Auditorium Room Rental Information
The auditorium room and adjacent kitchenette at Watkins Nature Center is available for rental for meetings, workshops/ trainings, and baby showers. The auditorium room seats 70 people comfortably with tables and chairs, or 90 people with chairs and no tables. The maximum capacity permitted is 90 people. There is a retractable wall-mounted projector screen located at the end of the room and it is available for use with all rentals (projection equipment must be provided by the renter). The room dimension is 32’ x 42’, and it comes equipped with 90 chairs and 14 tables.
The adjacent kitchenette features ample counter space, a double sink, refrigerator/freezer, and microwave (no stove or oven). Renters are permitted to use chafing dishes with canned gel fuel (sternos) in order to keep food warm.
The room is available for rent seven days a week, from the hours of 8:30 am – 10:00 pm. Room rental is subject to availability, and must be reserved at least 2 weeks prior to the date of the event. Set up and cleanup time must occur within the reserved time frame.
Hourly Rates: (minimum of 3 hours per rental)
$60/hour Prince George’s & Montgomery County residents
$78/hour residents of all other jurisdictions
Please call 301-218-6702, between the hours of 8:30 am-3:30 pm, Monday-Friday, in order to make a reservation. A deposit is required to hold your reservation. In order to make a deposit, you must have a SMARTlink account or provide your driver’s license at the time payment is made.
Wild Things Birthday Party Package (Workshop Room)
Have your child's birthday party at Watkins Nature Center! We provide the use of our workshop room for 3 hours, a 30 minute live animal show, and a coloring book for each child. You supply the food, decorations, and fun! A great package deal, that is suitable for ages 2-12.
Your birthday party package includes:
- A 30-minute Wild Things animal show featuring a variety of our resident animals, such as reptiles, amphibians, insects and/or birds of prey.
- 3-hour use of our workshop room, including set up, party, nature program, and clean up time. Available from 1-4 pm on a Saturday or Sunday. (You must be cleaned up and vacate the room by 4 pm)
- Use of our workshop room, which includes tables, chairs, sink, and refrigerator/freezer.
- Receive a free nature coloring book for each child in your party. These will be provided the day of the party.
- Receive a 15% discount in our Little Shop of Nature gift shop on the day of your party or the day you reserve and pay for your party.
- Up to 25 child guests. The room capacity is 50 including adults and children.
Party Time and Date
- For reservations, please call 301-218-6702; TTY 301-699-2544. Please call at least two months in advance, dates fill quickly. Reservations are tentative and subject to cancellation unless payment is received in full by due date.
- $120 (Prince George's and Montgomery County residents), $155 (non-residents) includes the birthday party child and up to 25 child guests. Payment is required to reserve your date.
- There is no fee for adult guests.
- Payment is required within 10 days of scheduling your party date. Make checks/money orders payable to: M-NCPPC. Please mail or bring payment in to Watkins Nature Center at 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774. Until payment is received, all reservations are tentative. When paying we need to see a copy of your driver's license and/or other form of identification with your payment, regardless of the payment type.
Additional Birthday Party Guidelines
- When you make your reservation, we will ask you to please select a time for your 30-minute animal show (anytime between 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm). Please plan your setup, party activities, animal show, and clean up within your 3 hour reserved time.
- All cancellations must be addressed to the manager of Watkins Nature Center or his/her designee at least 5 business days prior to the event. Cancellation requests may be faxed to 301-218-6712. With sufficient notice (as indicated on contract) and approval of the manager, a refund will be issued minus a 20% administrative fee.
- If payment was made in the form of cash, money order, or check,the refund, in the form of a check, will be mailed to the address on the original reservation form. Please allow 3-4 weeks. Payments made by credit card will be refunded to the credit card used for payment.
- Please limit your party activities and food consumption to the workshop. Adults must accompany and supervise all children visiting the exhibit hall, bathrooms, and birds of prey areas. Please do not allow climbing, running, screaming, or other inappropriate behavior inside the Nature Center or outside in the birds of prey areas. Please DO NOT feed any animals or put any items in the turtle pond or cages.
- Please dispose of all trash and recyclables in the proper receptacles, and leave the workshop and outside areas as you found them. Brooms and dustpans for your use are available; from the staff person on duty.