Tipsheet: Throwing a Party

If Pin The Tail On The Donkey sounds a little old-fashioned, well, there’s a whole galaxy of creative party options out there. But how to keep everything organized?

>> Book The Talent First. The most popular kids’ party entertainers are often booked up a year in advance. Check out Arnie Kolodner (212-582-2633), who does costumed magic shows, or Marcia the Musical Moose (212-567-0682), who specializes in sing-alongs and puppet shows.

>> Choose The Location. Party spaces usually book several events per day, yet still sell out. It’s also a good idea to check with your building’s management: It may allow use of a community room or playground for a private party. 

>> Hire Help. For a house party, you’ll need one cheerful counselor type for every eight to ten kids. If you don’t know any responsible teens, try posting the request on NYU’s Website: Registered college students, the only ones who have access to the listings, are always checking in for part-time child-care positions.

>> Decide If It’s A Drop-Off Party. Then put details on the invitation, which should be sent a month in advance. Four-year-olds and up are generally okay without their grown-ups sticking around. But keep cell-phone numbers at the ready in case of sudden meltdowns.

>> Keep It Short. For ages 5 and younger, 90 minutes is enough time for play, pizza, and cake.

>> Have The Cake Delivered. It generally costs $20 to $75 extra, but it’s worth it to avoid a disaster. The best cakemakers in town include Flour Girl, where each slice comes with a yummy whimsical butter cookie, and Cupcake Café, where buttercream is the name of the game.

>> Don’t Forget Party Favors. Chinatown is a treasure trove for cheap goodies.


From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide