East Bay Kids Birthday Party Guide

Birthday party guide for East Bay kids

Are you planning a child’s party? Let us help. Click on a category below to browse listings.

Indoor birthday party places | Outdoor birthday party places | Birthday party entertainment | Birthday cakes & treats

Indoor birthday party venues

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Brushstrokes Studio birthday parties Brushstrokes Studio (Berkeley)
Art parties for all ages. Pottery painting parties include a large selection of ceramics such as piggy banks, boxes, picture frames, tea cups and 100s of others. Guest creations will be glazed and fired. Other party themes to choose from are mosaics, glass fusing, clay, hand-felted jewelry or canvas painting. Bring your cake (and your piñata!). $25.50 per guest. Contact now at 510-528-1360 or visit website.
We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym birthday parties We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym (Berkeley)
Exclusive use of the 600+ square foot dance studio for food, cake, drinks and dining for 2 hours. Packages starting at $300 for up to 20 kids. Optional extras include popcorn machine, staff support person, balloons, craft projects, face painter, favors, pizza, cake, and full-facility rent out. Fun for ages 0 to 12. Contact now at 510-845-9787 or visit website.
Oakland Zoo birthday parties Oakland Zoo Discovery (Oakland)
Education birthdays include a live animal presentation, a special project for one of the zoo animals, free play time in the Discovery Room, and a story. After the party, spend more time in the zoo and watch the animals enjoy the items you created for them. All guests receive an eco-friendly favor bag with a special present for the birthday child. Cake and food can be ordered from the café or BYO. Priced $385 to $435 for up to 20 participants. Visit website.
Painters Pot birthday parties Painter’s Pot (Richmond)
Called “the coolest place to watch paint dry”. Parties include a choice of 150 different pottery pieces or glass projects. The party room comfortably seats 16; 8 person minimum. Parties cost $50 for two hours plus the cost of your pieces. Contact now at 510-524-1939 or visit website.
Studio Grow parties Studio Grow (Berkeley, Alameda, Danville)
Get ALL the educational play spaces at Studio Grow to yourself! Bring your own food and decorations. Best for children 1-6. $399 for 2 hours (longer times available); 30 children included ($10/extra child), adults FREE! Call 510-526-9888 or visit website for more information and reservations at other Studio Grow locations.
habitot Habitot Children’s Museum (Berkeley)
Rent the whole museum or just a private birthday party room for a unique hands-on art and play experience for your toddler or preschooler and friends (5 and under). Packages can include food, party favors, and more. Prices start at $175 for weekdays. Call 510-647-1111×14 or visit website for more information.
4 Cats birthday parties 4Cats Art Studio (Kensington)
From Pop Art to Dragons, Van Gogh to Paint Splatter – 4Cats has themed art parties for ages 3 to 16 that will please any palette. Each party starts with a one-hour art lesson and each guest leaves with a genuine objet d’art. Party hosts are responsible for food, plates/napkins and any decorations beyond those that are already hanging in the studio. The price is $225-235 for up to 10 guests with a $15 charge per additional guest. Contact now at 510-525-1655 or visit website.
sticky art lab Sticky Art Lab (Berkeley)
During a 2-hour party guests will make mini castles, flying cars, parachutes, fuzzy monsters, or straw rockets. Includes a Sticky Art Lab T-shirt for the birthday kid, one-hour guided art project custom designed to match level and interest, inside space and outdoor courtyard. Families provide food, treats, paper products. Up to 14 kids for $300. Contact now at 510-981-1148 or visit website.
Bladium birthday parties Bladium (Alameda)
This sports club offers many themed parties or you can choose your own theme: soccer, water slides, volleyball, basketball, inflatables and rock climbing. Starting at $359, a party 2-hour party includes four pizzas, drinks, and paper goods. Parents bring cake. See our detailed report of Bladium parties.

