The Heard Museum offers birthday parties for children (see party descriptions for age requirements) on Saturdays and Sundays by reservation. Children will explore the natural world both inside and out in the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary!
Celebrate your child’s birthday with a nature connection! This unique party experience features a live animal encounter and a guided hike on one of our most popular trails or a walk through the Animals of the World exhibit. Then relax in your private party room where you can enjoy a birthday party cake and other refreshments you provide.
Does your child love dinosaurs? The Dino party experience is highlighted by a guided hike to visit the life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs on our Dinosaurs Live! exhibit trail (only available when dinosaurs are here – usually Sept through mid-Feb, check with us for exact dates)
Classic Party Package includes:
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Up to 15 attendees:
Up to 25 attendees:
Up to 35 attendees:
Price determined by headcount day of party. Attendees include persons attending age 3+, hosts included.
Up to 75 attendees:
Saturday 10 A.M. – 12 P.M.
Saturday 2 P.M. – 4 P.M.
Sunday 2 P.M. – 4 P.M.
Deposit (required, non-refundable):
Make your birthday a truly out-of-this-world event by booking a Magic Planet Birthday Party! This package features our new 4-foot diameter Magic Planet digital global display. This interactive globe will provide your guests with hands-on fun as they explore our earth and solar system.
Magic Planet Package includes:
Member Rate: $200
Non-Member Rate: $250
Saturday 10 A.M. – 12 P.M.
Saturday 2:30 P.M. – 4 P.M.
Sunday 2:30 P.M. – 4 P.M.
Deposit (required, non-refundable):
Our educational birthday parties are designed for children ages 5 and up. We are happy to do parties for younger children, but please be aware that it is often necessary to shorten the length of the animal presentation and hike to accommodate the attention span of younger guests.
The headcount includes everyone attending the party including the birthday party child, parents, siblings and invited guests. Children ages 2 years and younger are free and not included in the party headcount. Parties are offered on Saturdays at 10am and 2pm and on Sundays at 2pm.
Dinosaur Parties are offered only while our Dinosaurs Live! exhibit is here (typically fall through early winter–See the Dinosaurs Live exhibit page for applicable dates). Like our Classic party, a live animal presentation is included, but instead of a hike on the Hoot Owl Trail guests are taken on a guided trail of the Dinosaurs Live! exhibit.
Birthday parties are held in the Ladybug Classroom and adjacent amphitheater on the lower level of the main building. Child-height trapezoid shaped tables are arranged together to seat up to 20 children. There is room for a couple of adult-sized chairs in the corner of the room; additional adults may stand or sit in the amphitheater. This summer, parties will be capped at 25 guests. Should COVID-19 conditions change, we do reserve the right to limit the number of people attending a party.
Birthday parties begin in the amphitheater where your staff Party Host will give a live animal presentation with your choice of two of our animal ambassadors that guests may touch if desired (please note that during COVID-19, the animals will not be able to be touched, we apologize for the inconvenience and hope to bring this back as soon as the virus allows). Our party ambassadors include several snakes, turtles, lizards and small mammals (ask for current list of available animals). As our animals are all rehabilitated, their health and safety is of the utmost importance to us. Therefore, we do require that masks be worn during the animal presentation when individuals will come into close contact with them. After a short break to sanitize hands, the Party Host will lead everyone on a guided nature hike on the Hoot Owl Trail or through the Animals of the World exhibit. The Dinosaurs Live! trail can also be selected when the exhibit is here. After returning to the classroom, the remaining time (typically about 30-40 minutes) is available for you to celebrate with a cake or light refreshments, etc.
Simple decorations that do not require being attached to the walls or ceilings are permitted, such as table cloths and table-top decorations. Small banners or signs may be taped to the white board. No confetti or glitter is allowed. At the end of the party, you are responsible for removing all decorations and hanging material. Any damage to walls, tables, chairs or displayed items in the room may be assessed a damage fee.
If you bring refreshments, there is plenty of counter space you can use for your items. Please bring your own flatware, plates, napkins, serving utensils, cups, matches for birthday candles, etc. There are no appliances, so we recommend selecting food that does not require heating and to bring a cooler to keep things cold if needed. No food deliveries to the museum front desk are allowed. Please arrange to meet any deliveries yourself outside the museum building. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
As the host of your child’s party, you help set the tone for a successful celebration. We’re counting on you to take responsibility for the conduct of your guests. By making your reservation, you acknowledge that you accept responsibility for any injuries, damages, or theft that occur on the premises as a result of your group’s involvement. Please help us maintain a safe, clean and fun environment for all guests to enjoy!
Because we will go outside on a nature walk, please encourage your guests to wear closed-toe shoes appropriate for walking on uneven gravel, dirt or boardwalk paths and to dress to be comfortable outside—bring rain coats, jackets, gloves, etc. depending on weather. Insect repellent and sunscreen may also be desired, especially during spring, summer and fall.
