• Birthday Guide: The Best Kids’ Party Venues In NYC

    Check out some cool birthday themes, ideas, and top NYC party venues–all inspired by our favorite kids’ movies.

    By Elle Belle

    Applause; photo by Heidi Green

    Here are some of our favorite party ideas at our favorite venues—and if you want to know how we thought of them, well, let’s just say that we were dreaming of picking a four star venue as worthy as these four star kids’ movies.

    “Bend it Like Beckham”
    Whether your child is already the next Beckham-caliber soccer star or just learning to kick the ball, there are many great options for a soccer spectacular birthday. Super Soccer Stars’ birthday parties include a full hour of fun, age-appropriate soccer activities that can even be adapted into other exciting themes such as superheroes, princesses, or virtually anything else that your child can imagine. Mo’ Motion offers single- or multi-sport birthday parties and tailors activities to different ages, skills, and interests. Energetic instructors coach and lead up to 25 kids for almost two hours. Soccer by Coach Fehr provides all the fun and games so parents can sit back while watching the children have a ball—there’s even a family match or kids’ match just before cutting the cake to celebrate with a trophy and medals. Hosted in Central Park or Riverside Park, Corbin’s Crusaders’ junior sports parties let boys and girls get a full workout by playing soccer, running relays, and team-building.

    Asphalt Green

    “Caddyshack”
    For future PGA and LGPA tour pros, these parties are a hole in one! At Chelsea Piers’ golf parties, little putters get one full hour of golf activities ranging from golf stalls to putting greens to golf simulators. Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy offers one hour of creative golf games, including birthday-themed putting and target games. It’s sure to be a party that comes in well under par.

    “Cars”
    The wheels on the birthday bus go round and round at these transportation-themed parties. Join the New York Transit Museum in the bus driver’s seat, stroll along a platform of vintage cars, design a vehicle, and swipe through the birthday turnstile for a car-ty party. You can rough and tumble at Gymboree’s construction zone party, where kids can drive through the gym and park for activities led by a trained Gymboree teacher. Is your birthday engineer looking to build a futuristic vehicle of their own? Indulge their inner builder with a robotics party at RoboFun. Beep beep for birthdays!

    Bowlmor Lanes

    “Cinderella”

    Cinderella’s fairy godmother made all her wildest dreams come true—and these birthday venues will make your child’s too. Get glamorous at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, where hair styling, mini manicures, makeup application, and beauty art projects abound. The birthday girl even gets a special jeweled tiara. At Let’s Dress Up! dreams come true when the girl of the hour transforms into a princess, dressing like Cinderella from head to toe for a wonderful celebration with her friends at the magical play castle. Turn Cinderella’s sewing chores into a fun, creative expression at Loop of the Loom. Weaving parties allow your little princess and her friends to make handwoven creations, ensuring that the celebration is extra special. The birthday princess and her friends will enjoy all of the arts and crafts stations at Tie Dye Town, from customizing princess wands to decorating your own princess crown.

    The JCC in Manhattan; photo by Nancy Adler

    “Harry Potter”
    Use apparition and transport the birthday party to SciTech Kids, where the Out of the Ordinary Dream party means a special Harry Potter celebration with wizarding trials and tests that involve bubbling potions. At the New York Hall of Science, little wizards can celebrate with an exciting and educational experience as they explore the largest Science Playground. Put on your wizard robes and head to the Scholastic Store for an exclusive and custom birthday party worthy of a celebration at Hogwarts.

    “High School Musical”
    Sit in the director’s seat and create a custom Off-Broadway show about you and your friends at Broadway Birthday Bashes at the PIT. These special shows also feature a red carpet, photo slideshow, and paparazzi experience. Bust a move at Kids at Art’s Arty Parties, where birthday stars can shine as they combine art with karaoke and disco. If it’s a serenade your little one desires, check out TADA! Youth Theater’s birthday options. The TADA! performers will sing for the kids, plus, they can accommodate groups of just about any size. Hit some high notes and have some fun celebrating at the Gaga Center. Your bundle of energy will have the entire space exclusively for their party with tons of gaga time, great music, and pizza. And the ultimate way to channel Troy and the gang? An actual “HSM” party from Deb’s Family Disco! At this star-studded bash, kids can dance, sing, and strike a pose for their own “HSM” movie poster.

    Kate Tempesta’s Urban Golf Academy

    “The Incredibles”
    Let your little superhero unleash their powers at one of these supreme party venues. At 92Y, the gym has a two-story GymMaze climbing structure with ball pools, monkey bars, rope swing, spiral tunnel slide, and an attached air bounce room. The party is sure to be a striking success at Bowlmor Lanes, where birthday bowlers will even bring home a sign-able bowling pin to commemorate the adventure. Blast off into the fun zone by celebrating your little super hero’s birthday at Applause. Customize the party to include singing, games, dancing, and a performance.

    “The Jungle Book”
    Take a walk on the wild side with these jungle-themed bashes. Be a party animal at Art Farm in the City’s farm animal party, complete with a petting zoo, art project, farm-themed place settings, and a t-shirt for the birthday child. Roar with excitement at appleseeds’ Welcome to the Jungle party with free play and guided activities in the sports playground. Go on a Jungle Safari at Citibabes in their 1,500 square foot indoor playground. You’ll have a personalized safari-themed cake or cupcakes, themed decorations, and, as a special addition, a stop at the petting zoo to the safari ride!

