Are you looking for new and exciting ideas for a COVID-friendly birthday celebration this season? Birthday celebrations during COVID keep getting more creative and fun thanks to local NYC institutions and birthday businesses making pandemic shifts to innovate and deliver pure joy and happiness to NYC birthday boys and girls! We found amazing options for open-air and outdoor celebrations; small, in-person socially distanced parties; and virtual birthday bashes so no matter how you celebrate your little loved one’s birthday, it will be better than ever. Bring on the birthday magic this winter and spring with these favorite party options that are sure to make the birthday extra memorable! And we added a few of our favorite birthday extras, too!
The Great Outdoors of Birthdays
Celebrate your little loved one’s birthday in a “Winter Wonderland” at the Watermark at Pier 15. Travel through the 30 foot custom built light tunnel with over 50,000 individual lights and marvel at the 40 freshly installed 15 foot trees which magically light up the sky. Guests can enjoy their favorite classic movies on the jumbo screen and experience a spontaneous “snow show” with their dazzling snow machine. Once inside, guests will be seated in private, enclosed, and heated “glass houses” with a feast for the eyes with stunning water views and feast for the belly with a full menu, including a winter favorite, Build Your Own S’mores! Keeping the safety of guests in mind, each Glass House is sanitized in between each seating, there’s an air purification system, and staff and guests are required to wear a mask while not in their seats. Be sure to soak in the picturesque panorama and snap a birthday photo worth 1000 words with the background of the East River with a view of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges.
Have a birthday whirl and twirl on the ice at Wollman Rink! There’s no better place to spend an outdoor birthday than Wollman Rink — one of the most majestic ice skating rinks in the world! With spectacular views of the New York City skyline, the Wollman Rink offers an experience unlike any other. Make your birthday unforgettable with swizzles and twizzles and a socially distant skate. Be sure to make an advanced reservation, keep a safe distance, wear your mask, and skate your heart out!
Have a monumental birthday movie night in Brooklyn by parking the party at the Skyline Drive-In NYC, a unique drive-in cinema experience, situated on the East River with serene views of the Manhattan Skyline. It will be a blast from the past. No car? Have no fear they have walk-in and bicycle seating so everyone can enjoy this fun and socially distant movie experience. Buy tickets online and ensure a contactless check-in and enjoy the full concession stand with drinks and treats for the birthday celebration.
Cozy up in a birthday igloo at 230 Fifth and enjoy breathtaking views of the city in their famous heated igloo! Bring your family or your pod for a family movie night birthday celebration and enjoy a beverage, entree, and of course, popcorn! Movie Night Igloo Reservations are accepted Sunday – Friday weekly for groups of 4 – 6 guests at 4:30 pm or 7:30 pm. Then relax and enjoy one of their 15 blockbuster movies to choose from onsite!
Head to the Archway in DUMBO for a birthday picnic this season. The Archway under the Manhattan Bridge is a spectacular plaza, and one of New York City’s most unique public spaces. It’s 45′ high, the cathedral-like Archway inspires and makes a beautiful birthday backdrop. The Archway is definitely a good option for outdoor birthday celebrations since it’s covered and has picnic tables. And you have the added bonus of magnificent Light Year projections on the first Thursday of every month.
Keeping it Small and Special Indoors
Have the ultimate birthday sleepover with Teepee in the City! They developed special sleepover packages like Sibling Camp Out and My Bestie and Me that help make birthdays and other celebrations small, safe, and extra special. At Teepee in the City, they follow a very strict cleaning protocol and setup includes your choice of theme (think mermaid, sweet dreams, rainbows and unicorns, and TikTok to name a few!) and corresponding teepees and décor. The sleepover settings are sure to make birthday dreams come true with the superb style, fun experience, creative themes, and additional activities like arts and crafts.
Kids love birthdays and ice cream so why not celebrate at the Museum of Ice Cream! MOIC has a birthday experience and retail package that makes the celebration extra sweet. Your sweet birthday privileges package includes a sprinkle crown to wear throughout the experience, a birthday sundae and song, and a gift bag to take home with a retail value of $40!
Take a trip to the Floral Escape Studio for an immersive birthday experience. The private studio is located in Floral Park and includes access to three lavish floral installations for all to enjoy. Guests are offered 1-hour time slots for their private session and receive 21 digital photos, edited by their professional photographer. A total of 6-8 guests are permitted with purchase of an hourly time slot at the studio.
Virtual Birthday Fun
Celebrate your child’s next birthday party at home with the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum! An educator will take your group on a virtual tour of the Intrepid Museum, where children will learn about the history of the ship and the crew who served from 1943-1974. All programs are adjusted to be age appropriate and will vary according to the age of the group. To reserve your group, please email [email protected] or call 646-381-5010.
