Sulphur Creek Nature Center
Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward! It's a wildlife rescue program and basically a free mini-zoo in a wooded setting. There's a tiny museum, too, perfect for toddlers and preschool. Indoor environs are not classy--"unpretentious," let's say--but comfy and manageable for a group of little kids. The educational staff and programming is wonderful. The birthday parties include an age-appropriate presentation where they bring in live animals to see and touch and learn about (the birthday kid can choose which animals when you book the party). Then you get the kitchen/dining area for an arts and crafts activity, then cake/food (I think you have to bring your own). Cost is very reasonable compared with other options. We did 2 or 3 preschool-age parties there and loved them. https://haywardrec.org/129/Nature---Sulphur-Creek-Nature-Center
*Sulphur Creek Nature Center (Hayward Area Recreation & Parks) has lovely woodsy indoor/outdoor spaces, animal exhibits & meet-n-greets, and they offer birthday party packages. This is a native wildlife rehab facility and a learning center that has some very dedicated and knowledgeable naturalists.
*Lawrence Hall of Science, 'Animal Discovery' parties in their downstairs lab area.
*EBRPD Tilden Nature Area's Environmental Education Center's or the Little Farm. This one may be outdoors-only, chk for indoor options. Bundle the kids up and take them around to feed the cows, pigs, chickens, geese and goats, then a walk along the long wooden trail.
EBRPD Crab Cove Visitor's Center, Alameda Island. Search for East Bay Parks Online 'nature party'. This is a lovely indoor area with interactive estuary / bay shore exhibits. Could also do a nature walk along the water.
Finally, just have to give a shout out to the Oakland Aviation Museum near the Oakland Airport. Not very toddler-friendly for climbing/touching, but lots of vintage planes to look at, some interesting flight exhibits, and a large space for a party - both indoors and out. Tables in the hangar might be a way for you to bring your own airplane-focused games, crafts, and party favors to keep the party-goers content and busy? They have a nice aerospace gift shop too.
Depending on your kids' interests, you might try Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward. It's a small wildlife rescue organization that offers wonderful educational programs. Have had a great experience with every staff member we've interacted with there. We haven't done their summer camp yet, but I can recommend the organization wholeheartedly.
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Re: New ideas for daughter's 5th birthday
Try Sulpher Creek Nature Center in Hayward. The woman who does the kid education there, Christine is fabulous. They have a whole birthday package. Dont'have the phone number or address handy, but they probably have a website. Hilary
Well they don't have rabbits, but the Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward does have a pet lending library. They have guinea pigs, rats, mice, and hamsters. Each comes complete with a cage, food, water and food containers, and a animal-specific care sheet. My sister rented a guinea pig for her two girls and they loved it! The website is: http://hard.dst.ca.us/slphrcreek/llibrary.html -Kelly
Sorry, can't help you with a rabbit, but thought I'd mention that the Sulphur Creek nature center in Hayward http://hard.dst.ca.us/slphrcreek/index.html has an animal lending library. http://hard.dst.ca.us/slphrcreek/llibrary.html Choose from guinea pigs, Rats, mice, and hamsters. Maybe a nice rat could help them with the letter R.
My daughters (3 years, 18 months) were absolutely thrilled with the very sweet and gentle guinea pig that we borrowed for a week. The 18-month old ran around saying ``Guinea hold it'' ``Guinea hold it'' all day long, except when she said, ``Guinea eat it'' which we chose to interpret as ``feed it''. Also, the Sulphur Creek Nature Center is a great place to visit. Good luck finding a rabbit! -susan
Re: Birthday party with animals
Try Sulfur Creek (in the Hayward Parks and Rec program). Sorry I don't have their number, but it's similar to Lindsay and definitely has birthday parties. Crab Cove (EBRPD) has birthday parties too, though looking for crabs under the rocks, after a naturalist presentation, may not be what your 6 year old had in mind. Nice place, though! Nils
Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward is a great place for an animal birthday party. My 4-yr old son hasn't had a party there(we've often out of state at the time) but, has attended a number of classes and is a frequent 'renter' of their animal lending library. They serve as an animal hospital, have a nature center and animal lending library. There is a picnic area and short trails. You can contact the Hayward Area Recreation District at:(510) 881-6700 and I'm sure they can give you more information or a contact at the nature center. Ann
Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward arranges great kid's birthday parties. They reserve picnic tables for you in their very nice lawn/park area. They bring the kids into a room, have them sit in a circle and pass around cute animals for them to hold, as they educate them about the animals. Dianne