Frolic Play Space
The Gaga Center
Peoples Improv Theater
We're always excited to learn about new birthday party places in the city for kids. New venues for this year include everything from a make-your-own-chocolate shop on the Upper West Side to a music-themed play space in Williamsburg.
Partygoers get to be chocolatiers for the day as they mold and decorate their own toothsome creations on this new shop's 40-foot conveyor-belt machine. The basic package covers two hours of partying, one homemade chocolate treat, pizza, beverages, invitations and paper goods, plus a chocolate-covered Oreo, pretzel or graham cracker. Parents may add sundae making, a chocolate fountain, goody bags or take-home aprons for an extra fee. 641 Amsterdam Ave at 91st St (212-799-3630, chocolateworksnyc.com). Prices start at $650 for ten children, additional children $30 apiece. Minimum of ten children, maximum of 28. Ages 4 and up.
Little ones select from themes like Guitars and Rock Stars, where children jam to their favorite music videos, or I Love Pop Art, which invites guests to create Warhol- and Lichtenstein-inspired art at this Williamsburg play space. The bash comes with a birthday-party crew, large party room, themed favors, decorations, pizza and juice, cake or cupcakes, and e-mail invites. 34 North 6th St at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-3100, frolicplayspace.com). Prices start at $750 for 90 minutes for up to 11 children. Ages 6 and under.
The Gaga Center
Gaga's not just the name of an over-the-top singer; it's also a game. Similar to dodgeball, the sport is played in an octagonal pit and involves trying to avoid getting hit by a soft foam ball. The basic package at the new 3,000-square-foot space earns you a game of gaga led by trained coaches as well as pizza, juice, music and paper goods. Add-ons include adult beverages, fruit and veggie platters, a cake, a DJ and a photographer. 230 E 93rd St at Second Ave (212-920-7884, gagacenter.com). Prices start at $995 for 90 minutes for up to 20 children; additional children $35 apiece. Ages 5 and up.
The new downtown kid store (located inside J&R Music World) hosts a variety of parties, including yoga and crafts courtesy of MoonSoup and music sessions with Little Maestros. While some packages are soup-to-nuts, others require parents to cater in food and dessert. 1 Ann St at Park Row, second floor (212-238-9060, jr.com/jr). Prices start at $300 for up to ten kids. Ages 1 to 8.
People's Improv Theater
The PIT's Broadway Birthday Bashes give partygoers access to the newly renovated theater, where they'll watch a live improvised musical about the birthday boy or girl. Afterward they'll head backstage to meet the performers and enjoy a dance party. The package covers setup, cleanup, pizza and soft drinks. You'll also have a chance to customize your child's party with karaoke and carnival treats. 23 E 24th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-563-7488, broadwaybirthdaybashes.com). Prices start at $1,495 for up to 20 children. Ages 3 to 12.