The Children's Museum Birthday FAQ Page

What are your birthday days and time slots?
I was not offered the time frame I needed. What can I do?
How long can I and my party guests stay in the museum?
What instructions should I give to the party children's parents?
What is your policy on chaperones?
Any suggestions for choosing my chaperones?
Is there a cost or charge for adults/parents/siblings to attend the party?
What if other children, not part of the party count, want to come with us?
Do you have any Museum rules the children must obey?
What happens if my guest count changes?
What happens if guests arrive late?
What kind of decorations do you have and/or can I bring my own?
What does the cake look like and/or can I bring my own?
Do you have ice cream?
What is in the goody bags?
Why can't I let the children carry balloons around the Museum?
Can we open presents in the Museum?
How do I get invitations?
May I bring in a piñata?
May I bring in a clown or magician?
Can I bring outside food or drinks?
Will my credit card be charged? & When do I pay?
What does the party package include?
How do I change the time and/or date of the party?
What are the differences in your various birthday packages?

Question: What Birthday Time Slots do you have available & what do I put on the invitations? Answer: Our CM Birthday time slot is Saturday’s 10:05a-12:30p (includes 30 min in party room with time before and after for group to explore museum’s four floors). Put on your invitation the two hour and thirty minute time frame, and ask attendees to arrive on time so as to enjoy all 4 floors. You will greet guests as they arrive, they'll put their presents in the birthday room and enjoy interacting with the exhibits on the 1st floor under the supervision of your party chaperones. Then, you and your guests will enjoy a half hour in the birthday room itself, sharing goodies etc. Following that, the children will enjoy interacting with the exhibits on the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd floors of the museum. The birthday room will, at this time, be cleaned up, and goodie bags and balloons will be taken to the front desk to be given out to party children as they leave the museum. Birthday parents will take presents out to the car at the end of the two hour fifteen minute time frame.

Question: I was not offered the time frame I needed. What can I do? Answer: The party time is set and cannot be altered. We need to ensure we have enough staff available. Your party guests may enjoy the museum for a 2 hour and 30 minute time frame. However, the birthday room will only be available for you for a half hour of your scheduled party time. If this date won't work, we recommend you try a different date. Back to top

Question: How long can I and my party guests stay in the museum? Answer: We schedule the parties so that you put a two hour and thirty minute birthday party time frame on your invitations (10:10a-12:35p). We find that a two hour and twenty-five minute time frame is sufficient. Otherwise, you've got wired children and tired adults! This also gives your parents an accurate dropoff and pickup time. If you have paid for parents and they wish to stay in the museum with their children, they may do so. Back to top

Question: What instructions should I give the parents? Answer: For safety and security reasons, all visitors entering the museum must check in at the front desk. When parents arrive with your child's birthday guests, they must also check in at the front desk upon arrival.They will be given the birthday rules and schedule by our staff and asked if they are staying as your chaperones or leaving their child with you for the party. If they are staying, they will be given a list of rules and the schedule and asked to help birthday parents chaperone the children at all times. If they leave their child at the museum with your chosen chaperones - they must check in again at the front desk when they arrive at the end of the party to pick up their child, within 5 minutes before the party's ending time. If they arrive early, they may wait for their children in the front window seat area. Back to top

Question: What is your policy on chaperones? Answer: For safety and security, we require one (1) adult chaperone for each four (4) children attending the party. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and they must be chaperoned at all times in the Museum, on all floors. Please make your chaperones aware of this. Back to top

Question: What suggestions do you have for choosing my chaperones? Answer: We find parties run more smoothly for the children, the birthday parents, and the guests, if you choose as chaperones people you know respect the museum rules and will stay with the children, and not sit and visit with one another, leaving the entire task to you. Back to top

Question: Is there a cost or charge for adults/parents/siblings to attend the party? Answer: The cost per party includes up to 25 guests. Any additional children or adults will be charged $5.00 each, as will any additional children not part of the birthday party group. Extra children who stay must pay, and must be accompanied by an adult. Back to top

Question: What if we want to have other children attend, who aren't with the party group but want to enjoy the Museum? Answer: Any children who are in addition to the up to 25 or more guests who will not be attending the party, but are brought to the Museum with the group, may enjoy the 4 floors of educational hands-on exhibits for that two and a half hour time frame at a special rate of $5.00 each. They are expected to be chaperoned by adults at all times. Children cannot be dropped off at the museum without chaperones. Chaperones must be over 18 years of age. Back to top

