As children get older there is slightly less need to organise big birthday parties, but that doesn’t mean teenagers don’t enjoy a good celebration. Birthdays are a great excuse to get together with friends to do a more unusual activity, or do something ordinary (like a sleep-over) with a larger group.
You’ll know your own teens best, and they probably have plenty of ideas and opinions of their own. If you find yourself being asked for the impossible or unsuitable; and you’re looking for something both possible and appropriate, how about one of these?
You can go karting indoors or outdoors – the latter is obviously more suitable in the spring and summer. You will need parental authorisation to take children karting – the tracks can give you standard letters for signing. Fire up the karts, and the testosterone, and get driving!
Indoor karting can be done at an old steelworks in Bous, Germany. This is further away, so you’ll probably have to offer to drive the children there and back. They will then participate in a race (helmets included) and there’ll be a prize giving ceremony & certificates before heading to your decorated table.
Where: Kartbahn Bous, Saarstraße 1, 66359 Bous, Germany (map)
Age Range: 8-14 years (kids need to be at least 140cm tall)
No of guests: Maximum no of 10.
Cost: €130 for 30 minute race; €230 for 30 minute race
Catering: Pizza service available. You can bring your own cake and party snacks.
Outdoor Karting is in Mondercange, Luxembourg. For safety reasons they do not take booking for children’s birthday parties at weekends. Due to the weather or other conditions the track may be closed at any time.
Set a challenge, scale the heights and earn that birthday cake with a climbing party.
Echternach Youth Hostel (Indoor Climbing)
This youth hostel offers a birthday package called ‘Tarzan’ for up to 16 children (minimum age 9) who must be accompanied by at least two adults. This comprises 2 hours of supervised climbing on the 14 m high in-house climbing wall with a qualified instructor. Knot and safety techniques are part and parcel of this sport.
Where: Chemin vers Rodenhof L-6479 Echternach (map)
Age Range: Over 9s.
No of guests: Maximum no of 16.
Cost: Member price: 195 € up to 10 children; 10 € for every additional guest. Standard price: 225 € up to 10 children; 12 € for every additional guest.
Catering: Included in the deal is the ‘Metti’ birthday package (a decorated birthday table, cake and a drink). You can upgrade to include pizza or pasta or contact the youth hostel with your special needs.
Park Le’h, Dudelange (Outdoor Climbing)
This is weather-dependent and has limited opening in winter (check the website). Ropes, nets and zip-lines allow children (and adults!) to make their way around the treetops of the park. There are different levels of difficulty available, and all equipment is supplied. The people who work there are very helpful and friendly and there is a rather nice restaurant in the park. Depending on your budget, you can order a bouncy castle, donkey rides and Segways to make the day even more special.
Where: 203 Rue du Parc, 3542 Dudelange (map)
Age Range: 2-102
No of guests: Minimum no of 11.
Cost: Normal price entry (see here); the birthday child goes in for free.
Catering: The birthday formula includes an ice-cream and drink for each child. You can bring your own cake, they can help you set up the BBQ, or you can get the food through them. Do get in touch and discuss your needs.
There are two non-lethal options in the vicinity, again, an indoor and an outdoor one.
Laser Game, Howald (indoors)
Indoors, in a dark room that smells of sweat and fear, the kids can have a blast shooting each other and hiding from each other too!
Where: 5 Rue des Bruyères, 1274 Howald (map)
Age Range: 7-77
No of guests: 8-35
Cost: 1 x 20 minutes – €13 per person; 2 x 20 minutes – €20 per person; 3 x 20 minutes – €25 per person. The birthday child goes in for free and there’s a gift for each child included.
Catering: The birthday formula includes unlimited drinks for each child (health warning: it’s mostly sweet and carbonated, so you may want to bring water as well – it’s hot in there). You can also arrange to get pizza (or other food) delivered there to eat between rounds, the owners are very relaxed and don’t mind at all.
