A few months ago, I wrote an article for FresYes about one of the best, yet little known places to hold a child’s birthday in the Fresno area (if you didn’t catch it then, you can read it here, spoiler alert – it’s California Pizza Kitchen!). Out of the nearly 100 articles I’ve written for FresYes, that particular article was shared more than any other (by hundreds of shares!), which leads me to believe it’s highly likely there are a number of readers looking for fun, yet affordable and stress-free local places to hold a birthday party. Lucky for you dear readers, I have a need to people-please, so this week I’m happy to share with you a second, fantastic, yet little-known birthday party destination: Maya Cinemas!
Going to the movies as a family in 2016 is not what I’d typically call a “bargain” entertainment option, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned from a friend this weekend (thank you so much Natalie Wallis!) that Maya Cinemas offers an awesome birthday package for kids at a price that won’t make parents feel like they’re living out a horror movie.
For just $10 per child, your birthday girl or boy can enjoy a movie party with friends along with reserved seating, popcorn, fruit snacks and a drink. Kids get to choose their own drink from the fancy Free-Style soda machines that offer 127 different soda and flavor combinations. I suppose this could be a downside, ha — “We missed the movie because junior couldn’t decide between cherry ginger ale and vanilla root beer.” Typically, this kids’ food combination is $7.50 alone and a child’s movie ticket is $7.50, so this party ticket offers a $5 savings per child and provides a reserved seat! Also available is a spacious party room available for use 1 hour prior to the movie of your choice, or one hour following the movie. The room will be setup with tables and chairs and allow your group to enjoy cake, ice cream, games or gift opening together in a private space. In this room, Maya Cinemas allows outside food, and with so many nearby dining options, parents could enjoy take out dishes from Mad Duck, Wahoo’s, Pieology or Dog House Grill while the kids celebrate together. The cost for renting this room is $75, and clean-up will be taken care of by Maya Cinema’s gracious and friendly party hosts, and for those of us who’ve hosted a few birthdays at home – you know having someone clean for you can be priceless!
I really love the idea of having a birthday at the movie theater because the entertainment is completely handled, you have the option to use on-site space for the other elements of the party, snacks are provided and your only other expenses are any custom decorations that you want (balloons are provided by Maya Cinemas) party favors (if using) and birthday dessert (which is optional, too, since party guests already had a snack).
When we host home birthday parties, my costs (even using bargain options such as bounce house rentals from Craigslist and inexpensive pizza as a main course) usually end up around $225-250, and after the party I’m left with a considerable mess to clean. I typically allow my son to invite a max of ten friends to his birthday, so with Maya Cinemas my costs could be $175, my son and his friends would have a blast, and the work required of me would be quite minimal. I’m going to call Maya Cinemas’ birthday party package a big win!
Maya Cinemas is Fresno’s newest theater offering 16 screens, optional private seating and enhanced viewing experiences. The theater is located in the new Campus Pointe shopping center located directly East of the Save Mart Center/Fresno State. To set up a party or for more information, please call 559-325-5510 and ask to speak with a manager.