• Birthday Party Guide: One For The Ages

    Whether Your Child Is A Toddler Or A Tween, Our Birthday Party Guide Will Help You Find A Venue That’s Sure To Delight

    By Mia Weber
    MAGIC Activity Center

    MAGIC Activity Center

    For a comprehensive list of party venues and their websites, click HERE!

    As any parent can attest, children often have fickle tastes. One year they want a soccer party and the next it’s all about a rock-and-roll theme. Many of the city’s top birthday party venues offer an impressive menu of soiree selections that cover a variety of age ranges—and while you can visit their websites  for all the info on their different offerings, we figured we’d take some of the year-by-year guesswork out of the equation by providing a selective guide to parties by age group. Enjoy and party on!

    Ages 0-3

    MAGIC Activity Center has everything you need to throw the ultimate first birthday bash on the UES—their packages include two hours of staff-led activities for both babies and older kiddos, as well as time in their sunny party room (which also opens to their private rooftop playground). If your tot is already showing signs of being a budding Yankees or Mets fan, celebrate their birthday with TLB Music’s Baseball Bash! Here, little ones enjoy a baseball-themed music class personalized with your child’s favorite songs and instruments, before heading to TLB’s playroom for open play. Go for a customized fete full of age-appropriate playtime at the Playroom NYC! With their OMG package, they will work to create the ultimate birthday of your little one’s dreams—you can be as hands-on as you would like or you can sit back and relax. Another option for a great party space that’s customizable is NY Kids Club. They offer exclusive facility use coupled with a program of physical and theatrical activities (choose from their Basic or All Inclusive packages for kids starting at age 1). If you’re in search of a party spot in the East Village, check out the 14th Street Y. Ideal for events and parties of up to 70 guests, their various indoor spaces and outdoor roof are perfect for a memorable party. Musical fams can delight in a mellifluous celebration at apple seeds. Simply pick your child’s favorite birthday theme and let their songs for seeds guitarist and birthday staff lead the way through a rockin› birthday adventure! When children are so young, sometimes it’s best to go with a party option that’s super-adaptable and that allows everything to go with the flow: Gymboree’s A La Carte Birthday can be adjusted to any theme and allows Gymboree to do as much or as little as the party host likes, making it perfect for ages 1-3. Looking for a party option that combines the coolest themes in town with premium facilities? Citibabes lets little partiers enjoy amenities like a 1,500 square-ft indoor playground, live entertainment, and movement and tumble rooms—plus, their Citibabes Birthday Parties To-Go option lets you bring the party to a location of your choice. If you have a Broadway baby in your crew, turn to award-winning music program Little Maestros for one of their birthday parties featuring Broadway-level entertainers. Kiddies will enjoy a party that includes a high-energy, customized performance with instruments, puppets, and bubbles.

    Gymtime

    Gymtime

    Ages 3-5

    If your youngster loves animals, set them up with a party at the Art Farm! This two-hour fete takes place at an eco-friendly farm complete with expert staff, an award-winning petting zoo, music, art, and party essentials like favors, pizza, juice, balloons, and more are included. Have a budding Warhol or Picasso on your hands? Let them go crazy on a deep-edge canvas using an array of tactile crafting materials at the Craft Studio’s Canvas Imagination Station party. UWS kiddos can celebrate their b-day at the JCC Manhattan: This beloved venue let’s children choose their favorite JCC activity (options range from hip-hop to sports to science and beyond) and turn it into the party of their dreams. For little movers and shakers, consider a fete at Gymtime Rhythm & Glues—their parties are easy to plan for parents, filled with fun for children, and are always customized for the birthday boy or girl. Gymtime lets you pick the theme, and then their staff and coaches create a memorable experience. Pint-sized theater enthusiasts are sure to love “Just Kidding” birthday celebrations at Symphony Space, which include a show, food, music, and goodies. Make your little ballerina’s day extra special with a celebration at Ballet Academy East, where the party begins with a fun warm-up that leads into a personalized class with a festive birthday theme. Each dancer receives a crown or wand to dance with and keep, while two studios are reserved for the party—one for dancing and the other with balloons and cake. Budding dancers can also head to Kidville, where the Pretty in Pink Ballerina Party offers dancing, bubbles, and more. Looking for a unique space for the ultimate b-day bash? Downtown fams are sure to love Green Ivy Schools Enrichment Programs’ eight different space options at their Pine Street School location. Go for a tennis party that young children are certain to love at Advantage Tennis. This program lets your kids enjoy an hour on the courts with tennis professionals, provides party favors for each guest, and a celebration in the lounge. If your child is firmly in their princess phase, delight them with a fete at Let’s Dress Up! on the Upper East Side—they offer party choices that include a Red Carpet Party, a Cupcake Party, and a Princess Party.

