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Birthday Parties

A happy, hands-on celebration awaits your child during a nature-themed birthday party at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center! We offer several fun-filled options to make your child’s birthday memorable.

No matter which theme you choose, parties held at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center run for two (2) hours. The naturalist will direct party activities, both indoors and out, for one (1) hour. Depending on the selected theme, activities may include; outdoor nature exploration, pond dipping, insect collecting, snowshoeing, art projects, viewing our Science on A Sphere or animal tracking. The birthday party space is reserved for one (1) additional hour for you and your guests to use for activities after your program (food, gifts, etc.).  All parties include reusable plates/utensils/cups/napkins.

Please contact our Program Coordinator at (608) 216-9370 or email alncreg@naturenet.com for more information, to check availability or to reserve a party date.

Birthday Quick Links:
Information and Other Details
Birthday Party Themes
Fees

Information & Policies:

  • Age: Birthday parties are offered for children ages three (3) years and up.
  • Scheduling: Parties must be scheduled in advance. Please call or email us to check date availability. Weekend times book quickly, especially during the summer months, so please plan as far as possible in advance (at least 1 month recommended).
    Time slots for birthday parties are 10am-12pm or 1pm-3pm on Saturdays* and Sundays. Weeknight birthday parties are also an option.
    *Due to frequent wedding rentals on Saturdays in May-October, Saturday birthday party options are limited and may be at a different time frame than listed above.
  • Group Size: Maximum group size is 36 children, including siblings over the age of 3 and the birthday child. Please provide us with an estimated number of both children and adults when booking your party. One week prior to your birthday party, please call (608-216-9378) or email us (kathy@naturenet.com) with the final count of children and adults.
  • Pre-Payment: A $50 non-refundable deposit is required when booking a date for your birthday party.
  • Final Payment: The balance of your party is due on or before the date of your party. Please be prepared with final attendance count at the time of your party. Late payments may be subject to a $25 late fee.
  • Cancellation & Refund Information: ALNC does not cancel birthday parties due to poor weather. See our closing policy for further information. We try our hardest to always get party attendees outside so make sure to ask your guests to dress for the weather. That being said, alternate indoor activities will always be provided if conditions are inclement. If you must reschedule your party, we will do our best to find an alternative date. However, if rescheduling is not possible, the $50 deposit is non-refundable.

More On-Site Party Details:

  • Set-up & Decorations: You may arrive up to 30 minutes prior to the party to set-up. We will provide tables and seating. Tables are 6 feet long. ALNC will provide the table covers, reusable plates, utensils, cups, and napkins. You are welcome to bring your own table covers and plates if you would like them to match with a specific theme. Banners, streamers and other decorations are permitted; however please use only blue painters tape for hanging to avoid leaving sticky spots on the walls. All tape and/or string must be removed at the conclusion of the party. Helium balloons are not permitted. Piñatas may be done outdoors only.
  • Food: You may bring food or have food delivered. A residential-size refrigerator and freezer are available. Please bring a cooler if additional refrigeration is necessary.  No alcohol is allowed.
  • Recycling & Trash: Please dispose of any trash or recyclables in the bins provided. We ask that you leave the room as you found it upon arrival.
  • Supervision: You are responsible for the discipline of all children, which may include removing individuals from activities if they are not behaving in an appropriate manner. The Climate Change Exhibit at our Monona Campus is open to the public every Saturday from 10am-2pm. If you choose to add this option to the end of your birthday party, all party-goers must be chaperoned while exploring this area. Children must also be supervised in the Gift Shop.
  • Parking: Please park in the lot in front of the Nature Center or the bus parking area. A cart is available to help you load and unload your vehicle if needed. Directions and parking information for guests will be included with your confirmation to send to guests.
  • Weather & What to Wear: Please remind party guests to dress for the weather as parties occur rain or shine. Older clothes are recommended since attendees will spend time exploring outdoors. Most program themes will involve significant time outdoors. In the event of inclement weather, program activities may be adapted and conducted indoors.

