Birthday Party Ideas for the Nature and Animal-Lover In Your Life

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Got a pony obsessed kid? Chances are an actual pony is not in the cards, but a pony birthday party is totally doable! Or maybe you’ve got a junior scientist on your hands, who’d like nothing more than to spend the day tinkering with liquid nitrogen. From science extravaganzas to outdoor ecology games to working farms, we’ve rounded up the best science and nature birthday party spots in town.

For the Animal Lover…

Ride ‘em ponies! Have your party at Farrel-McWhirter Park and choose from a guided farm tour, pony ride or wagon ride. Party guests get to “milk” a cow (really a cute wooden cow with a milking glove), celebrate in the party room, and pose for a photo op on a real saddle. Upgrade to the deluxe package and get the party room decorated in your choice of themes (cowboy, cowgirl, pirate, princess), a goody bag and a take home activity. Cost:  $140 for 12 kids, $240 for 20 kids. Deluxe package is $315 for 20 kids.

At Kelsey Creek Farm it’s all about the animals. After meeting the farm’s pony, sheep, rabbits, goats, chickens, and pig, party guests will create a project crafted from the sheep’s wool. Then you’ll have plenty of time in the farm room for cake and presents. Cost:  $165 for 15 kids. Only $150 for Bellevue residents!

Parties at Fox Hollow Farm are completely customizable, with an impressive variety of themes and add-ons. All parties include rideable mini-tractors, animals to pet/hold, and access to the creek, barn, and large lawns. For party themes, choose from miniature train rides, bouncy houses, pony rides, or any combination of the three. Bring your own food or let them do the catering with hot dogs, shaved ice, popcorn, s’mores and other treats. You can even add on face painting and/or balloon animals. Cost:  $550 for a single theme. Additional themes and add-ons increase the cost.

What better place for an animal lover to celebrate than the zoo? Both Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo offer carousel rides and party setups in their carousel party rooms.  Cost:  $250 for 15 kids at  Point Defiance Zoo. Add a private animal appearance in the party room for $50. Woodland Park Zoo is $275 for $15 kids, with a 10% discount for zoo members.

For the Junior Scientist…

We love parties at the Pacific Science Center, because they take care of everything! Choose a theme (Weird Science, Astronomy, Dinosaurs, Bugs and Butterflies), and they provide matching decorations cake and activities. Kids will love the “Super Science Show,” which includes an interactive science activity and a liquid nitrogen ice cream demonstration, where you get to eat the ice cream you made. Party guests also get free admission to the museum on the day of the party. If you plan to stick around and explore the museum, be sure to check out our insider guide for tips on making the most of museum. Cost:  $285 for 15 kids. Discount for museum members. They also have a basic package for $155 that includes the party room and museum admission, but no decorations/cake/activities.

Play with vortex generators, chemical illusions, and slime at a Mad Science birthday party. Add on a cotton candy, rocket launch, or bubbling potion “finale” for more science fun. They will bring the science to you, or you can have the party at their “lab” in Bellevue. Cost:  $195 for 20 kids at your location. $260 at the lab. Cost increases with additional kids and finale add-ons.

For the Nature Enthusiast…

At Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, parties include a themed hike through the wetlands and a celebration in the party room amidst the treetops. They have three themes to choose from:  Bug Safari (exploring with bug boxes and magnifying glasses), Animal Mania (animal games and tracking), and for children over eight, a GPS Scavenger Hunt (learn how compasses work and go on a GPS scavenger hunt). Cost:  $200 for 15 kids. $280 for 25 kids. Discounts for Pacific Science Center members.

At Tacoma Nature Center, you can go simple and reserve the play area and picnic shelter at Discovery Pond. Discovery Pond is a natural play area with a tree house, boulder scramble, slide inside a hollow log, snag climb, pond with waterfalls and log crossing, walking trails and rain gardens. Or if you want more structure, they offer several packages with activities (nature walk and craft or geocaching adventure) and use of the party room. (Pssst…if you’re looking to visit the Tacoma Nature Center prior to throwing your party, click here for our insider guide to this awesome spot). Cost:  $150 – $200, depending on the package and number of children.

Know of any other science and nature party spots that we missed? Let us know in the comments! 

–Heidi Unruh

Photos courtesy of the Kelsey Creek Farm website, Fox Hollow Farm facebook page, Pacific Science Center facebook page, and the MSEEC