Parties & Rentals :: Birthday Parties Info & FAQ

Birthday Parties Info & FAQ

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

Deluxe Parties

  • 2 hours in party room
  • 30-minute program matching your chosen theme
  • Access wireless Bluetooth speaker with aux cord
  • Admission for 30 people total, including up to 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 keepsake t-shirt for birthday child!

Standard Parties

  • Admission for 30 people total, including up to 15 children ages 3-12
  • 90 minutes in party room
  • Tablecloths, birthday banner and books, toys, and games
  • Access to a wireless Bluetooth speaker with aux cord
  • Toolbox including pizza cutter, cake cutter, lighter, and candles
  • Free e-vite for you to share with guests
  • Exclusive keepsake t-shirt for birthday child!

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. We are unable to book a party less than 7 days before.

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

Yes. Members and host families are all still counted towards the total guest count.

Where are the birthday parties held?

The majority of our parties are held on our Southside campus, in our standalone classroom buildings which is across the street from the Main Museum building. Each of these buildings has their own private bathroom, as well as access to outdoor seating areas. Our Bug and Butterfly parties are an exception, as these are held in our Insectarium and Butterfly House building.

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.

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?

Yes! You will receive a PDF, electronic invitation that you can customize and send out to your guests once you’ve booked your party.

Can we ride the train for the party?

Private Train Ride experiences are available to be added to your party package. Pre-purchase is required at least 48 hours before the party day and includes space for up to 45 guests to ride the train. Individual tickets are also available for purchase, day-of, at the Admissions Desk at the standard rates, based on availability. Regular train rules/policies apply.

What do you mean all birthday parties are sensory friendly?

The party host will receive information and resources ahead of the party date that will help party guests who are on the Autism Spectrum. Partnering with the TEACCH Autism Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, we have made all our birthday party activities accessible for children on the Spectrum. Birthday party educators have gone through TEACCH-approved training and every party room has a “cool-down kit” of resources such as headphones and fidgets. Please contact the birthday party manager if you have further questions.

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.

Where do my guests and I park?

The Museum provides free, first-come, first-serve parking to all visitors. There are three lots to choose from: Northside (in front of the main building), Southside (across the street from the main building, by the Picnic Dome), and the Parking Deck (beside the Picnic Dome). Our parties take place on the Southside campus and occasionally in Leplab near the Butterfly House. We recommend parking in the Southside lot as you and your party guests will check in at the group check-in building. We also recommend you arrive early; parking can be limited on weekends.

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 to 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, a “Happy Birthday” banner, books, toys, games, and a wireless Bluetooth speaker with aux cord.

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.