting and magic show, and a dessert table that has to be seen to be believed – rainbow paddle pop cheesecake anyone? (20 – 30 pax from $448). You won’t even need to fret about making party bags, they’ll sort this for you for just $6.90 per child. It’s perfect for the time-poor parent wanting a walk-in and walk-out experience that won’t break the bank. Easy!
6 Tebing Lane, #01-05, Singapore, 828835; www.cravings.com.sg.
The crew at eastside kid-friendly Cafe Melba really knows how to throw an epic party. We should know, we’ve hosted one of our legendary Chinese New Year Parties there. The space is perfect for little people with a wide-open verandah and huge lawn just perfect for that game of pass the parcel. The food is healthy and moreish, and perfect for the party where parents want to drop in for a bite to eat and a refreshing tipple. Once the air hits the on-site bouncy castle you’ll be free to sit back and enjoy the relaxing vibe. AND, hot off the press – Cafe Melba Mediapolis @ One-North is also hosting cracking kids’ bday parties. The gorgeously styled space is fitted-out with busy and hungry kiddos in mind (play room, tick!), and the Australian nosh can’t be beat.
90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Block N #01-56, Singapore 439053; and Mediapolis @ One-North, 1 Stars Avenue, #03-01 Singapore, 138507 www.cafemelba.com.sg.
Little House of Dreams
Nestled within the flagship store of America’s best ice-cream joint Ben & Jerry’s you’ll find fabulous bakery, café and party venue Little House of Dreams. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you pull up in front of the brightly painted vintage VW van. We love the vintage whimsical styling of this place (indoor green grass and powder blue mini Eames rocking chairs – cute!). Check out the seemingly endless variations of part-ay packages available (and you can order from Ben & Jerry’s menu of cleverly named ice-creams). Unbelievable 3D party cakes too! This is THE party for the sweet-toothed partygoer. (Note: Currently under renovation, re-opening soon!)
Blk 10, Dempsey Hill, #01-21, Singapore 247700; www.littlehouseofdreams.com
Coyote Tex-Mex Grill and Bar
Tex-Mex house Coyote opened its doors (and sweeping deck) this July, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate your kiddo’s epic bday fiesta this year! It’s been the setting of many a Happy Birthday over the years as Spruce café with its in-house playground and festive weekend bouncy castle, but it’s now had a revamp and menu switch from American to fresh and feisty Tex-Mex. We rate it as a party location as there’s plenty of outside space for kids to run amok, it’s centrally located (Tanglin) and there’s an indoor air-conditioned space for a sweat free (and by extension tantrum free) candle blowing experience.
If you have a small group you can book a table and eat from the devilishly cute ‘Puppies’ menu (think quesadillas and nachos). Or, if you’ve got a crew of 30 and want to go for the full she-bang, why not book out a space for three hours and the party people at Coyote will take care of everything from set up, to decorations and entertainment like balloon sculptors, glitter tattoos, caricaturists to carnival game booths, photo booths, mascots and magicians. Ole! (minimum spend $2000).
Phoenix Park, 320 Tanglin Road Singapore 247980; www.coyote.com.sg