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1st birthday party ideas for kids

These 1st birthday party ideas in NYC will make the event memorable for everyone involved

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

We all love a good birthday bash, and the stakes are certainly high when mapping out your child’s 1st birthday party ideas. Fortunately, there’s a lot to choose from in NYC, and each attraction guarantees a great time for all party-goers.

RECOMMENDED: Kids' birthday party ideas

Take a peek at a few NYC parks, exciting NYC play spaces and fun restaurants that will make your kiddo's day one for the books. 

First birthday party ideas

Alice's Tea Cup

Chapters I, II and III of Alice’s Tea Cup offer fun treats and crafts to keep babies (and their older siblings) entertained during their very merry first unbirthdays. Plus, parents can choose from an Alice in Wonderland, Faerie Princess, Mad Hatter Magician or Tealeaf and Tarot Reading themes (the first two options are best for little ones). All parties must be booked at least two weeks before the event date and each location has various party size requirements. Get excited for face painting and sing-alongs! Call Chapter I (212-799-3006), Chapter II (212-486-9200) or Chapter III (212-734-4832) to make a reservation.

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Lenox Hill

The Art Farm in the City

All little ones love animals, so why not take a trip to the Art Farm to celebrate your child's first birthday? The Art Farm Party and Tie Dye Party (geared toward kids ages 1–8) offer a two-hour celebration with an art project, lunch of pizza or chicken nuggets, plus party favors, biodegradable balloons and all set up and clean up. At the Ant Farm Party, little ones will enjoy music time and farm time. Call 212-410-3260 or email Christina@theartfarms.org to make a reservation.

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Upper East Side

Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink in Central Park

If your tot has a summer birthday, treat the whole kiddie gang to an afternoon at this pop-up attraction. The same space that hosts Wollman Rink ice skaters in the winter converts into an old-fashioned amusement park come May. Rides are geared toward 2–12-year-olds, but a variety of silly entertainers will draw giggles from all ages. Standard birthday packages include seating in a picnic area while VIP packages offer an air-conditioned tent. Both include unlimited rides for kids (as well as for one adult per child), party favors, paper goods, a party host and snacks such as chicken tenders, turkey sandwiches, hot dogs, cookies and drinks. Birthday cakes, food menus for adults and private entertainers—including clowns, balloon sculptors, magicians, face painters, musicians and more—can be added for an additional fee. Call 212-982-2229 or visit victoriangardensnyc.com to make a reservation.

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Central Park


Pick from various themes such as Princess or Jungle Safari for a stellar first birthday party at Citibabes! The Platinum package will accommodate 15 children for 90 minutes, provide an age-appropriate art activity and offer a personalized themed cake or cupcakes made by Citibabes' preferred vendors. The package also includes a catered menu for children, paper goods and party favors. The best part? All parties include a bouncy castle! Your older kiddos will have a great time while the babies watch a balloon artist or get their picture drawn (both add-ons). Call 212-334-5440 or email info@citibabes.com to make a reservation.

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Prospect Park Carousel

This historic carousel, which was built in 1912, will serve as a fun backdrop for kids’ birthday parties. Children can hitch a ride on horses, a giraffe and other animals while parents settle in with their babies on a dragon-pulled chariot. Private parties are available for groups up to 60 and parties during public hours are available for groups up to 25. Birthday packages include a two-hour time slot, setup and cleanup, two 6-foot tables and ten chairs in a space under an awning. Feel free to bring your own food and sweets or head to the concession stand for party snacks. Call 646-393-9031 x1 or birthdays@prospectpark.org to make a reservation.

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Prospect Park