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Photograph: Courtesy Matt Marquez

The best birthday parties for kids in NYC

The best birthday parties for kids in New York City are cause for celebration, so grab those balloons and streamers

By Allie Early and Danielle Valente
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Let the celebration commence! The best birthday parties for kids in NYC are wonderful ways to make your child's special day all the more sweet. 

While we love picking out birthday cupcakes, birthday cakes and kids' party entertainment, the venue is the most important part of the bash! From performing arts and sports, to museums and spas, Gotham is home to terriffic spots that make a memorable birthday experience. 

RECOMMENDED: Kids' birthday party ideas

Have a kid who wants to go ice skating? Are the littles looking for some r&r at the spa? Do you have dare devils who want to try circus stunts? It's all up for grabs at the best birthday parties for kids in NYC! Have a look at our list and start booking! (Oh, and save us a slice of cake.)

Want your birthday party venue considered for our features? Please review our submission guidelines here.

Art birthday party places

Photograph: Courtesy Lunessa

Lunessa Designer Jewelry Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Soho

Little fashionistas will jump at the chance to design their own accessories. Using semi precious gemstones, sterling silver pieces and other materials, mini designers will be able to customize up to three pieces, including a necklace, bracelet, earrings and other types of jewelry. Lunessa’s parties—which include an opportunity to add on snacks—provides the perfect outlet for your party-goers and guest of honor to get creative, experiment with various techniques and take home a momento from the experience. A minimum of six guests is required, and Lunessa can accommodate up to 15 children. Ages 7 and up.

Textile Arts Center Birthday Parties, Park Slope

Things to do Gowanus

Weaving, printing and fiber-making are available for little creatives who dream of a birthday party at Textile Arts Center. Regardless of the route your child chooses, these selections offer two hours where kids can try their hand at a new skill, plus 30 minutes of celebrating. Parents will need to provide the refreshments and cake, but all attendees will walk away with a project and goodie bag at the end of the shindig. Ages 5 and up.

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The Art Farm in the City Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper East Side

Options abound at The Art Farm, where kids can opt for a cool theme to celebrate their special day. Offerings include the Farm Foodies Party (ages 3–8), which lets youngsters hone their kitchen skills in a baking or cooking class; the Mad Science Party (ages 4–8), which provides a chance for attendees to take a crack at experiments and enjoy interactive performances; and Exoctic Animal Party (ages 4–8), where party-goers include snakes, lizards and other unique creatures! Ages 1–10.

Oliloli Arts & Crafts Studio Birthdays

Things to do Birthday parties Forest Hills

Little Picassos will eagerly pick up their paint brushes to bring their pottery pieces to life. Two hours of uninterrupted creative time at Oliloli Arts & Crafts Studio will be pure bliss for little ones who want  to make a masterpiece (up to 24 children can be accommodated). Refreshments must be provided by parents, but no sweat about cleanup—the studio’s got it covered. Ages 4 and up.  

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Kidville Birthday Parties, UES

Things to do Upper East Side

Kidville is here to please with an impressive list of 16 party themes. Little paleontologists will gravitate toward the Dino-Mite party that allows them to dig for fossils while those who are unable to resist fairy tales will enjoy decorating crowns at the Royal Princess and Knight party. The basic package allows kiddos an hour and a half of entertainment while the deluxe package ups the ante with a bouncy castle, additional staffers to help set up and clean up. Ages 1–9.

Brooklyn Craft Farm Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Boerum Hill

Brooklyn crafters help youngsters dive into fun art projects to get creative juices flowing. For birthday parties, 
families choose a main activity such as decorating denim tote bags with 
iron-on appliqués or using stencils, 
felt and fabric markers to make a one-
of-a-kind shirt. Let the staff know if 
your child has any obsessions (dogs,
 spaceships or Frozen, for example),
 and they’ll try to have supplies that
 cater to those interests. If your big kid
 (ages 7 and up) feels ambitious, opt
 for extra party time (an additional
 $70) to sew plush toys worthy of their
 stuffed animal collection.
 Want to bring the party to you? Brooklyn Craft Farm will make your home the perfect party venue. Ages 4 and up. 

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Rubin Museum of Art Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Chelsea

If your kids love art, they'll really love this! Staff members guide partygoers through the galleries, then lead a hands-on art project in the education center for all to enjoy. Choose from the animal-themed Drum Beats and Little Feet party (ages 2–5) to make drums and creature sounds, or try your hand at molding imaginary creatures from clay at a Super Sculptors party (ages 2–5 or 6–10). Themes are also customizable to a degree—just ask! Ages 2 and up.

The Painted Pot Birthday Parties, Park Slope

Things to do Park Slope

If your little ones are looking for ways to express themselves, let them have a look at the Painted Pot’s tremendous selections of sculptures begging for strokes of colorful paint. Options are aplenty—piggy banks, animals, superheroes. No matter your child’s interest, there’s something worth bringing to life. There are also a wide array of themes, too, such as a clay pottery party, glass blast and more. Ages 2–16.  

