• Destination Celebration: 2018 Birthday Guide For NYC

    Get blown away by these fab NYC birthday party venues that cover every need, from sports to fashion to everything in between.

    By Whitney C. Harris

    People’s Improv Theater

    Are you 1?! Are you 2?! Are you 3?! Whether you’re about to throw your child’s very first birthday party, or her tenth or his fifteenth, you want to plan something special that will be memorable for years to come. Make this birthday one to remember with a party at one of these NYC venues.

    Take the Stage

    Host your child’s party at a legendary 99-seat off-Broadway theater where world-class improvisers create a musical all about the guest of honor at Broadway Birthday Bashes at the PIT. Kids who dream of being on stage will love a Galli Theater New York party, where fairytales are brought to life through the magic of live theater with a workshop acting party. Enjoy the Gazillion Bubble Show as a group and watch the birthday boy or girl appear on stage! He or she will get a free “Me in a Bubble” photo and bubble toy. Then, everyone gets to meet and greet one of the performers. Symphony Space has a “Just Kidding” Theatre Party package for performing arts fans with a birthday shout-out during the performance. The birthday kid can dance, sing, and act based upon a theme at TADA! Youth Theater, where party pros lead musical theater activities in the rehearsal studio.

    Dance, Dance!

    Enjoy a high-energy dance class and fun games at Broadway Dance Center with the help of a lead instructor and assistants. 92Y offers music parties where kids can perform a rock/pop hit from the ‘50s through ‘90s complete with choreography. Children’s Museum of Manhattan is offering a new Dance Party Birthday Bonanza with dance costumes, beat-boxing and break dancing, freeze dance, ballet with scarves, and current pop music with hula hoops, bubbles, and feather boas. Choose from ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, African, salsa, and more at a Peridance Capezio Center party. Plie your way through a party at Ballet Academy East with the help of two highly trained teachers and live piano accompaniment.

    Get Dolled Up

    Classic Kids Photography will roll out the red carpet for private use of their studio. Parties include custom invitations, gourmet birthday cake, snacks, music, hair and makeup stylists, goody bags and decorations, and a photographer to capture all the fun. Treat the birthday crew to professional up-dos, mini art manicures, and sparkly makeup sessions at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids. They’ll also enjoy art projects, dancing, runway shows, pizza, and more. A birthday party at The Fashion Class means giving kids a sewing, fashion design, or runway experience. Tie Dye Town has a spa slumber party with manicure, facial mask, and glitter tattoo stations. Let’s Dress Up! will throw an ultra-glamorous party of dressing up and sipping tea. Bring a little Zen to your child’s birthday with a Spa-Tacular Yoga Bash at Yogi Beans, complete with massages, eye masks, aromatherapy, and henna.

    Citibabes

    A Yummy Celebration

    Kids will scream for an ice cream-making gathering at CoolMess. Prepare the littles for tough choices like, how many sprinkles? Chocolate or caramel sauce? And what about a cherry on top? Dylan’s Candy Bar has a colorful party room filled with gumball tables, peppermint stools, and lollipop chandeliers to help host some sugary games and crafts. Or fete your child with a frozen yogurt fiesta at 16 Handles. Throw a sweet soiree at Voilà Chocolat where kids can choose their own ingredients and dig into artisanal chocolatier-ing. Tiny hands will create VOILÀLLIPOPs, truffles, or bars in various fun shapes. They can even build candy sculptures at the 2,500-square-foot studio and gallery at HiArt!

    Mini Scavengers

    Mini history buffs will delight in a party at the DiMenna Children’s History Museum at New-York Historical Society, with themes like Presidential Party with Washington, Pirates in the Harbor, and Hamilton in the Room. Summer Exhibition Parties include personalized scavenger hunts. The Brooklyn Children’s Museum also offers a museum scavenger hunt for active and engaging fun. Take an interactive guided tour or go on a scavenger hunt during a party at the New York Transit Museum.

