Birthday Parties at the ARL

Birthday Parties

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a purr-fect place to celebrate your child's birthday! Two hours of animal-filled fun and learning will leave guests with plenty of memories from the special day.

Birthday Paw-ty Package ($270)

Enjoy 90 minutes of activities led by an ARL educator and 30 minutes for your personal celebration. Choose from our list of animal-themed games, crafts and participate in other activities including a tour of the shelter and the chance for party guests to name the shelter’s next pets! The paw-ty also includes:

  • A private party room
  • Printable invitations
  • A souvenir plush dog that all guests sign for the birthday child
  • An activity to adopt a plush cat or dog
    • All child guests leave with their "adopted" pet and adoption certificate
  • Animal themed activities and crafts
  • A special visit from an animal guest (typically kittens, cats, guinea pigs or other small animals)
  • Set up/clean up of basic decorations
  • $100 of your total party cost is a tax-deductible donation to the ARL

Paw-ty Details

  • Families are welcome to bring their own food, beverages and decorations.
  • The maximum number of guests is 10 children (including the birthday child) and 5 adults.
  • Up to 2 additional children may be added to the party in advance at a cost of $15 per child (purchase these extra spots at the bottom of the registration page to ensure we have enough supplies).
  • Children attending must be 6 years of age or older
  • Siblings of the birthday child who are under 6 years of age are invited to attend as long as the total number of children participating in the activities is under the maximum allowed.
  • Reservations are required to be made at least two weeks in advance for all parties
  • Our birthday party schedule often fills up several weeks in advance.

Please note: For those with peanut allergies, peanut butter and other peanut products are present throughout the premises. Due to space and resources, the maximum of 10 children (or up to 12 if purchased in advance) and five adults is strictly enforced.

Paw-ty Dates & Times Available

Saturdays: (11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.), (1:30 to 3:30 p.m.), (4 to 6 p.m.) 

You can arrive up to 15 minutes prior to the start of your party to set up.

Other Ways to Make a Difference at Your Party

Here are a few ways that other children have made a difference for the homeless pets in our care here at the ARL:

  • Request that guests bring birthday presents from the ARL’s Fetch! List (our most needed items) in the form of donations
  • Request that guests bring cash birthday presents in the form of donations

Paw-ty Itinerary

  • 10 minutes: Create name tags & name the next shelter pet 
  • 20 minutes: Activity #1: Animal related game or craft
  • 10 minutes: Activity #2: Animal related game or craft
  • 10 minutes: Shelter tour
  • 30 minutes: Adopt a plush cat or dog
  • 10 minutes: Letters to adopters
  • 10 minutes: Visit from an animal guest
  • 30 minutes: Guests sign souvenir dog for party child and take group photos. Free time to sing happy birthday, open presents, eat cake, etc.

Cancellation/Date Change Policy

Due to the limited number of parties available each day, cancellations and date changes limit other families from reserving party times. Because of this, we are happy to honor date change requests ONLY if received four weeks prior to the original reservation date. Refunds will not be given for parties that need to change a date outside of the four-week window, or that need to cancel altogether. In that event, the reservation fee will be receipted as a 100% donation. Thanks for your understanding!