500 E. 88th St., near York Ave.
These whimsical spaces offer arts-and-crafts birthday parties,
complete with supplies like glue, glitter, paint, and beads—perfect
for making frames, flower pots, puppets, and dolls. Parties
run $495 for eleven kids ($29 per extra child) and include
cake, popcorn, supplies, balloons, and paper goods. Or, their
recent collaboration with Printon56 offers 3,000 square feet
of party space, with room for up to 100 kids ($650 for sixteen
kids, $31 per extra child). For budding socialites with thousands
of friends, they’ll throw unlimited-size parties in
the park for the same rates as at Printon56.
Deb’s Family Disco at Club Babalu
327 W. 44th St., near Eighth Ave.
Welcome to Studio 54 for kids, a full-blown disco party complete
with costumes, dance troupes, D.J.’s, mirror balls,
tattoos, and giant inflatable boogie-woogie shoes. Deb’s
pulls out all the stops with choreographed dances performed
and taught by professional troupes, as well as personalized
invites and disco-ball cakes. Starting at $20 per kid, including
a glamour artist and food.
||New Party Venue
557 Broadway, near Prince St.
The second-floor Book Factory, opening in September,
will be available for parties—themes could
range from I Spy treasure hunts to Harry Potter–esque
magic training (starting at $550 for 10 kids; 30
maximum). Madeline and Clifford are on tap for appearances,
111 E. 12th St., near Third Ave.
PS2 and Xbox fanatics can rent out this 2,100-square-foot
gaming lounge for parties of up to 50 at $125 to $250 an hour.
Snacks, soda, and pizza are available on-site, but parents
provide all other food. The screens are huge and surrounded
with couches, so up to sixteen people can play linked games
at a time, while others get their freak on with Dance Dance
601 W. 26th St., near Eleventh Ave.
Eccentricities abound at Hi Art! parties, with themes like
Fauvism (blind painting and loud colors), BugAbode (fantasy
habitat construction), and Cerealism (cereal-box design).
Kids can reprise an opera, experience a live classical concert,
or suggest their own party idea. It all takes place at a gorgeous
studio overlooking the Hudson River (or at your place, if
you’d prefer). Starting at $550 for one and a half hours
with ten kids.
In Any Event
305 E. 72nd St., at Second Ave., Ste. 3H South
Leslie Price organizes serious concept parties, like a full-blown
carnival replete with water rides and inflatable moon bouncers
for a 2-year-old, or an in-line-skating party with a half-pipe
and extreme skaters who perform tricks (and then offer instruction).
Three-dimensional invites are a specialty. This service is
not for people on a shoestring budget: Fees begin at $1,500.
By appointment only.
Institute of Culinary Education
50 W. 23rd St., near Sixth Ave.
Chef hopefuls begin by decorating their tall white toques
while munching on chips, crudités, and dip. Then the
partygoers make and eat ravioli, sushi, chicken fingers, or
pizza. (A healthy salad is always on the menu, as well.) Parents
supply the birthday cake, but kids also decorate take-home
cupcakes with every candy under the sun. $2,000 for two and
a half hours, up to 20 kids; $50 for each additional child
(maximum of 30).
Jan’s Hobby Shop
1435 Lexington Ave., near 94th St.
If your kid doesn’t mind a dusty basement workshop—and
if he’s into building model planes and robots, he won’t—he
can host up to eight of his friends for a two-hour model-building
party ($20 a head plus modeling costs) at the city’s
best hobby shop. Manager Fred Hutchins provides kits, knives,
glue, and supervision, and at the end of the day, each child
takes his model home.
91 Seventh Ave., at 4th St.
1409 Avenue of the Americas, at 57th St.
212-541-9505, ext. 203
Jekyll & Hyde will put together a customized party for your
kids, with personalized entertainment and menus. A cast of
monster characters and a live Frankenstein show are part of
the act. Starting at $20 per person. Reserve one month in
Jewish Community Center in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Ave., at 76th St.
Rent the kitchen for cooking parties (the JCC supplies an
instructor and kosher ingredients) or the ceramics room for
ceramics parties, where kids can mold, paint, and glaze a
masterpiece. Many parents use the venue simply for its rooms,
where they can build their own party from scratch. Rooms are
$350 for JCC members (maximum 30 people). Theme parties range
from $175 to $600. Any food brought to the JCC must be kosher.