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Parties: Entertainers

Arnie Kolodner Magic
Arnie Kolodner is so good at mind-blowing tricks—the floating table and disappearing lady are favorites—that parents tend to stick around at drop-off parties. He and his assistant, Alice Bergmann, will also perform classic stories such as Cinderella and Peter Pan, in full costume. $650 per Manhattan show; he charges extra for travel.

Theme Parties
Linda Kaye’s Birthdaybakers, Partymakers
Notable parents like Jerry Seinfeld are devoted to Linda Kaye’s elaborate parties at the Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Natural History, where themes range from photo safaris to dinosaur digs. From $560 for 10 kids at the zoo (maximum 24); from $710 for 10 kids at the museum—with contributor-level donors (maximum 25).

Bobby Doo Wah
Featuring his own songs as well as childhood favorites like “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” Bobby’s interactive guitar show, “Musical Mayhem,” gets kids up and dancing. Recommended for children ages 1 to 5. $275 for a half-hour; $350 for 45 minutes in the tristate area. Fans can pick up his CD after the show.

CAZZ NY Productions
This entertainment agency supplies D.J.’s and M.C.’s but will also outfit your child’s party with clowns, magicians, costumed characters, and face-painters. Specialties include comedy-magic shows and carnivals complete with amusement-park-style game booths and stilt-walkers. Starting at $300.

Cheek to Chic
Great for tween and teen parties, makeup artist Raychel Wade’s events are cosmetics treasure hunts. There are several variations; one party starts with a makeup-shopping spree at Sephora, then travels to a predetermined location for the makeovers. $800 for up to six girls; $75 per each additional partygoer.

Company’s Coming! Children’s Entertainment
Specializing in birthday-party entertainment for children ages 1 to 7, Company’s Coming! can provide music and puppet shows for preschoolers, and more interactive shows that involve storytelling puppetry for kids ages 4 to 7 ($175 to $275 for one hour). There’s also face-painting and stilt-walking available ($100 per hour), and always lots of audience participation.

Daisy Doodle’s Funtastic Fantabulous Parties & Magic
Daisy will perform an age-appropriate magic show filled with comedy and storytelling, throw instructional dance parties (think Hawaiian hula, Macarena, and the YMCA), or dress up as your child’s favorite Disney princess. She also does face-painting and balloon animals, shows for toddlers, and game parties (charades, etc.). Starting at $200.

D&D Stables
88-11 70th Rd., Forest Hills
This Queens-based stable will trailer its gentle ponies anywhere in Manhattan or Queens (around $200 in Manhattan, and around $150 in Queens, for one pony for one hour; $125 for each additional hour or for each additional pony). But if you don’t have enough space for roaming equestrians, rides at the stables cost $5 each for a trot up and down the block.

Ellie’s Preschool Parties
Geared toward the toddler and preschool set, Ellie’s party activities include scarf peek-a-boo songs for babies, movement games for toddlers, and a treasure hunt for 4-year-olds. Ellie herself plays guitar and leads a sing-along as children make their own music with tambourines, maracas, and bells that she provides. $200 for 45 minutes, up to twenty kids.

Hollywood Pop Gallery
Theme parties are Hollywood’s specialty. Favorites include the Picasso Party, an arts-and-crafts class that can include sunglasses design or T-shirt tie-dying; the Game Show, a Jeopardy!-style trivia contest, complete with buzzers; and Safari Adventure, which features lots of (tame) exotic animals—lizards, monkeys, spiders, and the like. Starting at $350.

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide