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Birthday Guide 2017

09/01/2017 06:03PM ● Published by Manda Koolis

Every year they manage to sneak up on us. That’s right, we’re talking about birthdays! Time flies when you’re in a routine and birthdays remind us to take a deep breath and simply be grateful for the gift of life, regardless of age. Whether you’re celebrating your children, your best friend, a family member or yourself, On The Coast Magazine has the insider guide to the best places and activities to make your party memorable.

Sometimes the hardest part about birthdays is the stress of planning everything – especially as the date quickly approaches! Lucky for you, On The Coast is here to make the planning super simple and easy by providing you with a master list of all things birthday-related! We’ve got everything from animal encounters to spa days, zip lining to rock climbing and all the little details we know you love. Most of these businesses offer a “just show up” option, so you don’t even have to come close to the stress zone. So check out the list and call your favorite to set up a birthday party you won’t forget. Whatever you choose, have an amazing time and make the kind of memories that last!

Be Active

Let your kiddos get all their wiggles out by heading to one of these activity centers! A birthday party at any of these locations gives your children an opportunity to burn off all that energy they’ve been storing up and have fun while they’re doing it! Whether it’s jumping or climbing, dancing or playing games, celebrating while breaking a sweat has never sounded better.


Looking for something sporty to keep busy? There are definitely LOTS of options. If you want to try something new, Rock Out Climbing Gym ( opened up in Destin in June and already has a great reputation for being fun and challenging. For information on how they can set you up for a party,
shoot them an e-mail at or give them a call at 850-837-0526. They offer package pricing so you don’t have to bring any equipment, and if you have some of your own gear, you can bring it with you! Rock Out is able to host 10 (under the age of nine) to 15 (over the age of nine) kids for just $250 (or $225, if you’re a member!). Included is an hour and a half of climbing in your own roped-off area, orientation and rental shoes for each kid, 30 minutes in a party room (with plates, napkins, utensils and trash bags) that you’re allowed to decorate as you please, and even a special t-shirt for the birthday guest of honor. If you want to get more people involved, you can even have a lock-in from 10 pm - 8 am on the weekends or 9 pm - 7 am on the weekdays. Orientation and rental shoes are included plus the use of the multi-purpose room and restrooms. Each person costs $25 and one adult chaperone is required for every six youth participants. They even have one to two staff members on site the entire time to facilitate the experience. So, whether your party is for adults
or children, there’s an option to make your day special and active.


For those of you who love water but may or may not love the ocean, the brand-new Destin Aquatic Center ( will be your destination of choice. This beautifully renovated water zone is the perfect place to host an awesome birthday party. Parties are just $150 per hour and include free reign of their water
features which include the Family Pool, the Splash Zone AND the new slide! The Family Pool has a walk-in feature that is reminiscent of being at the beach (without all that sand) and has a lazy river feature on the other end. Lifeguards will be on site for your party, you’ll have plenty of deck space for
celebrating, and, of course, use of the locker room facilities. If it’s too hot to celebrate outside on the deck, you’re in luck, because there’s an indoor party room available, should you desire it. You can decorate to your heart’s content and bring in any food or drink you wish - all they ask is that you clean up after yourself. Call 850-837-7946 or swing by The Destin Aquatic Center to start planning your party with them today!


Want your kiddo to have the royal treatment? Emerald City Gymnastics ( in Fort Walton Beach has you covered! The packages they offer will provide a party atmosphere you can just walk into without any stress. All parties are an hour and a half and include orientation that covers safety, warm-up
and age-appropriate activities. For $250, you can have a King/Queen Party where they will include invitations with a liability form for each guest (so you don’t spend time the day of your party getting guests set up), two coaches, and a balloon for each guest! They’ll also provide your cake, ice cream and drinks. They take care of set-up, entertainment and clean-up, so you can just sit back and let your kiddos have fun. If you don’t need everything taken care of, they also offer Prince/Princess Parties for $200 that include two coaches, floor time and tables and chairs! So, if you prefer to be a little more involved in the décor and such, you have the option to do so. Emerald City Gymnastics is open for birthday parties on Saturdays starting at 12:30 pm and on Fridays starting at 11:30 am. 850-863-3991 is the number to call to book your celebration.

 With locations in both Destin and Crestview, U.S. Gold Gymnastics ( might be the perfect place to fulfill your kid’s wishes. This spacious venue offers obstacle courses, trampolines and fun fitness for kids! The awesome staff will set up and clean up for you, so you get to just sit back and relax! U.S.

Gold provides souvenir cups for the guests, a free t-shirt for the guest of honor and free helium for balloons. You can even decorate if you want to! They offer a Silver Party that gives you an hour and a half for gym and food/gifts for up to 20 children for only $225 ($200 for members). For more time
and more guests, you can book a Gold Party to get two hours for up to 30 kids for just $300 ($275 for members). Parties are available on Saturdays only for children under the age of 10. For more info, contact the Destin location at 850-654-3124 or the Crestview gym at 850-306-3298.

Be Pampered

Sometimes what you really need is just some time to be still. Whether that’s with a full day of pampering or taking a break next to the pool, here are a plethora of options for getting a chance to let your brain turn off for a little bit. A calm and happy environment can be exactly what you need to refresh yourself.


Massage ( offers exactly what you need to feel like a queen/king. Fort Walton Beach and Destin both have locations available for professional, affordable and convenient massages and facials. The best part is the massage therapists and estheticians will completely customize your session to fit your needs. You’ll find a variety of facial options including custom, advanced and chemical peel styles for not only your face, but your back, too. You can even book a microderm infusion session and have your skin completely resurfaced. To enhance your experience, you can add on exfoliating hand and foot massages or an anti-aging eye treatment. Massage Envy also offers an array of massage styles. From trigger point therapy to Swedish massage, deep tissue massage to sports massage, you’ll be able to get the level of attention that your muscles need to reset. When you fall in love with Massage Envy after your first experience, you can even set up a membership with them allows you a bunch of great members-only benefits like a monthly massage, additional massages at a member’s-only rate, referral benefits and discounts on certain products. Without a membership, it’s still a great deal at only $55/one-hour service. If you’re looking for serenity and peace, look no further! A day at Massage Envy is the best place to get the royal treatment! Call Fort Walton Beach at 850-301-2000 or Destin at 850-650-8500.

Be Amazed

Maybe your idea of an awesome birthday starts with encountering wild animals. Maybe it’s about getting splashed. Or maybe, it’s just about getting out there and trying something new. Well, we won’t leave you hanging! We’ve got a handful of awesome experiences that you will love!

 Have you been to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park ( yet? A birthday is the perfect reason to go check it out! With live marine shows, close-up-and-personal animal exhibits and beautiful views, you’re in for an amazing treat! You can enjoy a provided lunch and cake in the Living Sea event room (surrounded by marine wildlife, which makes you feel like you’re under the ocean!). They will provide tablecloths, plates and cups and during lunch (choice of hot dog or chicken tenders, chips & drink), children get to experience a surprise visit from one of the park’s mascots (Dolphin or Sea Turtle), setting you up for unforgettable photos! Their birthday package is $300 for 12 attendees, but you can have as many as 35 for an additional cost. You can even celebrate multiple birthdays at one time because they have an option for you to purchase multiple ice cream cakes. To top it all off, the Gulfarium gives out goody bags with keepsakes inside! Your only time limit is your use of the Living Sea Room where you can do your food and gifts for an hour and a half. You can explore the whole facility at any time while the park is open (9 am-5:30 pm). This gives you plenty of time to enjoy all the shows and exhibits you could want. Because the Gulfarium is a conservation effort, you’ll be able to enjoy the day guilt-free. No bad juju here! For reservations, call 850-243-9046.

If looking at the water isn’t enough, then a Paddle Tribe Party ( is the opportunity you’re searching for. Spend the day in the water with birthday packages starting at $195. Prices vary based on how many pieces you’re renting and how long you’re renting them for. You can rent kayaks, surfboards and paddleboards and enjoy a day of fun and fitness, all while a professional staff of instructors makes sure you enjoy yourself. Rentals include leashes and life jackets so you don’t have to stress while you’re out there. There is a private area available for your group, should you want it, as well. Depending on your location, they can even deliver supplies to you for a small fee. You can book your party with Paddle Tribe by calling 850-797-2232 or with GUSU at 850-460-7300. If you plan on celebrating in September or October, you’re in luck because they are offering a BOGO sale for their rentals!

