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Birthday Party Basics

Birthday Party Basics

Days & Times

  • Parties can be booked year-round on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 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 Wonderland Express theme has a $450 base rate.
  • The cost is $20 for each additional child (up to 25 children maximum).
  • 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 can 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.


  • 2 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 4 chaperones.

Booking Process

  • Call (847) 835-8275to 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 remainer is due three weeks prior
    to the party. If the party is booked at three weeks, 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 cancelled 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

  • All parties except Wonderland Express will begin and end at the Learning Center. Children should be dropped off and picked up at the Learning Center located on the Learning Campus. Wonderland Express locations will be determined at time of booking.
  • 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, April through October parties will include a tram ride. November through March parties (except Wonderland Express) will include a nature or greenhouse walk. In case of inclement weather, back up 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 back-up supply of candles
  • A staff person to assist in serving cake and in clean-up. Staff will help 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.