How to Host the Best Twin Cities Doggy Birthday Party Ever

On each of Walter’s birthdays, I make him a tiny paper hat, make him pose, and snap a quick photo of him to mark the occasion. But we might need to ring in the next year with a bit more pizzazz. You know what I mean?

Yeah, I’m talking about hosting a birthday party for my dog, and I know you’re on the same page as me because you are literally over here reading a website all about living a fun-filled life with your dog in tow. So, let’s not make this awkward, okay? We’re both obsessed with our dog, so let’s get down to the doggone details.


The Twin Cities area, it turns out, is a great place to host a party for your pooch! Although your home would probably suffice, there are also some grrreat local spots to reserve or rent:

dog birthday party
Back in my day we got a stick and a pat on the head for our birthdays. #millennials Photo: Dog Day Getaway

Dog Day Getaway, Apple Valley. This doggy paradise has a rentable event room for your pup party paw-leasure. It’s more than 800-square feet of private space, and perfect for an off-leash kind of shindig. This place also has its own private entrance, private (hooman) bathroom, and easy access to an outdoor area for canine potty breaks. There’s even a webcam in the space so your friends and family can join virtually if they can’t be there in person.

Beard’s Plaisance, Minneapolis. This large, outdoor gazebo’s a great party location for your adventurous dog and their friends. Not only do you have shelter from the sun, you also have an entire park for fun activities (see below for ideas).

Lakes & Legends, MinneapolisIf you and your dog enjoy spending time together at a dog-friendly brewery then this venue is perfect for you. Lakes & Legends was Minnesota’s first brewery to be dog-friendly indoors and its staff is ready to accommodate your next dog-friendly event. Reserve space in the taproom for up to 100 people with no fees or minimums required. Please note that dogs need to be on non-retractable leashes, are not allowed on furniture, and must be social and well-adjusted! Peep our taproom etiquette guide to make sure doggo’s manners are on point.

Local dog parks. Fortunately for all of us, the Twin Cities is chock-full of beautiful dog parks. The upside to this is that the cost is free, you can be outside, the dogs can be off-leash, and even more furry friends might join your party. The downside is that you need to be proactive to make sure each guest knows the licensing and permitting rules.


No party’s complete without some fun-filled activities! Plus they’re a perfect opportunity to provide your guests with fun toys or delicious treats as prizes. Here are some ideas to keep four- and two-legged guests entertained and happy:

Doggy photo booth. Decorate a wall with a fun backdrop, make props using photos of your dog’s face, or use foam board to create a big photo frame, and encourage everyone to snap a souvenir photo.

Pin the tail on the doggy. Blow up your favorite photo of your dog (check with your local FedEx or office supply store for rates, but it’s pretty affordable), hang it on the wall, and play a classic game of “pin the tail on the doggy.” Don’t forget to blindfold and spin your guests!

Sit ‘n stay contest. Put both humans and canines to the test with a simple sit and stay contest! Line everyone up and see which dog holds their stay the longest.

dog birthday party
I’m sensing a theme. (Photo by Sara Nick)


We’ve got plenty of ideas to ensure that everyone leaves with a full belly. For dogs, make sure there’s plenty of fresh drinking water available. You can jazz it up with broth-flavored ice cubes or adding rubber toys that float. If your party’s an outdoorsy summer affair, consider freezing treats and toys in a bucket of water or broth to give the dogs something cold to entertain themselves. Some of our favorite locally made dog treats come from Finley’s Barkery and Rolling Rover Bistro. Wanna go all out with a custom birthday cake for your dog? Check out the cakes from Wag n Wash Natural Food and Bakery in Eagan.

If you want to feed the humans, too, try having fun with the dog theme! Throw together some gourmet hot dogs, whip up a batch of puppy chow, and pair the food with a dog-themed cocktail. A Salty Dog (vodka, grapefruit juice, salt), Colorado Bulldog (vodka, coffee liquor, cream, cola), or a gin and juice (you know, because Snoop Dogg’s always sippin’ on it). There are also many dog-themed beers out there (Chocolate Lab from Wisconsin Brewing is a personal favorite).

And if you don’t wanna plan the whole doggone affair, there’s a party planner for that. Woofies & Wiggles Party Planner For Dogs can arrange everything from venue and guest list to games and grub for dogs and hoomans.

Know another pawesome spot to host a dog birthday party in the Twin Cities? Woof at us in the comments. 

(Top photo by @leo_the_lionpup)

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then join our Dog-Friendly Twin Cities Facebook Group.

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