Be Entertained

Sometimes, it’s easier to just have a good ol’ backyard BBQ or luau and hire someone to come out and entertain you and your guests for you. Fortunately, there is an abundance of dance troupes, acrobatic acts, flame dancers and more in our area.

Are you looking for something fun and unique to light up your next birthday party or luau? Look no further than Emerald Flame Dance ( Danielle provides fire and LED performances that will amaze you

and your guests and can also teach party attendees the basics of poi dancing - without the fire, of course. This new and exciting option will guarantee that you have a memorable experience that everyone will be talking about! Performances start at $150, the cost depending on the choreography, the number of performers and amount of time the group spends with you and your guests. You can reach Danielle for more details and to book your performance by calling 571-359-1596 today.

Be Remembered

It’s important to have a way to look back on the memories that you make the day of your special event. While some may want a private photographer for the evening, some may want a more casual setting that encourages candid playfulness.


Photo booths are becoming increasingly popular for gatherings! We all know how important it is to print the images on our phones (because one day that phone will get trashed), so why not let someone else do it for you? Lumi Pod PhotoBooth ( is an awesome addition to your next event. They offer two options: Lumi Pod or Lumi Air. The Lumi Pod is an enclosed booth that can fit up to 8 adults, while the Lumi Air is an open-air booth that allows 15-20 people to still fit within the frame. Photobooths give you the opportunity to give one of a kind party favors to your guests and have something to keep for yourself, too. There are endless possibilities for poses, props and fun! Packages include unlimited pictures delivered on a USB, custom templates, props, set-up and teardown of the equipment, an onsite attendant, and delivery! Packages vary in price depending on how long you need them, location, etc.  Contact them at 850-496-6739 to set up your own booth!

Be Playful

Sometimes the best parties are the ones where you can just be a kid and play all the games you want – video and otherwise. There are some great “fun center” venues along the Emerald Coast. From full arcades to mini golf, we’ve got you covered.

Fat Daddy’s Arcade ( is attached to Fudpucker’s Bar & Grill here in Destin, allowing the two hot spots to join forces and create the ultimate party experience for you! The birthday girl/boy gets their own party room for an hour and a half, food (chicken fingers or pizza), festive birthday décor, balloons, a souvenir cup for each kid, Fat Daddy’s Arcade tokens and even the chance to hold a real alligator! Fat Daddy’s strives to make birthday parties affordable, and they offer parties at $15 per child. You can add 10 extra game tokens for just $2 per attendee. If that’s too intense for you, you can choose to do a more traditional route and have a pizza party instead. GameDay Pizza offers easy access to and from the arcade after enjoying yumtastic pizza at their restaurant. The pizza party option includes a private room, tablecloth, balloons, plates, cups, a party host, access to the arcade and, of course, PIZZA! Schedule your Fudpucker’s party by calling 850-687-5181. To schedule a GameDay Pizza Party, call 850-650-3777.

Offering the best of indoor and outdoor fun, The Track ( could be the best bet for your next celebration. Known for being a classic location for Destin, The Track has been a tried-and-true option for parties. The Track is able to accommodate parties for 6-20 children at a time and each package provides a Track Team Member to help host your party and make sure everyone is taken care of. All you have to do is bring the cake, candles and any decorations you want to use. Their all-inclusive packages range from $14-$20 person depending on height and what’s included. This year, they added a new ride that is just fantastic. The Hurricane 360 spins and flips and gives you all the thrills you’ve been looking for. If you’re not keen on being upside down, don’t worry! There are bumper cars (land and water!), go-karts, mini golf, and a whole array of kid-friendly rides, too! Pizza, ice cream, drinks and access to the rides are all included in their birthday package, so you can leave the overthinking at home. Show up and let them do the rest! Call 850-654- 4668 ext. 203 to book your special day!

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