September 24, 2012

Birthday Party Ultimate Guide


Where To Find The Best Venues, Entertainers, Cakes, And More In NYC

By Cynthia Darling, Robin Saks Frankel, Maria Riley & Jessica Roblin


Whether you plan a small family gathering or a big birthday blow-out, New York City puts the best of the best right at your fingertips when it comes to venues, entertainment, and birthday cakes for your child’s celebration. Want a sporty soirée? We’ve got you covered with birthday parties offered by world renowned athletes. Is your child more the dramatic type? Don’t worry.  From acting to art, there are creative celebrations galore. So before you begin planning, check out our guide to throwing the best kind of bash.

 

VENUES

 14th Street Y

Rent out this wide-open space for your child’s next birthday bash. Located in the East Village, this vibrant community center offers private rooms, a rooftop playground and a heated swimming pool. 14streety.org

74th St. MAGIC

Host your child’s birthday party at 74th St.MAGIC and let us help you create an unforgettable day! Parents rave that MAGIC’s gymtastic parties are the most fun and best value to be found on the Upper East Side. MAGIC’s popular party themes are jam-packed with fun activities in our bright and colorful gym, baby gym and cheerful party room! The outdoor rooftop playground is available, weather permitting. Our caring, experienced staff makes sure everyone is engaged and having fun! Parties are available week-ends throughout the year…and weekdays as well during the summer months. For additional information or to book your party please contact Cynthia Villanueva at Cynthia@74magic.com. 74magic.com

92Y

Celebrate good times Uptown at 92Y. Choose from Gymnastics, Sports, Pool and Party-Arty age-appropriate packages. 92Y provides staff, sports equipment, arts supplies, party favors and more. You bring the food, decorations and, of course, the birthday boy or girl! 92y.org

American Museum of Natural History

Party with a night, or day, at the museum! Choose from five adventure themed parties offered throughout the week or plan a group sleepover beneath a 94-foot-long blue whale. Membership required. amnh.org

Applause NYC

Give your regards to Broadway with an Applause NYC birthday party for ages 1 to 12. Whether they bring the party to you or provide Upper East Side space, your party’s a guaranteed smash hit with 14 theme selections! applauseny.com

apple seeds

With convenient locations in Chelsea and the Upper West Side, apple seeds offers customized birthday parties for children up to 5 years of age. The Ultimate Party includes room to roam with the entire playground reserved for your guests. appleseedsplay.com

The Art Farm in the City

Book your party at The Art Farm in The City. The only indoor petting zoo in NYC. Children will cuddle with chinchillas, pet rabbits, hold scaly lizards & have a bird perch on their arm. We kick it off with Disco Dancing or Circle Time for the younger ones. Then the children create amazing art projects, mingle with the critters in our indoor farm, and end the party with food and cake. Choose from a variety of all-inclusive packages and theme parties which include Mini Chef, Mad Science, Farm Animals, Princess/Pirates & more. Appropriate for ages 2-8 years. theartfarms.org

Asphalt Green

Get physical with a party at this Upper East Side premier athletic complex. Asphalt Green hosts active parties for children ages 3 to 12. From Gymnastics to Martial Arts to Pool Parties, kids can get their fit on. asphaltgreen.org

Ballet Academy East

At Ballet Academy East, the birthday child and her brood bask in a decorated studio and personalized ballet class according to a theme of the child’s choice. Following the lesson, guests dance a ballet story recited by the teacher. balletacademyeast.com

Bowlmor Lanes

Bowl the kids over with fun at Bowlmor Lanes. The Times Square location showcases 50 lanes and exclusive New York City history. Book your upcoming party and let the event team get the ball rolling. bowlmor.com

Broadway Birthday Bashes At The PIT (The Peoples Improv Theater)

Broadway Birthday Bashes, the official birthday party division of The Peoples Improv Theater, creates musicals inspired by your birthday boy or girl. Packages can include backstage passes to meet the performers, snow cones and face painting. broadwaybirthdaybashes.com

