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Budget birthdays

Want to throw your child a bash but don't want to break the bank in the process? We found 17 venues around the city---from a local amusement park to a new Park Slope eatery with a game room---offering kids' parties for $300 or less*. Let the planning begin

*Unless noted, parties are for ten kids

13th Street Repertory Theater

Includes The show!
Cost $10 per child, plus a $50 fee for using the area to eat lunch and cake
Length 90 minutes
After filling up on BYO pizza and cake in the theater's lobby, the lights are dimmed and kids take their seats for a production of Wise Acre Farm, a play about Foxy the fox, a critter who steals Cliffy the pig's birthday cake. Junior thespians then join the cast onstage to hunt for the missing confection. 50 W 13th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-675-6677, 13thstreetrep.org)

Adventurer's Family Entertainment Center

Includes Food & dessert
Cost $22 per child, plus $30 for a cake
Length Two hours
Coney Island isn't the only Brooklyn spot to have an amusement park. This renovated entertainment center (you may remember it from its days as Nellie Bly) sports a Tilt-A-Whirl, a carousel and a water slide. Parties include an hour of unlimited rides and another hour for treats. 1824 Shore Pkwy at 25th Ave, Gravesend, Brooklyn (718-975-2748, adventurerspark.com)

Alice's Tea Cup

Includes Food & dessert
Cost $20 per child
Length 90 minutes
All three of these beloved uptown cafs host special "Wee Tee" birthdays (or unbirthdays) for little Alice in Wonderland fans, but the 64th Street location is your best bet for a party of ten. While sipping a cup of tisane (and donning a pair of angel wings), children enjoy sandwiches, scones and chocolate mousse—all served on three-tier stands. No need to purchase a separate cake; just stick a candle in one of the desserts. 156 E 64th St at Lexington Ave (212-486-9200, alicesteacup.com)

Alley Pond Environmental Center

Includes Meet-and-greet with animals!
Cost $200 (up to 15 children)
Length Two hours
After cozying up to a bearded dragon or rabbit (or whichever critter the birthday kid chooses), guests embark on an animal-themed craft or game. If the weather is warm enough, they'll explore the center's nature trails. There's a designated area for food and cake, but parents must bring their own. 228-06 Northern Blvd, Douglaston, Queens (718-229-4000, alleypond.com)

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

Includes Food, dessert & favors
Cost $200--$300 depending on day of week and food option
Length 90 minutes
At this restored 1920s pharmacy-turned--soda shop, kids play old-fashioned games and nosh on chocolate egg creams, root beer floats, and ice cream sundaes made using house-made sodas and syrups. Request songs from a bygone era or bring your kid's iPod along so they can listen to Willow Smith or the Jonas Brothers. Each guest gets a soda jerk hat to take home, plus a candy bag. 513 Henry St at Sackett St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-522-6260, brooklynfarmacy.blogspot.com)

Build-a-Bear Workshop

Includes A bear!
Cost Starts at $10 per child
Length 60 to 90 minutes
Kids customize their bears with an assortment of accessories. Parties here add up quickly, so limit your child's guest list to about five kids. Skip the private party room (it costs an additional $400) and instead take guests and their new stuffed friends across the street to Sbarro (574 Fifth Ave at 46th St) for a pie. 565 Fifth Ave at 46th St (212-871-7080, buildabear.com)

Burrito Bar

Includes Food & dessert
Cost $12 per child, plus $30 for a cake
Length 90 minutes
Have a fiesta with a Little Amigos party at this colorful cocina. Kids entertain themselves with a variety of games, like a South of the Border version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and by noshing on Mexican fare. 307 Flatbush Ave at Prospect Pl, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718--230-8646, burritobarbrooklyn.com)

Chelsea Playground

Includes Food, dessert & favors
Cost $275
Length Two hours
This space features a rock-climbing wall, a kid-sized village with mini shops and buildings, and an indoor playground with three levels of tubes, tunnels and slides. Kids get their sillies out during playtime before retiring to the private party room for pizza and cake. 400 Chelsea Rd at South Ave, Staten Island (718-761-7529, chelseaplayground.com)