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Photograph: Courtesy Matt Marquez

The Painted Cloud Birthday Parties

Things to do Midtown West

Throw a celebration at this art studio, and let the youngsters run wild with their creativity. They’ll have access to all sorts of materials, from paints and textiles to Play-Doh, and you won’t have to worry about your apartment accidentally becoming the kids’ canvas. The birthday child gets to choose which project the group tackles, and two teachers are on hand to guide partygoers as they work on their masterpieces. Parents provide food, drinks, cake and utensils, but cleanup is taken care of by staff. Ages 2–9. 

The Craft Studio Birthday Parties

Things to do Cultural centers Upper East Side

This Uptown art studio (which also has a new Tribeca location) hosts a variety of crafts celebrations for children. Party-goers can make funky lamps, messenger bags, superhero capes or paint pottery before games and dancing. Ice cream cake, juice, balloons and face painting are included; the Studio will provide more refreshments for an additional charge. Other add-ons are available à la carte, like the celeb photo station, tattoo parlor (temporary, of course!) and sand art station, among other cool options. Older teens and even adults will love the After Dark craft options—cake wars, sneaker design, t-shirt and tank design and so much more. Ages 3 and up.

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Jenny F

The Paint Place Birthdays

Things to do Birthday parties Upper West Side

Just like its popular sip-and-paint class for adults (minus the wine), a professional artist walks partygoers through painting their own work of art. Kids choose an image from a library of options, but staff like to focus on re-creating masterworks so they can throw in a short art-history lesson. All materials are provided, but parents supply the food and cake. Second location 31-21 31st St, Queens. Ages 4 and up. 

Taro's Origami Studio Birthday Parties

Things to do Midtown West

Kids gather in Taro's studio for a two-hour exploration of the art of origami. First up: using high-tech touchscreens to choose the pattern (a frog, airplane, flowers, a truck). Then, the origami software guides partygoers through the folding steps, and two professional instructors are on hand to help out. Once the basic design is complete, kids decorate their paper creation with stickers, stamps and markers. A table will be set up for cake and refreshments, but you must bring your own. Guided group instruction for guests can be arranged for an additional cost. Ages 5 and up.

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Brickhouse Ceramic Arts Center
Photograph: Courtesy Deborah Trella

BrickHouse Ceramic Birthday Parties

Art Arts centers Long Island City

Up to 12 kiddos are invited to play with clay at BrickHouse Ceramic Art Center, where they’ll try creating bowls, mugs or a one-of-a-kind sculpture. Watch as the wet material transforms into a trinket your kids will love for years to come. Refreshments are not included in the offerings. Ages 10 and up for handbuilding parties, ages 12 and up for wheel throwing parties.

Museum & attraction birthday party places

New York Transit Museum Birthday Parties

Things to do Boerum Hill

For those kids who love all things 
that vroom, toot, chug and zoom, the New York Transit Museum, located in an authentic 1930's subway station, is both a historical learning experience and a chance to see vintage subways, turnstiles and engineering innovations up close. Though the guided tour pumps tiny conductors and adults full of amazing knowledge and trivia, the workshops may be the best part of the party. Museum educators lead the group 
in your choice of DIY activities such as designing a vehicle or creating a mosaic worthy of a subway platform. A scavenger hunt is also available, too, if your curious kiddos are anxious to roam around and make discoveries. Ages 3–11.

Jane’s Carousel Opens in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Julian Mackler / BFANYC.COM

Jane's Carousel Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties DUMBO

Waterfront parks are having a moment in NYC, and there’s arguably no greater view that the skyline of Downtown Manhattan. Take in the Brooklyn Bridge, boats passing on the East River and park-goers enjoying a day out as kiddies ride Jane’s Carousel—located in Brooklyn Bridge Park—until they cannot possibly opt for another spin. A reserved spot in the Picnic Grove or the Pavilion (depending on weather) will be available for party-goers when it comes time to sing “Happy Birthday.” At the end of the celebration, little ones will head home with a ride ticket in lieu of a goodie bag. Ages 2 and up. 

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Liberty Science Center Museum
Photograph: Courtesy Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties

We don’t need to test a hypothesis to realize that Liberty Science Center’s Mad Scientist Birthday Party is super cool. Enter the decorated lab for experiments and interactive activities before enjoying free reign of the venue. This party package includes a birthday cake (vanilla or chocolate), beverages for kiddies, downloadable invites, free goodies for the scientist of honor and much more. Get your lab coats ready—plenty of fun awaits. Ages 1–12. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Luna Park

Luna Park Birthday Parties

Things to do Midtown West

Is there a better place for a party than NYC’s beloved amusement park? Make your next trip to Coney Island extra memorable with a birthday celebration. Take a spin on mild, moderate and high thrill rides (included in the basic party package) and mild, moderate, high and extreme Thrill rides (in the Deluxe Party package). There will be shrieks of joy as kids make their way to and from the Cyclone, the new Astro Tower, the Tickler and more. After they’ve tired themselves out from the thrilling adventure, Luna guests can enjoy refueling in the private party room. Ages 5 and up.