Please contact our Program Coordinator at (608) 216-9370 or email alncreg@naturenet.com for more information, to check availability or to reserve a party date.

Birthday Party Themes
Bug Birthday (spring, summer and fall)
From the land to the water and air, insects are everywhere! Collect and observe insects up close, learn insect anatomy and discover some of the important jobs insects have in nature.

Feathered Friends (all seasons)
Celebrate with style on a birding adventure! Learn what makes a bird a bird, hike the ALNC grounds using binoculars as we learn about Wisconsin birds, and play games to learn to identify different bird calls.

Flower Power (spring, summer and fall)
From spring woodland wildflowers to summer and fall prairie plants, flowers are fantastic! Join us to learn all about flowers through games and exploration. We’ll learn all about the insects that pollinate these plants as well!

Frogs! (spring, summer and fall)
Hop on down to our pond as we search the waters with nets and buckets for frogs, toads and other pond life. We’ll earn about the life cycle of these amphibians and what makes them special.

Furry Friends (all seasons)
Do you love animals? We do, too! Join us to celebrate all things furry, fuzzy and fabulous! Explore the pond, prairie and woodland in search of ALNC’s resident animals. Search for their habitats and learn all about muskrats, rabbits, fox, mice, groundhogs and more!

Nature Scavenger Hunt (all seasons)
Join us as we head out for a scavenger hunt! Older children read and follow clues to find hidden treasures throughout the grounds. Younger children will search and explore together on the trails for various seasonal natural items.

Owls (all seasons)
Discover owls’ unique adaptations, practice hooting and howling under the moon in our Science on a Sphere and hike around outside in search of avian relatives. Add an owl pellet dissection for each child or pair of children for an additional $2/pellet.

Pioneer Party (all seasons)
Bring along your friends and celebrate the old fashioned way! We will get dressed up in pioneer clothing, visit the Children’s shack to see how people lived many years ago, play pioneer games and try our hand at some pioneer chores like grinding grains and churning butter.

Pond Critters (spring, summer and fall)
Discover and search for animals that live in our pond! We’ll catch aquatic animals; look for tadpoles, frogs, toads, aquatic insects and fish in our watery habitat.

Snowshoe Adventure (winter only—for children ages 6 and up)
Let’s have an adventure! ALNC will provide snowshoes and a brief snowshoe lesson and then we’ll head out on the trails to explore and play games on snowshoes. If no snow is present, we will substitute winter survival activities.

Space Exploration (all seasons)
Bring your friends for an out-of-this-world adventure! We’ll visit our Science on A Sphere to view the planets & their moons, earth’s moon, constellations and other celestial objects.

Tracks, Scat and Other Signs (all seasons)
We’ll head outdoors to search high and low for clues that animals leave behind. We’ll identify tracks in the snow or mud, practice leaving our own tracks as we walk like some of our four legged friends, search for scat and other signs that might tell us who lives in each habitat. Participants will make a track stamp bookmark to bring home to remember their favorite animal track.

Wild Things! (all seasons)
Make masks and transform into wild things! We will read Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and hike the trails in search of your ALNC’s wild things.

Woodland Fairies & Gnomes (all seasons)
Discover the magical world of the fairy folk and explore the woodland in search of these secretive creatures! We’ll create and design our own fairy or gnome home outdoors and see if any of our forest friends find them.

Don’t see a theme that fits your child’s interest?  This is just a small list of ideas… our expert naturalists will tailor their programs to meet your needs. 

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Birthday Fees

Standard Birthday Party
2 hours, 1 hour with selected theme and additional hour for celebration $16* per child; $160* minimum fee.

*ALNC Members save 10%.

How To Schedule

Please contact our Program Coordinator at (608) 216-9370 or email alncreg@naturenet.com for more information, to check availability or to reserve a party date.

Interested in hosting a party for adults? Please see our information on building rentals or contact (608) 216-9376 or rentals@naturenet.com for additional information.