City Ice Pavilion

Includes Food
Cost $20 per child (minimum of12 children)
Length Two to three hours; weekends only
Skate-loving kids can celebrate year-round at this enormous ice dome. Partyers take to the ice during public skating hours, then a PA message summons guests to their private table to enjoy a slice of pizza and a drink. If you want to continue the frozen theme, there's a fridge available to store that ice cream cake. Party guests also receive a "Buy one, get one free" pass for future skating sessions. 47-32 32nd Pl between 47th and 48th Sts, Long Island City, Queens (718-505-6230, cityicepavilion.com)

Kids N' Action

Includes Food, dessert & favors
Cost $180--$200. Closed Saturdays.
Length Two hours
Conveniently located by the F train in Borough Park, this indoor entertainment center packs in go-karts, a ball pit and an enormous jungle gym—there's even a mini roller coaster and an arcade stocked with games (each guest gets four tickets). The establishment is kosher, so there's no outside food allowed, but pizza, drinks and a personalized ice cream cake are included in the price. Kids get a goody bag—and a balloon—to take home. 1149 McDonald Ave between Aves I and J, Borough Park, Brooklyn (718-377-1818, kidsnaction.com)

Kids 'N Comedy

Includes Food
Cost $25 per child, plus $15 cake-cutting fee
Length 2 hours
Youngsters ages nine and up will have a laugh riot at this stand-up comedy show that's by the kids, for the kids. (The performers are children and tweens from the tristate area.) Besides enjoying pizza with their friends, the birthday boy or girl gets a shout-out during the show and maybe enough inspiration to become a future member of the Saturday Night Live cast. For more information, go to kidsncomedy.com or call 212-877-6115.

Nemo NYC

Includes Food
Cost $20 per child
Length Two hours; daily 1--8pm
Aspiring Mileys and Justins can belt their hearts out at this swank Union Square karaoke lounge. Revelers rip it up in a private room, then enjoy pizza, chicken and fries. 54 E 13th St between University Pl and Broadway (212-477-1177, nemonyc.com)

Plaster Party Place

Includes Food, dessert & favors
Cost $269, plus $25 for a cake.
Length Two hours
Ready-to-paint figurines (from superheroes to cute kittens) await crafty kids. While the paint is drying, the host directs games, face painting and dancing. Plus, guests' plaster-craft masterpieces double as favors. 96-09 Metropolitan Ave at Sybilla St, Forest Hills, Queens (718-263-0960, plasterpartyplace.com)

PSbklyn

Includes Food & dessert
Cost $300
Length Two hours
Before Angry Birds and Wii, there was Pac-Man. The supervised basement game room of this Park Slope newbie is stocked with Skee-Ball, pinball and other old-school arcade games (each guest gets $5 worth of tokens). Once they're done playing, kids can slide into a booth at the restaurant upstairs (each one is equipped with a DVD player) and dine on pizza or mini-burgers and fries. 833 Union St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-398-5474, psbklyn.com)

Slice, The Perfect Food

Includes Food
Cost $20 per child
Length Two hours; parties are held between 3 and 6pm seven days a week
Using healthy ingredients, kids learn how to make their very own artisanal pies at this organic pizza joint. Once the cheesy delights are baked, partygoers can chow down on their creations. *535 Hudson St between Charles and Perry Sts (212- 929-2920, sliceperfect.com). *1413 Second Ave between 73rd and 74th Sts (212-249-4353)

Staten Island Yankees

Includes Food & favors
Cost $20 per child
Length Varies; depends on game
For baseball nuts with summer birthdays, taking the ferry to watch a game is a dream celebration. The birthday child also gets her name in lights and a greeting over the PA system, making all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, popcorn, soda and water just icing on the cake. Guests receive a Staten Island Yankees hat, and after every game, kids are invited to run the bases—pretty much guaranteeing a place in the Birthday Party Hall of Fame. 75 Richmond Terr at Hamilton Ave, Staten Island (718-720-9625, siyanks.com)

Toy Museum of New York

Includes Food
Cost: $25 per child
Length Two hours
In an interactive play that doubles as a museum tour, Queen Marlene introduces kids to her historic playthings and contends with a mischievous rag doll that comes to life. Pizza and juice follow. 157 Montague St between Clinton and Henry Sts, Brooklyn Heights; 718-243-0820, toymuseumny.org).

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