East Bay Kids Birthday Party Guide

EEast Bay Kids Birthday Parties

Are you planning a child’s party? 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 Brushstrokes Studio (Berkeley)
Pottery painting parties include selection of ceramics such as piggy banks, boxes, picture frames, tea cups and 100s of others. Guest creations will be glazed and fired in kilns. Other party themes 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.
4cats 4Cats Art Studio (Kensington)
For kids ages 3-15, art parties include all art supplies, instruction and goodie bags. Party hosts are responsible for food, plates/napkins and any decorations beyond those that are all ready 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.
studio-grow Studio Grow (Berkeley)
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. 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. Mention 510Families and receive a $25 discount on your party.

{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 $230 for up to 10 guests. Visit website.
  • Bladium (Alameda) This sports club offers many themed parties: soccer, water slides, volleyball, basketball, and rock climbing. $359 includes 2-hour party with four pizzas, drinks, and paper goods. Parents bring cake. Visit website.
  • Cal Golden Bear’s Gymnastics (Berkeley) Parties are 2 hours: the first hour offers gymnastics time with 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. 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. 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 510-336-7491 to learn more.
  • Color Me Mine (Alameda) 2-hour parties start at $21 per painter with 8 guests minimum. Each painter gets one ceramic bisque item up to $16 value. 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.
  • Golden Skate Roller Rink (San Ramon) For 10-15 people, $26.95 per person includes skate rental, soft drinks, paper products, and use of a room in addition to access to the rink. Birthday kid gets a pair of skates to keep! At $19.95 per person, similar package, but no birthday gift. 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 $225 for 10 kids or under. See available time slots and full pricing schedule when you visit the website or call 510-655-1265.
  • 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. Call 510-981-9900 email contactbi@touchstoneclimbing.com.
  • 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 50-minute workshop from many science themes and then move to the party room for your food and cake. Prices start at $250 ($230 for members). Includes admission for an adult per child at the party to all exhibits at LHS. Visit website.
  • Oakland Ice (Oakland) 2 hours of skating with a lesson and rental are included for all guests at the rate of $23.50 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. Here’s our review >
  • Playland Not At The Beach (El Cerrito) $150.00 for up to 10 guests ($15 for each additional person) inlcudes 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 $259 for up to 10 guests. Children will move through two 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 or visit website.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 1 hour and 30 minutes. All the equipment is provided as well as a table and chairs. You supply the food, beverages, and utensils. $250 for up to 12 people, and $20 for each additional person. Call 510-528-5110 or 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 $15 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. Read our Wheelhouse party review. Call 510-525-2989 to discuss party packages or visit website.

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Outdoor birthday party locations

  • 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 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. Call 510-452-2259 or visit the website.
  • Oakland Zoo (Oakland) Different birthday packages focus on rides or animal education; Prices range from $175 to $435 and do not include catering, which can be added from the Zoo’s menu or BYO. Call 510-632-9525 or visit website.
  • Steam Trains (Berkeley) First come, first served for the picnic tables located up the hill from the trains (in between the two parking lots). 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.
  • Tilden Park Merry Go Round (Berkeley) The basic package is $13 per child and includes four rides on the carousel as well as birthday dessert. $20/guest gets you more rides and more food. Call 510-524-6773 for information or reservations. Read our post about a carousel party or visit website.

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Birthday party entertainment

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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 $180. Contact now at 916-534-8634 or visit website for photos and videos.
rockin-birthdays Rockin’ Birthdays (East Bay)
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.

{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.
  • 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.
  • The Buddy Club (Berkeley) 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 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.
  • Drumming Magic (East Bay) 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. Visit website to see photos and pricing.
  • Fire Pixie Entertainment Specializing in princess party shows, they also offer face painting, balloon twisting, magic, superheroes, and clowns. 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.
  • 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.
  • Lego Playwell Work together with their staff to determine the best theme. You provide the kids, and they bring 100,000 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 start for $250. See our post about Magic Dan or visit his website.
  • 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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Where to get your birthday cake

  • Fenton’s 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.  Call 510-658-5300 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 510-845-9445 or visit website.
  • Baskin Robbins (Emeryville, Alameda, El Cerrito) Choose a creative ice cream cake from their gallery or build your own. Visit the website.
  • Cakes by 2 Moms (East Bay) Make unique cakes for any occasion. See website or email cakesby2moms@yahoo.com
  • 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 1 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
  • 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.
  • 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. Call 510-420-8889 or visit the website.
  • Teacake Bake Shop (Emeryville) Requests 48 hours advance notice for larger quantities of their from-scratch cookies, cupcakes, and brownie bites. Call 510-655-0865.
  • Tuckers (Alameda) A favorite place in Alameda for ice cream cakes decorated with any theme. Call 510-522-4960.
  • Vital Vittles (Berkeley) 100% organic and dairy-free cakes. Check website for specifics.
  • 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? We can personalize cakes from the shelf for free. Quarter sheet cakes start at $19.95. Contact now at 510-649-1333 or visit on Facebook.

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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 Meri at meri@510families.com for information.

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