- Milk and Cookies Bakery
19 Commerce St.; 212-243-1640
At these make-your-own-cookie parties, kids choose their own dough and mix-ins, then listen to stories or make cookie-themed crafts while they bake. Later, the boxed-up sweets serve as party favors. Renting the store runs between $140 and $200 an hour, with an added cost of $20 per child (includes milkshakes, malts, and cookies), up to seventeen kids.
- Pirate Party, South Street Seaport Museum
South Street at Pier 16; 212-748-8774
Pint-size swashbucklers get to commandeer the Seaport’s famed tall ship Peking, a nearly century-old vessel with an eighteen-story mast. Scallywag-for-hire Billy Bones teaches them how to talk and swordfight like real pirates, helping them hoist the sails and hunt for hidden treasures. Parties, held year-round, start at $1,999 for 24 children.
- High-School Musical Party, Deb’s Family Disco
511 Lexington Ave.; 212-586-7425
Karaoke sing-alongs and dance-offs have made this party, inspired by Disney’s popcorn musical, a favorite at this nightclub-style kids’ venue (with a full bar for parents). Packages start at $650 for ten kids, with $20 for each additional child.
- Doodle Doo’s
543 Hudson St.; 212-627-3667
This low-key kid’s salon is more Betsey Johnson than JonBenet, with all manner of glitter, temporary tattoos, face paint, and hair color. Parties (90 minutes, Sundays and Mondays only) start at $500 for twelve kids, with $30 for each additional child.
- Bronx Zoo
Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road; 718-741-1676
Kids ages 8 to 12 get to slumber-party (6 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday) in the same building where the zoo’s 24 lowland gorillas turn in at night. Prices start at $5,000 for up to fifteen children. Bookings resume this summer.
- Ultimate Field-Day Challenge
Chelsea Piers, Pier 60 at 23rd St.; 212-336-6518
This field-day-style birthday appeals to the athlete—or nonathlete, as the case may be—in every kid. Relay races, dodge ball, and tug-of-war make for one-size-fits-all fun, especially for second-to-fifth-graders. Basic 90-minute packages start at $425 for ten children.
Birthday celebrations for every kid, from little pirates to disco freaks.
From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).