Bronx Zoo

Go wild with a Bronx Zoo birthday party celebration. Available for ages 2 to 12, parties include a private room, exhibit tour and up-close interaction with some of the most beloved zoo residents. Parties held from October to early June. bronxzoo.com

Central Park Zoo

It’s a jungle out there, and your child can celebrate as king or queen for a day at the Central Park Zoo. From meeting zookeepers to feeding sea lions, party packages are sure to keep guests roaring with excitement! centralparkzoo.com

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers at Pier 61 delivers endless party possibilities. Featuring The Field House, Golf Club, Sky Rink and 300 New York, parents can choose from rock climbing, golf, ice skating, bowling and more. chelseapiers.com

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday at CMOM! Whether your child is turning 1 or 10 years old, CMOM will create a memorable extravaganza just for you! Enthusiastic educators, musicians and artists lead the fun with fantastic art projects, music and adventure. All Birthday Parties Include: Invitations, Decorations, A personalized cake from Magnolia Bakery, Pizza and juice, Party favors. Admission for you and all your birthday guests to CMOM for the whole day. For a free consultation, contact Katie at 212-721-1223 x 219. cmom.org

Children’s Museum of the Arts

The art of celebration comes alive for birthdays at Children’s Museum of the Arts in the South Village. Party times are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for children ages 1 to 14. Select a package or rent out the entire museum. cmany.org

Citibabes

Build it and they will come! Citibabes Soho allows parents to build their perfect party—and the staff takes care of the rest. From 90 minutes to 2 hours, kids can enjoy live music and fun in a 1,500-square-foot playroom. citibabes.com

Color Me Mine

Tap into your child’s artistic side with a birthday party at Color Me Mine in Tribeca. With more than 100 items to choose from, party goers design and paint their own masterpieces, creating a lasting memory for years to come. tribeca.colormemine.com

Columbus Gym

You’ll tumble for an energetic party at Columbus Gym on the Upper West Side. 90-minute parties cater to children ages 1-12. Supervised by USGF certified staff, gym time includes bars, beams, rings and trampoline. columbusgymnyc.com

Cozy’s Cuts for Kids

Girls just want to have fun at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids with three convenient Manhattan locations. Glam it up with one of four birthday packages featuring manicures and makeup, or get the Glam-To-Go at a venue of your choice. cozyscutsforkids.com

The Craft Studio

The Craft Studio is famous for its magical birthday parties, toy and candy shop, classes, workshops, after school programs, parties to go, and special events. The best destination for kids in NYC all served up with an amazing staff that will keep kids smiling bigger each time they come. All of our programs and events are run with TLC and a wonderful touch that is uniquely The Craft Studio. Come visit a one of a kind NYC neighborhood gem! craftstudionyc.com

Dave & Buster’s

It’s Game Day every day at Dave and Buster’s Times Square. Birthday packages are available for groups of 10 or more with special menus, game cards, and unlimited video game upgrades. Plus, your child scores with a D&B gift! daveandbusters.com

Discovery Programs

An integral part of New York for more than three decades, Discovery Programs offers eight interactive party themes for children ages 1 to 14. Reserve the gym, ballroom or classroom for a Friday or Sunday celebration. discoveryprograms.com

Dylan’s Candy Bar

You’ll feel like you’ve won the Golden Ticket with a birthday party celebration at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Midtown. Build your own or choose from Sugar Babies or Sweetie Pie Parties including a popcorn or cotton candy machine. Sweet! dylanscandybar.com

East Side Tae Kwon Do

At East Side Tae Kwon Do, children learn techniques to break boards, kick and punch, and then actually cut birthday cake using a real Samurai sword. Kids can chop their way through the big day! eastsidetaekwondo.com

East Side Yoga

Eat, Play, Love with a yoga birthday party at East Side Yoga. Zen party packages for 12 guests include jewelry making, cupcake decorating and age-appropriate yoga classes.  eastsideyoganyc.com

