The weather outside is frightful, but not inside Tutu-a-Gogo, a little shop in Windsor that specializes in parties for girls. Despite the dreary skies and cold winds of the season, the shop is filled with the warm smiles of giggling girls ready to be dolled up for an afternoon of tutus, makeup and sparkles as they celebrate the birthday girl.
"The girls all come in, and they're shy at first," owner Leah Wilson said, describing the classic bashfulness that starts out nearly every party held in her store. But once the tutus start making an appearance and the girls are sparkling with glitter, the shyness is soon forgotten.
"I don't know what glitter does," she said. "It transforms little girls."
In winter, when outdoor gatherings aren't possible but the prospect of having a herd of high-energy kids stampeding around the house gives parents pause, indoor-party spots like Tutu-a-Gogo are a godsend.
It began as a mobile business in October 2011. But the popularity of the shop prompted Wilson to seek out a brick-and-mortar location on the Windsor Town Green. Specializing in parties, the shop hosts themed celebrations inside their store or on location at the party girl's (or sometimes boy's) home. The various themes include Rock Star Fabulous, Pink Princess, and Tinkerbell & The Mighty Pirates, a co-ed choice.
A classic girls' party might include tutus, makeup, nails, and even temporary tattoos. A stage and runway can be set up for aspiring stars to strut their stuff. Sometimes the girls will be led outside through the Windsor Town Green for an impromptu parade. And at the end of the party, the girls get to keep their tutus and other adornments, so parents need not worry about providing party favors.
Here are a few other choices for indoor parties in Sonoma County:
Kids with a racing streak will want to head over to Driven Raceway in Rohnert Park. The indoor racing facility offers not only their competition electric carts for both kids and adults, but also mini-golf, an arcade room and a mini bowling alley. The basic Grand Prix party at Driven includes laps around the track, Arcade Cash, a private party room with set-up and clean-up, and a Driven T-shirt for the birthday kid.
Filled with giant inflatable jumping structures, tunnels and tubes to climb through, slides and nets, Kids Party Central is a popular place for an indoor birthday party. Included in the basic package are activities such as arts & crafts, rock climbing, a private party room with set-up and clean-up, use of the ball pit and inflatables, party favors, pizza and beverage choice.
The Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks Department is loaded with fun for kids. Gaining popularity are their indoor-sports-themed parties, particularly their dodgeball birthday parties. Designed for kids 8-14 years old, the 2-hour party includes a short lesson on dodgeball, games centered around the throwing sport, competitive team games, a game instructor and a supervised gym. Parties are held at the Steele Lane Community Center.
My Gym Santa Rosa has become a fun place for energetic kids to let off some steam, no matter what the weather is like outside. Geared toward younger kids, the birthday child and their guests will enjoy use of the entire facility and be treated to games and activities meant specifically for their age group. The children's gym promotes activity-based fun, keeping kids moving through structured play and fitness-related activities. It is also known for its cleanliness.
For a list of other indoor party places, visit pressdemocrat.com/indoorplay.
Crissi Langwell is the moderator and blogger at SantaRosaMom.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.