Birthday Parties FAQ

How can I get more information?

Email Brenna Houck at [email protected].

When do you hold birthday parties?

We hold birthday parties on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:15 – 11:15 and 11:45 – 1:45.

How do I check availability?

To check the availability at Woodend Nature Sanctuary, please use the reservation system to check a particular date and time. 

Do I need to register by a certain date?

Registration for parties closes two weeks (14 days) out. This ensures that both a naturalist and the Teale Center are available on the date of the party. We cannot guarantee availability for birthday parties after this time. 

Dates and times are not guaranteed upon registration and are subject to change depending on facilities availability. If your selected time or date is not available, the birthday party coordinator will reach out and you will be given the opportunity to reschedule, or cancel and be fully refunded minus the registration fee. 

How are birthday parties structured?

The first 15 minutes are for families to set up and the last 15 minutes are for takedown. The naturalist-led portion begins at either 9:30 or 12:00 and runs for the duration of an hour. The half hour between the naturalist-led program and takedown is reserved for cake, presents, or activities led by the participant’s families. 

Guests should arrive by 9:30 or 12:00, when the naturalist-led program begins. The timeline for guests is either 9:30 – 11:00 or 12:00 – 1:30. 

How many children can come to the party?

The birthday party fee includes 14 children. There will be $15 charge per additional child up to a maximum of 18 children. The maximum number of attendees (including participants, siblings, and adults) is 25.

Can adults stay at the party?

Yes, until the maximum number of attendees is reached. However, we are on a 40-acre nature sanctuary with many trails, gardens, meadows, a gift shop, and access to Rock Creek, so we find that many adults like to explore during this time. We ask that at least one responsible adult for every eight kids remain with the party for group management.

What do you do if it is raining or snowing during the party?

We hold our birthday parties rain or shine and participants should dress appropriately for the weather. In case of severe or dangerous weather, we can hold the party entirely indoors or reschedule.

When will the naturalist leading the birthday party contact me? 

The naturalist leading the birthday party will contact you the week of the party to answer any questions and go over any specific programming needs.

Do I need to be a Nature Forward member to have a birthday party?

No, you do not need to be a member of the Audubon Naturalist Society to schedule a birthday party. There are two fees for birthday parties, one for members and one for nonmembers. The fee is $260 for members and $295 for nonmembers (which includes a one-year family membership). There is a $15 non-refundable registration fee (included in the price). Membership fees are non-refundable.

Where are the birthday parties held? 

Woodend Nature Sanctuary (Chevy Chase, MD): Birthday parties are held at the Edwin Way Teale Learning Center, the first building on the right when you come up the driveway.

Can I use balloons for decorations?

Because balloons have such a negative impact on wildlife and the environment, they are not allowed at our Woodend and Rust Nature Sanctuaries. 

Can I stay on the property after the party?

Participants must vacate the Teale Center at the conclusion of the party, but our grounds are open to the public from dawn until dusk.

Can I visit the area where the birthday parties are held?

While the grounds to the Woodend Nature Sanctuary are open to the public from dawn to dusk, the Teale Center and adjacent playground are closed to the public.

Can we serve food?

Families are welcome to provide food during the 30-minute family-led portion following the naturalist program. We have three benches and one covered platform for seating and/or serving food. 

For delivery, we recommend Manoli Canoli of Chevy Chase, a local Italian/Greek restaurant that will deliver to the Teale Center. Visit or call 301-951-1818 for more information; 10% off 5 or more pizzas. If you prefer pick-up, we recommend Whole Foods Market for pizzas, veggie and fruit platters, juices and cupcakes for dessert.