ExerBlast

Named NYC’s Best Kids Gym, ExerBlast, is new, cool and an out of this world choice for birthdays, after school and holiday camps. In this video-game inspired space, old-fashioned fun and fitness get a tech savvy twist. Here, kids are their own exercise avatars on a mission to save planet Botania. The unique workout mixes state of the art technology with creative play and adventure. Parents feel great as kids have a Blast playing “inside the game”, gaining power points, earning rewards, having fun and keeping fit! Whether kids are scaling NYC’s only rotating rock wall or performing balancing acts on the slack line, these and other high-energy obstacle course challenges keep kids’ hearts pounding. As Blasters progress to different levels of “the game”, the exercise and fun just keep increasing at ExerBlast. exerblast.com

Fantasma Magic

Abracadabra! An award-winning Fantasma Magic birthday party will amaze family and friends. The birthday child becomes the magician’s assistant and party guests get to participate in a 45-minute magic show. Four unique options fit every budget. Located in Midtown. fantasmamagic.com

FAO Schwarz

Start spreading the news about your FAO Schwarz celebration at the Fifth Ave flagship store. The FAO Toy soldier greets guests, guiding them to the second floor private party room. Event planners ensure big fun, like piano dancing! fao.com

The Gaga Center

Your kids will go gaga on the Upper East Side for a 90-minute birthday party filled with high energy, plenty of room to roam, music and the game of gaga. Packages can include edibles, a live DJ and photographer. gagacenter.com

Galli Theater

A birthday extravaganza! In the heart of the Midtown, Galli Theater puts on two-hour shows for all ages. Choose from four package deals or ask them to take the show on road and come to you! gallitheaterny.com

Get Coiffed

These stylists make house calls, transforming your average birthday party into a hair-raising event! Choose from a Rocker Girl party or Giggles and Girlfriends, with the option to create professional photographs and music videos. getcoiffed.com

Gymtime Rhythm & Glues

What time is it? Gymtime! Featuring exciting party themes and activities like Tae Kwon Do, guests are sure to get a kick out your birthday boy or girl’s special day. Parties are 1.5 hours long on the Upper East Side. gymtime.net

Hi Art!

Want an authentic New York experience? Host a Hi Art! Arty Party at this 2,500-square-foot Chelsea studio and gallery. Kids build candy sculptures or improvise to live music with artistic flair. Artisanal catering option available. hiartkids.com

Home Cooking New York

What’s cooking in Greenwich Village and Chelsea? Your next birthday party with Home Cooking New York! Rent a fully equipped culinary studio or cook up a storm in your own kitchen. homecookingny.com

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

If you feel the need for speed, book an action-packed birthday party at The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86. Select from five party themes and Silver, Gold and Platinum packages. intrepidmuseum.org

 

The JCC in Manhattan

Party space is available ranging from 425 to 6,000 square feet at The JCC in Manhattan. Sports birthday parties are also available for children ages 2-12 Fridays and Sundays. Located on the Upper West Side. jccmanhattan.org

Jodi’s Gym

Encourage your child to flex his birthday muscles at Jodi’s Gym on the Upper East Side. Private parties with an attentive staff allow you the opportunity to relax and mingle with guests. Extras range from piñatas to art to healthy snacks. jodisgym.com

Karma Kids Yoga

Karma Kids Yoga Birthday parties are unique, age appropriate and include basic and challenging poses, creative breathing techniques, fun yoga games and relaxation time with hand and foot massages. Choose a fun theme from our basic party package or go with one of our signature specialties: Pajama Yoga, Circus Yoga, Butterfly Yoga, Yoga Spa Party, Downward Doll Yoga and Yoga Mat Painting. This is a party that your child will never forget! karmakidsyoga.com

Kids at Art

The MOST creative, fun and personalized birthday parties are at Kids at Art, where there are a variety of art projects to choose from in a private art studio, which is all yours for an hour and a half! Projects can be tailor-made for your child or you can choose from a variety of others. New Art and Karaoke/Disco parties coming in September to their newest location! kidsatartnyc.com

Kids at Work 

About 20 one- to five-year-olds can enjoy an all-inclusive party in the lofty, 1,000-square-foot facility. Basic packages start at 90 minutes with art, pizza, balloons and party planner. Add extras such as a 40-minute “Jam Session” as part of a two-hour celebration. kidsatworknyc.com