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New York Botanical Garden Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties The Bronx

Your kiddos and 20 of his or her friends are invited to snag an up-close-and-personal experience complete with scavenger hunts, nature walks and more garden goodness. A party coordinator and instructor are on-hand to guide little visitors through activities, projects and a celebration (which includes refreshments such as pizza and organic juice boxes provided by the venue). Parties book over the weekends, but weekdays are potentially available upon request. Ages 3 and up.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Birthday Parties

Museums Childhood Crown Heights

Take your BCM experience to the next level with an action-packed party for kids. Recruit a museum guide to lead your kids through activities like meeting friendly reptiles, learning about their natural habitats or adventuring together on a scavenger hunt that features hands-on exhibits with a play grocery store and pizza parlor. After the kids have worked up an appetite, they can chow down on real food and cake. Ages 1–10.

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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Chelsea

The behemoth aircraft carrier, which also houses the space shuttle Enterprise, offers celebrations with pilot, astronaut, spy and Marine-themed celebrations for young adventurers. Two party hosts (one dressed in costume) lead the group on a scavenger hunt through the exhibits and to the XD simulator that takes the audience on a 4-D journey through the solar system. Lunch packages and birthday cake are included, and guests snag admission to the museum and space-shuttle pavilion, allowing them to explore the Intrepid at their own pace once the party ends. Ages 4–13.

Photograph: Courtesy Michael Palma Mir

Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

Celebrate your kid’s birthday with
the art of Harlem and northern Manhattan at this beautiful and affordable uptown haven. A birthday party at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum allows admission for 12 children and 8 adults to enjoy the multimedia installations, dynamic photographs, painting and drawings—all created by local artists. Guests can also attend public scheduled storytelling shows and participate in the museum’s opportunities to create their own artwork. Parents are welcome to bring refreshments and treats to serve in Sugar Hill’s party room, and for an additional fee ($150) they can add activities such as art projects inspired by the exhibits or a performance from a professional storyteller about the neighborhood’s history. Ages 1–8. 

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Photograph Courtesy of Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Ripley's Believe it or Not! Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

Times Square’s home for unusual art, interactive experiences and unique oddities can also be your little one’s next birthday destination. Everyone grabs a safari hat and ventures on a scavenger hunt among the space’s 500 artifacts (such as shrunken heads, albino giraffes and a Captain America statue made of scrap metal). Guests are sent home with their “survivor certificate” at  the end of the event. Ages 8 and up.

Museum of the Moving Image Birthday Parties

Things to do Astoria

Film buffs and tech aficionados will have a blast uncovering the inner workings of movie making and video game creation at the Museum of the Moving Image. Birthday parties allow little Spielbergs to work on flipbooks, movie voiceovers and sound editing—projects reserved for the best in the biz. When they’re done with these super-cool activities, they can join in a guided tour of the venue, enjoy movie screening and more. Ages 8 and up.

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Children's Museum of the Arts Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties West Village

This kid-friendly museum is the perfect place to hold your guest of honor's big bash. The various celebrations include an instructor-led activity perfect for your child’s age group. Tiny ones (ages 1–3) can play with animal masks and wacky hats or embrace the mess with Jackson Pollack-inspired splatter paint, while older kids might make a collaborative mural, clay sculptures or tie-dyed designs. Big kids (ages 7–14) will be amazed by what they can create using animation technology and clay. The themes are plentiful and project inspiration is limitless! Ages 1–15.

Queens County Farm Museum Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Queens

Sing "Happy Birthday" and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” loud and proud as your crew
 meets spends time visiting farm animals such as pigs, chickens, ponies and horses. The group will hop aboard the museum’s tractor-drawn hayride
 for a bumpy excursion around the fields, gardens and pens, then enjoy pizza, juice and a personalized sheet cake. Guests of honor take home a small surprise gift. Parties are available from April–September. Ages 12 and under. 

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dimenna.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy Laura Washington

DiMenna Children's History Museum Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper West Side

New-York Historical Society’s kid-friendly venue is the ideal spot to journey through the city’s past! Your kids can choose a History Detective party option and search for facts, images and objects in a custom scavenger hunt, or they might prefer the Pirates in the Harbor option where they'll piece together a secret treasure map in hopes of finding Captain Kidd's loot. Party leaders, paper goods, balloons, pizza, drinks and a cake decorated with the birthday kid’s favorite character are all provided. Ages 5 and up.

Lefferts Historic House Museum Birthday Parties

Things to do Brooklyn

Hold your child's next party at this historic farmhouse in Prospect Park. From April to autumn, Lefferts hosts weekend birthday celebrations that teach kids about the people who once lived in the beautiful mansion. They'll be able to artake in the games the children of yesteryear loved, such as potato-sack racing. Bring your own food and drink to a celebration here, and follow up cake time with rides on the nearby carousel. Ages 2 and up. 

