Children’s Birthday Parties
San Diego Botanic Garden offers two locations for children's birthday parties. Seeds of Wonder is recommended for children ages 1 through 6, and the Hamilton Children's Garden is recommended for children ages 5 through 12.
Click Here for Seeds of Wonder Birthdays
Hamilton Children's Garden
Birthday Parties for Children Ages 5- 12
In the Hamilton Children’s Garden the picnic area (as shown below) is available for reservation
for birthday parties. The area has eight hexagonal picnic tables, each have individual umbrellas,
and seat six people. We also add two 6-foot long picnic tables for food and drink; these tables
are shaded by a 10 x 10 feet canopy. If desired, we can add two additional 6-foot tables with
chairs for a craft activity.
Your guests are welcome to use all parts of the Garden - however, only the picnic area will be
reserved for your party.
Things to do at the Hamilton Children’s Garden:
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 unit. You are also welcome to pot a succulent plant to take home.
Spell and Smell Garden
Spell your name or the name of the birthday child in plants. During a birthday party, we will set up a “test your sense of smell” activity.
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.
We offer a morning and an afternoon party:
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
Party time is scheduled for 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
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 .
These times are absolutely firm, unless noted otherwise in your contract.
Piñata and more….
We have a good spot to set it up a piñata, if desired.
Clowns, mad scientists, face painters, fairies and princesses are okay – though not necessary.
The host may bring table cloth to cover the two 6-foot long X 30 inch wide tables for food and
drinks. If desired, we will set up two additional 6-foot tables for crafts. We will provide table
cover for these craft tables. 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 (see picture of picnic area).
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 (unless served by a professional
licensed service). If you are planning on using a professional service of any kind, please let us
know ahead of time.
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 (unless served by a professional licensed service), confetti and jumpy castles. We
need to be notified in advance, in case you are planning on using a professional food service or
licensed service for alcoholic beverages.
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, to reach branches that are not intended for climbing.
Fees for non-SDBG members
20 children and 20 adults: $315
20 children and 20 adults plus up to 20 additional guests: $415
Fees for SDBG members
20 children and 20 adults: $285
20 children and 20 adults plus up to 20 additional guests: $385
In case of rainy weather, the party may be canceled by the host 1 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 canceled for any other reason than rainy weather, cancellation charges are 50% of
the total fee if canceled 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]