Birthday Celebration Ideas in San Francisco

Celebrate your birthday in style in San Francisco.
Celebrate your birthday in style in San Francisco. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Known for its fiercely independent spirit, San Francisco has an array of unique locations for both kids and adults to celebrate their birthdays. From culturally rich institutions to old-fashioned entertainment, the City by the Bay provides a memorable setting for blowing out your candles.

Nature and the Great Outdoors

San Francisco Zoo covers 100 acres and is home to more than a thousand animals from around the world. Book a birthday party for your child in the zoo’s private room and receive a flurry of amenities, including lunch, personalized cake, animal masks, face paintings and scavenger hunts. Add-on perks include appearances by costumed animal characters and animal encounters. Parties require a minimum of 20 guests, but no more than 48. Set out to explore San Francisco Bay via Hornblower Cruises, a high-end yacht tour company. Sign up for the birthday pack and you’ll receive a three-hour tour with close-up views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. The package also includes a buffet or seated meal, a hosted cocktail bar, a DJ and dancing. Capacity cannot exceed 50 guests.

Museum Madness

Children’s Creativity Museum is home to an array of exhibits, giving kids the chance to dabble in such areas as animation, music and digital design. Up to 20 guests are allowed in the birthday party room. While you reserve the room for two hours, guests are allowed to visit the museum from open to close. Choose from a variety of party themes, such as pirates, science and wild animal safari. Packages include craft workshops and decorations. Nestled along Fisherman’s Wharf, the famed Madame Tussauds San Francisco includes wax figures of some of the most iconic personalities from the world of sports, movies and politics. Plan an elegant celebration on-site in a party room outfitted with outdoor terraces. The Glitter and Grime package includes access to the Dungeon, just downstairs from the museum. The immersive theatrical experience features live actors that explore the city’s sordid past. The troupe can even interact with your party guests, if you desire.

Get Moving

Circus Center is a training center that provides classes in such areas as contortion, wire walking, clowning and acrobats. Hold your birthday party at the unique gym for you and up to 50 guests. Packages can include such perks as instruction on the trapeze, trampoline, juggling and stilt walking. The Circus Center is recommended for kids 7 and older, and adults of all ages. Tucked away in the city’s Mission District, Urban Putt is a 14-hole miniature golf course housed inside a Victorian building. The complex also has an upscale restaurant, two bars and an arcade. Reserve the game room for a kid’s birthday party, with up to 34 guests; partygoers can also enjoy a round of golf, food and beverages. For an adult birthday party, you can book the entire venue, including an open bar.

The Arts

Based in the city’s Glen Park neighborhood, Little Artistas is dubbed an arts, crafts and language studio for kids, and provides classes and camps throughout the year. Rent the studio for two hours with up to 15 guests for your child’s birthday party. The event includes art projects, lunch, cake and playtime. Wine and Canvas is a group that provides art lessons while you sip a glass of wine. Hire the company to provide entertainment in the form of painting workshops at your birthday party. The event lasts anywhere from two and a half to three hours and can be held at various venues throughout the city, including restaurants and galleries.

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