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Birthday Parties

Enjoy the Moment

Birthday Parties
We have all been to birthday parties hosted indoors--the blinking lights, the strip mall vibe, the kids bouncing off the walls. The Desert of Maine is a beautiful natural setting that is big enough to contain kids' excitement, allowing adults to relax and enjoy the special moments.

Base Package

All birthday parties at the Desert include:
  • Desert Tent - 2 hour rental of our 20'x40' wedding-style tent which overlooks the dunes
    • Tables, chairs, tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, and plasticware
    • Cooler for drinks (ice not included)
    • Access to a cart for carrying stuff to and from the tent
  • Access to the dunes - Access includes the dunes, all features and exhibits such as Gemstone Village, the Fossil Dig, Electric Train, the Natural Playground for up to 2 hours (concurrent with tent rental)
  • Train Ride - Kids can get a ride to Gemstone Village on our new 1800s style electric train!
  • Staff - Our Welcome Center staff will be available to ask questions as needed. Our Oasis Snack Bar staff will be available to coordinate on food prep timing (if you ordered food)
  • Gems & Shark teeth - Kids can keep up to 3 gems in Gemstone Village and 1 fossilized shark tooth

Mini Golf (optional)

Enjoy 18 holes of the newly constructed Hermit's Adventure Golf!  This course is fun and engaging for kids--a perfect activity that everyone will remember.

Food and Drinks

You have the option of pre-ordering discounted food and drinks from the Oasis Snack Bar:
  • Grilled hot dogs
  • Drinks (organic juice boxes, bottled water)
  • Chips
  • Scoop ice cream & soft serve

Suggested Itinerary

We have three time slots to choose from:
  • Morning - 10:0AM - 12:00PM
  • Afternoon - 2:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Evening - 6:00PM - 8:00PM
     
Our suggested itinerary is as follows:
  • Organizer arrives 30 minutes before to set up
  • Kids arrive and play on the playground for the first 15 minutes
  • Take a ride on our electric train to Gemstone Village or the Fossil Dig for 30 - 45 minutes
  • Spend an hour in the Desert Tent eating, opening presents, and socializing
  • Go back to the playground for parent pick up and departures
  • If you want to play mini golf on the day of the party, you can play any time you want as long as the course is open. We are typically opening at 10:00AM.
  • NOTE: You can add time to your tent rental if you want to be more leisurely about the whole affair. You can add up to one additional hour ahead of time, and potentially more time on the day of the event if there are no events scheduled after your event. This works well if you have lots of adults and they all want to socialize for a bit longer! The additional fee is $100/hr.

Pricing

Base Package

Base package - $300
Access to the dunes and exhibits, Desert Tent rental for up to 10 children (age 4-18) for 2 hours. $15 per each additional child. Accompanying adults and children 3 and under are free. $100 for each additional hour (1 extra hour max for morning time slot if there is an afternoon party scheduled).


Note: Rental of the Desert Tent is a privilege reserved for annual passholders. If you do not have an annual pass, individual annual passes can be purchased for as little as $60. Learn more here.  Most people upgrade to higher annual pass levels so they can use it after the party! Annual passes pay for themselves in as little as one or two visits to the Desert of Maine. 

Additional Options

Hot dog + potato chips + drinks $7/person
Grilled hot dog + small bag of chips + drink (organic juice box or small bottled water)

Ice cream - $4/person
Small soft serve ice cream in a cup + sprinkles (if desired)

Mini golf $1 discount per person (paid in person on the day of the party)
18 holes at our new adventure mini golf course
FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you have availability on the date I want?
    Check our Desert Tent Calendar and look for an available time slot!
     
  • Can I bring my own food & drinks?
    Yes!  We have a cart that you can use to bring it up to the tent. No alcohol permitted.
     
  • Can I bring my own decorations?Yes! Decorate the Desert Tent however you want. Guests often bring banners, streamers, balloons, themed place settings, etc. We just ask that you take decorations down before you when you leave.
     
  • How long can guests stay at the Desert? I.e. Can guests stay as long as they want?
    Guests can stay two hours, give or take, or longer if you add additional time to your tent rental. The fee you pay for the birthday party (which is free for adults) is primarily for rental of the space and giving kids some activities which are bounded by time. If guests want to stay significantly longer, they can come back another day, pay for general admission, or better yet, become annual passholders! If you decide to stay for an extra hour because everyone is having so much fun, just let us know so we can add it to the final invoice.
     
  • What happens if we're rained out?
    If you choose to reschedule your party due to inclement weather (within 24 hours of the party), we will help you rebook your party on any available time slot that works for you. If you choose to cancel your party altogether, there is no refund unfortunately. 
     
  • What if I'm not sure how many children will be coming?
    Just let us know your best estimate for planning purposes. We will ask you about the final tally of youths (under 18) after the party so we can adjust the final invoice if necessary--either by sending a supplemental invoice for extra guests or by refunding you for guests that didn't ultimately show.
     
  • What is the maximum capacity of the tent?
    You can fit a lot of people in there but we have chairs and tables for 60 people.
     
  • How does it work if we order food as an add-on to the birthday party package?
    If you order the hot dog combo or ice cream, just make sure to stop by the Oasis before your party begins and let them know how many people you paid for and what time you want the order to be ready. You will pick up the food from the Oasis pick-up window. If you end up having more or fewer guests who want food than originally planned, we can always adjust the invoice after the fact. 
     
  • How does the train ride work?
    The electric train goes on a loop around the dunes from 10am-3pm (approximately). If you want to ride the train to Gemstone Village / Fossil Dig, just go to the train stop nearest the Desert Tent and wait for the train. We recommend you take a full loop around the track before stopping at Gemstone Village / Fossil Dig. This is a very fun experience for the kids!  NOTE: on some occasions, the train may not be operating due to staffing issues, rain, or vehicle maintenance. We can not absolutely guarantee this will be a part of the birthday party experience but it operates the vast majority of the time.
     
  • Can my guests bring additional kids (e.g. siblings)?
    Absolutely! If the additional child is a +1 (i.e. not included in the totals on the invoice), your guests can just pay for that child at the door. It is $15/child (18 and under). They just have to let the person at the Welcome Center know! 
     
  • Do you charge for parents / accompanying adults?
    No. Believe us, we want as many chaperones as possible!
     
  • Is there any special programming associated with the birthday party?
    No. We provide the space and things like place settings, tables, chairs, etc. The kids don't really need our help to have fun here, but it's also why adults are free.
     
  • Is the itinerary set in stone?
    Not all all. You have exclusive use of the Desert Tent for your entire time slot (plus 30 minutes to set up), and free and unlimited access to the dunes (general admission) for your guests. Sometimes kids spend most of the time in the playground. Other times they run around the dunes or get really enchanted with Gemstone Village. We don't exert any influence over how you structure your activities.
     
  • Do I have to be an annual passholder to book the tent?
    Yes. Individual annual passes can be purchased for as little as $60 (20% off for Freeport residents). You can also select a different annual pass level if you think you might take advantage of the many benefits.

Ready to Book?

If you are ready to book your party, check our Desert Tent Calendar and see if there is an available time slot for your chosen day. When you see something that works for you, click the "Book Now" button below to fill out our Birthday Party form.  When you submit the form you will receive an email with a link to an invoice for a 50% (non-refundable) deposit to secure your date.
Questions before you book? Email us at events@desertofmaine.com

Enjoy the moment

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