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Cindy Ord

Madame Tussauds Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

No invitation needed—the coolest celebs will definitely be at your kid’s next birthday bash! Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake and other A-listers are waiting for a slice of party cake...well, sort of. Kids can catch a glimpse of Hollywood’s elite personalities, sports MVPs, political leaders and other popular figures brought to life at Madame Tussauds. Although party packages are not offered at this time, those interested in having a celebration at the Times Square venue should email GroupSales@MadameTussaudsNY.com. All ages.

Children's Museum of Manhattan Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper West Side

It comes as no surprise that a museum specifically tailored to children offers the ultimate birthday celebration. Little ones have the option to choose a variety of themes at CMOM—the new Bubblemania with Jay Jay the Bubble Guy, a Magic Show with Justin the Magician, Adventures with Dora and Diego, among others—in order to bring the party of their dreams to life. Regardless of theme selections, all little ones will enjoy hands-on projects, a delicious Magnolia Bakery birthday cake (yes, please!), refreshments, epic goodie bags and other fun amenities. Ages 1–5.

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New York Hall of Science Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Queens

Birthday party packages (Super, Deluxe and Premium) with three different price points ensure that kids get everything they want for their birthday soirée. With the Super Science Party, attendees will receive a private room for a half hour, plastic/paper goods, orders of individual plates such as pizza or chicken fingers and beverages, gift bags with free return admission and a NYSCI facilitator to lead kids through activities and exhibits. Deluxe adds on features like Rocket Park Mini Golf and Science Playground access, while Premium has additional entertainment and upgraded goodie bags. Ages 3 and up.

Museum of Mathematics Birthday Parties
Photograph: Courtesty Museum of Mathematics

National Museum of Mathematics Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Flatiron

At the Museum of Math, numbers, shapes and patterns take on fun properties rarely seen in your
 average classroom. Birthday party themes like Multi-Morphing Megaplex let your kids construct shapes big enough to walk through, while GeoGlow has guests using light sticks and geometry to create a glow-in-the-dark polyhedra. Every party includes full-day admission to the museum, a private room for 90 minutes and a birthday cake, with special add-ons available, such as fun goody bags and personalized treats. Ages 3 and up. 

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Photograph: Lindsay Taylor

Hippo Parkhouse Riverside Park

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

Up your playground party game by reserving the park house at Riverside Park’s beloved Hippo Playground. The room, which has sinks, a sound system and a microwave, is the perfect indoor oasis for parents who provide the pizza, cake or other refreshments on low-to-the-ground tables for young kiddos. If it’s a nice day, you might find it hard to get everyone to come inside from the fun they’ll be having on the swings, jungle gym and climbing all over the various hippos. On warm days be sure to pack swimsuits; the kids won’t be able to resist the sprinklers. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Andrea H

Fun Station USA Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Staten Island

This indoor amusement and arcade paradise boasts video games, laser tag, bumper cars, a carousel and a multilevel maze. There are four fantastic party options that offer various access to the attractions, ranging from one ride and a $5 game card per child to unlimited rides and a $10 game card per child. With all options, kids get a slice of pizza, soda, tableware, a balloon centerpiece and other goodies. If you would like to amp up the festivities, the wide selection of add-ons include a virtual-reality simulator and catering (a hot-cold buffet, specialty pizzas). Ages 1 and up.

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American Girl Place

Shopping Toys and games Midtown East

Guests big and small are invited to the American Girl place to mark the festivities with a delicious lunch, fun crafts and the quintessential pink and white birthday cake. While you’re visiting the Rockefeller Center attraction, make sure to take a gander at the hair salon (for humans and their doll counterparts), the store (kids and dollies will surely love browsing). All ages.

Prospect Park Zoo Birthday Parties

Attractions Zoo and aquariums Prospect Park

Celebrate your child’s big day with a few extra guests—and we don’t mean human party-goers. The Prospect Park Zoo makes festivities all the more delightful by providing an up-close-and-personal encounter with the attraction’s inhabitants. Kids will be able to explore the various exhibits, and they’ll also be treated to a meet-and-greet with a few cool animals. After taking away a few knowledgeable tidbits about the creature, they will also be able to work on hands-on science projects. Special add-ons (such as extra time with a zoo instructor, a longer party) are available for additional fees. At least six adults must be present, and 36 participants are welcome. All ages.

Cooking birthday party places

Taste Buds Kitchen Birthday Parties

Things to do Chelsea

Consider Taste Bud your child’s introduction to kitchen basics. Junior chefs will be given an opportunity to create a delicious dish from scratch during the party. Older kiddos are often tasked with making fresh pasta or perfecting sushi rolls, while youngsters become acquainted with the fundamentals. For those who are ready to unleash their Top Chef skills, consider special options such as cupcake decorating. Add-ons, including outside food and ingredient substitution for those with allergies, are available for an additional fee. If you’d like to make the experience more personal, have the Taste Buds crew come to you! At home-celebrations are available for up to two hours. Bon appetit! Ages 3 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy Dina Joanna Coloma

CoolMess Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Lenox Hill

 Kids don’t refuse a scoop of ice cream—especially on their birthday. Let CoolMess get the party started with an ultimate sundae of children’s choosing. An ice cream consultant is ready to help creamy connoisseurs find the perfect ingredients for their desserts. Though there are various party packages, all offerings include pizza. However, kids will probably be too focused on the sweets to worry about lunch! Ages 4 and up.

