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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Holiday Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides from Indian Valley Carriages

November 20, 2010

Indian Valley Carriages covered wagonIf you live in Novato or spend time there, especially around the holidays, you can't help but notice the beautiful horse-drawn carriages traversing the length of Grant Avenue, and making their way around town in search of the most magnificent holiday light displays. These classy but decidedly old-fashioned vehicles are owned and operated by Novato resident Gary Sello and his Indian Valley Carriage Company. If you're looking for a family outing in Marin that is truly unique, fun, and stress-free, then you should consider the offerings of Indian Valley Carriage.

Based in Novato's rural Indian Valley neighborhood, Gary and Indian Valley Carriage operate several different carriages, including a formal black and maroon vis-à-vis (where up to six passengers sit facing each other), a three-seat surrey (with a fringe on top!) that can carry four to six passengers, and a large covered wagon that seats up to twelve.

Live Animal Birthday Bashes and More at Marin Treks

September 15, 2010

Geckos at Marin TreksHave you been to the Marin Treks Natural History Museum yet? It's a great place to take the kids to learn about nature and the environment and to have some hands-on fun with their collection of live animals. Did you know they also offer awesome birthday parties, too?

Let Marin Treks make your child's next birthday party a day to remember! You can hold your party outdoors at a local park or trail or at their museum in Novato. Marin Treks' exciting hands-on birthday adventures allow the birthday girl or boy and their guests to hold and learn about the museum's amazing collection of live reptiles, amphibians, insects, and arachnids. Discuss where they live, what they eat, how they avoid predators, and a whole lot more. The children are encouraged to ask as many questions as they can and then try to answer their own questions by carefully observing the animals, just like real scientists.

Recycled Art Birthday Parties with Liesha Eberst

September 8, 2010

Recycled artRecycled Art birthday parties are a combination of art, science and storytelling for kids ages 2 and up. Children learn to look at familiar objects in new ways as they become stewards of the land. Partygoers will brainstorm ways to turn trash into treasures and learn about the world around us. Not only are these workshops a great way to celebrate a birthday, they are also a great way to celebrate amazing "Planet eARTh"!

Parties are offered in-home or at your birthday party venue, as well as through the Fairfax Community Center. Packages start at $125 for 1 hour with a 10 student maximum. Ongoing classes are also held at the Fairfax Community Center for kids ages 2–4, as well as through the Mill Valley Parks and Rec Center for elementary age children.

Visit www.lieshaeberst.com for more information or call Liesha at (415) 513-3626 to reserve your party.

Theme Birthday Parties at Tiburon's Ark Row Center

August 9, 2010

Theme birthday party at Ark Row Center in TiburonIf you're looking for a place to hold a children's birthday party in southern Marin, check out Tiburon's Ark Row Center for Enrichment. In addition to offering numerous enrichment classes and programs for both children and adults, this facility in downtown Tiburon offers fun theme birthday parties.

Choose your party theme (superheroes, princess, surfing, sports, etc.) and Ark Row Center will provide an activity or project, including art, dance, games, and more. All supplies are included. You bring the cake and paper goods, and pizzas are welcome, too. Parties take place in the spacious art studio room or the large outdoor patio.

Theme parties cast $200 for two hours for 8 children and $18 for each additional child. Party time slots are from 10 am to noon, 1 to 3 pm, or 4 to 6 pm. Call Robin for your party consultation at (415) 435-2200.

Ark Row Center for Enrichment is located at 122 Main Street in Tiburon. For more information on the center and their wide variety of programs and classes, visit www.arkrowcenter.com.

Cool Cooking Birthday Parties with Pine Point Cooking School

February 18, 2010

Pine Point Cooking School birthday partyLooking for a unique hands-on birthday party for kids ages 9–15? Celebrate your child's birthday with a fun and delicious cooking party at Sausalito's Pine Point Cooking School! The guests and birthday girl/boy will learn to prepare a tasty Mediterranean-inspired lunch or dinner, and of course eat it, too.

Partygoers will cook appetizers, marin courses, side dishes, and dessert. Possible dishes include Greek cheese triangles, roast polenta, chicken saltimbocca, and pizza. The menu is planned with the birthday honoree's tastes in mind. The lesson turns into a party as everyone eats what they've cooked around the dining table (parents are invited, too). The celebration wraps up with party favors and a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" over dessert!

