Party Rentals, Supplies & Favors

Parent Q&A

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  • Balloon Arch for 1st Birthday?

    (4 replies)

    Does anyone have a recommendation for someone that does balloon arches/waterfalls? Looking for one for a 1st birthday. Thank you! 

    Check out balloonsbynenny on instagram. She’s made me some beautiful balloon arrangements and is so fabulous to work with! 

    Paper Plus on San Pablo. They are awesome!

    I was surprised to find out helium is actually a finite resource -- maybe find an alternative?

    2nd Paper Plus on SanPablo.

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Oh no! what happened to the party store?

May 2011

My kid and I were driving down San Pablo a couple months ago and saw to our great distress that the Party Warehouse in El Cerrito (near the Natural Foods Store) was empty!!! What will we do for party balloons, not to mention all the other fine junk we used to buy in there? Can someone recommend a balloon place anywhere from Hercules to Berkeley? And don't tell me to buy one of those machines, because we use up to 30 balloons for our parties and ain't no way I'm going to blow up 30 balloons. Thanks Loves Balloons

Have you ever checked out Paper Plus (also on San Pablo) in Berkeley? I've done balloons and party favors from them before, and they've always been nice and professional. Good luck! I Heart Jackalopes

Paper Plus Party on San Pablo near Hearst has lots of party supplies & balloons. If you just need balloons, Lucky's at El Cerrito Plaza does balloons for $1.00 each.

My best recommendation is the Dollar Tree stores ... they sell many types of mylar helium filled balloons for $1 and they last and last ... as well they have many great party supplies for every occasion and holiday throughout the year as well as everyday items and really they are all a $1. There is one in El Cerrito by the Staples and one in Pinole by the Big 5 store. It has become our go to store for birthday parties and other holiday supplies. Lisa

Party Warehouse closed in January. We were very sad to see it go! (But did score a few good clearance deals before the store went dark for good.)

For balloons, you must go to Paper Plus Outlet on San Pablo in Berkeley, near Virgina. The balloon guy is a character, and really quite good. (Order your balloons ahead of time. Tell him about your party theme and listen to his suggestions. Often they are excellent.) The store is also a good source for inexpensive paper plates, cups, etc., other types of party decorations and favors, pinatas, stationery, and so on. The place feels like a bit of a dump, but the prices are low and they have some really nice things.

My second choice would be Party City in Richmond, in the strip center on Klose Way between the freeway and Hilltop Mall. (Richmond Parkway exit) Party City is a big chain store with mostly licensed character stuff, not at all as 'homey' feeling as the El Cerrito place, but it's a large, well-organized store with decent prices, a good selection of all the basics including some cake decorating items, supplies for weddings, carnivals and fairs, and other events beyond the basic birthday party, and Halloween costumes and accessories year-round. I can't remember if we've ever bought balloons there but they do have a pretty big balloon department, and certainly parking is very easy there compared to San Pablo Ave! Partying Mama

the paper outlet in berkeley on san pablo, a few block south of gilman, sells much of the same stuff- including balloons. and sorry to possibly pop your balloon (haha) but did you know that helium is a finite resource, ie, when we use it all up, it's gone forever? so those balloons are precious.... anon

Paper Plus on San Pablo X Virginia in Berkely is really wonderful. The balloon guy is a treasure. He is! You owe it to yourself!

try paper plus outlet in berkeley, on san pablo, near cedar...they have great supplies and awesome selection of balloons: anon

Toddler chairs and tent for birthday party

August 2005

Hi, I live in Kensington, CA. We are planning to organize our birthday party for my three-year old son. We will probably plan to have it at our house - outdoor. We are interesting in renting for a tent, toddler chairs, and a big table for about 10 kids. Any suggestions where we can find the vendors in the Eastbay? Thank you! Matty

I just rented these for my son's party from C Party Props in Walnut Creek (925-934-3181 or C delivers for a fee or you can pick it up yourself.

Renting garden chairs and tables

July 2003

Is there a place that exists in the East Bay where one can rent attractive garden chairs and small tables? I would definitely NOT like to rent the standard folding metal chairs and tables. Thanks. anon

Try Chairs for Affairs in Martinez (might be Pleasant Hill?). It is right on the border of PH/Martinez on Alhambra Ave. They do several different types of chairs with decorative slipcovers if you'd like. A great little place! Trish

Non-commercial party supplies for 2-year-old's party

September 2002

I am looking for paper tablecloths, plates, napkins, and plates for my son's 2nd birthday. I want to have an outer space theme but everywhere I look I can only find Star Wars, Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, and various other media inspired materials. Any ideas? We are a visual media-free household and I would even prefer monochromatic items to those that are really advertisements. Any ideas? Many thanks. Heidi

Go to the Party Warehouse at 10425 San Pablo in El Cerrito. Although the customer service leaves something to be desired, they have all kinds of party supplies, not just stuff with tie-ins to kids shows. Karen

What about using silver-toned napkins, plates and hats? Some party supply stores carry these colors in the wedding section. You might make your own rockets out of paper towel tubes with paper rocket tops taped to the top for favors or as a craft project or for a centerpiece. Maybe make moonrock cookies (meringues come to mind). You could also paint real rocks with silver paint or have the kids do it as an activity during the party. Have fun! Denise

Try Mr. Mopps in Berkeley. They have some commercial stuff but also a really wide selection of nice party goods with generic themes. We got the decorations for my son's 3rd birthday (tropical fish plates, napkins and hanging crepe paper fishies) from there. Have fun! Rebecca has a birthday party theme called ''Retro Rocket.'' It does not appear to be associated with any television program or other commercial theme. Stephanie