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Eloise at the Plaza Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

For a “rawther” elegant affair, channel the Plaza’s favorite resident—Miss Eloise. The little troublemaker, who loves to turn the city’s most renowned hotel upside down, is the perfect inspiration for a chic celebration. Three party packages provide a little taste of the children’s lit character thanks to a variety of activities, whether that includes learning French, walking the runway, arts and crafts or munching on cupcakes. Sounds dahling! Ages 5 and up.

Photograph: Courtesy Fferins of Brooklyn

Fferins of Brooklyn Birthday Parties

Shopping Chocolate and candy Park Slope

Birthday parties are the perfect time for sweets, and there's no better place to indulge than Brooklyn's new candy shop, Fferins of Brooklyn. The recently opened South Slope spot specializes in hard-to-find treats—Starbar, Maltesers, Teacakes—and lets patrons taste goods they might not have experienced otherwise. In the shop's birthday party package, up to 14 kiddos can enjoy a fun event that includes candy jewelry making (completely fitting) and cupcake decorating. The fee includes juice, water, plates, cutlery, napkins and material needed for the decorating activities. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Poppy T

Sugar Hill Creamery Birthdays

Things to do Birthday parties Harlem

Host an elevated ice cream sundae party at this family-owned creamery opened by two longtime Harlem residents. Each kid (up to 15 kids) gets a scoop of homemade dairy or nondairy ice cream (flavors change seasonally). The venue comes decorated with a dozen helium balloons, and you’re encouraged to BYO entertainment and food. If one scoop a kid doesn’t seem like quite enough, opt for unlimited ice cream with sprinkles and a cone or an ice cream bar with never-ending chocolate sauce and whipped cream. All ages.

Ample Hills Creamery Birthday Parties

Restaurants Ice cream parlors Prospect Heights

Besides doling out incredible original flavors like Mexican Hot Chocolate and Toxic Sludge, Brooklyn's favorite ice cream emporium hosts birthday parties that are good enough to eat! Partiers get a lesson in making ice cream, then the birthday kid chooses a single concoction to churn on a stationary bike (adorable photo-op alert!). While the ice cream hardens, kids will participate in a fun craft, and then when it's all done and ready to eat, they'll pile their ice cream on fresh waffles and top them with stuff like M&M's, marshmallows and gummy bears. Eat slowly, or you'll end up with brain freeze! Find other Ample Hills' in Gowanus and Gotham West Market. Ages 5–10.

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Milk & Cookies Bakery Birthday Parties

Things to do West Village

We hope you have a glass of milk at the ready. Once kids are given a cookie dough base, it’s off to the races. From there, they’ll be able to choose fillings (nuts, fruits, candies) to concoct the perfect cookie. If the kiddies are still hungry, it’s up to parents to provide additional refreshments. Ages 5 and up.

Dylan's Candy Bar Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Lenox Hill

Sweet dreams are made of these super-cool Dylan’s Candy Bar birthday parties. Even Willie Wonka will have a tough time competing with NYC’s go-to confectionary shop. Satisfy your guest of honor’s sweet tooth with candy-inspired crafts and games (licorice limbo and cookie decorating, to name a few) and the ultimate adventure—the candy spree. Themes include Mad Scientist and Gummies and Glam. Enticing add-ons perfect for any sweet celebration include a cotton candy machine, chocolate fountain and more! All ages.

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Freshmade NYC Birthday Parties

Things to do Downtown

Kiddies will whip their culinary skills into shape with a Freshmade NYC birthday party, all customizable to satisfy their tastebuds. Pasta, pizza and taco parties are on the menu, among plenty of other delicious offerings. Cool add-ons such as face painting, magic tricks and character visits make the celebration all the more sweet. Ages 2 and up.

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain Birthday parties

Restaurants Carroll Gardens

Take a step back in time with a party at Carroll Gardens’ quaint soda fountain. Straight out of the 1920’s, the shop is the go-to destination for epic ice cream sundaes and old-fashioned snacks such as egg creams and rootbeer floats. We recommend you come hungry to this Brooklyn hotspot—the serving sizes are healthy. Ice cream fans big and small won’t be able to resist the charm—or the ample menu. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Keysha P

Sugar Factory Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper West Side

Sure, your kid can eat a meal here, but it’s really just a rite of passage to get to the star of the show: dessert. Let your sweet-toothed kid pick two desserts from a long list of cake and sundae options to accompany the family-style meal of two appetizers, two entrées and one side (the menu includes options like pasta, Caesar salad and miniburgers, to name a few). Sugar Factory also gives the birthday boy or girl a large rubber ducky that all the guests can sign. Ages 1–12. 

