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Parties: Decorations & Party Favors
Entertainers | Party Locations | Decorations & Party Favors

Schedule an appointment with the Mylar and Latex pros at this Upper East Side office, who’ll create just about any kind of balloon arrangement or sculpture. They have 40-inch balloon letters that start at $15 each; a six-foot balloon person starts at $75.

Broadway Cards & Gifts
1020 3rd Ave., near 60th St.
Stop by this enormous shop to stock up on candles, frames (from $7), basic invitations, cards, balloons (pre-blown or do-it-yourself), gift wrap, paper plates, cups, and the like.

Crystal Party Supplies
2211 Third Ave., at 121st St.
4306 Broadway, at 183rd St.
175 Dyckman St., near Sherman Ave.
You’ll find everything from piñatas made right in the store (from $10) to character decorations (SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney, Elmo, and Scooby-Doo are big sellers), invitations, and personalized balloons (from $18 for 25), buttons, and ribbons.

Goodie Bag Loot
Grand Street between Allen and Mott on the Lower East Side is the best area to hit for reasonable prices on popular goodie-bag items like Hello Kitty erasers, toy cars, sparkly pens, eighteen-inch plastic dolls, and vinyl anime pocket books. Go from 9:30 to 11 in the morning or between 2 and 4 in the afternoon to avoid lunchtime and after-work crowds.

E.A.T. Gifts
1062 Madison Ave., near 80th St.
Just next door to the E.A.T. deli-restaurant is Eli Zabar’s gift shop, featuring piñatas ($25–$50) and tons of fun party favors: stuffed animals, bath toys, and an array of holiday-themed gifts for kids. There’s also a great selection of paper goods with motifs such as country-and-western, ballet, stars, and Madeline. Personalized birthday gift baskets start at $75.

Havin’ a Party
9520 Avenue L, near 95th St., Canarsie, Brooklyn
This festive store will outfit a birthday party of any magnitude. More traditional offerings include Mylar balloons (from $2) and goody-bag items such as chocolates, rings, and straws featuring characters like SpongeBob SquarePants. An expansive rental service includes everything from candy carts to clowns and magicians; kids’ costumes are also available for sale. Performers are $150 per hour in Queens and Brooklyn, $200 in Manhattan.

The Ink Pad
22 Eighth Ave., at 12th St.
This grown-up boutique stocks a great selection (as in thousands and thousands) of rubber stamps and a colorful assortment of inkpads, embossing powders, and glitter. Their watercolor pencils are fun for arts- and-crafts birthday parties. Stamps from $4.95, inkpads from $3.95.

Maxilla and Mandible
451 Columbus Ave., near 81st St.
Horror fans will love the terrifying party favors at this very unusual shop. Grab a blood-filled syringe pen, skull beads, even candy crickets. Prices start at $3.

New York Cake & Baking Distributors
56 W. 22nd St., at Sixth Ave.
A great source for a baking party, this store offers everything kids need to make their own treats: cake pans, cookie cutters, rolled fondant, edible decorations (butterflies, teddy bears, and dinosaurs), food coloring, character cake toppers (Winnie-the-Pooh and Blue from Blue’s Clues are $6.99), and, of course, the ingredients.

Party Poopers
98-100 Greenwich St., near Rector St.
In business since 1991, Party Poopers are pros. They’ll design a theme (paleontology, treasure hunt, medieval), rent a space (from Planet Hollywood to an Upper East Side loft), fully decorate (including floral arrangements), hire entertainers (pirates and princesses are popular options), and even send the thank-you notes, if requested. Customized goody bags are available. Parties start at $400.

50 Greenwich Ave., near Charles St.
78A Seventh Ave., at 15th St.
Come here for quirky goody-bag items. Tah-poozie loves anything that glows, from light-up necklaces ($1.98) to night-write pens ($5.98) to battery-operated mini-fans with 60 different light patterns ($6.98).

Village Paper
18 Greenwich Ave., at 10th St.
After you fill the goody bags with cool favors from Tah-poozie, head down the block to Village Paper for the party stuff. They sell a full range of balloons (from $1) and a wide variety of gift wraps and cards, plus paper goods, costumes, banners, wigs and noisemakers.

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From the Fall 2004 edition of the New York Family Guide