Birthday Party FAQs

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Before You Book

What is the difference between themed and basic birthdays and what is included in each?

Are invited guests who are members included in the guest count?

Booking & Pricing

How early should I book my party?

What is the cancellation policy?

What if there is severe weather?

Can a member purchase a birthday party for a non-member?

Do you offer party slots during the week?

Can I bring my own food/drinks?

Do you provide invitations?

Can we ride the train for the party?

Can I hire a character for my party?

Your Party

Where do my guests and I park?

What do I do when I get to the Museum?

Are balloons allowed at the Museum?

Can I bring my own decorations?

When can I set up and how much time do I have to clean up?

What does each classroom include?

Can we go anywhere in the Museum the day of the party?

Do you have a space to store our party items before and/or after the party?


What is the difference between themed and basic birthdays and what is included in each?

Themed Parties
  • 2 hours in party room
  • 30-minute program matching your chosen theme
  • Educator assistance for 15 minutes at beginning and end of your party
  • All day admission for 30 people total, including no more than 15 children ages 3-12.
  • Tablecloths, birthday banner and books, toys, and games
  • Toolbox including pizza cutter, cake cutter, lighter, and candles
  • Free e-vite for you to share with guests
  • Exclusive Museum cape for birthday child!
Basic Parties
  • All day admission for 30 people total, including no more than 15 children ages 3-12.
  • Tablecloths, birthday banner and books, toys, and games
  • Toolbox including pizza cutter, cake cutter, lighter, and candles
  • Free e-vite for you to share with guests
  • Exclusive Museum cape for birthday child!

Are invited guests who are members included in the guest count?
Yes. Members, host families, and birthday child are all still counted towards the total guest count. 

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How early should I book my party?
Parties are booked on a first come, first served basis, and full payment is required at the time of booking  It is recommended that you book your party 4–6 weeks in advance. If you book your party less than 7 days before, time and classroom availability may be limited. We may also not be able to offer pizza and/or cake packages with your party as our vendors require advance notice.

What is the cancellation policy?
There will be a $50 cancellation service fee if the party is cancelled. There will be a 50% cancellation fee if the party is cancelled 15 days or fewer before the date of the event. Parties cancelled inside of 72 hours prior to the party will not receive a refund for the party or add on with the exception of gift bags. If the party must be cancelled on the day of, please call 919.220.5429 x 339 and ask for the Birthday Party Contact. There is no refund for a no-call, no-show.

Birthday Parties are held rain or shine, and in the case of severe weather, we will contact you personally. 

What if there is severe weather?
In the event of severe weather, there is a possibility of the Museum closing. The decision on whether or not to close the Museum will be made on the day in question. You will be contacted by the Birthday Party Coordinator if the Museum is closed. If you do not receive a telephone call, then we will be open. If we are closed, you will be permitted to reschedule your party (based on availability) or cancel the party for a full refund. If the Museum stays open and you feel the driving conditions are dangerous, a refund will not be issued, however, you will be permitted to reschedule your party (based on availability).

Can a member purchase a birthday party for a non-member?
No. If you would like to explore the benefits of membership, including discounted birthday party pricing, please visit our Membership page

Do you offer party slots during the week?
Weekday parties are permitted, however, availability may be limited by educational programs and staff availability.

Can I bring my own food/drinks?
You are welcome to bring outside food and drink into your party room. Be mindful that there is limited refrigerator and freezer space available for storage, and alcohol is prohibited. For the safety of our animals, straws are prohibited.

Please be aware that there are no food deliveries to the Museum. You may pick food up and bring it with you to the Museum, but food deliveries are prohibited.  

Do you provide invitations?
You will receive a PDF for an electronic invitation that you can customize and send out to your guests.

Can we ride the train for the party?
Train Ticket Packages are available to be added to your party package. Pre-purchase is required at least 48 hours before the party day and includes 30 seats on a regularly scheduled train time of your choice. Individual tickets are also available for purchase, day-of, at the Admissions Desk at the standard rates, based on availability. Private trains are available upon request for an additional fee. Regular train rules/policies apply.

Can I hire a character for my party?
Yes, you can have a character person at your child’s party. In consideration for other children at the party and at the Museum, we ask that you advise your invited guests prior to the party. Also, the hired person/vendor must change in the classroom or in an area close to the room. Characters must stay in the classroom and must remove the costume before heading out into other Museum space.

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Where do my guests and I park?
The Museum provides free, first-come, first-serve parking to all visitors. There are two lots to choose from: Northside (in front of the main building) and Southside (across the street from the main building, by the Picnic Dome). We recommend you arrive early; parking can be limited on weekends.

Once our two main lots are filled, we also offer free offsite parking and all-day shuttle service. Shuttles will run on a first-come, first-serve basis each Saturday and Sunday between May and August.

What do I do when I get to the Museum?
Upon arrival, please stop by the Info Desk in the lobby and let them know you are the host. The concierge will direct you to your party location. Carts are available to assist with unloading your supplies. Guests for all classrooms in the main building and in the LepLab classroom will come through the main entrance and check in at the Info Desk. 

If you have booked a party in the Creekside classroom or the Woodland Building, you will need to check in at the main building at the birthday party info desk. We will have a reserved parking spot in the southside parking lot to park/unload items for your party. Your guests may go directly to your classroom.

Are balloons allowed at the Museum?
We are always concerned for the safety of our animals on campus. Because of this, balloons are not permitted on Museum grounds. If you or your guests bring in balloons, you will be asked to immediately return them to your vehicle or they will be destroyed in a safe manner.

Can I bring my own decorations?
You are welcome to bring in your own decorations. Balloons and confetti/glitter are prohibited. Piñatas with a pull string are permitted.

When can I set up and how much time do I have to clean up?
Set-up and clean-up time is included in the total party room time. All party rooms will be set-up with a banner, tablecloths, and room activities as soon as your room time begins. You are allowed decorate using your own decorations as long as they are not prohibited items. For clean-up, you are expected to pack up your own party items by the end of your room time. The museum will provide a cart to assist with transporting your items out of the party room. Museum staff will take care of cleaning up the room after your room time ends.

What does each classroom include?
Each room includes five tables, 30 chairs, four tablecloths, a “Happy Birthday” banner, books, toys, games, and a CD player.

Can we go anywhere in the Museum the day of the party?
Yes! You and your guests can enjoy the full Museum on the day of your party. You are welcome to plan for your guests to meet at the Museum prior to your party time. When you arrive, we will store your supplies until you are ready to head to the classroom and set-up.

Do you have a space to store our party items before and/or after the party?
Yes. We have a small kitchen where items can be stored that is not accessible to the general public. Items may be stored until the end of the day. Any items left overnight will be discarded unless prior arrangements have been made. We ask that you stop by the Info Desk before 4:45 PM to retrieve your items.

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Members receive UNLIMITED admission all year long!