    Party Gaming

    A party package at Dave & Buster’s means plenty of kid-friendly food and hundreds of games at the Million Dollar Midway. Reserve some lanes at Lucky Strike or Bowlmor Lanes and let the birthday-goers bowl their hearts out. Escape to a private, air-conditioned party room at Luna Park in between enjoying access to the rides and arcade. Victorian Gardens also offers unlimited rides on its many attractions. Or plan a ping pong party for the pee-wee crowd at SPiN.

    A Whole New World

    Is your birthday kid a media buff? Madame Tussauds allows access to its Marvel Super Heroes 4D, Kong Skull Island, The Ghostbusters Experience, and The Project Runway Experience. Enjoy hours of epic gaming at a Pixel Academy Minecraft birthday party. Partygoers can also play Minecraft in Virtual Reality using Oculus technology. In addition to Minecraft, party peeps at RoboFun can experiment with LEGO robotics, Scratch video game design, and stop motion animation. The Playroom NYC has an OMG party package where you choose the theme (Winter Wonderland, Rainbows and Unicorns, Circus, etc.) and the space is transformed accordingly. Kids will then enjoy open play while exploring the bodega, custom train table, ice cream truck, dress up time, the jungle gym, and more.

    JCC

    Preschool Parties

    Parties at apple seeds start out in the indoor playground where kids run, jump, and have a blast. Then the songs for seeds lead introduces the chosen theme and marches the kids to the party room. ACT Programs hosts Preschool Mat Parties including use of the gym, mats, and climbing equipment. Put the party-goers to work at the 1,800 square-foot space occupied by Kids at Work, where they can get into messy art, dance, soccer, music, cupcake decorating, and more. Party at Playgarden and let the coaches show the kids a good time with sports games, music games, bubbles, a ball pit, a trampoline, obstacle courses, puppet shows, and more.

    Water Wonders

    If a party at Prospect Park sounds like fun, check out LeFrak Center at Lakeside for anything from roller skating to boating and biking to the splash pad. Hop aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for a birthday adventure among the amazing exhibits. Kids can discover the latest in virtual, multi-sensory, and video display technology amid authentically restored aircraft and a park-like pier. Or let younger children prepare for an epic sea adventure with NY Kids Club as the state-of-the-art gym is transformed into an ocean scene with thematic activities and physical challenges. Jump into a pool party at the YMCA and kids will enjoy splashing around.

    Superhero Soiree

    TLB Music gives kids the run of its eco-friendly indoor play space and can customize any party around a theme such as superheroes. At ConstructionKids, each child goes home with a hand-built project and a balloon. Make your own theme, or consider a superhero-themed party. Even the littlest ones can be heroes at a Gymboree birthday party, and everyone will go home with a gift bag. Challenge your child to both basic and advanced poses with a super-hero-themed Karma Kids Yoga party. The littles will learn creative breathing techniques, take part in fun yoga games and activities, and enjoy relaxation time with hand or foot massages. A superhero party at Kidville will inspire kiddos to run, jump, and fly like their favorite characters.

    Voila Chocolat

    Crazy Craftin’

    There are more than 20 crafty themes to choose from at The Craft Studio, like clay Muppets and monsters, glow-in-the-dark trucker hats, and extreme cake decorating. Then kick back for a dance party with customized games, face paint, and more. The Art Farm in the City lets kids choose from themes like tie dye, princess and knights, treasure hunt, exotic animals, and more. Or choose to decorate t-shirts, backpacks, flower pots, picture frames, and more at Kids at Art. For the 5 and older bunch, birthday parties at Loop of the Loom can mean weaving hats, pillows, or bags. At Pins & Needles, let 7-year-olds and up do machine or hand sewing to create tote bags, cross-body purses, or emoji pillows.

