SITE: Miami Children's Museum
ADDRESS: 980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132
WEB SITE: www.miamichildrensmuseum.org
VISUALS & VIBE: Designed with kids in mind, the Miami Children's Museum features a variety of hands-on exhibits and attractions, such as the Castle of Dreams, a two-story sand castle replica, and the KidScape Village, which is filled with child-sized “stores” where kids can pretend to shop.
EVENT AREAS: The entire 56,500-square-foot museum may be rented for events of up to 1,000 guests; the 30,000-square-foot first floor is also available for events with up to 600 guests. Other areas include the 250-seat auditorium with stadium-style seating; three classrooms, each with 100-person capacity; a technology center with 20 computers loaded with kid-friendly art programs; and Everglades Park, a 2,800-square-foot outdoor exhibition space.
FUN FACTOR: Children can play at being a news anchor in the museum's television studio, a rock star in the music studio, or a boat captain in the cruise ship exhibit.
“The museum sets itself apart because of its dramatic design and flexibility. The environment is colorful, appealing and does not require a large design budget. Unlike venues that are designed for adults, the museum only has kids in mind — or those adults who never want to grow up!”
— Jordan Kenna, director of marketing & public relations
SITE: Universal Studios Hollywood
ADDRESS: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
WEB SITE: www.universalstudioshollywood.com
VISUALS & VIBE: Universal Studios Hollywood theme park brings the world of movies to life with attractions based on the studios' films such as “Jurassic Park” and “The Mummy.”
EVENT AREAS: The entire 415-acre theme park can be bought out for events of up to 20,000 guests. Areas include the 96,000-square-foot, 6,000-capacity Globe Theatre and the new Nickelodeon Blast Zone, a 30,000-square-foot playground that includes attractions geared toward younger children, such as the Wild Thornberrys Adventure Temple. Cartoon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants, the Rugrats, and Shrek and Fiona can also make appearances at private events.
FUN FACTOR: Event groups can arrange private behind-the-scenes tours of the studio back lot, allowing children to see how movies are made.
“Kids today are very tuned in to pop culture — they are fascinated with movie and TV productions and often seek Hollywood-themed events. Since our clients have selected a bona fide Hollywood studio as their party location, many request red carpet entrances at their events.”
— Evelyn Taylor, director of special events and convention sales
SITE: Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex
ADDRESS: 23rd Street and the Hudson River, New York, NY 10011
WEB SITE: www.chelseapiers.com
VISUALS & VIBE: Located on the banks of the Hudson River in mid-Manhattan, this 30-acre facility features five sports venues including the Sky Rink, an indoor skating rink, and the Field House, an 80,000-square foot athletic complex. The venue offers sports-themed party packages for birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, and school and youth group outings.
EVENT AREAS: Spaces include two 1,750-square-foot mezzanines in the Field House, which can each accommodate 125 for receptions, and the recently renovated 5,500-square-foot, 350-reception-capacity Sunset Terrace. Located in the Sky Rink, the terrace features retractable glass walls that offer views of the river and the Statue of Liberty.
FUN FACTOR: Children can literally climb the walls in the Field House, which features a 28-by-50-foot rock-climbing wall that can be reserved for private events.
“We're the only venue in New York City to offer event space in addition to a wide range of sporting activities, such as gymnastics, rock climbing, golf, seasonal inline skating and year-round ice-skating. Our diverse team of professional instructors includes former Olympic coaches and medal winners.”
— Lauren McCourt, special events manager