Kids In Sports

Coaches instruct groups up to 45 boys and girls ages 2 and up at many different locations (Kids in Sports class locations or one of your own – indoor or outdoor). Choose from Baseball, Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Floor Hockey, or Basketball and ramp up the excitement with various other group games. Food is not supplied, but exceptional party service is a guarantee. kisnyc.com

Kidville 

Whether it’s a Rockin’ Railroad Birthday Bash or a Fairy Princess Party, Kidville’s got your little ones covered. Birthday children choose out of 19 themes to bring ten friends to enjoy. Satisfy kids’ hunger for food and fun at one of seven New York locations. kidville.com

Let’s Dress Up!

Let’s Dress Up offers five party choices on the Upper East Side, such as a Red Carpet Party, with the Mermaid Tea Party as a 2012 summer special. Costumes, favors and birthday banners delight children. letsdressupct.com

Liberty Science Center

Birthday guests enjoy all-day admission to exhibit floors, cake and parking vouchers. With hide-and-seek, the Touch Tunnel maze, digital graffiti and more, kids ages one to 12 can enjoy an activity-packed weekend party at the Jersey City Liberty Science Center. lsc.org

Little Maestros

Boogie down to original Little Maestros music, story time and puppet shows. Talented teachers lead the birthday bashes at various Manhattan locations and use top-of-the-line instruments. littlemaestros.com

Loop of the Loom

Six to 12 weavers can take designs home after a Loop of the Loom birthday on the Upper East Side. Suggested for ages 6 and up, children make homemade weaves or felt creations under the guidance of an instructor. loopoftheloom.com

Madame Alexander

At Madame Alexander’s historic Upper West Side location, birthday children can participate in create-a-doll workshops, tea parties or other doll-related activities like shopping and watching doll creation. Party coordinators personalize events to include cake and other treats. madamealexander.com

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds spans 85,000 square feet and houses more than 200 wax figures. The Times Square venue houses a 4D theater and SCREAM! experience. Packages for 4-year-olds and up can include Wax Hands, a personal photographer and concession voucher. madametussauds.com

Mad Science 

Kids ages three to 12 can interact for about an hour making cotton candy, bubble potions or launching rockets. Mad Science provides goody bags and accepts any size group. madscience.org

Make Meaning 

Celebrate creativity at Make Meaning with a party focused on making glassware, cakes, ceramics and more on the Upper East or West Sides. The private events space features two Creative Experiences of the birthday boy or girl’s choice: a main event and a side show. With a custom cake, decorations and VIP pass to return, it will be a birthday to remember. Add ons also available, like a glitter tattoo artist or swag bags. makemeaning.com

Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 

Choose from The Amazing Magic Party or The Freckle-taining Party at the Upper West Side’s Manhattan Movement & Arts Center. Depending on the selection, enjoy a private party run by staff with meet-and-greets, ticket discounts, Freckleface posters and silly bands. manhattanmovement.com

McBurney YMCA

Book a Saturday or Sunday birthday party room at McBurney YMCA for up to 20 guests. One package for 16 guests offers a one-hour activity such as gym sports, swimming, crafts, face painting or playing in the indoor playground. ymcanyc.org

Moey’s Music Party

A guitarist or the entire Moey band entertains youngsters at birthdays full of music, instruments and party favors. Celebrations include a custom song, puppet show, maracas and more. moeysmusicparty.com

Moomah Kiosk 

Choose from the Standard or Full Shebang to celebrate a birthday. Wholesome meals and playtime are paired with Story Pirates, an award-winning improvisation group. Certain weekdays or weekends are open and extras include a balloon artist, goodie bags and a photographer. moomah.com

MoonSoup 

Take two hours at MoonSoup to get artsy and musical. Pizza and juice fills about 15 kids’ bellies as a party leader entertains at the Midtown location. Party invites, tableware, setup and cleanup are provided. moonsoup.net

Moving to the Beat

Batman, drama, music & movement and puppets characterize a birthday at Moving to the Beat—depending on theme choice. Play games and interact with the animated singer Robert the Guitar Guy. Parties for 3-year-olds and under are available, as well. movingtothebeat.net