Photograph: Courtesy Green Apron

Green Apron Kitchen Birthdays

Things to do Birthday parties Bensonhurst

Bensonhurst Two moms founded this operation to encourage youngsters to learn their way around the kitchen. Its themed party packages are endless: Your culinary connoisseur can whip up Olaf’s snowman pancakes at a Frozen party, Krabby patties for a SpongeBob SquarePants theme or even choose a mock Iron Chef competition in which two teams battle to create the best recipes using a secret ingredient. Mini chefs eat whatever they make, but make sure to bring your own cake to the event! Ages 3 and up.

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Harlem Shake
Photograph: Courtesy Kenji Lopez-Alt

Harlem Shake Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Harlem

Harlem Get your kid and his or her crew a Pat LaFrieda burger or a sandwich and a Blue Marble milkshake at this well- known Harlem staple that celebrates the neighborhood’s culture via cool decor and its Wall of Fro, which shows off customers’ Afro hairstyles. For an additional fee, Harlem Shake will put on demonstrations of Double Dutch and swing dance. The staff tailors the music playlist to your mini-me’s taste, and the hot spot also supplies sweet goodie bags that include a T-shirt, baseball caps and postcards. Ages 1–16.

Chocolate Works Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper West Side

Children become chocolatiers for the day at this dessert wonderland. After taking a tour of the shop and learning about cocoa, they create a candy that looks too good to eat...almost. The kids choose a special flat or 3-D molding for their chocolate creations, with options such as animals, ballerinas, hearts and sports gear. They use a hose to fill the molds, choosing between white, milk and dark chocolate, and then decorate as they see fit. Guests chow down on pizza and use the Chocolate Car Wash conveyor belt to cover a graham cracker, pretzel or Oreo for a special tasty treat. Extras like balloons, aprons to decorate and a chocolate fountain with fruits and marshmallows are also available for an additional cost. Ages 4 and up.

Performing arts birthday party places

Photograph: Courtesy Virginia Freire

Treasure Trunk Theatre Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

The teaching artists at Treasure Trunk Theatre bring the imaginations of kids who love costumes and playing make-believe to a whole new level. The birthday boy or girl chooses the theme for the party beforehand—think pirates, fairies, outer space, superheroes or popular stories like Peter Pan—and then has an exuberant trained actor and host through fun theater games and acting out a story together. The host can bring the party to your place; along with a trunk of goodies to help in the day’s fun, or you can choose a 45-minute workshop at one of Treasure Trunk Theatre’s facilities for an additional cost. Parents can even purchase some of the pieces ahead of time to be used as party giveaways (like colorful scarves for pirates or wands for fairies). Whether the kids pretend to be astronauts, mermaids or even cars, the experience will be nothing short of magical. Ages 3–6.

Saskia Kahn

Symphony Space Just Kidding Theatre Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper West Side

The Just Kidding family entertainment series at Symphony Space is one of our favorite lineups of kid-friendly music and theater, so why not make one of the shows an extra-special occasion? Choose an upcoming performance that interests the birthday boy or girl and invite a group to come along. The package includes tickets to the show plus a two-hour party in the café, complete with pizza or chicken tenders, drinks and a personalized cake. Listen up for a special birthday shout-out during the performance! Ages 2 and up.

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Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Red Carpet Kids Birthday Parties

Things to do Upper West Side

Every young one gets the star treatment during Red Carpet Kids’ glamorous gatherings. Hollywood hopefuls can create and costar in an original live-action flick, then watch the movie in a real theater with the Lights, Camera, Action! package. The musically inclined may want to shoot their own music video (DJ, backup dancers and all) at the Music Video Awards, and stylish kids will love strutting their stuff on the runway with the Fashion Week experience. Throw in more perks, like a digital invitation concierge, a way-cool custom cake and themed swag bags to make the party even more paparazzi-worthy. Ages 5–12.

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Photograph: courtesy Story Pirates

Story Pirates Birthday Parties

Things to do Midtown West

From crime-fighting ninja babies to flying kitties, the professional improv actors of the Story Pirates bring smiles to kids faces with their fun and original stories and songs, all of which were created by other children around the world. The Story Pirates believe that within each individual child is a story to be told, so kids even have the chance to contribute their own fantastical ideas to the Story Pirates repertoire, which the Pirates will perform on the spot in front of the birthday child and all her friends. The Story Pirates offer two birthday options: The Premiere birthday (ages 4–10), which features a 45-minute long sketch comedy show with a story by the birthday child, and a bash that invites youngster to celebrate at one of their public Flagship Shows. Ages 4–12.  

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Apple Seeds Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Financial District

The offerings at this fun-filled play space make it an ideal venue for your tot’s first birthday celebration. Tiny guests will hear a personalized tale during story time, sing and move to tunes performed by a Songs for Seeds guitarist and play along with kid-sized instruments. For babes who really love music, enjoy a full band performance complete with a drummer and keyboardist. Staffers run the show in your private party room. Various locations. Ages 0–2.

TLB Music Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Upper East Side

The Upper East Side music mecca customizes parties to your little one’s favorite songs and theme of preference—jungle boogie, rock & roll and baseball bash, for instance—and all partygoers can jam on mini instruments. TLB Music also has a playroom—with a clubhouse, a tiny rock-climbing mountain and a play kitchen—plus extras such as a magician, character visits, face painting, glitter tattoos and party favors. All parties include Two Boots Pizza and staff setup and cleanup. Ages 1–6.