{more indoor birthday party venues, listed alphabetically}

  • Albany Bowl (Albany) Two-hour party includes bowling with lightweight balls, pizza, soda, balloons. Bring your own fruit/veggies and cake. $20/kid; eight-child minimum. Visit website for details or see the 510Families Albany Bowl review.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito) Indoor and outdoor space with hands on stuff to do makes this a fun venue for ages 3-8. Add face-painting, goody bags and more at different price points. Visit website.
  • Bay Island Gymnastics (Oakland) Parties include an hour of gymnastics time and 45 minutes in the refreshment area. Prices start at $315 for up to 18 guests. Visit website.
  • Berkeley City Ballet (Berkeley) offers ballerina birthday parties starting at $200 for up to 10 people ages 4+ dressed up in tutus, tiaras, sashes and crowns. Party consists of a mini-ballet class and an on-stage performance of your child’s very own Birthday Ballet in BCB’s studio theater, starring your child and guests. Tiaras and crowns are theirs to keep. Visit website.
  • #BounceFarm (Martinez) Parties for kids ages 1 to 14 and include 1:15 private bounce time and 1:00 in our dining area. All-inclusive birthday parties for up to 20 children for $395. “Green” birthday party package include 2 large pizzas, 24 cupcakes and a matted 8×10 birthday photo. Parents provide drinks (no soda) and can bring fruit/veggie tray. Visit website.
  • Cal Golden Bear’s Gymnastics (Berkeley) Parties are 2 hours: the first hour offers gymnastics time with coaches, parachute, obstacle course, and trampoline time. The second hour is in the party area. $150 up to 10 kids, $50 more for 10 more kids. Fun for ages 3 to 12. Visit website.
  • Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland) Out-of-this-world birthday party packages include admission for up to 20, a planetarium show, use of the party room, and a custom activity for ages 3+. Birthday kid also gets a t-shirt. Party prices range from $215 to $470 based on membership status, selected theme, and party duration (60 or 90 mins). Visit website or call 510-336-7311 to learn more.
  • Color Me Mine (Alameda) Pay $100 plus the price of the ceramic pieces. Pre-select ceramic items to keep it simple (plate party or tea cup party). Birthday child gets special plate as a keepsake. Visit website.
  • East Oakland Sport’s Center (Oakland) Go through Oakland Parks and Rec to reserve this spot, but the indoor pool includes a party room and water slide. Read our review of this indoor pool party venue.
  • El Cerrito Martial Arts (El Cerrito) Party includes a custom martial arts class for kids age 5 to teens. Price is $200 for 2 hour party with up to 16 child guests. Visit website or call 510-558-0406 for more information or to reserve your party.
  • Golden Skate Roller Rink (San Ramon) For 10-15 people, $39.95 per person includes skate rental, soft drinks, pizza, game tokens, paper products, and use of a room in addition to access to the rink. Birthday kid gets a pair of skates to keep! At $29.95 per person, similar package, but no birthday gift or pizza. Call 925-820-2525 for details or visit website.
  • Head Over Heels (Emeryville) Two hour parties fly by for kids as they have access to a foam pit, trampolines and more. Supervised gymnastics activity is followed by food and cake, which you supply. Prices start at $250 for 10 kids or under. See available time slots and full pricing schedule when you visit the website or call 510-655-1265.
  • High Scores Arcade (Alameda) Party guests get private use of the arcade with all video games set to free play and a small area to set up finger foods/snacks. Parents must provide any food, drink, and favors. Birthday parties are available for children 8 years of age or older on Saturday mornings from 10 am – 12 pm or Sunday evenings. Visit website for pricing and restrictions.
  • Ironworks (Berkeley) Staff provides basic instruction, rock climbing gear and belaying for all party participants. Ratio of staff members to children is one to six or better. After climbing, use the screened-off party area with your own food and drinks. $125 for 5 kids (minimum) $25 each additional child. Visit website.
  • Kids n Clay (Berkeley) Kids will work with wet clay at a pottery wheel or do hand-building. $26 per child, minimum of 10 children. Call 510-845-0982 for details or visit website.
  • Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley) Choose a 1-hour workshop from many science themes and then move to the party room or cafe for your food and cake. Perfect for kids age 4 -11. Prices start at $250 ($230 for members). Includes admission for an adult per child at the party to all exhibits at LHS. Visit website.
  • LeMans Karting (Fremont) Indoor go-carting for kids 8 and over. Children will experience the fun of racing and fundamentals of driving training. 8 drivers minimum for exclusive party package includes: race gear, private track usage, private party area and birthday cupcakes. $50 per driver with a minimum of 8 participants. Visit website.
  • Movie theater (multiple locations) paired with great pizza is an easy indoor birthday party for many ages. We have a few suggestions for winning combinations of movie & pizza birthday parties in the East Bay.
  • Oakland Ice (Oakland) 2 hours of skating with a lesson and rental are included for all guests at the rate of $24.50 per guest, minimum 10 guests. 1 hour Party Room reservation, includes soda and two pizzas. Extra pizza and soda available, but no outside food beyond cake is permitted. Visit website or read our review.
  • Playland Not At The Beach (El Cerrito) $15 for the first 20 guests ($10 for each additional person) for unlimited play on pinball machines and amusements at Playland. Basic magic show included in this 3-hour party. Upgrades are available. Visit website for details.
  • Pump it Up (Oakland) Weekend parties start at $279 for up to 10 guests. Children will move through two private inflatable jumping rooms and then to the party room for food and cake. For kids 34″ and bigger. Book pizza, fruit trays, drinks through Pump It Up or bring your own. See our Pump it Up review.
  • Rockin’ Jump (Dublin) Two hours of unlimited jumping for 10 jumpers starting at $200 Mon – Thurs, $250 Fri – Sat, with addl. fees for addl. jumpers. Private party room during second hour. Onsite cafe can provide food & drinks, or for a small fee you can bring in your own. Birthday cakes are welcome. Ages 4+. Contact now at 925-828-7676 or visit website (special offer for our readers!).
  • Ruby’s Tumbling (Alameda) One hour of gymnastics fun and one hour of party fun.  Ruby’s provides the activity, you provide the cake and the paper goods. Prices start at $175 for the first 10 children and $10 for each additional child. Visit website.
  • See Spot Run (Alameda) Pet party with hands-on experience with a rabbit, guinea pig, bird, kitten, and a hedgehog. A craft can be added for an additional fee. Time will allow for cake (provided by you) and singing of Happy Birthday. The room will accommodate 10 children ages 4 to 12 years old. Cost is $200 for a 1.5 hour event. Additional children and or time for additional costs. Visit website.
  • Sport Fencing Center (Richmond) Party includes an introduction to the art of swordplay: basic foot work and blade work, followed by fencing games that are loads of fun for everyone! Parties are 90 minutes. All the equipment is provided as well as a table and chairs. You supply the food, beverages, and utensils. $349 for up to 12 people, and $20 for each additional person. Visit website.
  • Subpar Miniature Golf (Alameda) Indoor mini golf and arcade party includes unlimited golf for two hours, private room w/ tables and chairs, staff for set up/clean up and to help run the party, plus arcade tokens for each player. Cost is $14 per player, and for $6 more pizza and soda is included. Best for ages 5-14. Call 510-521-4653 or visit website.
  • Trapeze Arts (Oakland) Guests will participate in 2 or 3 circus activities, depending on their age. 4-6 year old party does not include trapeze. Over 6 includes trapeze. Deluxe party package includes video of trapeze and a private room for cake and refreshments. Get Party Package details on website with PDF or when you call 510-419-0700. Prices start at $150 for no trapeze; $200 for trapeze.
  • Wheelhouse (Richmond) Bring your own everything to the party room and reserve one or two lanes for guests to practice batting. Parties begin at $160 for 2 hours with 1 hour in party room and 1 in the cages. Read our Wheelhouse party review. Call 510-525-2989 to discuss party packages or visit website.

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Birthday party entertainers

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Oakland Zoo birthday parties ZooMobile from the Oakland Zoo
A Birthday Party ZooMobile is a fun, educational experience, perfect for a gathering in your home. The birthday child and their friends will meet five small animals — most of which can be touched — and receive a zoo gift and favors to mark the occasion. Prices range from $270 to $290 for a 50 minute program. Call 510-632-9525 or visit website.
happily-ever Happily Ever Laughter (East Bay)
Imagine your child’s smile when the door opens and a REAL faerie, pirate, or mermaid arrives! Engaging performers from Happily Ever Laughter provide magic shows, face painting, balloon twisting for any age. Prices start at $130. Contact now at 916-534-8634 or visit website for photos and videos.
Nanas mobile sewing birthday parties Nana’s Mobile Sewing Parties (Bay Area)
Nana’s Sewing Parties are designed to teach basic sewing skills using your party theme as a springboard for creativity. Nana’s mobile party will arrive with easy-to-use Baby Lock Sewing machines; the experienced staff will guide and teach your guests to sew a wonderful, handmade memento. Best for ages 7 and older. $300 covers 6 guests for 3 hours. Visit website for details or see our write-up on these sewing parties.
Kids for the Bay parties Kids for the Bay
Science adventure birthday parties held at local creeks or your own home depending on the package you choose. Best for ages 5-10. $250 per party for up to 16 children. Visit the website for more information about themes.

{more birthday party entertainment ideas, listed alphabetically}

  • All Star Showgrams Celebrity and character impersonators perform songs and activities. The basic package includes 3 activities for one hour at $200-$250. Lots of character choices: Superman, Grinch, Princesses, etc. Visit the website.
  • Barrel Full of Monkeys offers clown magic, bubbles, glitter tattoo, balloons, and more. Visit website to inquire about prices.
  • Bay Area Jump Rent bouncy houses in all shapes and sizes for use in your yard or a park (in which case, you must check with the local city’s policies) for $100-$350 for the day depending on options. Visit website for details.
  • Brian Scott performs an interactive magic and comedy family show, great for ages 4+. $250-$350 per show. Visit website.
  • Budderball the Clown paints faces, twists balloons, does glitter tattoos, and performs an interactive comedy magic show. Professional clown for 13 years, she is sensitive with children who are tentative about costumed characters. $175-$210 for a 90-minute show. Visit website.
  • The Buddy Club (Bay Area) Shows feature magicians, jugglers, singers, ventriloquists and more. Party includes location with priority admission for all guests, and the birthday child is featured on stage in the show. Have lunch, cake, ice cream, open presents, make a mess and they will clean up. Price is $8 per guest, plus $85 for 3 hours of a dedicated party room. Email staff@thebuddyclub.com for dates or see our post.
  • California Puppets (Bay Area) Shows featuring Jungle Joe, a professional puppeteer and ventriloquist. His passion for puppetry and love of animals are combined to bring you hilariously funny and educational shows. Call 925-627-6003 for rates or email californiapuppets@gmail.com.
  • Dragonfly Designs creates a jewelry-making party at your chosen location. Best for ages 5+ including tweens and teens, no limit to number of guests. Visit website to learn more about pricing and scheduling.
  • Drumming Magic Drumming Magic birthday parties are facilitated by Mika Scott, an experienced music teacher, who provides a variety of drums and musical games that keeps kids playfully engaged with their bodies, minds and imaginations. $200 for a party. Visit website.
  • Fire Pixie Entertainment Specializing in princess party shows, they also offer face painting, balloon twisting, magic, superheroes, and clowns. Prices vary. See our post about Fire Pixie or visit the website.
  • Fur, Scales and Tails You get a high-energy 40-minute demonstration followed by ten or fifteen minutes of petting, holding and picture-taking sessions for less than $200. Read our post about Fur Scales and Tails parties.
  • JubilyBee Plans and executes charming and chic themed-birthday parties including decor, activities, crafts, favors, and games. Themes include Bollywood, LEGO, dinosaur, and circus. $240 includes 6 guests. Visit the website to browse themes.
  • Lego Playwell Work together with their staff to determine the best theme such as the popular battletrack monorail project. You provide the kids, and they bring 20,000 pieces of LEGO and guides to lead the projects. See our post about LEGO parties or visit the website.
  • Magic Dan Hire Dan for a 40-minute magic show in which your child is the star for $250. See our post about Magic Dan or visit his website.
  • Mike Della Penna, Magician offers a variety of magic show packages. A frequent performer at Fairyland, Playland Not-at-the-Beach, and area libraries. Special magic/balloon animal rate for smaller parties for 3-5-year olds. Parties start at $200. Visit website.
  • Mr. SHAP is a balloon artist and magician entertainer who performs for children and adults of ALL ages. Be dazzled. $175/hour.  Visit website.
  • Rockin’ Birthdays Party like a rock star with a personalized song list played by local children’s musician Stephanie Pepitone, host of the Rockin’ Kids Sing-Along. Stephanie plays acoustic guitar and leads children in 40 minutes (10 songs) of live, family-friendly singing, dancing and music-making. Instruments and props provided to encourage even the youngest party guest to rock out. Fun for kids up to age 9. Contact now at 510-798-0246 or visit website.
  • Roleplaying Adventure with Jake turns your party into a self-contained adventure. Jake can lead parties for 3-12 kids for $10 per kid per hour where a typical session runs 2 to 3 hours. Recommended for ages 8+. Read our review of Jake’s DnD party.
  • Viola’s Notes (East Bay) Music and Movement birthday party classes for children ages 3-5. The class will be at the location of your choice. Parent participation is required. Classes will be tailored individually to fit your party’s theme. Materials will be provided. Call 510-593-9660 for details or email violapellegrini@yahoo.com
  • Vivarium Traveling Reptile Program Expect a fun and educational one-hour programs featuring between 20 and 30 amazing creatures. Pay $300 for a weekend booking, discounts for weekdays. See our Vivarium post or visit the website.

