Throwing a birthday party for a creature-loving kiddo? Don’t miss our list of the best animal-themed birthday parties in San Diego. From birds and farm friends to reptiles and sharks, 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.
Bring your party to the Farm! Hollyberry Farm is conveniently located in Vista and boasts miniature horses and pigs, alpacas, fainting goats, chickens and peafowl and giant rabbits. Your little one is guaranteed to have the best birthday party ever on this family farm. The guest of honor and their friends can enjoy meeting and feeding almost all of the animals. They also have a large play/picnic area that is completely fenced in with swings, tables and chairs and a huge corn pit that is certain to make for the perfect country hoedown celebration.
Cost: $450 for a two hour party, up to 10 kids (kids under age 1 are free); $20 for each additional child; $100 for each additional hour
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
Nettie’s Pony Parties
Clippity-clop! Did somebody say ponies and petting zoo? Well, Nettie can make this happen at your house (or park or other birthday destination). Hand-held pony rides by an experienced party pal and fifteen petting zoo animals for the birthday bunch to touch, feed (and even hug). Parents love that the animals are miniature and a little unique—exotic looking rabbits, mini goats, mini sheep, ducks and a mini pig.
Cost: $399 for pony ride and petting zoo for two hours (mileage can add-on $100 or more)
25496 Los Rancherias Rd.
Helen Woodward Animal Center
Busy parents rejoice at Helen Woodward birthday parties. Choose four hands-on animal encounters—rabbits, turtles, miniature horse, sheep, snakes, and yes, hissing cockroaches (kids love them). Party is in a private pavilion area and activities including a playhouse, life-size fiberglass horse, hula-hoops and basketball keep little hands busy while they wait their turn to pet the animals. Party proceeds help the shelter.
Cost: from $235
6461 El Apajo Rd.
Rancho Santa Fe, CA
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
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.
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!
Cost: from $200 per party
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.
Cost: $12/person for admission
San Diego Zoo Koala Party
Party among the eucalyptus trees in the San Diego Zoo’s Aussie Outback party room. Enchant your little guests with up-close animal encounters (usually a bird and a reptile), zoo-themed decorations, pizza, cake, juice and more! Birthday includes a zoo-tastic visit by Dr. Zoolittle. Families will love that they get to prowl the zoo after the party—Zoo bus and Skyfari included. You get to feel good that your kids are learning while having fun and supporting the zoo. Note: Parties are for kids ages 10 and younger.
Time: Saturday or Sunday
Cost: $79/person (birthday person free)
2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, CA
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Getting to touch horn or swell sharks for brave older kids or feeling the bumpy, slippery underwater tidepool creatures for more timid toddlers makes Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla a major splash for age-themed birthday parties. Parties include a private party classroom with instructor-led activities, live animal touching and feeding, a fun take home craft, outdoor patio time for snacks and opening gifts and the ultimate park: aquarium admission for all the partygoers after the party.
Note: Parties must be booked a minimum of four weeks in advance.
Cost: $400; ($360 for members)
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, CA
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
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