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Music for Little Rockers
Photograph courtesy of The Rock and Roll Playhouse

Rock & Roll Playhouse Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Williamsburg

Tote your cool kid and her friends to Williamsburg for an hour-long concert where the group can jam to live music. The band will sing “Happy Birthday” onstage, and the birthday rock star gets a signed copy of the show's set list. Past themes have included “The Music of New Orleans” and “Outlaw Country,” with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson covers. Three packages cover admission and cupcakes, and two include Blue Ribbon French bread, pizza and juice. Ages 1-10.

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre Birthday Parties

Things to do Central Park

Imported to the U.S. in 1876 as Sweden’s exhibit for Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition, the so-called Swedish Cottage was later brought to Central Park by Frederick Law Olmsted, who thought it looked like an ideal model schoolhouse. Today, a marionette theater company puts on kid-friendly productions here, and after a private viewing of the current show (past performances have included Neverland: Peter Returns and The Three Bears Holiday Bash), your posse can retire to the adjacent private room with child-size furniture to devour the provisions you brought. All ages.

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Photograph: TA Smith

Puppetworks Birthday Parties

Things to do Park Slope

Get a personal puppet experience at this charming Park Slope spot. Up to 50 attendees (adults and children) will enjoy a performance of the theater’s current show, exclusively for the party-goers. Feel free to bring your own food, but please note that popcorn as well as decorations such as confetti and glitter are not permitted. Leave the rest up to the staff—the Puppeworks team will clean up after your shindig comes to a close. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Wendrich JM

Alamo Drafthouse Birthday Parties

Movie theaters Downtown Brooklyn

For a movie experience like no other, the Alamo Drafthouse is the ultimate destination. Film buffs can get cozy in a comfortable seat, order a delicious meal (and not just your typical popcorn or nacho snack) and watch something spectacular, from classic films to new features. If you have home movies that you’d like to see on the big screen, the Alamo Drafthouse can make it happen during your private event. You can even play video games on the big screen. Gnarly! All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Shannon R

Funikijam World Music Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

Book one or a posse of FunikiJam’s trained and talented musicians and actors to lead your little rock star’s birthday party in singing, dancing and improvising on musical instruments, with an emphasis on introducing kids to indigenous music from around the world. The tykes can also pick from a stock of props to play with and share. FunikiJam can help you find a party space in the city, be it a small play space in Queens or even a Broadway theater. Ages 1 and up. 

S.T.E.M. birthday party places

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

LEGO Store Flatiron Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Flatiron

If your kids can’t get enough of building towering structures from these beloved Danish blocks, the Flatiron LEGO Store has something perfect for their birthday celebration. Two brick specialists guide kids through a personalized building activity, a mini-model build and competitive group challenges. Guests can even fill a large Pick-a-Brick cup with their favorite blocks from the Pick & Build Wall. Parents provide the treats (cake or another dessert) to be served in the party room, while the staff provides party favors and useful tips for creating better skyscrapers, vehicles and other projects at home. Ages 5–14.

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Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Carmelo the Science Fellow Birthday Parties

Things to do Boerum Hill

Former P.S. 261 teacher Carmelo Piazza makes science and math super fun for your birthday kid. The self-proclaimed science geek weaves close-up creature encounters, hands-on experiments and plenty of gross jokes into the two-hour shebang at his studio space. Youngsters start by meeting the likes of a blue-tongued skink, corn snakes, bearded dragons and more, then they get to the really fun stuff—experiments! Once the little Einsteins have worked up an appetite, they chow down on parent-provided food, drinks and snacks. Ages 3–11.

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Photograph: Courtesy Pixel Academy

Pixel Academy Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Tribeca

Let’s face it: It’s hard to tear some kids away from Minecraft, so
 you might as well embrace it by encouraging them to explore the video game’s programming possibilities. With a Pixel Academy shared birthday ($560 for eight children), gamers enter a custom Minecraft world in which they’re challenged to learn new techniques while having a blast. A pricier exclusive party (starting at $925) encourages those young programmers and future tech entrepreneurs with virtual reality games, motion tracking and interactive activities. Available add-ons include Minecraft swords for every guest to wield, balloons and plates and four-inch 3-D statues of partygoers. Additional location at 163 Pacific St, Brooklyn. Ages 7–14.

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Photograph: courtesy Che Chisholm/Automatic Studios

Automatic Studios Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties DUMBO

Aspiring filmmakers and producers get a crash course in moviemaking at this fully equipped studio party. Industry professionals guide young filmmakers on set as they practice a prewritten script (the project could be a commercial, music video or scene re-created from a favorite movie), then film and edit the epic story. The program gives everyone a chance to get in on the process and to use high-tech equipment including cameras, lights, a green screen and props. Bring your own food, drinks and sweet to feed the hungry creatives, then settle in for a screening of the finished product in the studio. Ages 8–14. 

