Birthday Parties and Special Events

//Birthday Parties and Special Events
Birthday Parties and Special Events 2021-09-13T10:39:43-04:00

Birthday Parties are currently 100% OUTSIDE! We have a covered picnic pavilion and two single-user restrooms with exterior door entrances for use by birthday parties. Guest access to the farmhouse is not available. Per public health guidelines, masks are currently optional when outside. All of our staff are vaccinated against Covid-19. Our staff may choose to wear a mask when working outside but are happy to wear a mask at all times during your party if that is your preference, please just let us know.

To inquire about booking a party, please complete the form HERE.

Farm Fun

Meet our family of farm animals and go on a tasting tour in the garden. Children will visit all the farm animals (chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats, sheep) and taste fruits, vegetables, and herbs in our gardens. This party is available in all seasons and can also include time for children to enjoy the sand box, mud kitchen, and other playspaces on our campus!

Program Length: 2 hours, plus 30 minutes for set-up and 30 minutes for clean-up

Program Fee: $250

Complete the form at the top of this page to request a date!

Farm Fun with Pizza Making

Farms make food, including all the delicious ingredients that go into a homemade pizza! Children will use home made pizza dough to make their own personal sized pizzas. In season, we will harvest herbs and vegetables from the garden to add to our pizzas. While the pizzas bake, children will meet our family of farm animals and go on a tasting tour in the garden. Children will visit all the farm animals and taste fruits, vegetables, and herbs in our gardens. This program includes about 45 minutes of pizza making, 45 minutes of farm time, and 30 minutes for your birthday celebration. **Scroll to the bottom of this page for some additional notes about cooking parties!**

Program Length: 2 hours, plus 30 minutes for set-up and 30 minutes for clean-up

Program Fee: $300

Complete the form at the top of this page to request a date!

Winter Adventure

Winter parties are great for sledding, animal tracking in the snow, campfires, or learning about maple sugaring (seasonal – best in March). Each winter is different, so call to talk about options for a wonderful winter celebration. Our garden is sleeping in the winter, but pizza making is still a great winter activity, too.

Program Length: 2 hours, plus 30 minutes for set-up and 30 minutes for clean-up

Program Fee: $250

Complete the form at the top of this page to request a date!

Treasure Hunt and Campfire

Take your friends on a short hike through the woods or walk through our campus and end with a hunt for hidden treasure! You provide goodie bags or other treasures to be hidden, and Common Ground staff will hide them before your guests arrive. The hike and treasure hunt take about 45 minutes, followed by time to play and build forts in the woods and enjoy a campfire! You are welcome to bring treats for roasting at the campfire. Please note that this program does NOT include time to go into the animal yards or the garden. **Scroll to the bottom of this page for some additional notes about treasure hunt parties!**

Program Length: 2 hours, plus 30 minutes for set-up and 30 minutes for clean-up

Program Fee: $250

Complete the form at the top of this page to request a date!

Birthday Party Frequently Asked Questions

What is provided by Common Ground? Common Ground staff will provide the activities and structure for your program and will be prepared with a basic first aid and safety kit. We will provide a clean facility and have the buildings open 30 minutes before your program is scheduled to start. Parents and chaperones should be prepared to participate and help with supervision. You need to bring: You are welcome to bring decorations and food. Please supply your own utensils, plates, and any other desired party supplies. Please note that refrigerator and freezer space is NOT available.

Maximum number of people: 40, including all children and adults. This is flexible – our indoor space best accommodates no more than 40 people, but it is not necessary to have an exact head count (just know that the farmhouse will feel crowded with more than about 40 people).

Who are the staff? One experienced Environmental Educator will host your party. The educator will be with you for the full party time to lead activities and then to help serve any food or other celebration you wish to share.

Payment details: Payment may be made on the day of the party by cash or check made out to Common Ground. If paying in cash, please plan to bring exact payment, as your staff person will not have change available.