You'll find inexpensive, fun stuff at www.orientaltrading .com. Visit their site and use the search option ''space'' or ''alien'' and you'll have lots of stuff to choose from. I have used them twice and I think they are great. Beware though - after ordering you'll receive a lot of their catalogs (but there is probably a way to stop this). Have fun. Susan

I'm anti-licensed-character too, mostly, so I understand your frustration! The Paper Plus outlet on San Pablo (near Virginia) has decent prices on solid color plates, napkins, etc. and also often has some cute kids' party designs that are non-licensed. I know I've seen rocket ship things there before. But I bet the kids would love to decorate the tablecloth -- and party hats and goody bags to keep -- themselves, using crayons and markers and space-themed stickers and/or rubber stamps. Get plain blue or black paper goods and an assortment of stickers and let 'em at it. For that matter, a party hat would make a pretty good rocket, with a few construction paper tailfins taped on! Holly

What about getting some dark blue or purple party goods at the supermarket then dressing them up? You could toss those glow-in-the- dark stars across the table, and get some outer space, star, and planet stickers and either decorate the plates and cups yourself or let the kids do it as part of the fun. The left-over stickers could make fun party favors. Sounds like a good time--I hope all enjoy! And happy birthday to your son. Carolyn

There is a party goods store on Oak Street in Oakland near Embarcadero (right by train tracks and just South of Jack London) that has all sorts of paper supplies with non-commercial themes. They also have great inexpensive party favor type stuff and balloons, and wrapping paper etc. I used them for business luncheon events for adults, as well as parties for kids. Also Beverages and More has solid paper goods and tablecloths, more expensive though. Cheryl

Try In addition to scads of trademark- themed party stuff, they do have ''generic'' themes, including one called Retro Rocket that's got cute cartoony spaceships on the plates, napkins, etc.. They may also have other non-trademarked outer space themes if you search their site. Elise has everything you could need for a rocket ship party and party planners and activity ideas, too. Have fun! Julie

More recommendations


When I was shopping for my wedding/bridal shower supplies (such as party favors, matching napkins/plates/cups, invitations, etc), there were 2 stores that I used. I am not sure if they have things for 3 year olds, but either way they are both good stores for party supplies.

One is called Craft Depot . It's got things for Art, Crafts, Floral, Hobby, and Wedding Supplies. It's at the Floresta Center, 14801 Washington Ave., San Leandro, 510-483-5454. This store may not have what you are looking for for 3 year olds, but it's worth a call just in case. (By the way, if anyone is planning a wedding, this is the place to get items to make wedding favors. They've got tons of stuff!)

The other place is called Party Warehouse . They have locations in Oakland (near Jack London Square), Alameda, and I think San Leandro. I think the El Cerrito store closed. Again, I don't know if they have items specifically for 3-year olds, but I think they have knick-knacks for kids. This place is in the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages, so you could see their advertisement.

Teddies Party on Solano Ave in Albany might also be a place to check out.

Habitot Children's Museum has a great selection of unique items for party favor bags. Some are very inexpensive. Buying things from their store is also a great way to help support the museum. -- Kathy

Two suggestions for cheapo party favors: Paper Plus Outlet store on San Pablo between Univ. Ave. and Cedar in Berkeley: 1643 San Pablo Ave., 525-1799. And Grocery Outlet on 5th St. of University Ave. in Berkeley (at the overpass ramp). They always have goofy specials, like Pez dispensers 3 for $1, and various kinds of toys and snacks, some fairly nutritious. For my last party I used regular lunch bags decorated with glitter and magic markers, and the kids seemed perfectly happy. I went to another party where the mom used white paper bags with rubber stamp designs and I thought they were very cool. Have fun!

party favors in Berkeley: Mr. Mopps on Martin Luther King & Rose has a nice selection. There's also a party store on Solano Avenue near the top (Teddy's Party? or something like that).

Party City in Walnut Creek has tons of party favors at what I think are very reasonable prices. Good luck with your party! --Melissa

The Party Warehouse in El Cerrito is NOT closed (at least it wasn't 2 weeks ago.) Betty (6/99)

Try Party Warehouse . They have stores in Oakland and Alameda.


Tent or canopy & serving dishes for a party

Dec 2002

Please help! I am in desparate need of recommendations for where I can rent a tent (simple canopy style, 10x10) and several chafing dishes for an outdoor party next week. I am looking to rent in the East Bay Area, preferably Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill area, if that's possible, but any recommendations for the Bay Area would be welcome. If you have any ideas, please email me as I am running out of time!!!! Thanks very much! maritelb

Try Concord Rentals on Monument Blvd. in Concord. They rent all types of party equipment - tables, chairs, huge trailer barbecues, etc. and probably have a canopy/tent to rent. nancy

Try C party rentals in Walnut Creek. I have used them several times, they have a larget selection of anything/everything your could need and they deliver! ks

The Stuart Rental Company, 2033 No. Broadway in Walnut Creek is great for party rentals. They have everything from tables, chairs, silverware, napkins, etc. 925-933-5454. Many of our friends have used them. Ali

I recently rented some champagne glasses from Piedmont Party Rentals, on Broadway near 51st in Oakland, 601-6900. I don't know whether they carry tents, but I sure saw chafing dishes amongst lots of other party equipment in their warehouse. The people who work there were very friendly and helpful, and the rental fee for the glasses seemed reasonable. Peter

March 2002

We are planning a seated luncheon in June. Does anyone know of a place besides Hertz on Eastshore where we could rent a large dining canopy? June is wedding season, so I'd like to reserve one right away. Thanks! Rue

Taylor Rental in Castro Valley has them (or did last year). They are at the west end of town, right off the freeway. Tina