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Outdoor birthday party locations

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Oakland Zoo birthday parties Oakland Zoo (Oakland)
With five amazing birthday party sites to choose from, located just outside the Zoo Entrance, these outdoor sites are available for a few hours or all day. After your party, stay and play in the rides area or head into the zoo to see amazing animals. Great for all ages, discounted admission to zoo for all guests, rides tickets and parking passes available through certain packages. Prices range from $175 to $300 and do not include catering, which can be added from the Zoo’s menu or BYO. Call 510-632-9525 or visit website.
Golfland birthday parties Golden Tee GolfLand (Castro Valley)
The first class birthday party includes 90 minutes in the party room or patio; 18 holes of miniature golf and 20 family-friendly arcade tokens per person; and 2 XL pizzas, 2 liters of soda. BYO cake. Arcade party also available (with 60 tokens per person!). $12.99/person with a 10 person minimum. Visit website.

{more outdoor birthday party places, listed alphabetically}

  • Adventure Playground (Berkeley Marina) You’ll want to set up for a picnic outside the grounds of the A.P. All groups larger than 5 children require a reservation with fees for safety reasons; 5-10 kids cost $73/2 hours. Visit the website for rates and booking info.
  • Arlington Park (El Cerrito) Great for all ages. Via the El Cerrito Rec Department, rent Arlington Park or Castro Park Clubhouse, which can accommodate up to 50 people seated. Tables and chairs provided. Call 510-559-7004 for more information. $70 per hr for residents/$88 non residents with a 3 hr minimum. Don’t forget to pay the extra $16 for a bathroom key!
  • Berkeley Public Parks These outdoor Berkeley picnic facilities requires permit and registration: Aquatic Park, Codornices, Live Oak, Ohlone, Strawberry Creek. All other City of Berkeley parks are first come first served. Visit the website to check availability.
  • Cesar Chavez Park (Berkeley Marina) The no-frills picnic benches are available first come, first serve with a 5-minute walk to outhouse bathrooms. Very fun location for a kite-flying party. Read our post about throwing your own kite birthday party.
  • Children’s Fairyland (Oakland) - Fairyland hosts catered birthday parties (they supply cupcakes and ice cream) in one of three themed party areas reserved for you. Price includes Fairyland’s attractions—rides, puppets, Children’s Theatre, and special performances—all day long for each guest at the rate of $20/child and adult pair (10 child minimum). Call 510-452-2259 or visit the website.
  • Crab Cove (Alameda) hosts nature exploration parties for children ages 3 to 12 based on either bay critters or reptiles. $75 covers the first 10 children (15 is the max). Read our post about Crab Cove parties.
  • Tilden Steam Trains (Berkeley) First come, first served for the picnic tables located up the hill from the trains (in between the two parking lots). Free for those under 2, 5 rides for $12, so we’ll call it $60 for 25 ride tickets. Invite just one other family, and we think this is an excellent second birthday “party” idea.
  • 9 free and cheap party places that are mostly outdoors!

