Timeout New York Kids

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Best first birthday parties in NYC

Five spots to ring in your baby's inaugural year. 

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Alice's Tea Cup
First birthdays are also celebrations for parents—after all, you deserve a little congratulations for keeping junior alive and well through four seasons. Why not throw a civilized soiree adults can enjoy, too? Moms and dads will have a very merry unbirthday at an Alice in Wonderland--inspired tea party, while the birthday kid and her pals nosh on scones, assorted sandwiches, chocolate mousse, and chocolate milk or tisane tea. *102 W 73rd St at Columbus Ave (212-734-4832, alicesteacup.com). *156 E 64th St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-734-4832). *220 E 81st St between Second and Third Aves (212-734-4832). Children's parties offered Mon--Thu all day; Fri, Sat after 3pm. Prices vary by location.

The 10,000-square-foot kids' club opens its door to nonmembers for its birthday bashes. There are more than a dozen themes to choose from, including pirates and princesses, under the sea, barnyard buddy, jungle safari and circus. The basic package includes food, cupcakes, decorations, paper goods, party favors, a party leader, setup and cleanup. Add-ons such as photographers, gift bags and specially designed birthday cakes are available for an additional fee. 54 Mercer St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-334-5440, citibabes.com). Prices start at $1,275 for up to 15 kids; additional children $35 each.

Babies love a party just as much as their older counterparts do. Gymboree offers 90-minute birthday bashes where an instructor leads up to 20 tots in music, play or art. Parents can provide their own food or have Gymboree order it in at an additional cost; Gymbo will make a special appearance for an extra fee, too. Locations throughout the city (877-449-6932, gymboreeclasses.com). Prices start at $375 for up to 12 kids; additional children $10--$15 each.

New York Kids Club
Enthusiastic instructors oversee an hour of gym time as well as a sing-along that includes original music, fun props and instruments. The celebration continues in the party room as your little one and her guests create a hand-print keepsake with which to remember the big day—and, of course, eat a piece of that very first birthday cake. Packages include exclusive use of the facility, personalized invitations, pizza, cake and party favors. Locations throughout the city (nykidsclub.com). Prices vary by location.

Three Little Birds Music
Known for its lively music classes and welcoming play space, the Upper East Side institution offers several packages to parents looking for a special spot to celebrate their tot's big day. Kids can take a music class featuring their favorite songs or just enjoy free rein in the playroom. Better yet, there's an option that includes both. All music classes are accompanied by a professional pianist, and the staff will set up tables and chairs for the kids when they need to refuel with snacks and cake. 266 E 78th St between Second and Third Aves (212-744-0404, tlbmusic.com). $550--$875, depending on package, for up to 14 children.

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