Celebrate your child’s next birthday at Manuels River!
Enjoy the natural, outdoor setting and special birthday programs with our enthusiastic interpreters and a private party room in our beautiful facility! Themed birthday parties are 2 hours in length and can be booked on Saturdays or Sundays (choose from 10am- 12 noon OR 2pm-4pm) throughout the year. Themed birthday parties are $13.00+HST per child. For details about our newest Movie birthday parties, please see the bottom of the page.
As demand for birthday parties is very high and available slots are limited, we are unable to reserve a slot until the party deposit has been paid.
*Please call us early to avoid disappointment as our parties often book up months in advance!*
We have 6 great themed party packages to choose from:
- Treasure Hunt – use a map to find special loot bag treasures inside birthday boxes hidden along our river trail (for ages 7 and under, Cost: $13+HST per child)
- Geocaching Adventure – learn to use GPS units and search for special birthday geocaches as you hike the river trail (for ages 7 and up, Cost: $13+HST per child)
- Become a Rock Hound – learn all about the rocks and fossils on the river, do a fossil craft, and take home your own fossil! (for all ages, Cost: $13+HST per child)
- Budding Botanist – learn about the plants and flowers on the river and how they grow, and then plant a small seedling and take it home with you! (for all ages. Cost: $13+HST per child)
- Nature Artist – guests will make a variety of fun, colourful nature themed crafts to make and take home! Our interpretive staff will select age appropriate crafts for your group (this party is for all ages, and especially good for our youngest guests or for parties with a wide range of ages. Cost: $13+HST per child)
- Wacky Science – guests will participate in a variety of crazy, hands-on experiments guaranteed to make the party a blast! (for all ages, but is especially good for older guests. Cost: $13+HST per child).
The first hour consists of the selected party package activities with our engaging interpreters (either 1 or 2 interpreters depending on the number of children in your party). The second hour is reserved for food, cake, and presents! Doxi, our Manuels River Experience Mascot, is available for parties at an additional charge ($15.00+HST for a 15 minute appearance).
We provide an electronic copy of a colourful themed invitation (invites can be printed for an extra charge of $10.00+HST), all the materials for the activities, and loot bags (that include; nut-free chocolate or candy, small toys, stickers, a coupon for discounted admission ($2 off) on a future visit, and a small colouring/activity book) for each child. If you would like to add additional items to the loot bag, you may bring them in by the Wednesday before your party, so that we can add them ahead of time.
Birthday parties – Frequently Asked Questions
How do I book a party?
Please call, or email, us to verify that your preferred party slot is available, then pay your deposit to book your party. *Please note that your slot is reserved only once the deposit is paid.* The deposit can be paid either in person (at our admissions desk), or via credit card (over the phone). Deposit payment holds the date and time slot for your party. Because our parties fill up so quickly (they can book up to a year in advance), we recommend booking the slot as soon as possible, and you can decide on the theme closer to the party, if you like.
How much is the deposit? Is it refundable?
The non-refundable deposit is $130.00+HST. We do not refund deposits because, in the event of unforeseen problems with the date (sick child, family emergency, etc.), we will work with you to find another slot that suits you. The deposit will be applied to the birthday party total on the day of. Our Members receive 10% off both the deposit and the balance!
How much do the parties cost?
Parties cost $13.00+HST per child . The minimum charge is for 10 children, which is covered by the cost of your non-refundable deposit. The number of guests (confirmed on the day of the party) multiplied by the cost per child, minus the deposit you have already paid, gives you the remaining balance. Your previously paid deposit goes towards the cost of the party, not in addition to it. The remaining balance is paid on the date of the party, at our front desk. Then, if applicable, any catering costs are paid separately to our restaurant/caterer Coffee Matters (please see below).
Do you provide food?
Our in-house cafe and restaurant (Coffee Matters) is available to cater your party (for an extra charge) with a choice of three different special kids menus (mac & cheese, grilled cheese, or pizza, plus dessert & drink), platters, or whole pizzas. The full menu is here (listed prices are subject to 10% gratuity and 15% HST).
