Throwing a birthday bash for a creature-loving kiddo? Don’t miss our list of the best animal-themed birthday parties in San Diego. From a birthday party at the San Diego Zoo to critter encounters at Helen Woodward Animal Center, kids will delight in the show-stopping antics at these animal birthday parties where wildlife is the focal point. Scroll down to see where to book a bash that will make your little party animal go wild.

Helen Woodward Animal Center

Busy parents rejoice at Helen Woodward birthday parties. Choose between three theme choices for your kiddo's party decor: Bow-Wow birthday, Farmyard Friends or Jammin' Jungle. You may also choose the hands-on animal encounters for your partygoers. Animals include rabbits, turtles, alpaca, miniature horse, sheep, snakes, and yes, hissing cockroaches (kids love them), just to name a few. The party is held in a private pavilion area and activities including a play house, life-size fiberglass horse, hula-hoops and basketball keep little hands busy while they wait their turn to pet the animals. Party proceeds help support the shelter.

Cost: from $255

6461 El Apajo Rd.
Rancho Santa Fe, CA


Support local non-profit Ecovivarium, that rescues reptiles while throwing your little one a reptile birthday party (it's educational too)! First, have the party coming to your place and invite 30 people to touch and learn about reptiles. Likewise, we recommend the Eek! Ectotherms party package where kiddos get up close and personal encounters and hands-on touching of 10 to 12 animals. So, from snakes and lizards to turtles and other creepy crawling critters you'll have an hour-long of reptilian fun.

Cost: Eek! Ectotherms party, $250; plus an extra $35 at your house

photo: SDCDM

San Diego Children's Discovery Museum

Inviting your half-pint's entire class? Let out a little Yee-haw at the San Diego Children's Museum farm party. Little farm hands have a meet and greet with the chickens and explore the discovery garden. Even more, you'll have your own private party assistant and place to set up the goods. The best part is that everyone gets admission to the whole museum for all day entertainment.

Cost: $220 for 15 guests; $470 for 40 guests

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
320 N. Broadway
Escondido, CA

Pacific Animal Productions

A feel-good exotic animal petting zoo will come to your house in big wrapped birthday boxes (ventilated of course). Fun and educational, your super safari helper gets to be first to touch and see the animals. Partygoers will ooh and aah over an exotic monkey, fox, alligator and hissing cockroaches (choices vary based on which party package you select), all while learning about the future conservation of the animals. Little ones get involved with clues and solving mysteries of what amazing animals are inside.

Cost: from $350

3946 S. Mission Rd.
Fallbrook, CA

photo: Becky Crimmins

The Lizard Wizard of San Diego

If creepy crawly creatures is what your little one craves the Lizard Wizard is your gal. Twenty-one scaly, slippery and interesting animals give an educational, hands-on experience that little tykes remember. Your cuties get to touch and hold snakes, lizards, frogs and bugs and even a large slithering python!

Lizard Wizard will travel within a 40-minutes drive from Oceanside and are currently not going to San Diego city. They seek to stay local for small gatherings with good air flow. Their current price is $175, good through Apr. 9, 2020.

Cost: from $200 per party

photo: Living Coast Discovery Center

Living Coast Discovery Center

If you live in south San Diego and sea turtles, sharks and rays appeal to your little birthday sweetie, a two-hour party at the Living Coast Discovery Center will bring an adventurous animal experience to your budding oceanographer. Scavenger hunt, chit chat animal encounter and a private decorated room all add some educational fun. Birthday admission includes animal exhibits, native gardens and walking trails.

Cost: from $350

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr.
Chula Vista, CA

Sugar Sweet Farm

Farm it out! This hidden Encinitas gem is a wonderful spot for a birthday party for your little farmers age 4 and older. First, learn about the animals, nature and sustainable farming. Likewise, hold chickens, collect fresh eggs, brush the llama and feed bunnies. Top it off by playing in the organic garden and enjoying a horseback ride. Still more, little fairies decorate the outside patio where farmhands enjoy snacks and you can order Sweet Farm lemonade and cupcakes for the guests.

Cost: $500 for a two-hour party with up to 8 kids


The Cat Cafe

Meeoow! Book a reservation at The Cat Cafe (for up to 6 people). Go a little untraditional with the purr-fect hands-on birthday adventure: petting kitties. Grown-ups can order their favorite coffee drinks while little ones can chow down on hot chocolate, donuts and muffins. Then, it's off to petting and snuggling with the cats. After, head to a nearby restaurant like The Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch and more birthday reverie.

Note: Please email The Cat Cafe if you'd like to host your child's birthday party there. They will discuss your options.

Cost: $12/person for admission

photo: Lenya McGrath

San Diego Zoo Aussie Outback Birthday Bash

Let your party animal go wild with a birthday party at the world famous San Diego Zoo. The Zoo is offering an awesome Aussie Outback Birthday Bash that includes all-day zoo admission, lunch and a birthday cake. This Australian adventure features close-up animal presentations and entertainment by the Zoo's beloved Dr. Zoolittle. Partygoers will get to gobble up a cheese pizza lunch in the Aussie Outback party room which is outfitted with Zoo decorations, followed by birthday cake and Zoo-themed birthday activities. For reservations and more info call 619-685-3259 or email

Age: 10 and younger
Cost: $79/person for ages 3 and older; Birthday child and kids 2 and younger are free with an accompanying paid adult.

The San Diego Zoo
Balboa Park
2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, CA

Read our insider's guide to the San Diego Zoo.

Time: 11 a.m. on select Saturdays
Cost: $79/person (birthday person free)

2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, CA

photo: Wild Wonders

Wild Wonders

Wild Wonders has worked with Discovery Animal Planet and rescues and raises animal ambassadors for awareness and fun. Delight little party guests with six safari surprises that come to your house for an hour of education and entertainment (you can also have a party at their site). Feel the feet of a giant millipede or let a 12-foot python slither across your lap— all while learning the importance of these animals in their environment. Your little cutie gets to be Junior Zookeeper and do everything first.

Cost: from $350

5712 Via Montellano
Bonsall, CA

Barn Animal Buddies

You're not Old MacDonald, but you can still bring the farm to your kiddo's next bash via the mobile petting zoo at Barn Animal Buddies. They'll up the party's fun factor by bringing 6-8 animals (ideal for parties with 12 or fewer kids) to your yard. Animal friends include pygmy goats, chickens, bunnies and a mini pig. The price goes up if you include a pony or a large Sulcata Tortoise.

Interested in a Unicorn Party? Partygoers can take turns riding a unicorn and taking pictures!

Cost: Petting Zoo $250 for first hour, $100 each additional 30 minutes; Unicorn Party is $475/90 minutes

—Nikki Walsh


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