    Chelsea Piers

    Chelsea Piers

    Ages 5-8

    As children get a little older, sports-themed birthday parties at Chelsea Piers are just the action-packed ticket! A favorite combination for ages 5-8 is the gymnastics and rock climbing Rock-N-Roll party—with expert supervision, partygoers enjoy bouncing on trampolines, jumping into foam pits, swinging on the Tarzan rope swing, and rock climbing. Another great sports option for this age group comes from Kids in Sports—their parties consist of one hour of sports activities, and a half hour of yummy food and cake. A movement-based option that’s less traditional is the Yoga Art Party from Karma Kids Yoga. This bash includes creative yoga and games with props and music for up to 10 children, along with a special craft project for the kids to take home. As children start to develop their own musical tastes, a b-day bash at TADA! promises to be musical, theatrical, and hassle-free! Up to 20 kids can enjoy pizza and a goody bag—plus, if you go with the premium option, your guests get to see a TADA! Original Musical performed by kids for kids. Little gymnasts are sure to jump for joy during an action-packed party at Jodi’s Gym! Party goers will delight as they swing from bars, balance on beams, tumble, climb, and stretch to their hearts’ delight in this 5,000-square-ft, state-of-the-art facility (with expert supervision, of course). What would a b-day party be without some sweet treats? Get a classic NYC sugar rush experience at Dylan’s Candy Bar where kids can enjoy sugar-themed games and Dylan’s famous “candy spree.” Have a crafty kid on your hands? Put a twist on a DIY-themed bash with Kids at Art’s Arty/Karaoke party. Kids start with an art project and then enjoy a real DJ from Expressway Music, who will spin beloved tunes and lead karaoke. Balloons, paper goods, juice, and a fab staff are included. Similarly, Tie Dye Town also brings the spirit of creativity to any birthday gathering—their “World’s Greatest Tie Dye Party” is perfect for ages 5-8. From making tie dye t-shirts to spin art and glitter tattoos, DIY-loving kids will be in heaven. Go from the arts to the sciences with a lab-inspired celebration with SciTech Kids, as their science parties include experiments and demonstrations that are interactive, exciting, and fun for kids ages 4-11. Their original themes include beauty and spa science, sports and velocity, cool chemistry, and more. Keep the intellectual curiosity flowing with a Go-Cart Party at ConstructionKids. Here, children ages 4-8 learn to use a variety of adult tools to assemble the Go-Carts and draw a track before the Go-Cart Rally begins! Each child goes home with their official Go-Cart Driver’s License and a balloon. Finally, thespians—and performers-in-training—will feel right at home with a party from Applause NYC. Their most popular themes include Rock ‘n Roll, Hip-Hop, Princess Spectacular, and Superhero Academy!

    Super Soccer Stars

    Super Soccer Stars

    Ages 8-10

    A popular party option for older kids at both of Asphalt Green’s campuses (on the UES and in Battery Park City) is their Martial Arts Party. At this unique bash, kids will have a blast learning self-defense techniques like punches and kicks; plus, partygoers will enjoy learning martial arts basics and confidence. If soccer is more your soon-to-be-tween’s speed, try a Super Soccer Stars birthday party. Led by a team of energetic and enthusiastic coaches at one of their citywide locations, children will play age-appropriate soccer activities as they celebrate the birthday child; an action-packed hour of soccer is followed by cake, food, and more. If your progeny is more into Federer and the Williams sisters, opt to make them champion for the day with an age- and level-appropriate tennis-themed celebration from Gotham Tennis Academy‘s Stadium Tennis Center in the Bronx, where the first set of “Birthday Tennis” finds your group heading out to the Stadium Bubble and the second set has the celebration moving from the courts into the clubhouse. Kids ages 10 and under can also work on their backhand and serve as they attack the net at a Tennis Innovators birthday party. Tech-savvy kids will go bananas for RoboFun’s MINECRAFT parties, where guests exercise their creativity by working together to build a world of their choice in Survival Mode! These futuristic fetes for kids in grades 3-6 include a 1.5-hour workshop, 30 minutes for pizza and cake, a fully decorated party space, paper goods, and more. Go ahead and pamper your mini princess with a glamour party at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, and rock out in a dance party after your mini mani-pedis. Or, take the glam theme one step further and add a photo finish to the festivities with a party at Classic Kids Photography on the UES—they roll out the red carpet at their studio, and party options include hair, makeup, treats, and a pro photographer to capture every moment! Even as kids get older, they’re rarely too old for some good old-fashioned candy! For this reason, HiArt!’s Candy Sculpture party is an all-time winner. This soiree lets kids build or paint stupendously abstract environments all out of candy—while this party is a-okay for kids as young as 3, it’s really great for slightly older kids because they can create without the need for as much direct supervision.

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    Ages 10-12+

    Calling all future rock stars! Come on down to an open mic session at the Chord Club—the perfect way to mark a special birthday. Designed for the music enthusiast at heart, the guest of honor and friends will gather in the Chord Club recording studio where vocal coaches and engineers will work with your crew to record two special songs; goodie bags, décor, pizza, and more are all included. If your tween is more of a fashionista than a rocker, host her celebration at fashion designer (and local mom) Cynthia Rowley’s CuRious Candy. From custom piñatas to candy sushi to glitter tattoos, the CuRious experience promises to inspire; mini cotton candy favors, small bites, kiddie cocktails, and champagne for the adults are also part of this sweet deal. Aspiring designers can also head to Pins & Needles for a very chic celebration. Here, your child (up to age 14) can choose from a customized menu of machine sewing, hand-sewing, and DIY craft projects to make. Sportier adolescents can get their inner athlete on at the Yorkville Youth Athletic Association, where the birthday kid can request a party in soccer, baseball, basketball, flag football, or dodgeball. They can also do combination sports parties and are open to other games, like variations of tag games, floor hockey, ultimate Frisbee, and old-school street games. Young bowlers can celebrate at Lucky Strike Lanes, where they offer parties that include kid-sized shoes, low weight balls, bumpers, rolling ramps, and a variety of menu options. And last, but not least, kiddos who crave a different kind of ball game can kick back at SPiN for a unique ping-pong party experience!

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