Summer birthdays in Arizona present one major challenge: the heat. You’d think we would have it figured out by now, but every year we struggle with what to do for my summer baby’s birthday.
My youngest recently turned 5 and we wanted to do something extra special for this milestone birthday of his. Plus, I was still hanging on to some mom-guilt over last year’s birthday that was rescheduled twice and eventually canceled due to the pandemic.
We were happy when we found an indoor space that would accommodate friends of all ages and keep everyone cool. What was even better: I hardly had to do anything because the venue handled most of it.
We chose to have Joel’s 5th birthday party at Gravity Extremezone in Chandler. With 40,000 square feet of space, multiple party rooms and a full kitchen, we knew we were going to be have a memorable experience.
When we walked in we were greeted by the friendly staff and shown to our party room. The party rooms are located right in the middle of the attractions and have glass walls so you can see the kids playing from the rooms.
The party package we chose provided full access to the entire park, grip socks for all the kids, plates (and forks, napkins, etc), digital party invites, food, water, a host and best of all, they set up and clean up for you. We did bring a few decorations, favors and the cake, but that was all I had to do. It was so nice to not have a mile-long to-do list prior to the party. We just showed up and everything was handled.
I have to mention how clean the facility was, too. The kids’ socks were hardly dirty at the end and you could tell they take the time to make sure the equipment, games, and everything else is cleaned and maintained thoroughly. I noticed immediately and had two parents in our party mention it to me as well.
Whenever I plan a party, the food always sneaks up on me. As the guest list grows, so does the cost of food and options become limited. I want to make sure everyone was fed, but also fed something they would actually enjoy.
We lucked out with Gravity. They have a full menu and with the party package we chose, food for the party was included.
I knew we’d want some appetizers (and kids came hungry), so I was able to order a few baskets of fries and cheese sticks for everyone to munch on. My daughter said they were the best fries she ever had (not even kidding) and the cheese sticks were a hit, too. The appetizers can be added on to the packages or ordered when you get there if you decide last minute that you might need some extra food. They have quite the menu with tons of options!
After about 90 minutes of playing, the kids worked up an appetite. Just in time, they wheeled in a cart with the pizza and wings. The pizza is made in house daily, the dough is from scratch, and the wings were perfectly cooked and a big hit with the dads. We were impressed with the taste and quality, so much more than the typical “party pizza” we’ve had elsewhere.
The party packages allow for you to bring your own dessert, which is nice since kids usually have their hearts set on a specific cake. We went for a Hotwheels cake from our local Safeway and well, it’s cake and kids were happy with it.
Parent hack: we order all of our cakes from Safeway. You know we love supporting small, but sometimes budget and time don’t allow for it, especially when you have 20 people to feed at a party. The cakes are always delicious and are completely customizable. This was our 4th year ordering cakes from there and won’t be the last.
With a name like Gravity Extremezone, you know you’re in for some fun. I was under the impression it was just trampolines and a few extras, but I was completely wrong. There are definitely trampolines and plenty of them with a space for dodgeball, basketball, foam pits, the gladiator fight (the 90’s kids will know immediately what that is) and a toddler trampoline area for the little ones.
Aside from all of the trampoline options, there is the “Stairway to Heaven” which is built of bright green ascending towers that go way up (don’t worry, your kids are harnessed and wearing a helmet!). My cautious-climber-birthday-boy made it higher than he thought he could and went on it over and over again.
Another favorite, was the drop slide. Kids (and parents, it was too fun to pass up for some) are suited up in a skydiving suit and pulled up to 30 feet in the air. Once you get as high as your comfort level will allow, you let go and slide all the way down. My daredevil 6 year old went all the way up and got off yelling “THAT WAS AMAZING!!!” and wanted to go again and again.
They have bungee trampolines that harness you in and allow for major air and some stunts. The littles really liked this and it was fun to watch the bigger kids really go.
There were other activities we didn’t get to do because of the ages of our kids, but it was so fun to watch other guests doing the skywalk (an obstacle course suspended from the very high ceiling), the zip line and extreme wall. It’s truly an all ages experience.
At the end of the party, my kids didn’t want to leave. We were all so impressed with the endless things to do, the helpfulness of the staff and as a mom, I was so happy to get to enjoy the party instead of running around playing hostess. It was such a relief to have most of the party planned and taken care of before we even walked through the door.