Museum of the City of New York

Piece of Cake Parties and the museum team up to present four customized celebrations, each 90 minutes long, for up to 20 children. Invites, balloons, pizza, cake and more come standard. Themes include Taxis & Trains Adventure and Super Skyscraper Caper. mcny.org

My Gym UWS

Your child is the star of the party when you celebrate their birthday at My Gym UWS.  We custom design each party to incorporate your child’s favorite age-appropriate games, activities, rides, songs, puppets and more! We deliver an unmatched level of energy and excitement and provide the right combination of structured activities and free play so that every child is guaranteed to have a blast! Several packages and features are available including over 30 themes, food, party favors and more.  For all parties your family and guests enjoy exclusive use of our entire facility. my-gym.com/nyc.aspx

New York Hall of Science

Boasting New York’s largest Science Playground as well as other activities like mini golf and magic, the Super Science Birthday party at the New York Hall of Science is fun for all.  A party includes exhibit tours, interactive activities and demonstrations.  Favors and food included.  nysci.org/visit/birthdays

New York Kids Club

With locations on the East and West sides as well as in Brooklyn, you’re never far from a party at New York Kids Club.  Choose from a Basic or an All-Inclusive package with themes like Hip Hop Happening, Spectacular Science Party, Adventures in Storyland, Broadway Birthday and X-treme Birthday. nykidsclub.com

New York Transit Museum

Enjoy a peek at New York’s transit past with a birthday party at the New York Transit Museum.  Vintage cars, a birthday turnstile and even a bus driver’s seat for guests to sit in accompany party activities like Design a Vehicle, Make a Mosaic and Scavenger Hunt. mta.info/mta/museum/#birthday

Peridance Capezio Center

Birthday parties are offered on Sunday from 11am-1pm.  Guests arrive and are treated to a 45-minute dance class in styles including Ballet, African, Hip Hop, Salsa and many more.  You provide the decorations and food and the center provides props, dance games and fun activities. peridance.com/birthdayparties.cfm

Poppyseed Pre-Nursery

At Poppyseed Pre-Nursery, throw the perfect birthday party for your baby, toddler or two-year old and all of his friends. In a warm and nurturing environment, with a space that feels like a large living room, the party goers will sing, dance and do arts and crafts.poppyseedprenursery.com

Queens County Farm Museum

For a farm birthday party, look no further than the Queens County Farm, offering children’s birthday parties from April to October for little ones ages 1 to 12. A full service party incorporates tractor drawn hayrides, animal feeding and a farmyard tour. Pizza, cake and favors included. queensfarm.org

Reebok Sports Club/NY

Boasting one of the largest party spaces in Manhattan, this venue will send out invitations for your child’s party and provide food and decorations. Entertainment and activities provided at extra charge. Set up and clean up provided. reeboksportsclubny.com

The Scholastic Store

With 15 custom birthday-party packages ranging from Space Shindig to Pajama Party to Clifford’s Big Birthday Bash, the Scholastic Store in Soho has it all. Looking to create a more personalized party? Imagination Celebrations, the store’s party planning service, will work with you to make your child’s dream party a reality. store.scholastic.com

Scribble Press

For the creative child in your life, Scribble Press offers birthday parties at its Upper East Side studio and party lounge where children collaborate to make books, custom placemats and other projects. The birthday child receives a Birthday Wishes book written by guests. scribblepress.com

Starkey’s Cuts for Kids

Throw a glam birthday party for your daughter at Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids. Parties take place in the “Glamour Girl” dressing room where party-goers get a new hairstyle, make-up application and mini-cure. Pizza and juice provided. sharkeyscutsforkids.com/parties

Slate

Slate’s two-floor, spacious lounge environment holds pool tables and foosball tables galore. From dancing to games to magicians, a party at Slate is complete with food, goody bags and invitations. slate-ny.com

Soccer by Coach Fher

The best kind of party is when the kids come home exhausted! Coach Fher ensures this will happen at his one- and two-hour soccer parties. Providing a coach for every six children, Coach Fher takes care of every detail. The party ends with a family or children’s game. coachfher.com