Unless is it raining very hard, thundering and lightning, or there is too much ice on the ground, we can go outside. If possible, we often simply adjust the order of events to catch an opening in the weather. For example, we might do the hike first if rain is expected later. If the decision is made to not go outside, we can visit the indoor exhibits instead and/or extend the animal presentation. We will not cancel a party unless the museum has been closed —in which case we will reschedule or refund your party. If you choose to cancel it yourself, we will do our best to reschedule your party, but no refund will be given and a change fee may be charged. For Dinosaur Parties—please note that the dinosaurs may not run if the temperature is below about 45°F and may occasionally experience mechanical issues. A discount will not be given if the dinosaurs are not running.
You are allowed access to the party room 15 minutes before the start of your party to set up (i.e. 9:45am for a 10:00am party or 1:45pm for a 2pm one). If you require additional time, and the room is available, an additional fee may be charged.
You must have the room clear of all your items, including decorations, by 15 minutes after the party time ends (i.e. 12:15pm for a 10:00am party; 4:15pm for a 2pm party). Your staff Party Host will take care of wiping down tables and sweeping the floor, etc. You and any of your guests included in the party headcount are welcome to stay and enjoy the museum afterwards.
You can request Laughlin Hall for an additional fee (see website for current pricing). Laughlin Hall is a larger room on the upper level of the main building that can accommodate up to 75 guests. (Groups larger than 75 must be booked in the SRC through our venue rental department, see below.) In Laughlin Hall, the room is set up with adult-sized rectangular 6 foot folding tables and stacking chairs. Decoration and refreshment guidelines are the same as those for a classroom party and use of the kitchen facilities is not included. The usual set up for Laughlin Hall is 6 tables in a U-shape, with chairs on both sides of the tables, 2 tables at the front of the room for items you bring, with additional chairs along the edge of the room.
Education parties are a package party booked through the education department with a focus on the educational activities (animal presentation and nature hike). If you would like your party to last longer than 2 hours, have more than 75 total guests, need to be scheduled at different times than education parties, to be catered and/or need use of a kitchen, or have more elaborate decorations than can be set up in 15 minutes, then we suggest that you consider booking your party as a Heard Venue Rental. Rental bookings are not scheduled through education and do not include the animal presentation, hike or museum admission. These education activities may be scheduled for your venue rental for an additional fee if there is education staff available (prices start at $100 per activity). See our rental page for additional information.
As you enter the Museum gates, park in the first lot on your right if space is available. If all these parking spots are taken, continue past the Main Museum to the first available parking space in one of the overflow parking lots. There is no fee for parking.
There is not an elevator in the building, but there is a ramp outside the gift shop that will take you to the lower level. You are welcome to use a cart or wagon to haul items.
Yes, you can view the room; however, you must contact us to schedule a viewing ahead of time so we can make sure that the room in not in use and an education staff person is available to show you the room.
Magic Planet Parties are designed for ages 5 and up
The package price is based on the number of guests in attendance. The number of guests includes everyone attending the party, i.e. the birthday child, parents, siblings, and invited guests. Children ages 2 years and younger are free and not included in the party headcount. Parties are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.
Magic Planet parties are held in the Magic Planet room located in the Exhibit Hall of the main building. Three six-foot rectangular tables are arranged in a U-shape to seat up to 20 guests. Two sets of risers can provide seating for another 15 guests.
The party will begin with your choice of a guided hike or an animal presentation, followed by guided time with the Magic Planet, our 4-ft interactive digital projection globe. After these activities, the remaining time (typically about 30-45 minutes) is available for whatever you would like to do, such as serving refreshments or opening gifts.
Tablecloths, table-top decorations, and birthday banners that can be hung from our already-installed wall hooks are permitted. No confetti, glitter, or wall decorations are allowed. Any damage to walls, tables, chairs, or other items may be assessed a damage fee.
You may bring bottled water, cake/cupcakes, and food items such as veggie/fruit trays and pre-packaged snacks to place on the four-foot serving table. This room does not have countertop space, sink, or appliances. Please bring your own flatware, plates, napkins, serving utensils, cups, matches, etc. You are welcome to bring a cooler to keep cold your bottled water.
You may arrive up to 15 minutes prior to the start of your party, and you must depart by 15 minutes after the end of the party. Your Party Facilitator will take care of wiping down tables, sweeping the floor, and pulling the trash. You and any guests included in the party headcount are welcome to stay and enjoy the museum afterwards.
As the host of your child’s party, you set the tone for a successful celebration, and we’re counting on you to take responsibility for the conduct of your guests. Behavioral expectations for a museum are different from behavioral expectations for a park or a home. By making your reservation, you acknowledge that you accept responsibility for any injuries, damages, or thefts that occur on the premises as a result of your group’s involvement
Our Magic Planet room can only accommodate a maximum of 35 guests for 90 minutes. If you plan to have more than 35 guests or need more than 90 minutes, you must choose a birthday party option in either the Ladybug classroom or Laughlin Hall.
Education parties are a package party booked through the education department with a focus on educational activities (Magic Planet, Animal Ambassador, or Guided Hike). If you would like to book a party that does not fit within the guidelines of an education party, then please consider booking your party as a Heard Venue Rental.