My husband and I went from indifferent, to hosting a party in our building's basement, to renting out an aircraft carrier (see below)! Planning a great party (that doesn’t break the bank) doesn't have to be stressful or take loads of time to plan. Finding a great place for a kid's birthday party seems simple, before you have a child. Before becoming a parent you probably thought, "He's only 4, what does it matter?" Then you have kids, who become the most important part of your world, and you realize just how important these events are for your little one—here's a list of some fun and unique venues:
Pier 86 – West 46th Street and 12th Avenue
We held my son’s 6th space-themed birthday party here and he and his friends loved it! The two-hour customized package includes admission to the museum, hands-on themed activities, two party hosts (one in costume), as well as lunch and cake. You can choose from several party themes, including pilot, astronaut, marine, and spy. We chose the astronaut theme, and our son and his friends viewed the Enterprise space shuttle, got up close with an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane, toured a helicopter (not strictly space-themed, but fun), and experienced the space simulator—the hit of the party!
Several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We attended the UES location at 1597 2nd Avenue
Another fun and educational option is the Brooklyn Robot Foundry, where my son recently attended a friend’s party. They offer several different options depending on the child’s age. Kids learn about circuits and have the opportunity to build a simple moving robot, simple light up robot, or a more complicated moving robot. Packages can also include food and drinks, cake, decorations, and goody bags. All the kids loved making the robots and our son couldn’t wait to show his off to us.
636 Broadway, 5th Floor
My son attended a birthday party at Freshmade and he had a blast. Children’s cooking party packages include two hours centered on a themed cooking project of your choice; party staff including three teachers and a party manager; 25 balloons; eco-friendly party supplies; and party favors for the kids. You can choose from a variety of themes, including a pizza party, pasta party, taco party, veggie sushi party, tea party, and baking party—or, create your own custom theme. My son really enjoyed making, and eating, his own bowtie pasta.
Located on the UES and in Tribeca, which is the location we attended at 174 Duane Street
This place is a child’s dream, where they can be messy and creative, while also enjoying cake and cookies. Their website offers a look at different projects that can be chosen for the group depending on their age range, including plastercraft, puppets, decorating a chocolate box with candy, clothing design, and much more. They will also work with you to create a customized project if you’re looking for something extra special. My son had a terrific time at a Harry Potter themed friend’s birthday party where the kids painted their own magic spell boxes.
5. The Art Farm
419 East 91st Street or on location
I love the flexibility The Art Farm offers, and instead of visiting their location, we hosted a party in our building’s playroom for my son’s 4th birthday party. They came with a selection of animals including a tortoise, bearded dragon lizard, rabbit, chinchilla, dove, and praying mantis. My son and his friends love animals, so being able to interact with them up close was a real treat for them. We catered our own party, but if done at their location, the two-hour party package also includes food, music, party favors, bio-degradable balloons, and more, depending on the package you choose.
202 West 74th Street
For baseball fans, The Baseball Center is the ultimate setting for a birthday party. Children participate in hitting and pitching competitions and a baseball game. The 90 or 120-minute party, depending on the package you choose, also includes food and drinks, cake, balloons, and a party room. As a plus, the venue is in the basement of a former bank and children get a kick out of walking through the gigantic steel vault doors.
These are just a few of the many unique options in NYC that are guaranteed to delight children and make their birthday party a hit!
What are your suggestions?