Question: What are your Children's Museum rules? Answer: Our rules are simple but necessary to protect the other children in the Museum as well as our Museum exhibits: 1.) No running, pushing or shoving; 2.) Group stays together and follows the bday schedule given the parent ahead of time and each chaperone when they arrive; 3.) Food & drink are not allowed on the Museum floors (our kitchen / birthday room and benches are available for this) but parents/chaperones stay on the floors with the children. 4.) Use inside voices and Respect the Museum property. 5.) Pick up after themselves. 6.) Leave items in the areas where they were found. 7.) Balloons must remain in the birthday room until the birthday children leave (they will be tied to your goody bags by the museum staff and handed out by staff at the front desk). Children who choose to disobey our rules will be told to stay with their parents, or if behavior warrants, may be asked to leave the Museum. Back to top

Question: What happens if my guest count changes? Answer: Not a problem. However, you only pay for the children and adults that you have invited to attend, with a minimum of up to 25. Additional guests, over this 25 number, are $5.00 each. Therefore, if you think more guests will come, please contact us as soon as possible, so that we may set up the birthday table and order additional food if needed. You need not do anything if your count will be 25 or less. Back to top

Question: What if some of my guests are late? Answer: Not a problem. If you are in the birthday room, we will direct them to enter the birthday room by the side door (near the bathrooms & coat rack). If you are up on one of the floors, we will have them put their presents in the birthday room and direct them to the floor you're on. Back to top

Question: What kind of decorations do you have and/or can I bring my own? Answer: Our birthday room walls are already decorated. We offer table decorations that are a standard birthday design, unless you have ordered a Theme Party. Then you get customized table decorations that fit your chosen theme. You are welcome to bring in your own party supplies if you wish, as long as these are brought in two days prior to the party. Back to top

Question: Do you provide the cake and/or can I bring my own? Answer: We find it's best if our party parents or guardians bring in their own cake, or cupcakes, for the birthday person. We can keep it in our refrigerator if need be. Back to top

Question: Do you have ice cream? Answer: We do not carry ice cream for parties. However, you may bring in your own, and keep it in our freezer until served. We recommend you bring in a scoop for it, or bring ice cream cups, which are easier for children to handle. Back to top

Question: What is in the favor bags? How much are they? Answer: The favor bags are $4.50 each for non-theme parties, and $6.50 each for themed parties, and include six toys and three candies. The contents vary, but can include things such as stickers, coloring pages, crayons, mini-slinky’s, candy, play money, etc… Back to top

Question: How do I get invitations? Answer: You can either provide your own invitations or print out a pdf version of our Children's Museum birthday party invitations. Download parents guidelines invite form. Back to top

Question: May I bring in a piñata? Answer: No. For safety reasons we do not allow them in the museum. Back to top

Question: May I bring in a clown or magician? Answer: No, because there won't be time for your guests to enjoy the party, AND see all four floors of exhibits. Back to top

Question: Can I bring outside food or drinks? Answer: No, only cake or cupcakes are allowed (please make these as sugar free as possible to avoid hyping kids up) - no other outside food or drink is permitted. We can order in extra food for you, if you wish. See our extras sheet. Back to top

Question: Will my credit card be charged? When do I pay? Answer: Your credit card will be charged 50% of the party package you choose. This holds the reservation date for you. Your total is handled on the day of the party once a headcount is taken. Back to top

Question: What does the party package include? Answer: The party package includes -- tables reserved for 30 minutes, decorated with balloons, party plates, cups, and napkins --A host or hostess to take care of everything for you --Each child receives: -2 slices of a cheese pizza (if you choose the package that includes pizza) -A soft drink or juice or water with free refills -A slice of cake --A birthday song by party guests-- a helium balloon to take home with them as they leave the museum (if goody bags have been provided by either the parent or the Museum). Back to top

Question: Why can't we let the children carry the balloons around the Museum? Answer: If the balloons get loose and float up in the rafters (as they often used to!) and aren't found before we close, they set off our alarm system in the middle of the night and the Museum staff and the police have to come down and check out the entire Museum. Thus, we keep the balloons tied down in the birthday room, then one of our staff members ties the balloons onto the goody bags you or we provide and take them to the front, where they are given out to birthday children on their way out the door. Back to top

Question: How do I change the time and/or date of the party? Answer: You will need to call the museum and rebook the party for the date you require, if available. Back to top

Question: What is the difference between your various packages? Answer: We offer two Basic Party Packages, and two Theme Party Packages. Parties can be with only soda & chips, or with pizza/soda/juice catered by us. If you do not find the answer to your question, please feel free to email us, or send us your question via our feedback form. Back to top

Question: Can we open the presents in the party room? Answer: That depends on how much time you have left after eating, cake, etc. If there's time in your 30 minute time slot in the birthday room, you are more than welcome to open them in the birthday room. If, however, you have a large number of children attending and many presents to open, you'll want to take the presents home for the child to open there, as experience has taught us that the children much prefer to enjoy interacting with the 100's of exhibits on our four floors, and to taking a ride in our airplane. Back to top

The Children's Museum of History, Living History, Science & Technology
311 Main Street, Utica, NY 13501
Tel: 315-724-6129
* Web: www.museum4kids.net

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