The minimum notice for Coffee Matters catering is generally one week ahead of time, then confirmation of numbers 48 hours before the party. Please review the menu above beforehand, then you may book catering with Jacqueline at 834 2099 ext. 207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, this catering is not mandatory – you are also free to order pizza or other delivery food for your party, or bring in food (sandwiches, platters, drinks, etc.) from any licensed kitchen, if you prefer. However, food safety regulations do allow home-made food to be brought in, as we do not have a food license, and we do not provide a kitchen for you to cook in. Pending availability, we can usually find space for a cake in our fridge, but our fridge is not nut-free.
How many children can attend the party?
There is a minimum payment for 10 guests which the non-refundable deposit ($130.00+HST) covers, and there is a maximum of 30 children.
When do you need to know how many children will be attending?
Since the birthday party total cost is based on the number of guests who actually attend (please see above), we will ask for an approximate number of guests that you plan to invite at the time of booking. A week before the party date, if RSVP’s confirm that you will expect many less or many more guests, we ask that you let us know, so we can plan to have the correct number of staff scheduled. It is helpful for us to know if you expect less than 15 or more than 15 guests.
Do you run birthday parties year-round?
Yes we do! In the case of themes with an important outdoor component (Treasure Hunt, Geocaching), we ask you to let your guests know that they should come prepared for the weather (i.e. dress in layers, wear closed-toed shoes, etc.). We will do out best to get outside, unless we have inclement weather and then we’d recommend choosing an indoor party, such as Wacky Science.
Can I decorate the party room?
Yes, you can decorate our birthday party room with your own decorations, as long as they are put up with white sticky tack or removable adhesive strips (e.g. Command strips) – no tape is allowed, as it strips the paint. You are free to come in up to 30 minutes before the start of the party to decorate, and stay up to 30 minutes after the end of the party to your remove decorations.
What ages can you run parties for?
We usually run birthday parties for ages 2 to 10, with a lot of kids in the 4-8 range.
What is the most popular party?
In the summers, it is Treasure Hunt & Geocaching, but, in the winter, the Wacky Science and Nature Artist are quite popular!
What about adults who come to the party, is there a charge for them?
Birthday parties are $13.00+HST per child.
Do you provide cups, plates, utensils, tablecloths, decorations, etc?
No, we do not provide these items. However, if you are having the party catered through our in-house restaurant (see details above), they would provide the food service items for you.
Where in the Centre do the birthday parties take place?
Our kids’ birthday parties take place in our Discovery Room downstairs, or in Receptional Hall A (the side with the windows) upstairs. Both rooms are sunny, bright spaces, which overlook Manuels River and the surrounding forest. Please note that party costs to not cover admission to our Exhibit space. If you would like to visit the Exhibits before or after the party, please pay admission fees at our front desk.
What about movie parties in your theatre?
We are now offering movie parties (including electronic invitations and loot bags, excluding themed, Interpreter-led activities) in our state-of-the-art, surround sound Theatre ! Movie parties also take place on a Saturday (10:00am-12:30pm or 1:30pm-4:00pm) or Sunday (1:30pm-4:00pm), but are 2.5 hours, rather than 2 hours. This is done as a rental, at a cost of $250+HST for both the Theatre (1.5 hours) plus the adjacent Discovery Room (1 hour), rather than a charge per child. The non-refundable deposit payment is still $130.00+HST and will be applied to the total cost of the party on the day of, so your remaining balance for a movie party will be $120.00+HST. Please note that food and drink are not permitted in our Theatre, but they are allowed in our Discovery Room, after the movie. Your party meal and cake would be eaten in the Discovery Room only. For a complete list of movies available for showing, please click here.
Call (834 2099 ext. 203 or ext. 204) or email us ( email@example.com ) to check if your preferred day is available and to book!