Entertainment and Special Events
If you are interested in performing or if you would like to provide a special event for the children and families and you feel that your presentation or program meets our guidelines, you are welcome to submit an application (PDF) form to the Recreation Therapy / Child Life department. If you have further questions, you may contact us at (650) 497-8336.
Entertainment / Special Event GuidelinesThe Recreation Therapy / Child Life Department wishes to normalize and enrich the hospital experience by encouraging individuals and groups from the community to share their special talents with our patients and families.
To assure that the experience is a beneficial and mutually satisfying experience for our patients and entertainers, we ask that you observe the following guidelines:
- All entertainers must be screened and approved in advance by the Recreation Therapy / Child Life Department.
- Individuals must be at least 18 years of age or older. Group is limited to entertainers only (please no children or family of entertainers).
- Group size should be limited to no more than 10 adults.
- Infection Control guidelines must be followed. Hospitalized children are particularly vulnerable to common illnesses such as colds and flues. If any symptoms are present among group members, please consider re-scheduling your event or asking the affected person(s) not to participate.
- Activities should not deal with threatening themes such as death, violence or degradation.
- Because Packard Children's Hospital is a nonsectarian hospital, the Recreation Therapy / Child Life Department does not directly sponsor religious related activities or religiously oriented presentations. However, our Chaplaincy Program may be interested in sponsoring an event. Please call them at (650)497-8209.
- Performances may not include live animals or potentially harmful materials (i.e. fire, guns, knives, etc.).
- Food items must have prior approval from the Recreation Therapy / Child Life Department.
- Participants wishing to provide gift items for patients should discuss the specifics of these items with the Recreation Therapy / Child Life Department in advance.
- Only mylar balloons are allowed at Packard Children's Hospital. This means latex balloons cannot be used for decorations, given to patients or used to make balloon animals/characters.
- Costumes/masks and make-up can be frightening to children. Entertainers should be sensitive to this and present themselves in such a way as not to frighten children.
- Photographs of patients may be taken by approved media only, due to confidentiality and privacy issues.
- For best audience reception, we recommend that your performance be 30-40 minutes in duration.
- All entertainers must schedule their performance during the following times:
Monday-Friday between 10:30-11:30 am
Monday-Friday between 3:00-4:00 pm
Monday-Thursday between 6:30-8:00 pm
Saturday/Sunday between 3:00-4:00 pm
- Please respect patient and family rights for privacy and avoid sensitive topics. Do not ask questions about diagnosis, age, and length of hospital stay or plans for going home.
- Approach children slowly and quietly. Allow patients to decide to what extent they wish to interact with you. If the child shows any resistance to greeting you, do not persist (and don’t take it personally). Many of our children meet numerous faces everyday and may be a bit shy.
- The Therapist / Specialist will closely observe the patients' emotional well-being during the performance/presentation. If at any time, the interaction becomes potentially stressful for the patients and/or families, the performance will be redirected or terminated.
- The Recreation Therapy / Child Life Department should be notified of cancellations at least 24 hours in advance (650-497-8336).