Get Your LEGO Fix at Play-Well TEKnologies—Parties, Classes, and Drop-in Fun

January 11, 2010

LEGO creation at Play-Well TEKnologies“Wow!” my son shouted as we walked in the door and laid eyes on all the LEGO kits and pieces in the room at Play-Well Teknologies in San Anselmo. We have been trying to visit “the LEGO place” (as my son calls it) and try one of their drop-in open-play sessions for a while now, but something always seemed to come up. We finally made it there last week with some friends for a playdate, and we all had a blast.

Play-Well TEKnologies' Marin Engineering Center features a large area dedicated just for the drop-in play. In fact, it's the largest drop-in LEGO center in the country. My son was in awe—they seemed to have every type of LEGO imaginable. Dozens of bins keep the LEGO pieces, reportedly over a million in all, organized by color, size, type, or theme, including wheels, ships, planes, engines, pirates and much, much more.

The Barnyardigans Bring the Zoo to You (Business Closed)

December 21, 2009

Bring the petting zoo to your party with the Barnyardigans, a mobile petting zoo and pony ride company that specializes in children’s birthday parties. The Barnyyardigans brings animals to your birthday party venue whether it's your house, backyard, or local open space area or park—they'll even work with you and your local city recreation department in finding a suitable party venue that permits animals. They're certified and fully insured, and are licensed by the Marin Humane Society. You may have even seen the Barnyardigans zoo at various spots throughout Marin and Sonoma counties this fall, including the Nicasio Valley Farms pumpkin patch and Garlock Christmas Tree Farm in Sebastopol.

Spooky Halloween Tunes from The Chills!

September 27, 2009

The ChillsLooking for the right tunes to set the mood for your Halloween party? The Chills might be the very thing you're looking for! In fact, if your kids are like ours, this CD will get quite a bit of air time around the house, even when it's not Halloween. The Chills are billed as "An un-dead version of the Village People," but are in reality are local singer/songwriter Ira Marlowe and his Brainy Tunes team. Ira's put together a CD of terrifying tunes that children and families will find both spooky, hilarious, and irresistable.

Tracks include songs about ghosts (Ghost Story, Haunting School), mad scientists (Brat Machine, The Long and Curious Saga of Dr. Trulaine), the Blob, creepy little men (Fear of Little Men), and other spooky things. Favorites in our home include Here Comes the Mummy, and Boogerman's Theme. Some of the lyrics are definitely on the scary side, and The Creeps is recommended for children 5 and up. That doesn't stop our 3-year-old from loving the album, though, so it all depends on the kid, ultimately.

Tutu School Dances Across the Bridge to Larkspur!

September 10, 2009

Popular San Francisco-based ballet school Tutu School is now open in its second location in Larkspur! At Tutu School, children ages 18 months to 8 years have the unique opportunity to learn basic motor skills and build rhythmic awareness through creative movement, ballet, and storytelling, all set to the classical tunes of great composers like Bach and Tchaikovsky.
Tutu School's mission is to provide a magical space and nurturing environment for children to develop a positive relationship with both music and movement through the exploration of ballet. Each class concludes with "Ballet Story Time," where students' imaginations take them to places where fairies, princesses, and whirling dervishes take flight.
In addition to their "Exploring Ballet" program, Tutu School offers "Tutu Toddlers" classes for toddlers to take with a parent or nanny; custom birthday party packages; and "Tutu Camp" during the summer months. Tutu School Larkspur will continue to provide a safe haven for toddlers and kids to learn ballet, while allowing their parents to relax at the neighboring shops and restaurants of the Larkspur Landing Shopping Center.

Pony Party at Morning Star Farm

September 9, 2009

Riding a pony at a Morning Star Farm pony partyWhat child doesn't dream of being a cowgirl or cowboy, riding their pony across the range? When my daughter was invited to a Pony Party for a friend's birthday at Novato's Morning Star Farm, we were all pretty excited. In case you're not familiar with it, Morning Star Farm is the large equestrian facility that you'll see in west Novato at the corner of Novato Boulevard and Sutro Avenue, directly across the street from San Marin High School.

Morning Star's Pony Parties are for children ages 3 and up, and our suitable for children up to 9 years old, although older kids can be accomodated with larger mounts if needed. The Pony Parties include one hour of hand-led pony rides, a trip to the farm's petting zoo—which includes goats, lambs, pigs miniature horses, ducks, and bunnies, and play time on their large play structure. Each child's pony ride lasts five to seven minutes and takes them through Morning Star Farm's scenic grounds.

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.