By Missye K. Clarke
New York City’s the place to get almost anything, from the most famous gemstone at Harry Winston’s to the most obscure Indian spice. If it’s impossible to host a birthday party in your closet apartment – or spacious loft where little hands will surely break a treasured original (and when mobbed Chuck E. Cheese is totally out the question) – try these locations throughout the city to have a birthday blast.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
At www.brooklynkids.org, membership birthday parties are for the 3 to 9 year olds in your family circle. From the simple Birthday Basics to the Birthday Extravaganza, kids can enjoy a live animal show, receive a Museum gift or goody bags for their guests, storytelling, make it and take it activities … and a museum scavenger hunt, all led with a Museum staff party leader. It’s 90 minutes long, ends promptly at noon on a given Saturday or Sunday, and a different way to throw a kid’s party. Visit http://www.brooklynkids.org/membership/birthdays.html for further details and information.
New York Hall of Science
Found at www.nyscience.org, these Super Science Birthday Parties are usually the talk among the junior jet set weeks after the party’s long over. Little Builders can have a construction themed party, butterfly fans don gossamer wings as they learn about the caterpillar transformers; and those 6 to 8 years old and over can skygaze in a portable stellarium or uncover microscopic wonders in the Hall’s biochemistry lab. Whichever your little one chooses, the two hours will slip by quickly and there’s hardly enough time to see the Museum’s over 400 exhibits, easily. Quick click www.nyscience.org/nyhs-visitor-groupinfo/sr-birthday.html for rates and information.
New York City Scaventures
An unusual way to get around the city, www.scaventures.com offers friendly competition all over the world as well as in Gotham. But, let’s zero in on Grand Central. Consider combining your hunt with a lunch and the ice cream and cake with a custom murder mystery, a game show or other team building event. About 30-40 minutes before party time, Scaventures arrives with a massive pirate treasure chest. The parents of the birthday child supply the treasure (goody bags, toys, candy, small change to single dollar bills, giftcards, etc.). The Scaventures staff supply “gold” (gold-painted chestnut-sized gravel) – a nugget for all. Incredibly, Scaventures have had corporate leaders wait in line for their nugget, just like the kids!
Scaventures hauls the Treasure into the chest, which stays out for the kids to see as they arrive (this gets their curiosity up.) Scaventures staff hides the key and offers 15-20 clues that spell out a riddle leading to the key.
The Scaventures staff gathers around the chest for an hour and talk about pirates, “Treasure Island” and even “Muppet Treasure Island.” The hook? Most pirates didn’t, but some pirates worked together and shared their treasure. Not contest geared, as this is more a group activity with a competitive feel, this fosters working together, teamwork and idea sharing. Great for ages 7 and older, but visit http://www.scaventures.com/hunts_and_locations/hunts/kid.html for specifics, contact information and custom tailored hunts for your custom-made little one.
The Craft Studio
This Upper East Side shop is a neighborhood favorite for kids who like to paint, decorate and create. Parties are for kids age 3 and up and include a Haagen-Daz ice cream cake with candles, apple juice (and coffee for the adults), candy treats, helium balloons, music and dancing, goodie bags, and experienced instructors. There is a whole host of themed activities to choose from, including painting plastercraft items, creating and decorating a spectacular chocolate house, puppet-making, even decorating and dressing a cloth doll, cat or bear. Call 212-831-6626 for details.
So Cozy Cuts For Kids
Since your darling girl’s getting her hair trimmed anyway, why not make a birthday party from this experience? Featured here last month, So Cozy Cuts for Kids – at http://www.cozyscuts.com/glamour.html –offers birthday party packages from the simple The Glamourama for the dozen bestest of young girlfriends to the Beauty Super Deluxe (food, pizza and party favors included). And, if it’s a really small thing – six and fewer of you including the pretty young ladies – Mini Salon Parties are a great way to kill an hour before the Broadway play, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular or just to walk about the city on a scavenger hunt you’re sure to win. With this setup, and Cozy’s sure you’d invite your teddy bears to the shindig, a party’s not a party without a Teddy Bear Afternoon Tea. Click http://www.cozyscuts.com for details and a croonin’ Bobby McFarin. Sorry, fellas, girls only. Aw, don’t get angry, they’re getting de-cootied, anyway.