Welcome to the Marin Birthday Party Guide! Children's birthday parties are big events and big business. Browse our directory to find Marin and Bay Area birthday party venues, bounce houses, supplies, services, and entertainers, as well as articles from our web site about birthday party-related topics.

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Gymnastics Birthday Parties at GymWorld in San Rafael

January 19, 2015

GymWorld Birthday Parties San RafaelBirthday parties where everyone can burn off some energy through active play and exercise are always a lot of fun, and the Gymagic gymnastics parties offered by GymWorld, a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility in San Rafael, are a great choice for Marin County families.

GymWorld's facilities include a ton of fun activities for birthday partygoers, including a big foam pit that kids can jump and flip into off the two large trampolines that lead into it. Kids can also have fun on GymWorld's climbing wall, trampolines, tire swing, a trapeze, and cargo net.

During the party, GymWorld's fun and energetic instructors will teach kids gymnastics tricks handstands, cartwheels, rolls, and more. Instructors will adjust the party activities based on the ages of the partygoers—they have an array of over 50 different games and obstacle courses to choose from! High-energy Gymagic parties are full of music and energy and offer fun for everyone! Parties at GymWorld are ideal for kids ages 3 to 12.

Book a Family Photo Session with Marin Photographer Shannon Chiminiello

October 13, 2014

Shannon Chiminiello PhotographyMarin Mommies presents a sponsored article by Shannon Chiminiello Photography. Book a photo session now by calling (415) 497-6054.

If you are looking for a quality, experienced photographer to document your family or special event in a unique way, look no further than Shannon Chiminiello Photography!

Recognized for her unique style, Shannon is in-demand for families who are looking for something other than your standard "cookie cutter" photo session. Shannon creates one-of-a-kind photo session experiences that are low-stress for parents and fun for children (even dads have a great time!). With gentle direction, a deep commitment, and just the right blend of activity, natural portraits, and "camera unaware" moments, Shannon will capture your family or special event in a way only she can. If you are looking for a session that is full of variety, designed specifically for your family, images that are real and that will focus on relationships and feeling instead of stiff posing and fake smiles, then contact her today via her website or call 415-497-6054. You will be glad you did!

Mini Golf in Marin at McInnis Park

June 17, 2014

mini golf at McInnis Park in San RafaelI'd driven by McInnis Park off Smith Ranch Road in San Rafael many times before I realized that—hidden amongst the driving range, nine-hole golf course, clubhouse, and batting cages—there was a miniature golf course there too (it was the a little windmill and castle on the hill that tipped me off). Since then, it's been a favorite place for us to go with the kids for a fun day out.

McInnis Park's miniature golf course is a colorful, 18-hole, artist-designed course with fanciful features including an elephant with moving feet, a snail, a castle, a lighthouse, a waterfall, and a much more. The tiered, lushly landscaped course winds its way up a hill as you play and the views from the top are spectacular.

The course also offers two bonus holes at the end. Keep your ball after the 18th hole, then go down below to the bonus course that includes a dinosaur, which is always a favorite with my kids.

Tips for a Sensational Spa Birthday Party

February 24, 2014

Spa PartyMy daughter recently turned eight, and she decided on a spa theme for her birthday party. I wasn't sure where to begin, but we made a list together of things she wanted for her party, and with a little research and planning, it all came together. When the day of the party arrived we were both thrilled with the results, and her friends were, too! I forgot how much work it was to plan a party like this, but I wouldn't have done it any other way.

I thought I'd share a few or our tips and must-haves for a successful kids' spa-themed birthday party. Much of what we did was inexpensive and easy to put together, and everyone really had a good time.

Your Child's the Star with Marin Magician Julian Sterling

May 31, 2013

Magician Julian SterlingLooking for a fantastic and fun magician for your child's next birthday party? Local magician and children's performer Julian Sterling offers parties for kids of all ages where birthday boy or girl ends up being the star of the show!

Julian is the youngest professional magician in Marin County, and has tailored his amazing magic show specifically for kids' birthday parties. The birthday child is always the star of the show, receiving several magical gifts during the performance, and even peforming a trick of their own in front of everyone! Julian has performed over 1,000 magic shows for clients in Marin and the Bay Area. His tricks are designed to make kids laugh, and are fun, friendly, safe, and age-appropriate.

Julian's a pro who arrives on time, brings all his own equipment, and cleans up afterwards. All you have to do is buy pizza and cake and invite your party guests! Birthday magic programs start $195, and shows last up to one hour. The birthday child even gets a complimentary magic set!

