Children’s Birthday Parties
San Diego Botanic Garden offers two locations for children's birthday parties.
Seeds of Wonder Birthdays Click Here
Hamilton Children's Garden
Birthday Parties for Children Ages 5- 12
We reserve the picnic area in the Hamilton Children’s Garden for a birthday party. The area has
eight hexagonal picnic tables, each have individual umbrellas, and seat six people. We also add
two 6-foot folding tables for food and drinks. These tables are shaded by a 10 x 10 feet canopy
(if weather permitting). We also set up three 6-foot folding tables with 20 chairs for a craft
activity. These tables are shaded by a canopy as well.
Your guests are welcome to explore all parts of the Garden - however, only the picnic area will
be reserved for your party.
Activities that are reserved for the party
Plant Potting: We provide all materials necessary for a plant potting activity, so children can pot
a succulent plant into a biodegradable Jiffy pot to take home.
Rock painting: We provide pebbles, paint, brushes, glue, wood shapes, glitter pieces, and wiggly
eyes for fancy paper weight rocks. The same materials may be used to decorate clay pots. We do
not provide clay pots, but the host is welcome to bring them (4-inch diameter) for her/his guests.
Suggestion: Decorated clay pots with succulent plant may replace the goodie bag!
Piñata and more….: We have a good spot to set up a piñata, if desired.
Clowns, mad scientists, face painters, fairies, and princesses are permitted, however they are
required to provide liability paperwork several days before the party.
Things to do at the Hamilton Children’s Garden (open to all visitors):
Toni’s Tree House
Go on a jungle adventure in Toni’s Tree House. Find your way through the root tunnels at the
bottom, climb up the big netting, go over the bridges and have a great view from the vulture’s
nest at the very top.
Find out what vegetables and fruits are in season, water the raised plant beds, check out the
worm composting bin, and learn about a water wise way to grow vegetables in a hydroponics
and aquaponics unit.
Spell and Smell Garden
Spell your name or the name of the birthday child in plants.
Observe native California Quail. Depending on the season, our Quail have chicks and you can
see an entire family. Give them some time to come out of their hiding spots in the bushes.
Earth Builders and Balsa Wood Fort
Play in the sand, “bake” a sand bread in the big fire place and use huge balsa wood blocks to
build a fort.
Draw a picture or be creative on giant chalk boards. Check out the Artist of the Month poster and
make a craft or painting that relates to this artist.
Have fun playing instruments made of natural material, like a big bamboo chime and a
xylophone made from stone slabs. Make some noise with metal bowls and our gathering drum!
Splash in the water and let a boat go down the stream.
Birds & Butterflies
Observe butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators do their important work. Depending on
the season you may find all stages of the Monarch metamorphosis in the Butterfly Bed and
Breakfast. Try to find caterpillars on the Milkweed plants – but do not touch them! Caterpillars
cannot survive when being moved from their host plant.
Amazing Sundial, Maze, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Hop Scotch
When the sun is out, try reading the time by the shadow cast on the sundial, find your way
through the Maze, or play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe and Hop Scotch.
Be creative with huge foam blocks, ramps and balls.
Have some fun jumping from rock to rock!
Enjoy some quiet time or read a book together. You may get a chance to observe birds such as;
finches, sparrows, towhees and scrub jays taking a refreshing bath in the bubbling fountain.
Party: 10:00am – 12:30pm
A 60 min set-up time for the party is scheduled for 9:00 to 10:00 am
A 30 min clean-up is scheduled for 12:30 – 1:00 pm .
Party: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
A 60 min set-up time for the party is scheduled for 1:00 to 2:00pm
A 30 min clean-up is scheduled from 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm.
Occasionally a mid-day party may be available:
Party: 11:30am – 2:00 pm
A 60 min set-up time for the party is scheduled for 10:30 to 11:30 am
A 30 min clean-up is scheduled for 2:00 – 2:3 0 pm
We will provide table cover for the 18 feet row craft table and two 6-foot folding tables for food
and drinks. The eight hexagonal picnic tables are made from recycled plastic lumber and the
surface is in good shape. If you would prefer to cover these tables please keep in mind that there
is an umbrella mounted in the middle.
Food and drinks
The host provides all snacks, cake and drinks. There is no refrigerator or freezer available at the
Hamilton Children’s Garden. Please bring coolers and ice for temperature sensitive food.
Alcoholic beverages and private BBQs are not permitted.
We will open the Hamilton Parking Lot (and gate) for you and your guests. The host may drive
her/his car all the way up to the picnic area for unloading, but has to park the car on the parking
lot throughout the party. If driving north-bound on Quail Garden’s Drive, pass the main entrance
to SDBG (on your left) and continue driving on Quail Gardens Drive for about 500 yards. Turn
left into Ecke Ranch Rd and make an immediate left into the parking lot.
We will clean up after your party. The host just loads all of her/his belongings back into her/his
car. We provide regular trash cans and recycling bins for paper, glass and plastic.
If desired, we can set up a craft activity for your group. Please let us know in advance and we
can decide, on an individual basis, what type of activity may work for your party. Some options
to pick from would be rock painting, pot painting (host provides clay pots), or a garden themed
paper craft. Kids can also go on a scavenger hunt to find certain places or a hidden item. Hosts
are very welcome to provide their own additional activities. Please let us know ahead of time, if
you are planning on providing a special craft or other type of activity.
We do not allow smoking, balloons, pets, non-professional BBQs, open fire, ponies, alcoholic
beverages , drinks with individually wrapped straws, confetti, and jumpy castles. We need to be
notified in advance, in case you are planning on using a professional food service.
Supervision of children
Please remind your guests that all children need to be under the supervision of an adult at all
times. Some areas of the tree house can be dangerous for very young children and toddlers
need to be watched very closely on a one-on-one basis when entering the tree house area.
Please remind your guests that children are not allowed to squeeze under, beside, beneath, or
over any of the safety nettings of the tree. San Diego Botanic Garden does not provide any
supervision or guidance of children throughout the party.
The fee for a birthday party at the Hamilton Children’s Garden is $415. This fee includes
material, set-up and clean-up of all above mentioned activities, reserved use of tables and picnic
benches, 40 feet table cloth, admission to the garden for 20 adults and 20 children, reserved
parking at the Hamilton Children’s Garden parking lot. SDBG members and children under the
age of 3 are not included in the head count allowance. Additional guests may be permitted
against an extra fee. SDBG members receive a 10% discount on the birthday party package fee.
In case of rainy weather, the party may be cancelled by the host 2 to 48 hours before the party.
The deposit is 100% refundable in case of rainy weather. Please follow instructions in your
contract, regarding rainy weather cancellation.
If the party is cancelled for any other reason than rainy weather, cancellation charges are 50% of
the total fee if cancelled 15 days prior to the event. No refund is due if event is canceled 14 days
or less prior to the event.
For any questions please contact:
Dr. Susanne Brueckner, Children’s Garden Program Manager
Phone: 760/ 436 3036 x222
Fax: 760/ 632 0917
Email: [email protected]