SPiN New York

For a ping-pong party like no other, SPiN New York’s private event room includes a ping-pong table, bar (for soda and juice!), disco ball, dance floor, DJ booth and lounge area. newyork.spingalactic.com

SPORTIME Randall’s Island

Randall’s Island’s state-of-the-art tennis facility will host a party for your little tennis pro, providing instruction, equipment and tennis courts complete with a party room for enjoying cake afterward. Activities include energetic tennis games and a round robin tournament. sportimeny.com

Sports Club/LA

For Kids Only at Reebok Sports Club/NY & The Sports Club/LA-Upper East Side is a Club within a Club for children. FKO hosts birthday parties customized to match your child’s interests. Choose from a variety of exciting activities ranging from sports, rock climbing, toddler gym, dance, movement, art, music and more. thesportsclubla.com

StoryTime By Design

Offering 15 different theme birthday parties, StoryTime by Design provides a unique story hour experience. The facilitators here will lead your child and guests through a storytelling that makes use of art, music, puppetry and dramatic play. storytimebydesign.com

Super Soccer Stars

Turn your child’s birthday into an unforgettable soccer extravaganza! You pick the time and place, and we take care of the rest. Party packages include 60 minutes of soccer and 30 minutes for food, cake and party festivities. Customize your party with Super Soccer Stars balls as favors, t-shirts, catering, personalized evites, balloons, a surprise visit from Kick the Mascot and more! Parties available at one of our many locations, in the park, in your home—you decide! supersoccerstars.com

TADA! Youth Theater

Celebrate like a star! Choose from three different packages for your child’s birthday where we come to you for an interactive song & dance soiree or you come to us for a show or even a command performance! For more information email birthdays@tadatheater.com or visit tadatheater.com/birthdayparties.asp

Taste Buds

Get your child into the kitchen with one of Taste Buds’ perfectly planned parties. Taste Buds has designed age appropriate parties for children ages 2-7 or 8-14. Picture your child and friends all suited up in aprons ready to cook dishes such as Cupcake Challenge, Iron Chef Mac Attack or Brunch Bonanza. tastebudskitchen.com

TLB Music

With a playroom boasting a clubhouse, rock climbing mountain, play kitchen and a transportation corner, TLB Music offers music parties and free play parties. Parties are centered upon themes like Jungle Boogie, Barnyard Bash and Rock and Roll, or you can tailor the party to your child’s favorite songs and musical tastes. tlbmusic.com

Tie Dye Town

Host a groovy party at Tie Dye Town where guests will make t-shirts, artwork or bracelets. With party titles like Super Hero Tie Dye party, World’s Greatest Princess Tie Dye party and Tie Dye Slime party, how can you go wrong? Tie Dye cupcakes and cake as well as tattoos round out the list of unique party amenities. tiedyetown.com

Tiger Schulmann’s Karate

Tiger Schulmann’s Karate will have your child’s party guests punching, kicking and blocking their way through a fun-filled birthday. Guests receive introductory course certificates to show their accomplishments. It’s a healthy way to celebrate! tsk.com

Twinkle Party

The ultimate ballerina party takes place at Twinkle Party where guests dress up in tutus and take a ballet class. An interactive classical ballet story as well as a tiara for the birthday girl will all be included. Parties are held for up to 10 participating ballerinas. twinklepartyfun.com

Vanderbilt YMCA

At the Vanderbilt YMCA, conveniently located in Midtown East, parents can choose from pre-planned sports, fitness and pool parties. Parents supply food, beverages and decorations. Looking for a different twist? The Y’s party planner will also work with you to plan a custom party that fits your child’s interests. ymcanyc.org

Victorian Gardens

Bring your child’s party to the center of it all at Central Park’s Victorian Gardens Amusement Park, where party guests receive day-long unlimited ride passes! Party-goers will celebrate amidst over 30,000 feet of rides, games and attractions, before chowing down on treats like chicken tenders, turkey sandwiches, hot dogs, cookies and fruit. Everyone will take home a party favor. Additional entertainment can be added, while cake and photo extras are available through outside companies. victoriangardensnyc.com