    Super Soccer Stars

    “Karate Kid”
    Wax on, wax off! Your guests will get a kick out of an East Side Tae Kwan Do party with Tae Kwon Do, ninja, and board breaking themes. At Gymtime’s 90-minute martial arts parties with tons of gym fun, guests are sure to karate-chop to it for your birthday boy or girl’s big day. Asphalt Green offers a special martial arts party as well as other options to customize the perfect birthday party—count on one hour of sports and 30 minutes of eating and celebrating in a decorated space.

    “Major League”
    Take me out to the ball game! Your little rookie can have a baseball party customized to their wishes at Simply Sports. Choose different from sports like baseball and whiffle ball to play. Kids in Sports designs a party to suit your child’s sports interests and abilities. Their coaches facilitate a memorable hour of sports fun, relay races, and cooperative games. Make it a double header at The JCC in Manhattan. From sports to dance, they’ll plan a party that is sure to make your tiny athlete’s birthday special in every way. At Yorkville Youth Athletic Association, you can request one of the professional directors to lead a party in baseball or combination sports parties.

    “A Night at the Museum”
    Spend the day at the museum with one of these hands-on parties—which all include museum admission for you and all of your guests. Dive through 20,000 leagues under the sea at the American Museum of Natural History, where the birthday child and friends explore the motion under the ocean. At the Children’s Museum of the Arts, put the “art” in “party” as you curate your own experience, including free time in the museum, a private art project (such as making a 3D sculpture), and food and cake. Enthusiastic educators, musicians, and artists lead the fun with fantastic art projects, music, and adventure at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Themed decorations—including stuffed animals, books, and signs—are included as well as a personalized cake from Magnolia Bakery.

    “The Sound of Music”
    It’s a special symphony at these musical venues. Sing and celebrate a happy birthday in style at TLB Music with their combination musical and playroom birthday parties. From a Music Dance & Storytime Party to Broadway Bound Party, Discovery Kids has a rocking good time for birthday kids of all ages! Kidville offers the signature Rockin’ Railroad music celebration, in which everyone is all aboard to rock, play and celebrate in their expansive facility.

    The Children’s Museum of Manhattan

    “Spirited Away”
    You’ll be om-ing for peace, love, and birthday joy at these yoga celebrations. Don’t miss the GLOGA party at Karma Kids Yoga with glow-in-the-dark fun with props and pop music along with glow bracelets and necklaces, and flashy-blinky rings. Have a SPA-tacular birthday at Yogi Beans with a custom yoga class for your birthday bean. Enjoy deep relaxation, a signature scented-lotion foot massage, and aromatherapy, then chill out with a manicure or pedicure, henna tattoo, and cucumber eye mask. See the light in the coolest way when you celebrate with iLuminate. In a pitch black theater, neon light suits glow and flash in sync with the moves of the performers wearing them, who leap, spin, and stomp across the stage.

    “Stick It”
    Gymnastics birthday parties will make your little one flip. At 74th St. MAGIC’s legendary gymnastics parties, you’ll jump, tumble, and have an unforgettable day—especially when the birthday child soars through the air in their exclusive flying swing. At Jodi’s Gym, parents and kids tumble with joy during an action-packed hour and a half in which guests swing from bars, balance on beams, tumble, climb, and stretch to their hearts delight. My Gym UWS offers active celebrations jam-packed with games, puppets, songs, special rides, and more. In New York Kids Club’s state-of-the art gym facility, enjoy a full hour of fun that revolves around lively music, obstacle courses, a 20-foot trampoline, swinging, singing, dancing, and more.

    “Toy Story”
    Every great birthday party should go “to infinity and beyond!” At the classic FAO Schwarz, play with the hottest toys, create custom toys, and do a birthday dance on the “BIG” piano. Or use the entire Playgarden facility, including the indoor playground and party level. There, treat the birthday child to a custom t-shirt and the guests to a chance to soar like Buzz Lightyear via zipline. Kids at Work provides a birthday celebration in a 1,000-square-foot space in Chelsea where guests enjoy playing with all the toys and getting messy at sensory-based art stations designed for inquisitive and energetic toddlers.

    The Scholastic Store

    “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory”

    Everyone’s like a kid who gets a golden ticket with one of these sweet parties. Build your own sumptuous chocolate house at The Craft Studio’s chocolate house party using unlimited stores of edible pop-ons, gumdrops, marshmallows, and other candy more—or create a candy sculpture at one of HiArt’s yummy parties. Make Meaning encourages you to celebrate creatively with cake decorating. The white cake provided is your canvas for edible glitter, sugar shapes, candy bling, and more. Have an Edible Art Yummy Party at Let’s Gogh Art, where you’ll start by decorating your own chef’s hat and finish by drooling over the edible color wheels and mosaic tiles. Finally, channel the sweet spectacle of Willy Wonka’s factory with a party at CuRious Candy by Cynthia Rowley. Whimsical decor and yummy treats make both the West Village and the UES locations truly tasty.

    “Where the Wild Things Are”
    Unleash your inner beast and go wild! At Columbus Gym, parties to flip over consist of romping on bars, beam, rings, and trampoline alongside games using hoops, scooters, balls, and music for a whole hour. Walk on the wild side at the Little Gym, who partnered with Nickelodeon to create special “Dora the Explorer” and “Go, Diego, Go!” birthday adventures with games, music, and fun activities created especially for your birthday wild one. HCK Recreation offers your birthday wild child excellent indoor and outdoor tennis facilities designed for birthday fun. Court time may be divided between instruction, drills, competitive games, and match play. Wild thing, I think I love you!

    For a list of birthday party venues, click here.

    For our DIY balloon decor ideas, click here.

    For unique birthday party dessert ideas, click here.

    To read about our ideas for creative birthday party games and activities, click here.

    For a list of birthday party clowns, click here.

     

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