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Brooklyn Robot Foundry Birthday Parties

Things to do South Brooklyn

Think you have what it takes to design the perfect robot? Give it a whirl at Brooklyn Robot Foundry. Cool birthday parties let you tinker with different tools until you’ve completed a masterpiece. The venue can host five–30 participants and is willing to provide refreshments, but feel free to bring in your own treats. Typically, private parties are held Wednesday, Thursday or Friday evening, but feel call the venue to inquire about potential weekend slots. All ages.

Photograph: Courtesy iPlayTek

iPlayTek Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Queens

With 6,000 square feet of STEM- inspired and toddler-friendly room for play at this Glendale center, parents can be confident that their child will have an ultra-memorable birthday. The Minecraft party package, which lets attendees create a game within the Minecraft universe, starts at $550 for eight children and includes pizza, balloons, juice and water. Ages 1–11

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RoboFun
Photograph: Courtesy of RoboFun

RoboFun Birthday Parties

Things to do Upper West Side

Depending on the party package, aspiring inventors can build and customize a LEGO robot, design 
a simple video game, create and shoot a stop-motion animated film or dream up their own Minecraft universe. Best 
of all, parents only need to bring cake—pizza, favors and decorations are all part of 
the arrangement. Ages 4–12.

Architots
Photograph: courtesy of Architots

Architots Birthdays

Things to do Play spaces Queens

This one-stop party destination brings together small children and architectural construction with enough rigorous energy to keep kids hooked. The center’s signature offering is a construction theme where they design their own home, then build a model of it using foam, paint, markers and more. At the end of the party, attendees take home a plastic helmet and goodie bags. The more than 15 other themes include Space Party and Under the Sea. For an extra fee, tack on hard hats, themed goody bags, photos or character appearances. Ages 8 and under.

More birthday party places

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp.com + Melanie A

Lollipop Spa Birthdays

Things to do Birthday parties Queens

Even little ones need some r&r, and Lollipop Spa is here to indulge kiddies who want to be pampered. Manis, pedis, facials—it’s all on the menu at this whimsical, hot-pink venue. There are a variety of packages with unique offerings, and those who like a little glitz and glamour will love neon hair extensions, glitter tattoos and other sweet offerings. Add-ons such as an ice cream station, candy table and snack table are also available. Ages 4 and up.

little girl swimming in pool; Shutterstock ID 657728425
Shutterstock/YanLev

Greenpoint YMCA Pool Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Greenpoint

Let your little fish splish-splash in an indoor pool reserved for him or her and friends. The pool provides water toys, including inflatable noodles and swimmies or swim vests for less-confident swimmers. Though a certified lifeguard is always on duty, there must be an adult in the pool for every two kids, with a maximum of 25 kids in the water. The Greenpoint YMCA makes planning simple: Choose one hour of pool time, one hour in a private room (no swimming) or a combination of both, so the merpeople can swim and then recharge with snacks and cake. BYO food and decorations! All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Modern Pinball NYC

Modern Pinball Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Kips Bay

If you have gamers in your brood, you’ll want to book a birthday bash at Modern Pinball NYC for unlimited tries at cool games. There are plenty of themes (like Star Wars and Spider-Man) that will appear to everyone in your gang. When your kids have tired from fun in the arcade, refuel in the party room decked out with festive decorations and delicious snacks (cake not included). Events typically last roughly two hours. Ages 5 and up.

Alley Pond Environmental Center Birthday Parties

Attractions Parks and gardens Queens

One of the best parks in Queens 
also throws one of the best parties
in the borough. Your kiddo critters learn about nature in an action- packed, age-appropriate class surrounded by Alley Pond’s forests and wetlands. Helpful instructors introduce the children to several
live animals—like turtles they can touch!—before leading the whole gang on a nature walk through the paths along the wetlands (weather permitting). Birthday kids can choose from several craft options, such as paper-bag animal puppets, mosaics and feathered birds to create as a group. For older kids (ages 8 and up), special tween party themes include dissecting owl pellets or, less icky,
a spa party with aromatherapy and
a mini massage class. Ages 2 and up. 

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Photograph: Carly Jara and Russell Starr

The Playroom NYC Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Lenox Hill

Complete with tunnels, slides, cushioned play mats and plenty of toys, this Upper East Side play room is heaven for toddlers and preschool- aged children. A party rental gives tykes free rein over the play structures, strollers, kitchen and costumes before they devour pizza, juice and cake served on paper goods befitting their favorite theme (Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Doc McStuffins and more). Have a look at the three packages—Selfie, Hands-Free and OMG—to see which options and amenities best suit your needs. Ages 5 and under.

Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon Birthday Parties

Things to do Birthday parties Midtown West

If your birthday star would rather unwind than plan an adventure, choose a relaxing party package at Milk and Cookies Spa. The options offer the typical features you’d come to expect, but with a kid-friendly flair (for example, the Glitzy Glam package lets littles enjoy a mani, pedi and facial, but tops off the experience with a make-your-own-lip-gloss project). There are unisex offerings as well, so boys and girls can revel in the tranquil environment. Ages 3 and up.

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