West Side Taekwondo

Available for parties after 3:30 pm Saturdays and after 1:00 pm on Sundays, West Side Taekwondo will offer a two-hour party complete with introductory lesson, children’s games and demonstration of forms, sparring and board breaks. westsidetkd.com

West Side YMCA

Birthday parties at the West Side Y have been described as truly epic. Experts in giving your child a special day, they have created a range of party packages including Roof Top parties, Pool parties, Drama parties, Sports parties and Dance parties. Teens can also have a party in the teen center, and there is space for parties in the Early Child Exploration Center for ages 1-6. ymcanyc.org

Yogi Beans

For a yoga party that will have all of your child’s friends in knots, head to Yogi Beans’ new Upper East Side studio for one of the fabulous birthday party packages including “Spa-tacular” Yogi Beans Birthday Bash and “Paint Your Face Off” Yogi Beans Birthday Bash. Each package allows for child-centered yoga activities followed by time to celebrate with pizza and drinks. yogibeans.com

 

CLOWNS

Each child who attends Looney Lenny’s hilarious, interactive magic show (with juggling!) receives their own clown-o-rific name and balloon animal. looneyluckylennyland.com

Juliet Schaefer Jeske’s talents include face painting, balloon twisting, stilts, silly magic and playing the ukulele and accordion. rednosesnewyork.com

Sammie and Tudie’s clowning philosophy: life is better when you’re laughing. This comedic, magic circus show is ideal for ages three and up. sammieandtudie.com

 

FACE PAINTING

Not your typical face painting experience, the award-winning Faces by Derrick will make your kids, ages three and up, wish to never wash their faces again. facesbyderrick.com

Girls especially love the signature unicorn design of Face Art by Melissa. This mother of two does fabulous face art and gorgeous glitter tattoos. faceartbymelissa.com

The owner of Hearts Face Painting & Balloon Art, “Hearts”, brings both creative art forms to birthday environments. facepaintingballoontwisting.com

Kiki’s Faces and Balloons is an all-encompassing entertainment company offering face painting, balloon sculpting, “silly people” and princesses. kikisfacesandballoons.com

Party Faces By Rachel’s namesake has a background that’s practically a Ph.D. in paint. Her ability to charm the little ones while she works helps to keep them comfortable with the painting process. partyfacesbyrachel.com

 

MAGICIANS

The Amazing Max is so beloved; he even has his own Off-Broadway show for mega-magic families. His high-energy, interactive show blends comedy and juggling. maxdarwinmagic.com

Cardone The Ultimate Vaudeville Magician’s act includes escape artistry, ventriloquism and classic scarf, coin and card tricks. cardonethemagician.com

Ages 3-7 will fold into fits of laughter at Gary the Great’s comedic magic act. He adapts his show based on audience response, so no two performances are alike. ahrealmagic.com

Magic Al’s sleight of hand tricks will stupefy even grown-ups and his goofy antics keep kids in stitches throughout every performance. magic-al.com

Mario the Magician’s 45-minute set is aimed at kids ages 4-11 who are sure to go nuts for his silly antics and age-old slapstick humor. You can even add on a magic lesson to the end of his act. mariothemagician.com

Kids ages 3-8 (and their parents) will adore Silly Billy. This self-proclaimed “comedian for children” uses magic, balloon twisting and lots of jokes to drum up laughter. sillybillymagic.com

 

MUSICIANS

Led by Audra Tsanos, Audra Rox’s family-friendly band is just right for Big Apple birthdays. Audra arrives at your party location ready to sing songs made for the city, incorporates the birthday child in the music and will have every guest jamming along on percussion props. audrarox.com

Brett Band is the brainchild of early childhood music educator Brett Rothenhaus, formerly of Little Maestros. His original music, along with kiddie classics, make for a playlist that gets everybody on their feet. brettband.com

Looking for a royal way to celebrate your little girl’s birthday? Moey’s Music Party brings the pompoms, maracas and parachute for 45 minutes of fun. Try the Princess Party Package filled with boas, bling and boogieing. moeysmusicparty.com