Make Your Child's Birthday Special with a Vintage Tea Party from Little Lady Tea Parties

April 23, 2013

Little Ladies Tea PartiesIf you're looking for an elegant birthday party for your special girl, check out the offerings from Little Ladies Tea Parties. Their vintage tea parties for girls ages 4 to 7 are held in your home, backyard or local park, and include decor, costumes, food, goodies, and even custom invitations and thank-you cards.

Little Ladies Tea Parties was started by North Bay mom Mary Viau who found the local options for girls' parties lacking. These vintage tea parties offer kids a taste of elegance and formality, with linens and china, hand-made costumes, and other treats. The best thing about them is that all you have to do is create the guest list and mail the invitations—they take care of the rest.

Parties start at $350 for seven guests and the birthday girl. Additional guests (up to 12) are $35 each. Parties include invitations, hostess, furniture and decor, costumes, tea and treats, cupcakes, music and dancing, craft time, framed photos of the birthday girl and her guests, a goody bar, set up and clean up, a brief lesson in tea etiquette, and thank you cards.

Roll into Fun at Cal Skate in Rohnert Park

February 20, 2013

Cal SkateRemember those days at the roller skating rink back when you were a kid? The disco ball, the DJ, and doing that arm thing when they played YMCA by the Village People? (Am I dating myself here?) If you're nostalgic for the days of skating gone by, head up to Cal Skate in Rohnert Park, which hasn't changed all that much since I used to skate here when I was a kid.

We visited Cal Skate a few months ago, and had a blast—my daughter keeps asking me when we can go back. The kids loved the music, the lighting, and the disco ball, as well as skating, of course. They definitely picked roller skating up faster than ice skating, which they also love to do.

Lace up your skates—you can rent them or bring your own, if you have them—and hit the rink. Cal Skate offers special Kids' Skate sessions for families during the week, on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 am. These sessions for children ages 2 to 10 cost $6 and include instruction and quad skate rental, and parents can walk out onto the rink to lend a hand. They also offer a family night on Saturday evenigs from 6-8:30 pm and public skating during the week (times vary). Check out their weekly schdule here.

Marin on Ice Opens this Saturday at Northgate

November 7, 2012

Marin on IceThis Saturday, November 10 from noon to 10 pm, Marin on Ice opens at San Rafael's Northgate Mall. Open through January 13, 2013, Marin County's only holiday ice skating rink features 5,000 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. You no longer have to head up to Santa Rosa or down to San Francisco to get your holiday ice skating fix!

Special sessions at Marin on Ice include Wednesday "Mommy and Me" skating time geared toward young children and their parents, "Family Night" on Tuesday, and "Rock the Rink" on Friday evenings. Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental, and "Skate Buddies" will be on hand to assist beginners.

Marin on Ice also offers birthday parties during public skating hours. The cost is $300 for up to 10 skaters, and two-hour parties include a private ice cabana, skate rental for everyone, chairs, a special birthday announcment on Rink Radio, and a ride for the birthday boy or girl on the rink's mini zamboni. The rink's three ice cabanas can be combined so parties can be for 10, 20, or 30 people. Private rink rentals are also available for your group, organization, or business.

Have a Love2Dance Birthday Party

May 16, 2012

Do your children love to dance? Most kids do, so why not consider a dance birthday party when that time of the year rolls around. Both of my children (ages 5 and 8) recently went to birthday parties at Novato's Love2Dance dance studio. I attended both parties and have to say both of them were an absolute blast.

While Love2Dance is a serious dance studio—owner Tara-Caprice Broadwater is a former Golden State Warrior dancer with over two decades of dance experience—their birthday parties are for children with little or no dance experience who just want to have fun. Of course if you know how to dance, that makes things even better.

Tips for Great Kids' Birthday Parties from A Little Savvy Event

May 7, 2012

Birthday party at Modern Cookie CompanyIf you're a parent (and you probably are if you're reading this), you know what a big job planning a child's birthday party is. Whether you plan a party yourself or hire a planner to do it, there's a lot of work to be done, but also a lot of fun to be had.

We asked Kelly McLeskey-Dolata , the party pro at  Sonoma's A Little Savvy Event for some of her tips for planning the perfect birthday party. A Little Savvy Event creates children's parties and showers and other once-in-a-lifetime events in Marin and the Wine Country that are stylish, whimsical, and fun, and consistently wow both kids and grownups. The photos accompanying this article are from the "Puppies and Polka-Dots" birthday party they recently organized at Larkspur's wonderful Modern Cookie Company for the daughter of local jewelry designer Ashley Morgan. Check out their website at alittlesavvyevent.com to learn more about them and their parties.

What's your singlemost important tip for parents planning their child's birthday party?

The party is for your child and about them, so really try to express who they are at that time in their life into the theme and the party!

Top Birthday Party Spots

What are Marin's top birthday party spots? Here are six most popular places to hold a birthday party in our Marin Birthday Party Guide.