SITE: The Tech Museum of Innovation
ADDRESS: 201 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
WEB SITE: www.thetech.org
VISUALS: Designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta, the museum features more than 250 high-tech exhibits housed in modern steel and glass galleries in downtown San Jose.
EVENT AREAS: In addition to the Grand Lobby and New Venture Hall, there are four interactive exhibit galleries; 25 to 2,500 guests can be accommodated in various spaces throughout the museum.
SPECIAL SPACE: The 12,000-square-foot, 295-seat Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater features a wraparound screen and is available for exclusive viewings of such IMAX films as “Bugs!” and “Santa vs. The Snowman.”
KID APPEAL: The four main exhibit galleries contain interactive exhibits — such as a simulated bobsled ride and a design studio that uses animation, sound and video to create a digital “room” — that educate and entertain children (and adults) of all ages. Birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs and high school proms have all been held here.
SITE: Petersen Automotive Museum
ADDRESS: 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
WEB SITE: www.petersen.org
VISUALS: The museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of the automobile and shows how it shaped life in southern California. A Streetscape diorama, displays of vintage, race and concept cars, and the Grand Salon provide an entertaining backdrop for events.
EVENT AREAS: The 300,000-square-foot museum is made up of exhibition galleries and reception/conference areas set on four floors; the Connor Pavilion and Founder's Lounge offer views of the Hollywood Hills.
SPECIAL SPACE: The 6,500-square-foot May Family Discovery Center and Birthday Party Room provide interactive fun in an educational setting.
KID APPEAL: The Discovery Center was designed with children of all ages in mind. It features more than a dozen interactive exhibitions and activities — such as the Vroom Room, where children can climb aboard a police motorcycle and learn about how sound travels, and an overhead display of giant rotating gears — that illustrate scientific principles via the automobile.
SITE: NBA Store
ADDRESS: Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, New York, NY 10103
PHONE: 877/NBA-EVENT (622-3836)
WEB SITE: www.nba.com/nycstore
VISUALS: This sporty venue for bar/bat mitzvahs and birthday parties offers two levels of basketball-themed revelry. A center court broadcast studio, giant video board and basketball court add to the sports decor.
EVENT AREAS: The 35,000-square-foot venue can host 700 guests for receptions and can seat 200.
SPECIAL SPACE: The official basketball half-court with a regulation-size hoop brings game-day excitement to every event; free throw shooting contests and other games can all be viewed on the arena-sized Jumbotron and monitors.
KID APPEAL: All children's celebrations showcase a basketball theme, with such features as NBA and WNBA mascot and dance team appearances and video game systems sporting the latest NBA video games. An emcee and deejay are available to keep the party pulsing.