New York Magazine

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  Bakeries & Cakemakers  
  Birthday Party Locations  
  Birthday Party Trends  
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  Tipsheet: Throwing a Party  
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Parties: Birthday-Party Locations
 

Alexander Doll Company
615 W. 131st St., near Broadway
212-283-5900
madamealexander.com
Parties of up to 35 can tour this 81-year-old Harlem factory, which handmakes some of the most beautiful—and coveted—dolls in the world. Once the children have visited the factory and the doll hospital, they can take part in a workshop dressing up tiny shoes with ribbon, then head to a specially decorated room where all party fixings (except the cake) are provided. Price is $30 to $95 a person.

Alley Pond Environmental Center
228-06 Northern Blvd., near the Cross Island Pkwy., Douglaston
718-229-4000
alleypond.com
Little nature lovers will enjoy parties at this 150-acre nature preserve, where entertainment comes in the form of environmental discussions, meet-and-greets with small animals, nature walks, and arts-and-crafts sessions. Party organizers provide food (usually pizza), paper goods, and decorations. For 2- and 3-year-olds, it’s $150 for one and a half hours (up to twelve kids); ages 4 to 12, $180 for two hours (up to fifteen kids).

Young ladies get dolled up at Amrican Girl Place. (Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen)

American Girl Place
609 Fifth Ave., at 49th St.
1-877-AGPLACE
If you have to ask why to throw a party at this doll store, you clearly don’t have a girl. At café parties, dolls sit next to their owners, who eat food like cornbread muffins ($30-$58 per person). But the real treat is the Late Night party, in which a group of 15 to 25 girls get the preteen paradise all to themselves for two hours. They eat a meal, watch a theater revue, take dolls to a salon, and take part in a scavenger hunt ($250 per person).

Basketball City
Pier 63 at W. 23rd St.
212-23-HOOPS
basketballcity.com
Basketball parties feature an hour of supervised play, including a scored game and coach-run drills (layups, dribbling, passing, and foul shots), followed by a party in a decorated room with a basketball birthday cake, pizza and drinks. Additional food must be provided by the party organizers (caterers are welcome). $595 for fifteen children.

Birthday Wishes
212-971-8765
James Gandolfini and Nicole Miller both turned to Leanne DeCamp for their toddlers’ parties. Specializing in entertainment for children 1 to 4, DeCamp brings puppets, parachutes, bubbles, balloon animals, and even a handmade secret gift for the birthday child. One hour is $200.

Shooting for a strike at a Bowlmore Lanse birthday party. (Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen)

Bowlmor Lanes
110 University Pl., near 13th St.
212-255-8188
bowlmor.com
This hip bowling alley in the Village spins classic dance tunes while kids spend two hours in the lanes. There are three party packages: The first ($29.95 per child) includes shoe rental, beverages, and cheese pizza or hot dogs and fries; the second ($34.95) adds a personalized birthday cake; the third ($39.95) includes invitations on Bowlmor stationery, chips and popcorn, and a signable bowling pin for the birthday honoree. There’s an eight-child minimum for all parties.

Chelsea Piers
Piers 59 to 62, bet. 18th and 23rd Sts., at the Hudson River
212-336-6518
chelseapiers.com
With nearly 2,000 birthday parties every year, this athlete’s mecca is the go-to choice for sports themes. Activities include gymnastics, soccer, baseball, basketball, rock climbing, flag football, volleyball, bowling, ice skating, ice hockey, golf, and in-line skating. Ninety-minute parties start at $395 with no food; from $525 with food, cake and staff. Up to ten kids.

Cozy’s Cuts for Kids
1125 Madison Ave., at 84th St.
212-744-1716
448 Amsterdam Ave., near 81st St.
212-579-2600
cozyscutsforkids.com
Glamour parties at this salon for tots include makeup, hairstyling, mini-manicures, temporary tattoos, and lots of activities, like make-it-yourself beaded jewelry ($595 for 90 minutes for 12 children; $30 per additional child, up to 50). Upgrade to the Beauty Super Deluxe party ($795 for 90 minutes for 12; $30 each additional child, up to 50), which includes a choice of chocolate or vanilla cake, plus pizza and beverages. Fine catered foods, balloons, and Polaroids are extra.

The Craft Studio
1657 Third Ave., near 93rd St.
212-831-6626
thecraftstudionyc.com
The place to go for an arts-themed party, this gigantic haven with an energetic staff offers various projects: designing puppets, picture frames, wooden treasure chests, rhinestoned pajamas, and even chocolate houses covered in gumdrops. Parties begin with the group decorating a birthday banner, followed by face-painting, the project, then limbo-rock and relay races. After that, a lunch of pizza and chicken nuggets, more dancing, and a Häagen-Dazs ice-cream cake ($495 to $725 for a party of ten kids).

 
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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide
   
   
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