The mild weather and proximity to forests and parks makes the Basel area the perfect place to host your child’s next birthday outdoors. Outdoor parties require a little more planning, but this guide has some handy tips to make your next birthday party spectacular!
Park birthday parties are relatively easy to throw and there are several excellent parks in the Basel area that make a great setting. While the effort to entertain the children is fairly minimal (the playground takes care of that), these parties do require some forethought to run smoothly. Here are a few general tips to help:
On weekends during good weather Basel parks can be busy. Arrive early to pick the best spot and claim a picnic table (these are in short supply). This also allows you to drop a pin in your location and send the GPS coordinates to your guests. This is particularly useful for some of the larger parks.
This is the bulk of your effort in this party scenario. Make a list and make sure you have everything you need before you set off. This includes items for food service, party games, etc. Don’t forget napkins and trash bags and things like utensils for serving or a lighter for birthday candles. A small first aid kit is also a good idea. Bringing a folding table and a couple outdoor chairs is also aadvantageous in case you are not lucky enough to score a picnic table. As many of the parks are quite large, make sure you have a method to haul everything to your party location from where you park your car.
Lay down some ground rules
With large sprawling areas it may be difficult to keep an eye on the children. Define the areas where they are allowed to play and institute a buddy system for going to the restroom.
Plan a couple activities
Although the location takes care of most of the entertainment, a couple planned activities are also a welcome addition. This can include a scavenger or treasure hunt, an obstacle race or even some traditional fun like a three-legged or spoon race. My personal favourites are ‘Minute-to-Win-it’ games, of which there are plenty of examples online. Whatever you do make sure to keep it simple and have enough prizes for all the kids.
Keep food simple
Finger food, chips and anything on a stick is the way to go. Meat and cheese platters, although lovely don’t tend to travel well so our go-to is usually chips, crackers, nuts, fruit kabobs, salami sticks and pre-wrapped cheese. Whenever planning a park party, I always opt for cupcakes instead of cake as it is easier to serve. Don’t forget plenty of water and something for the parents (alcoholic or not).
Have a rain plan
This is probably the most stressful part of an outdoor party, but make sure you have a plan B. Confirm with your guests the day before where the party will be held.
Book a room
The fantastic part about Basel’s parks is that many of them have event rooms that you can book for your party. This takes the stress out of having to make a rain plan. Many also have a fully equipped kitchens, which makes food service much easier. These rooms can be used as a meeting place and the bulk of the activity can still take place in the park.
Best Parks for Parties
Although Basel has several great parks, some are better suited for parties.
Kannenfeld park is HUGE with several different playgrounds, a splash pad with rolling cement hills (that can be used as a scooter or skate park in the off season) and even a statue of a laughing giant to delight your children. Because there are so many different types of playgrounds, it is a great party destination as there is something appropriate for all ages from toddlers to older children. The size of the park also makes it a great setting for a scavenger or treasure hunt.
· seating and service items for up to 50 people
· CHF 150/day from 10:00 (hourly rental not possible)
· key pick up at 10:00 the day of the event and returned the following day at 9:30
· you must leave the hall clean in the condition that you found it
Another great choice for children’s parties, Lange Erlen has a bit of everything. A beautiful river setting, a fantastic play structure and even a small free zoo (Tierpark Lange Erlen).
Tierpark Lange Erlen also has a birthday party package that is suitable for children ages 6-11.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Duration of the tour: 90 minutes. Other dates/times on request.
children from 6 - 11 years maximum 10 children and 1-2 accompanying persons
flat rate for 10 children: CHF 220.00 tour of the zoo (in German only), gift for the birthday boy/girl
Room bookings are also available at the nearby PARK Restaurant
seating and service for up to 50 people (80 people standing)
CHF 250/half day CHF 500/full day
food service available
booking: +41 61 681 4022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Schützenmattpark in the south of the city is another great location for parties. This large park has a good variety of playground equipment as well as a splash pad. The café is also available for party rentals.
contact for more information and prices. Phone +41 61 302 10 40, email email@example.com
Basel is ideally located for a forest party as it is near to several forest areas. This is a fun option that lets the kids explore and discover nature. These parties can also be done in the fall and winter months as long as your guests dress appropriately and you bring some hot chocolate! Here are a few tips to help you plan:
Scout out the location
If you are planning a forest/ hiking birthday party, make sure you scout out the location ahead of time. Take note of a potential meeting place (and a photo to send to your guests), any grill spots (claimed on a first come first serve basis), the availability of wood for fires and other highlights along the trail.
Pack as light as you can
Because you must haul everything to the location yourself, make sure to pack light. If other parents are attending the party, enlist their help and that of the children for lighter items. Ask everyone to bring their own drinks. Make sure to bring along some hand sanitizer, any fire building supplies and a small first aid kit.
Keep food simple
The same recommendations apply as park parties. To make things easier, time your party so it does not coincide with a mealtime and pack snacks only. If you have access to a grill pit, hotdogs and s’mores are the way to go (birthday cake does not travel well). Make sure you pack any implements for grilling and a pocketknife always comes in handy for whittling sticks for s’mores.
Dress for the weather (and remind your guests)
This means wearing layers, clothes that can get muddy, sturdy shoes and waterproof coats and pants.
Have a rain plan
No one is going to have fun dripping wet, so an alternate plan is also necessary.
Be mindful of any campfires and set some ground rules for safety. Take note of any nearby water features and make sure that the kids know where they are allowed to play.
Make it a family affair
This is the type of party that is great to include parents. Not only can they enjoy a cookout in the forest, but they can also help carry some of the stuff!
Plan a couple activities
This is the best part of the forest birthday party! There a are a tonne of activities you can do from scavenger hunts to games. The kids will also be happy just making their own fun and can help with things like making the campfire and getting the food ready.
Clean up afterwards
As always whatever you bring in you must take out. If you make a campfire, be sure it is fully extinguished before you leave. Pack some extra water for this purpose.
Forest Locations Near Basel
In addition to the Tierpark and the playground, there is also a lovely forest in Lange Erlen, on the north side of the Wiese near the German border. There are several grill areas here as well as a Vita Parcours course (a forest obstacle course) which can be great fun. There are also lovely areas along the Wiese for grilling and depending on conditions, swimming and wading is also possible.
Allschwil is another great location in the south of the city. This lovely forest has numerous grill spots as well as a Vita Parcours course. Waldprojeckte, a group that specializes in forest parties, is also based in Allschwil. See below for details.
Riehen & Bettingen
Riehen & Bettingen offer some lovely forest areas as well with some stunning views. There is also the possibility of organizing a party around the 24 Stops Rehberger Weg. This is a fun and interactive 5km art tour with lots of areas for kids to play. Grüne Schule Basel, a group that specializes in forest parties, is also based in Riehen. See below for details.
A short interactive hike that will delight small children is the Reinach Skulpturenweg. There are numerous carvings hidden throughout this area as well as some interactive elements (ball courses) and some grilling spots.
Forest Birthday Party Organizations
based in Allschwil
forest games, treasure hunts, you choose the theme
kids up to age 10
from 6 children (plus 1-2 adults)
CHF 200 plus CHF20 for materials
bring your own food and drink
contact form, or by phone +41 77 464 0959
Grüne Schule Basel in partnership with Basel Botanical Gardens, offers birthday party tours (particularly suitable for small children) with themes like ‘Herb Garden’, ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Sensory Safari’.
guided tours available for up to 10 children for CHF160
cake and snacks cannot be brought into the gardens, but can instead be enjoyed in nearby Petersplatz
Waldschule Basel offers tailored events in the Basel forests with activities like popcorn making, treasure hunts and more. Only one accompanying adult is required.
based in Riehen
approx. 3 hours
reduction with family pass CHF 255.-
+41 78 882 25 71
Other Outdoor Adventures
Besides parks and forests, there are a few other options for outdoor parties in the Basel area.
The Basel Zoo is well-versed in kids’ birthday parties and have some great options for any child that loves animals. One advantage is that there are several indoor options available if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
5 different themes
age 6 and up max 10 children (and 2 adults)
party without snack CHF 220
party with snack CHF 300
available in English upon request
available on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 14.30 to 16:00 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 12:00
(20 mins from Basel)
For those of you willing to travel a little further afield, there are the Roman ruins of Augusta Raurica just outside Basel. There is lots to see there, including impressive Roman ruins, a museum and even an animal park.
several different themes including pottery making and bread baking
available in English upon request
contact for more information and prices
contact by phone +41 61 552 22 22 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seilpark, Rodelbahn & Trotinette
For those of you who are a bit more adventurous (and have children aged 8 and over) there are several exciting options in the Basel area. These activities do not have specific birthday party packages, but arrangements can be easily made. Make sure to make reservations (if possible), pack lightly and make sure your guests are aware of the risks. These parties are more suited to small groups with parents attending, as the extra parental supervision comes in handy. Plus, the activities are fun for all ages.
(35 mins from Basel)
The Wasserfallen region just outside Basel near Reigoldswil has a well-maintained website (with real-time weather updates) and a plethora of activities to choose from including hiking, a Seilpark (ropes and zipline park) and a Trotinett track (mountain scooters). In the winter there is also a sledge run and snowshoeing. There are also several nice picnicking areas as well as several restaurants, many of which are happy to cater to groups. A cable car is required to get up to the activities, but you can get a discount for anyone with a Half Card or Junior Card.
for more details on prices click here.
minimum age for using a scooter independently is 10 years
for the Seilpark children must be at least 8 years old and able to reach a heigh of 140 cm with outstretched arms to access the park
group reservations available by phone +41 6194 1820 or email email@example.com
(25 mins from Basel)
This is another great option for Seilparks in the Basel region. They also have a birthday party option, where you can make a reservation in advance and the birthday child is free. There is also a kids parkour course for children ages 4-7.
(40 mins from Basel)
In addition to a small Seilpark, Deinkick Langenbriuck has a fantastic Rodelbahn (an outdoor luge track). Children over 8 years old can ride by themselves and children from 3-8 with an adult. There is also a birthday offer of 3 free rides for the birthday child. One thing to consider is that they will absolutely not run in wet weather. Keep this in mind (as well as other safety concerns) before you plan your party.
reservations not available
I hope this guide helps you to plan a fabulous outdoor birthday party! Stay tuned for our upcoming article Kids Birthday Parties in Basel: Indoor.