421 Seventh Ave., entrance on 33rd St., second fl.; 212-924-8345
If your idea of a birthday magic show involves a tuxedoed guy pulling scarves from his sleeve, you haven’t been to Fantasma, where a secret-combination door unlocks the party area, the birthday kid gets a lesson in levitation, and everyone (parents included) pokes around the largest collection of Harry Houdini artifacts in the country. The store’s resident magicians teach tricks and provide entertainment, like spinning a white rose out of everyday paper towels. Parties accommodate up to 35 kids and include pizza, beverages, snacks, a Cold Stone ice-cream cake, and goody bags stuffed with magic tricks. The only catch is the price—$1,250 for the first ten kids plus $25 per additional child—and the booking policy, requiring two months’ advance notice.
Best Birthday Bash
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).