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Fresh Birthday Ideas

Three cool party venues

Boston is full of great birthday party spots. Unfortunately, many of them are so played out. For something different, try one of these under-the-radar ideas.

At the Boston Fire Museum (344 Congress St., Fort Point), the birthday boy (or girl) gets to be an honorary firefighter for a day—while party guests pose on the equipment, ring the bells, and put out a pretend fire. The museum recommends no more than 25 kids for a two-hour bash, which costs $200. You’ll have to bring the food, but they do have a fridge to keep it in.
Dance instructors pump up a customized soundtrack and teach an age-appropriate hip-hop routine at BabyCakes parties (314 Main St., Charlestown). Ninety-minute packages start at $275 for twelve kids; cake and decorations can be provided at an additional cost.
And though it's not convenient for everyone, we like the idea of the Be Sweet party package at the new Be Styled blow-dry lounge in Wellesley, opening on August 9th at 67 Center Street. Kids get blow-outs, snacks, cupcakes and balloons; parents get mimosas. Parties are limited to eight girls and prices start at $24 per child; the birthday girl's 'do is free.