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Where to get your birthday cake

  • Fentons Creamery (Oakland) Handcrafted ice cream cakes are made to order. Choose cake flavor & ice cream flavor. 6″ round cake starts at $29.95. Full sheet cake is $55.95. One-week notice required.  Call510 658-7000 or visit the website.
  • Ben & Jerry’s (Berkeley) Design your own ice cream cake; choose flavors, fillings, decorations, and the message for the top. Or walk in and grab one from the case. Call 510-900-2460 or visit website to order online.
  • Baskin Robbins (Emeryville, Alameda, El Cerrito) Choose a creative ice cream cake from their gallery or build your own. 6″ round cake is $28.95; full sheet cake is $48.99 Visit the website to customize and order online.
  • Costco (Richmond) With at least 24 hours notice, Costco will decorate a chocolate or vanilla half-sheet cake for $17.99, basic decoration included. Come in to the store to order in person. Membership required. Call 510-898-2000.
  • Cupkates Bakery (Mobile) With at least 24 hours notice and a 2 dozen cupcake minimum, all current flavors are available for pickup. Delivery available for $15 within Berkeley, Oakland, and Emeryville with a two-dozen minimum. Approximately $39/dozen. Visit the website.
  • Love at First Bite (Berkeley) Requires 48 hours advance notice for custom cake and cupcake orders. Delivery also available. Call 510-848-5727 or visit the website
  • Mariposa Baking Company (Oakland) has a variety of cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other treats that are perfect for birthday celebrations – all of which are Gluten-Free! Visit website.
  • Maria’s Gourmet Pastries (El Sobrante) Requests one week order lead time. Focuses on traditional from-scratch wedding cakes and pastries. Call 510-669-1187 or visit website to see gallery.
  • Merritt Bakery (Oakland) In-stock cakes in many sizes with writing for no charge. Other flavors, fillings, decorations, or ice cream require 24-hour prior notice. Call 510-444-6955 or visit the website.
  • Taste of Denmark (Oakland) Freshly baked specialty cakes with Scandinavian flair. Quarter sheet cake is $26 undecorated or $29.40 with decorations. Call 510-420-8889 or visit the website.
  • Teacake Bake Shop (Emeryville) Allow 48 hours advance notice for larger quantities of their from-scratch cookies, cupcakes, and brownie bites. Call 510-655-0865 or visit website.
  • Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream (Alameda) A favorite place in Alameda for ice cream cakes decorated with any theme. Call 510-522-4960.
  • Whole Foods Market (Berkeley/Oakland) Order delicious customized cakes for all occasions! Choose a flavor like Berry Chantilly or Chocolate Eruption in store or by phone and it will be ready for you the next day. In a hurry? They can personalize cakes from the shelf for free. Quarter sheet cakes start at $19.95. Visit website.

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All decisions for this guide were made by Heather and Whitney, founders of 510families.com, we apologize for any errors or glaring omissions. Promotional consideration was paid by sponsored listings as indicated. If you’d like to be considered for future Birthday Party Guides, please contact us at ads@510families.com for information.

Please note that prices are current as of November 2014 and may change over time. Check with vendor for current pricing and availability.