Meredith LeVande, perhaps better known as Monkey Monkey Music, specializes in upbeat, original tunes for little ones. Her parachute-, instrument- and bubble-infused party shows instantly get all ages grooving. monkeymonkeymusic.com

mr. RAY takes a mix-it-up approach to birthday gigs. Beginning with a concert and transitioning into a dance party, the festivities end with kids stepping up to sing solos on the mic. His music is a mix of originals, kids classics and some classic rock for the parents. (You may recognize his rockin’ style from the songs for seeds curriculum.) mrray.com

A one-man band, Rockin’ With Andy makes kids and their parents want to shake their groove things. Mom and Dad love Andy’s acoustic guitar versions of grown-up hits and the little ones go bananas for his kids classics. Andy also brings shakers, bells, scarves and animal puppets for maximum rocking. rockinwithandy.com

SPECIALTY

If you can dream it, Nick the Balloonatic can make it. At it for 20 years, Nick’s handiwork includes flower bouquets, superheroes, monkeys on palm trees, top hats and much more. nicktheballoonatic.com

Wendy The Pipe Cleaner Lady is a category unto herself. Girls adore her tiaras, boys covet her spider creations and even celebrities like Martha Stewart want her pipe cleaner flower rings. thepipecleanerlady.com

For more birthday party planning tips, visit our Birthday Party section.


BIG TIP: PARTY SUPPLIES & FAVORS

State News has made themselves party store supreme with their funhouse of supplies, favors, toys and other festive tchotchkes. Take a child with you, and see how hard it is to leave. Other city stores known for their party stock include Jack’s 99 Cent Store and Party City.

With party favors foremost in mind, Pearl River Mart is a good place for items with an Asian flair; Economy Candy is great for historical yummies; and one idea you can never go wrong with is a children’s book bought in bulk from Barnes & Noble.

If by some miracle you haven’t waited until the last minute to pull off your kid’s party, you can go shop at Oriental Trading—a classic source for fun, silly, affordable kids toys.

State News has three locations on Upper East Side (1243 Third Avenue; 112 East 86th Street; 1215 Second Avenue; 212-831-8010); Jack’s 99 Cent Store (jacks99world.com); Party City (partycity.com); Pearl River Mart (pearlrivermart.com); Economy Candy (economycandy.com); Barnes & Noble (barnesandnoble.com); Oriental Trading (orientaltrading.com)

 


BIG TIP: A Birthday Cake For Every Budget

Like so much else in the city, children’s birthday cakes run the gamut from modest to extravagant. Whatever their style or expense, they should all pass two simple tests: look yummy and taste yummy. For the budget-conscious, we recommend a trip to Costco or to a neighborhood bakery. For an ice cream cake, Carvel is always wonderful, but did you know that Häagen-Dazs offers great birthday cakes, too? You can also keep the cost somewhat in check by ordering cakes at Food Emporium. As we slide up the extravagance scale, there are many shades of birthday cake deliciousness and creativity to be had at Magnolia BakeryTwo Little Red HensAlice’s Tea Cup and Creative Cakes. And don’t get us started on all the great cupcake options in town; we’re sure you know at least a few of them.

costo.com; carvel.com; haagen-dazs.com; thefoodemporium.com; magnoliabakery.com; twolittleredhens.com; alicesteacup.com; creativecakesny.com

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Find more great articles like this in our Birthday Parties, Bithday Resources, and Ideas & Venues sections.

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  • JenH

    Its so easy to list all the most expensive places in New York to hold a child’s birthday party. However, it takes a clever journalist to find places and create fresh ideas that are inexpensive and free. Please be clever, most parents in Manhattan are on a budget and cannot afford these places. FYI: Food Emporium is NOT cheap. List the neighborhood bakeries…etc… I’m a journalist and I know you get kickbacks and free invites from these places. Please do not cut and paste…do research. I would appreciate real, well researched advice. Maybe have another go at this article…might be better the second time around.

  • Tammy

    Certainly lots pf happy places in NYC to bring your kids. Also check out Funtasia in Brooklyn. Really good place for birthday parties.