Birthday Parties

Birthday Parties at Schiff: A Blast, Naturally!

Birthday Parties Nature Center NJNo kid is too old to celebrate the wonders of nature! Birthday parties at Schiff Nature Preserve include a great space for your party in our Nature Center and activities led by our staff naturalists. Parties are customized for children ages 3 and up.

Our parties feature trail games, nature walks, natural science exploration, and more. Our highly trained naturalists are professional educators who provide a safe, exciting, and natural environment for your child and their friends.

Topic Ideas >

Some exciting possibilities for parties include:

Fairy or Gnome Houses (ages 5 and up)
Using only natural materials found in the woods, each party participant will build a house that would please the local gnomes or fairies!  Take home a Polaroid picture of the home you created.

Scavenger Hunt (ages 3 and up)
We'll head outdoors to search for natural wonders large and small, checking off our lists as we go!

Map Quest (ages 3 and up)
We'll put our map skills to the test as we search for "treasures" along the trails.

Hike and Trail Games (ages 6 and up)
Many of our older explorers simply love to hit the trails and stop along the way for some fun games, like "Camouflage" and "Tsunami".

Tracking (ages 6 and up)
Discover which animals are prowling around Schiff by finding the signs they leave behind in their natural habitats.

Things With Wings (ages 3 and up)
We'll use binoculars to frolic with the flying critters of the woods and fields, and try to spot as many things with wings that we can find.

Explore the Night (age 10 and up)
When the sun goes down, a whole new adventure begins in the woods of Schiff.  We'll take the kids on a walk to explore the sights and sounds of the night.

Winter Wonderland (Recommended Dec-Mar) What do animals do in the winter? We'll hope for snow to follow animal tracks and explore where animals go and what they do to survive the cold months.

Crazy Critters (Recommended May-Oct) Schiff Nature Preserve has lots of places to find bugs, butterflies, and other insects at this time of year. We'll hike to many of their favorite hangouts and see how many we can identify.

The Nature Center will provide:

  • A room in our educational facility, complete with tables and chairs or an alternate outdoor picnic area
  • A two and a half hour reservation which includes the following:
    • 30 minutes for set-up before your party begins
    • 60 minutes of naturalist led activities and games
    • 30 minutes for refreshments and gifts
    • 30 minutes to clean up at the end of the party
  • Trash bags and clean up supplies (brooms, dust pans, etc.)
  • Refrigerator, freezer, sink, and microwave are available

If you are not familiar with Schiff's Nature Center, we advise you visit our facility before booking.

Nature Birthday Parties

Parents/guardians are responsible for:

  • Inviting guests to your party
  • Providing Schiff with a final number of guests one week in advance of the party
  • Providing all food and beverages (alcoholic beverages are prohibited)
  • Providing all decorations, paper goods, utensils, and table coverings (balloons and open flame of any type are prohibited, and nothing may be taped to the walls)
  • Collecting of all emergency contact telephone numbers for children attending the party
  • Assisting the management of the children during the program. While children will be led in activities by a Schiff naturalist, the supervision of children is the responsibility of the hosts and other parents.
  • Cleaning the entire party space, with the help of our staff naturalist. This includes sweeping the floors, throwing garbage and recyclable materials in the proper receptacles.
  • Arriving and departing on time

Suggestions for a smooth and eco-friendly event:

  • Nature Birthday PartyIf you are not familiar with Schiff's Nature Center, we advise you visit our facility before booking
  • Please ask in advance for approval of any planned activities beyond birthday party food, so that we can help you have a happy, enjoyable birthday party at Schiff!
  • Please consider the naturally beautiful, colorful and ever-changing scenery as decoration enough, and challenge yourself and your guests to celebrate with as little impact on the Earth as possible. See our eco-friendly party tips below:
    • Use recycled paper or email your invitations
    • Decorate with objects from nature
    • Make your own party favors from recycled goodies around your house or give each child that attends the party something more useful, maybe a small plant or packet of seeds
    • Resist giving children soda, sugary beverages, individually packaged snacks or candy gift items
    • Consider requesting a homemade gift, a gently used gift, or a donation in lieu of a gift
    • Ask that all gifts be wrapped in newspaper, homemade wrapping paper, children’s artwork or a reusable gift bags
    • Encourage friends to carpool to Schiff for the party
    • Support local farmers and use local ingredients to make an interesting carrot cake or a homemade apple pie
    • Serve organic, local and in-season food

Booking Information:

Cost:
$180 Members
$230 Non-Members (includes automatic 1 year family membership)

Posted cost is for parties up to 12 children. There is a $5 fee for each additional child (any child 3+) up to a maximum of 20 children. Infants and supervising adults attend for free and are not included in the maximum count.

Reservations should be made at least a month in advance. Full payment is required to hold your reservation. Please notify the Schiff Nature Center of cancellations at least two weeks in advance of your scheduled party or your payment may be forfeited. The $50 Family Membership fee built into the cost for non-members is considered a donation and is not refundable.

Important Notice:
All party hosts and guests must observe the Schiff Nature Preserve posted site rules. Rental space is limited to the party room only. Children must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The party host/renter is responsible for damage to the site as a result of the party; and responsible for the behavior of all guests and assumes responsibility for personal injury to party guests or chaperones.