What is a typical party schedule? In this example, the party is from 2:30 – 4:30

  • 2:00: You arrive and meet your staff person at the farmhouse. You can set up any decorations or snacks during this time.
  • 2:30 – 2:50: Guests arriving and playing. This is usually just running around outside! We have balls and hula hoops and sidewalk chalk, as well as a big sand box and mud kitchen. If it is very cold out, we have legos and books that children can enjoy in the farmhouse. Some families like to put out snacks during this time.
    2:50 – 3:50: Staff person will organize kids and lead them in activities!
  • 3:50 – 4:30: Time for you to share cake or other celebration! (kids can also go play outside again when they are finished eating).

What if it is very hot/cold/rainy? Please tell your guests to dress for both indoor and outdoor time, even if it is cold or rainy! The farmhouse classroom is always reserved for birthday parties, so you will have use of that space as “home base” for food and other celebration if you wish. The farmhouse is heated, but not air conditioned. In nice weather, a covered picnic area with 8 large picnic tables is also available as home base if you prefer (it is fine to decide on the day of the party).

Is there wheelchair and stroller access? The farmhouse (and farmhouse bathroom) are wheelchair accessible. Some parts of our campus have woodchip or gravel pathways that are difficult for both wheelchairs and strollers, and other areas are more easily accessible. Please let us know if you’d like to plan for wheelchair access.

What is the address for invitations and where will guests park? Our address is 358 Springside Ave in New Haven. We have plenty of parking on campus. Guests will park in the lot and then follow the signs to the party meeting location (usually the farmhouse, but some campfire or hiking parties choose to meet up in the woods). When you arrive: Your staff person will meet you at the farmhouse 30 minutes before your party. If you have heavy drinks/cake/other things to unload that you do not want to carry from the parking lot to the farmhouse, you will be able to drive up the service entrance to park in front of the farmhouse.


**Special notes on Treasure Hunt Parties**

You provide the treasures and give them to your staff person when you arrive, 30 minutes before your party time, and the staff person will go hide them. Party City or orientaltrading.com are good sources for treasures and trinkets!

For treasure hunts we usually do a short hike (about 15 minutes), ending at the forts building area in the woods for the treasure hunt. If you prefer, you can skip the hike and have a longer time for fort building or a campfire after the treasure hunt.

There are two styles of treasure hunt that work well:

  • Goodie bag style: you make a small baggie (a ziplock bag is great in case the woods are wet) for each child, and our staff will hide them. The staff person will instruct the children to each only find/claim one bag, and then to ask others of they want help finding one.
  • Treasure chest style: you make several boxes (shoe box or similar, at least four, but more is great) each with one kind of treasure in it, one for each child. For example, one box with 24 bouncy balls, one box with 24 pencils, one box with 24 bracelets, etc. We hide the treasure boxes and when a child finds a box then all the kids run over and get one treasure from it (repeat until all boxes are found).

**Special notes on Pizza Making parties**

What does Common Ground provide?

Common Ground provides all ingredients and supplies for cooking and eating the pizza! In season, we will use ingredients from the farm as much as possible. Please note: We plan for all children to make their own mini pizza. Adults do not make their own pizzas. You are welcome to bring any additional snacks you’d like to!

Peanuts, wheat, and other allergies:

Common Ground is not a nut-free facility, but all ingredients for pizza making are nut-free. The pizzas contain gluten and dairy, but are egg-free. Guests are welcome to bring their own gluten free dough, vegan cheese, etc if desired.

Typical pizza making party schedule 

In this example, the party is from 2:30 – 4:30

  • 2:00: You arrive and meet your staff person at the farmhouse. You can set up any decorations or snacks during this time.
  • 2:30 – 2:50: Guests arriving and playing. This is usually just running around outside! We have balls and hula hoops and sidewalk chalk, as well as a big sand box and mud kitchen. If it is very cold out, we have legos and books that children can enjoy in the farmhouse. Some families like to put out snacks during this time.
  • 2:50 – 4:00: Staff person will organize kids to cook! This includes inside cooking time, outside farm time, and eating what we made.
  • 4:00 – 4:30: Time for you to share cake or other celebration! (kids can also go play outside again when they are finished eating).