    Flip For Gymnastics

    Pick a party theme like gymnastics and Discovery Programs will customize your child’s celebration at its fully-equipped, state-of-the-art gym. An action-packed party at Jodi’s Gym gives kids a 5,000-square-ft, state-of-the-art facility. Littles will swing from bars, balance on beams, tumble, climb, and stretch to their hearts’ delight. Chelsea Piers’ parties are action-packed with tots’ gymnastics at the Toddler Gym. Special songs, puppets, games, and a zip line round out the gymnastics-party fun at My Gym. A Citibabes celebration means rompin’ around the indoor playground and bouncy castle, while Columbus Gym offers tumbling mats, uneven bars, beams, a rock climbing wall, and a trampoline.

    Going Gaga

    Introduce your child to this fun, dodgeball-like sport or tap into an enthusiast’s energy with a party at The Gaga Center. You can even add on FUEL bracelets to count how many steps everyone takes as part of the competition, or a GLOW option for glow-in-the-dark effects. Asphalt Green offers a gaga party too, plus refreshments, balloons, and access to a special party room. An action-packed party at Fastbreak Sports means kids will run around with coaches playing various sports, and you can amp up the fun factor by adding an inflatable gaga pit.

    All About Animals

    Any animal lover would love a B-day at the Bronx Zoo, with private access to the Congo exhibit, live animal encounters, and unlimited access to all exhibits and attractions for the entire day. The fun concludes with a trip to the Bug Carousel or drop-off exhibit of choice. Children’s Museum of the Arts will create a customized party theme or suggest one like animals and then let its teaching artists lead a private workshop. The Wildlife Conservation Society offers a variety of birthday party options in the Bronx, Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens to fit your needs.

    The Bronx Zoo

    Sports of Course

    A sporty soiree at Corbin’s Crusaders allows the birthday child to choose from basketball, flag football, baseball, lacrosse, capture the flag, dodgeball, and more. Let your kiddo choose three favorite sports (think: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, soccer, volleyball, or lacrosse) and the team at Kids In Sports will coordinate a full hour of sports fun using age-appropriate equipment. Or focus on just one ball sport with the help of Soccer by Coach Fher. Allow kids to swing a racquet or a club under the trusted guidance of professionals at Gotham Tennis Academy, Advantage QuickStart Tennis, or Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy. Sports nuts will love having full access to a field or gym and coaches to play baseball, basketball, flag football, soccer, dodgeball, indoor gym games, and more at a Kids of Summer party.

    Beyond Ball Sports

    Expect a demonstration of forms, sparring, and board breaks, plus plenty of hands-on fun at West Side Taekwondo. Let the energized staff at Equinox Sports Club get the party started in their 2,500-square-ft indoor playground. The venue can accommodate up to a whopping 60 children and entertainment options include rock climbing. Yorkville Youth Athletic Association offers the typical soccer, basketball, and more, but you can also plan a party all about tag games, ultimate Frisbee, or old-school street games.

    Party on with Science!

    Host a party with LAUNCH Math + Science and give kids engaging STEM projects to busy themselves with—everything from coding with Scratch and Python to chemistry and physics experiments to rocket science and electronics projects to architectural structures and robotic creations. Chemistry, slime, or bubbles sound like fun? Try a SciTech Kids party featuring any of these themes. Zaniac Learning focuses on STEM programs like creating a biome, programming a robot, strategizing in chess, or building a video game with Scratch. You can also work with the staff at JCC Manhattan to customize a science activity party.

    Rent-A-Party

    If you’re looking for a blank canvas, rent out space at the 14th Street Y, or snag time at the rooftop playground or heated swimming pool. Need child-sized seats for your soiree? Pick a party theme and Gymtime will take care of everything else, including invitations! Plus, kids can dance, eat, and make their own Gymtime mascot! Call upon Petite Seats for your special event chairs. They have everything including ghost chairs, Panton chairs, Chiavari chairs (in a variety of colors), rustic cross-back chairs, and bistro chairs.

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