Give your child the awesome party they deserve: building robots with their friends with the Brooklyn Robot Foundry! These online parties are unique, creative, memorable and fun! What makes Robot Foundry parties so special is that each child gets to build their very own moving robot, and then get creative, customizing it however they desire. During the robot-building, they work with the children in very small groups so they get plenty of guidance and support. Then it’s back to the main party room for more socializing and celebrating! They make sure this is super engaging for kids and super easy for parents. All parents have to do is provide the Museum with contact information for all the guests and they’ll send them the materials, login information and whatever else you choose. They even have an option to send everyone a small cake to enjoy at the end of the party.
Let your little artist paint the town on their birthday with the Guggenheim! Sign up for a private tour or art-making workshop, and let them design an art experience online, for your special celebration. For this 60-minute program, one of the experienced museum educators will work directly with you to choose a unique theme, artwork, or artist of focus from the Guggenheim’s collection — just for you! Themes can include anything art-related, from “abstraction” to “ziggurat”! They will create a digital space for real-life connection through conversation, and if you like, they can facilitate hands-on, art-making using materials you already have at home. This program is a great way to celebrate a special event. For more information contact Emily Rivlin-Nadler, Manager for Family Programs, at [email protected].
MoMath is currently hosting virtual birthday parties for people around the world to enjoy and they are now offering an origami option! Looking to host a one-of-a-kind online birthday party full of fabulous folding fun? You and your guests can explore the wondrous art of paper folding with an origami expert. With your choice of customized activities, parties can be personalized for all ages of birthday boys and girls — from children through adults, from simple to complicated paper art. Each 75-minute online origami party includes a 60-minute lesson led by an origami expert, with your choice of folding projects. MoMath’s origami experts have extensive experience working with folders of all ages and experience levels. From birds, butterflies, or boxes to fully customized creations, MoMath wants to make your folding wishes come true. In addition to origami-themed birthday parties, other exciting online birthday options are available as well. To schedule a MoMath virtual birthday party, email [email protected].
Thanks to DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections, children get to enjoy one of their favorite treats worry-free, too! Join the Cookie AcaDŌmy taught by CEO and Founder Kristen Tomlan to learn how to make safe-to-eat cookie dough! Each kiddo will learn the secrets and steps to making their best-selling signature cookie dough! Each baker will receive a package with ingredients, a recipe sheet, and information regarding any additional ingredients and required equipment. Stand mixer or hand mixer is required for all classes.
And for more virtual birthday fun, check out our virtual birthday guide!
The Icing on the Birthday Party
Looking for a few extras to make sure that this unusual birthday has an extra wow factor? Check out these extraordinary extras to make your birthday child smile inside and out:
Searching for a unique and crazy fun cake? Have the ultimate chocolate cake experience with Dylan’s Candy Bar Bash Cake! It is oh so much fun! It is a tabletop, cake-shaped piñata made of milk chocolate, filled with mini milk chocolate covered pretzels. It comes decorated in a decorative ribbon and includes a mallet to bash your way through the hollow chocolate to the sweet and savory treat inside. It definitely makes for a delicious and tasty centerpiece. Plus, it has a shelf life of nine months!
Rosaholics offers the most unique and fanciful rose bouquets. Birthday kids of all ages will stop and smell these creative and cool roses. Some of our favorites include a Unicorn Rose Bouquet, Viva La Vida Rose Bouquet, Pinky Promise Rose Bouquet, and Sugar Rush Rose Bouquet. Swap your usual floral arrangement for an exciting alternative that opens the door to exotic flowers sourced from their own family-run farm in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. They use their floral farming expertise infused with genuine passion for providing the most dazzling roses imaginable while maintaining a commitment to sustainable practices.
Balloon Saloon can give your birthday kiddo the royal treatment, bringing the fun to any and every occasion with their joyful balloons. Balloon Saloon’s beautiful and celebratory creations will make a big day extra special. They can personalize every arrangement with balloon names, clusters, age numerals, organic columns, or giant confetti-filled balloons Balloon Saloon has been bringing joy throughout NYC, and now with a COVID business pivot, they are offering curbside delivery as well as delivery service to the outer boroughs and suburbs like Long Island and the Hamptons. You can even arrange a socially distant pick-up by having Uber pickup and deliver your bunch of balloons.
Jars By Dani, delicious handcrafted cake jars, look amazing and taste even better! Jars By Dani are especially perfect for quarantine celebrations because they are individually packaged already so there are no worries about cutting a cake and everyone touching things since you have your own. The most popular flavor for kids and adults alike is the cake batter but all of the varieties are delicious. We also love that most flavors are nut-free and there are gluten-free and vegan options as well. The sky is the limit with customization of the lids to have writing, names, photos, or whatever you wish. Jar By Dani makes variety packs so party people can pick and choose their flavors and customization. They also ship nationwide for special occasions or any ordinary day to bring someone a smile and decadent treat.