Paintball Veckring (outdoors)
Just over the border into France in Veckring there is an enormous paintballing site. They offer adapted equipment for 8-14 year olds, and have birthday party packages. All minors will need parental authorisation to participate (form on the website). Showers are onsite and will be needed. Warning, the birthday child may have to dress as a giant rabbit.
Where: Route de Helling, 57920 Veckring, France (map)
Age Range: 8 years old and upwards
No of guests: Anything from 2 upwards. There’s a 10% discount if there’s more than 20 of you.
Cost: Various packages, based on the equipment and guns used. See here for details.
Catering: You can bring your own food and to get into the spirit, there are barbecues on-site.
Generation X may have called it an example of recreational slumming, but really, who doesn’t love bowling? There are three options in Luxembourg.
Foetz X-treme Bowling
You can have 2 hour birthday party packages, with and without food. You’re allowed to bring your own cake, but if you do, you’ll need plates etc. as well.The venue can even organise a shuttle bus for you. It does smell slightly of stale cigarette smoke from the days before the ban, but the children never seem to mind.
Where: 11 Rue du Brill, 3898 Foetz (map)
Age Range: 6 years old and upwards
No of guests: 4-7 children per lane.
Cost: €8.50 – €14 per child depending on the package you get. See here for details. Birthday child gets a present.
Catering: The package can include food such as a pizza baguette for your child. You can bring your own cake.
‘The Rock’ by Fun City, Petange
Petange has the newest bowling alley (and indoor play space for little ones) all on a Wild West theme. There are 14 lanes and a restaurant serving burgers for afterwards. No birthday package as such for the bowling (although they do offer indoor play birthday packages for ages 0-14), but it’s worth calling to see if they could arrange something; a fun day out in any case. There’s also a steak house, where you can eat kangaroo and zebra.
Where: 33 rue Robert Krieps, L-4702 Pentange (map)
Age Range: all
No of guests: please contact them
Cost: various prices depending on time and day, see here for details on the Steak House
Catering: see their website for details
Kockelscheuer has a smaller but cosier bowling alley. The birthday packages are only for children up to 14 years old. An ‘All-Inclusive’ formula (for a minimum of 10 players) includes bowling, food and drink and serves older teens well.
Where: 20 Rue de Bettembourg, 1899 Luxembourg (map)
Age Range: 6-14 for birthday package; 6-106 for all-inclusive
No of guests: Minimum 6 (birthday package) or 10 (all-inclusive package).
Cost: €12.80pp for 2 rounds of bowling, shoe hire, soft drinks and invitations; €19.80pp includes a meal.
Catering: You can bring your own cake, but expect to pay €2 per person for the privelege (and for plates and spoons). You can order a cake in advance from the bowling alley for €4.5 per head. Kids meals can be included (chicken nuggets, burgers, spaghetti or pizza)
Once again there are both indoor and outdoor options in Luxembourg.
There are no special birthday deals, but you are asked to book in advance, and they give you the option of having someone to help out on the ice (20€/hour). You can order a cake or bring your own, but are asked to order drinks and snacks from their facilities regardless. It is closed in summer (check website for season dates and special closures).
Again, there is no special birthday package, but the birthday person goes free. From 14 years old the adult price is applied. There is a café on site, and they also offer ice-karting.
Special birthday parties are only for those up to 12 years old, but after that they probably won’t want to go with you anyway… Utopolis
The most interesting pools for older teens are Les Thermes in Strassen and AquaSud in Differdange.
There are nine youth hostels in Luxembourg and they offer a number of birthday party packages, from a basic ‘Eat and Get Together’ to the ‘Let Us Entertain You’ deals. Some are aimed at younger participants, but others are suitable for teens (for example, geocaching or kayaking). Please note that not all activities are available at all hostels. There are discounts for members. If all else fails, you could always have the sleepover at a youth hostel!
There are a number of mini golf terrains in Luxembourg, and although none offer a birthday package, there’s nothing to stop you organising your own tournament and going for food afterwards.
Berdorf (has a restaurant on site)
Feature photo: heymarchetti/flickr (file)