Welcome to the Marin Birthday Party Guide! Children's birthday parties are big events and big business. Browse our directory to find Marin and Bay Area birthday party venues, bounce houses, supplies, services, and entertainers, as well as articles from our web site about birthday party-related topics.

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The Barnyardigans Bring the Zoo to You (Business Closed)

December 21, 2009

Bring the petting zoo to your party with the Barnyardigans, a mobile petting zoo and pony ride company that specializes in children’s birthday parties. The Barnyyardigans brings animals to your birthday party venue whether it's your house, backyard, or local open space area or park—they'll even work with you and your local city recreation department in finding a suitable party venue that permits animals. They're certified and fully insured, and are licensed by the Marin Humane Society. You may have even seen the Barnyardigans zoo at various spots throughout Marin and Sonoma counties this fall, including the Nicasio Valley Farms pumpkin patch and Garlock Christmas Tree Farm in Sebastopol.

Spooky Halloween Tunes from The Chills!

September 27, 2009

The ChillsLooking for the right tunes to set the mood for your Halloween party? The Chills might be the very thing you're looking for! In fact, if your kids are like ours, this CD will get quite a bit of air time around the house, even when it's not Halloween. The Chills are billed as "An un-dead version of the Village People," but are in reality are local singer/songwriter Ira Marlowe and his Brainy Tunes team. Ira's put together a CD of terrifying tunes that children and families will find both spooky, hilarious, and irresistable.

Tracks include songs about ghosts (Ghost Story, Haunting School), mad scientists (Brat Machine, The Long and Curious Saga of Dr. Trulaine), the Blob, creepy little men (Fear of Little Men), and other spooky things. Favorites in our home include Here Comes the Mummy, and Boogerman's Theme. Some of the lyrics are definitely on the scary side, and The Creeps is recommended for children 5 and up. That doesn't stop our 3-year-old from loving the album, though, so it all depends on the kid, ultimately.

Tutu School Dances Across the Bridge to Larkspur!

September 10, 2009

Popular San Francisco-based ballet school Tutu School is now open in its second location in Larkspur! At Tutu School, children ages 18 months to 8 years have the unique opportunity to learn basic motor skills and build rhythmic awareness through creative movement, ballet, and storytelling, all set to the classical tunes of great composers like Bach and Tchaikovsky.
Tutu School's mission is to provide a magical space and nurturing environment for children to develop a positive relationship with both music and movement through the exploration of ballet. Each class concludes with "Ballet Story Time," where students' imaginations take them to places where fairies, princesses, and whirling dervishes take flight.
In addition to their "Exploring Ballet" program, Tutu School offers "Tutu Toddlers" classes for toddlers to take with a parent or nanny; custom birthday party packages; and "Tutu Camp" during the summer months. Tutu School Larkspur will continue to provide a safe haven for toddlers and kids to learn ballet, while allowing their parents to relax at the neighboring shops and restaurants of the Larkspur Landing Shopping Center.

Pony Party at Morning Star Farm

September 9, 2009

Riding a pony at a Morning Star Farm pony partyWhat child doesn't dream of being a cowgirl or cowboy, riding their pony across the range? When my daughter was invited to a Pony Party for a friend's birthday at Novato's Morning Star Farm, we were all pretty excited. In case you're not familiar with it, Morning Star Farm is the large equestrian facility that you'll see in west Novato at the corner of Novato Boulevard and Sutro Avenue, directly across the street from San Marin High School.

Morning Star's Pony Parties are for children ages 3 and up, and our suitable for children up to 9 years old, although older kids can be accomodated with larger mounts if needed. The Pony Parties include one hour of hand-led pony rides, a trip to the farm's petting zoo—which includes goats, lambs, pigs miniature horses, ducks, and bunnies, and play time on their large play structure. Each child's pony ride lasts five to seven minutes and takes them through Morning Star Farm's scenic grounds.

High Energy Birthday Parties at Cal-Star Gymnastics

June 16, 2009

My son recently celebrated his sixth birthday, and when we asked him what he wanted to do for his party, he was adamant on having it at Cal-Star Gymnastics, a gymnastics and sports facility in Novato. He'd been to another party there last fall and obviously it made an impression on him. The price seemed to fit our budget, so we made the reservation and got ready to invite his friends.

Although I'd been to Cal-Star before for their drop-in Power Play sessions, I wasn't too familiar with their birthday parties. I didn't quite know what to expect from them, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at how fun and well organized the party was. The best thing about it, of course, was that all the kids had a blast. We had a wide range of ages there, from 3 to 8, and everyone had a really good time. Of course it didn't hurt that they were getting some great exercise and physical activity while they were at it!

One of Marin's Favorite Children's Musicians: Tim Cain

November 5, 2008

Tim CainOne of the most well known and popular children's performers in Marin—and Northern California—is Tim Cain. Tim and his guitar have entertained and inspired countless numbers of children and parents over the years, and he can be found performing at venues throughout the Bay Area. We asked Tim a few questions about his background, his music, how he got started performing for children, and his new CD with his band Dream Circle, It's a Holiday. (We'll review the CD in a later post.) You can learn more about Tim as well as sample and buy his music on his website, www.timcain.com.

Hands-on Birthday Parties

May 21, 2008

Coming up with the perfect birthday party is never an easy task. My 5-year-old likes the type of birthdays that involve hands-on or learning and creative activities. There are a few businesses out there that help you plan exciting and educational hands-on parties for ages 5 and up.

Musical Mornings with Enzo Garcia

May 9, 2008

Enzo GarciaOne of the things our family loves is music, and in the Bay Area there's no shortage of skilled and talented musicians who specialize in performing for children. One of the most popular performers in both Marin and San Francisco is multi-instrumentalist and singer Enzo Garcia, who has been delighting children and their parents with his "Breakfast with Enzo" for over five years. In what he hope is the first of a series of interviews with area musicians, we asked Enzo some questions about himself and his music and why he loves doing what he does.

Unique Birthday Party Locations in Marin

April 24, 2007

birthday partyBirthday parties—and unique and interesting places to have them—are a popular subject on this web site. Coincidentally, we’ve been planning a 4th birthday party for our son, so I’ve had the chance to do a lot of research. Here are a few suggestions for fun and out-of-the-ordinary children’s party venues in Marin:

Top Birthday Party Spots

What are Marin's top birthday party spots? Here are six most popular places to hold a birthday party in our Marin Birthday Party Guide.