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Birthday Party Basics

Birthday Party Basics

Days & Times

  • Parties can be booked year-round on select Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Due to construction on the Learning Campus planned for 2015-2016, space is limited.
  • Morning parties are from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Afternoon parties are from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Cost & Capacity

  • There is a $325 base rate for up to 15 children for Garden Plus members only. 
  • The cost is $20 for each additional child (up to 25 children maximum).
  • The base rate for the Wonderland Express theme is $450.
  • Model Railroad Garden and Wonderland Express parties have a capacity limit for adults. The base rate includes 15 adults; each additional child allows for one additional adult. If needed, additional adult tickets may be purchased in advance at the regular member rates ($5 for Model Railroad Garden, $10 for Wonderland Express).


  • Parties are geared towards children turning ages 4 and up. See party themes for specific age information.
  • Children ages 2 and under are welcome at no additional charge and do not count toward total capacity with a responsible adult per child.


  • Two chaperones minimum; one chaperone should be available to serve as a greeter to guests at the party.
  • Parties for children turning 4 require a minimum of four chaperones.

Booking Process

  • Call (847) 835-8275 to book your party date.
  • Parties must be booked a minimum of three weeks in advance.
  • A nonrefundable 50 percent balance is due at booking; the remainder is due three weeks prior to the party. If the party is booked three weeks in advance, the entire balance due upon booking.
  • You will receive a confirmation letter and invitation inserts including the date, time, and drop-off location for the party. The insert will serve as the free parking pass for guests.

Cancellation Policy

  • You may cancel or change the date of your party up three weeks prior to the date of the party.
  • If the birthday child is unable to attend due to medical reasons, an alternate date may be scheduled by providing a doctor’s note.
  • Programs canceled by the Garden due to Garden closure will automatically be fully refunded. You’ll be notified of a cancellation 24 hours prior to the start of the program. Should this occur, you may opt to reschedule to another date.

Location & Parking

  • During 2015–16, all parties will meet in the Annexes. Children should be dropped off and picked up at the picnic tables in parking lot #2. All party locations will be determined at time of booking and that location will be included in the confirmation letter and the parking pass.
  • Guests should bring their invitation insert with them to receive free parking. Clients and guests receive free parking for the entire day. Parents not attending the party are welcome to stay at the Garden for the duration of the party.
  • Weather permitting, parties in April through October will include a tram ride. Parties in November through March  (except during Wonderland Express) will include a nature or Greenhouse walk. In case of inclement weather, backup indoor activities will be provided.

What the Garden Provides

  • A fun, educational, nature-themed birthday party and all materials, including games, take-home elements, and a plant
  • Parties facilitated by Garden staff
  • Serving utensils (knife and spatula), matches, and a backup supply of candles
  • A staff person to assist in serving cake and in clean-up. Staff will help with client load-in and load-out, but additional decorations must be set up by the client
  • Invitation inserts including date, time, and drop-off location for the party
  • Basic room décor of birthday banners and wall hangings

What the Client Provides

  • Dessert, beverages, paper goods (cups, plates, napkins, and plastic ware), candles (if desired), invitations, and additional decorations (if desired).

    Note: Due to licensing and insurance requirements, only dessert and beverages may be
    brought in for a party.


  • Approved decorations include hats, table coverings, and centerpieces.
  • Balloons, glitter, confetti, bubbles, and streamers are not allowed.

goody bags

  • Garden-themed goody bags are available through the Garden Shop. For more information about goody bags, please call (847) 835-6920. (click to view; "girl" option shown)


  • Please request that your guests come dressed for the weather. Weather permitting, parties will include time spent outside.
  • Guests should wear clothes that are comfortable for outdoor and indoor activities, and hands-on — often messy — fun.