- 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