Many families choose to celebrate their children’s birthdays right in their own backyards or at one of the many local picturesque parks because the weather in Monterey and surrounding area is predictable and pleasant most days. But sometimes, life is busy and it is easier to let professionals take over the birthday party planning.
Our daughter’s last birthday coincided with a pending PCS trip back to the East Coast. As much as she wanted a party at our house, preparations to move had begun and I couldn’t bring myself to delve into what needed to be done to have a house full of kids and parents over for a one last birthday party in Pacific Grove. So I furiously began looking for other options and these were my top two picks.
Top Birthday Ideas for Monterey and Pacific Grove Area
165 Forest Avenue Pacific Grove, CA 93950 (831) 648-5716
The museum is a unique local favorite. Previous to the party, we were regular attendees at least once a month because our daughter was such an animal enthusiast. However, I was unfamiliar with the birthday party options that existed. In summary, two themes were offered: Flower or Dinosaur/Fossil. Our girl couldn’t pick between the two, so Beverly Bruno, the party coordinator and guide, customized a hybrid party just for her; the Flower theme decorations in the party room and Dinosaur/Fossil activities in the museum. Perfect.
Each party is 3 hours in length with 1.5 hours of that time portioned to education and museum activities. Our group cracked a geode, made a fossil and took a scavenger hunt through the museum. The remaining time the kids played in the adjacent garden which included an art piece that replicated a giant sized bird’s nest that the kids played in with abandon. During the last part of the party the children were provided with pizza and lemonade as described in our package. You bring the cake and all the extra goodies you can handle.
This was not an inexpensive option! The fees range from $300-$350.00 depending if you are members. I thought of it as a farewell to Pacific Grove, realizing we would never have that opportunity again, plus I needed the convenience. The museum partially operates on donations and after our event I offered Beverly gratuity for a birthday hostess job well done and she kindly suggested I contribute it to the museum. We had an excellent, perfectly PG party. For us, this time, it was the best way to spend our money.
PS A little girl who came to our daughter’s party had such a great time she reciprocated the invite and had us back not two weeks later for the full Flower Theme party.
Flower Theme Party Room
Dinosaur/Fossil Theme Party Room
301 East Franklin Street Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 646-3730
We were members at the Sports Center and were pretty familiar with the facility and its birthday party options. We considered seriously having our party here, but ultimately we chose the museum because our daughter attended swim lessons at the Sports Center for 18 months straight and she wanted a different experience for her special day. We were lucky enough to be invited to a little boy’s birthday party there just before we left Monterey, and it was a fun experience for all of the kids.
The pool is really a special place with two separate parts: a smaller, shallower and warmer pool, and the larger and deeper pool where active lap swimmers use most of the space. In the large pool there is an impressive water slide. You can imagine how the kids enjoyed that attraction. The pools are well maintained, clean and readily supervised by at least 3 guards from what I witnessed. As part of the party package, they were offered the patio space right outside of the pool area. The patio was where all of the non-pool fun took place including food, cake, presents and games. The family hosting the party chose a Hawaiian theme and even had hula dancers come in to teach the kids. The Sports Club party was another truly enjoyable experience for us and we were glad to have the opportunity to see how the parties were handled.
There are a couple of notes for consideration though. The patio is closed during inclement weather which means you have to find another space for food and fun if it rains on your scheduled day. Also the pool time is actually a public swim time, meaning you will not have the pool to yourselves and you will pay the standard $5.00 per person swim fee in addition to the $25.00 rental fee.
Large Pool in front view, small pool behind slide.
Patio for Parties