When it comes time to book a birthday party for your child, there are many choices, ranging from restaurants to picnic shelters at parks to indoor play places. But if you’re looking for something a little off the birthday beaten path, look to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma where birthday attendees get to have their cake and eat it too, so to speak.

“Birthday parties at Children’s Museum of Tacoma are adaptable and flexible parties to fit our guests’ budgets, schedules and child’s dreams,” says Maddy Mixter, Communication Manager at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. “We offer two different party packages, activity and extra time add-ons, a staff member to help with transitions and clean up, and party scheduling Tuesday – Sunday.” 

“Our parties are unique in a few different ways,” adds Mixter. “Parties at the Museum allow children to have a dedicated space and time for birthday activities, and then be able to explore and play in the museum. These parties are great for toddlers, or younger friends, who may not be old enough for other options in town. Additionally – we’re here to help! We have a dedicated host for each party to support our birthday family and make the whole day go smoothly.” 

Tacoma Children's Museum Birthday Parties
Birthday parties at Children’s Museum of Tacoma are adaptable and flexible parties to fit guests’ budgets, schedules and child’s dreams. Photo courtesy: Children’s Museum of Tacoma

The Museum’s party offerings include two options: Birthday Bashes at $200 and Birthday Blowouts at $300.

Birthday Bashes are available Friday, Saturday and Sunday and take place during the Museum’s operating hours, so the Museum is still open to the public during the party. Included in the package is an hour of private use of one of the party rooms, unlimited play in the Museum after the party is over, Museum-provided party invitations, a staff member called a PlayGuide to help facilitate the event, and up to 30 total attendees.

For $10 each, you can also choose add-ons to up the ante on your party, including moon sand (a fluffy, moldable sand that all kids will enjoy playing with) and/or a parachute drop activity where kids can make their own droppable parachutes using household items.

Birthday Blowouts are available Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Blowouts offer a little something extra – private play in the Museum with only your guests for an hour after the party. Like Bashes, Blowouts include an hour of private use of a party room, party invitations, 30 attendees and you get two PlayGuides instead of one to help with the event.

Add-on options for Blowouts are a little grander as well. You can extend your private playtime at the Museum by an additional half hour for $50, or add an additional half hour with a hands-on activity led by a staff member in the Museum’s studio. Choose to do spin art, twirly birds or face painting, and this add-on is $100. You can also book up to 60 guests at $5 per each guest past the original 30.

If you don’t book any add-ons, PlayGuides are there to help move things from the party room to general play in the Museum, as well as help clean up after the party. If you do book an add-on, PlayGuides will help guide play and the activity booked.

Children's Museum of Tacoma
The Museum offers two different birthday packages with several add-ons to customize the experience. Photo courtesy: Children’s Museum of Tacoma

“It’s worth highlighting that our staff is highly capable to host birthday parties for our friends with special needs,” says Mixter. “All Museum PlayGuides (our floor staff) are trained and capable in facilitating play with children of all backgrounds and needs.” 

“I have a son with autism and the majority of the kids that attended were also on the spectrum,” says Vhonda McElroy, a parent who recently hosted a birthday party at the Museum for her son. “From the staff to the activities, the party was a huge success. I literally had to bribe my child to leave. Every single parent told me they enjoyed themselves and that they wanted to have their party there as well. This warms my heart so much. Also the staff is stellar. I seriously wanted to hug them at the end. They made everyone feel safe and cared for. I am in awe of the service and for such an affordable price I cannot wait to book next year’s party.”

The Museum does not provide food for birthday parties, but guests are encouraged to bring whatever they’d like to eat and drink (except for alcohol), as well as any décor they’d like to put up. However, since the Museum has high ceilings, helium balloons and silly string are not allowed.

Birthday parties receive a parking pass in the Museum parking lot for the birthday party family, but guests will need to find and pay for their own parking. There are a variety of public parking lots within the blocks surrounding the Museum, but the lot in front of the Museum is members only on weekdays and has limited public spaces available on weekends.

The Children’s Museum of Tacoma is located at 1501 Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma. For more information or to book a birthday party contact Crystal Smith at 253-627-6031, extension 221, csmith@playtacoma.org.


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