It happens: In New York City, sometimes you just don’t want to go out, and even the kid’s birthday party is not immune to this occasional lethargy. The good news is, NYC is home to tons of talented folks who will come to you and thrill the tiniest of revelers. From mad scientists to magicians, balloon twisters, puppies and yogis, you’re sure to find someone for your fete in our picks for top party entertainers that will come to you.
photo: Brooklyn Balloon Company
Brooklyn Balloon Company
Available in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Hamptons, one-time graphic, fashion and jewelry designer Robert Moy integrates his former professions into his current one, twisting everything from cars to dinosaurs from biodegradable latex balloons. A 15 minute magic balloon show comes with every booking, and guests decorating their own animal balloons is available as an add on. Contact for prices.
photo: Silly Billy
Silly Billy/Dr. Blood
He’s performed at the White House and on David Letterman, and taught comedy to folks at The Children’s Television Workshop. But kids are still Silly Billy’s preferred audience, whether they’re looking for belly laughs, or his more spooky and gross alter ego, Dr. Blood. As an added bonus, his shows are equally as entertaining for adults, with a mixture of high-brow and low-brow humor, lots of props and sight-gags, plus silly contests (such as making game audience members eat a dog biscuit). Call or email for a comprehensive price list.
photo: Twinkle Party
Would your kid lose their mind if a real, live ballerina showed up at the house — complete with tutu, toe shoes and tiara? Twinkle Party can make it happen. Party packages start at with a basic 1/2 hour “Express Sauteé” option, which includes a lesson, performance, and interactive story, and get more twinkle-tastic from there. (tiaras, ballet crafts, tutus, etc.) Pricing is scaled for size and duration of party, starting at $175.
Pirates? Superheroes? Olympians? Barbie? Daisy Doodle is on the job! Every theme party starts with face-painting to get into character, followed by balloon props, and a quick training period to get you ready for the adventures ahead. Then it’s a treasure hunt! Or relay races! Or a fashion show and dance party! It’s your kid’s day, and Daisy is there to make sure they have it their way. ( And Ms. Doodle travels to Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx!) Take note: she prefers to be reached by phone.
photo: Story Pirates
You may have seen the musical sketch comedy group Story Pirates perform around town — like at Lincoln Center last weekend — or your child may have enjoyed them at an assembly at school. This nationally-respected group of educators, comedians and actors takes kids’ stories and performs them, and creates stories in the moment with the audience, too. The popular group has performed for tens of thousands, and now they can do a customized show in your living room in honor of your little birthday boy or girl. A 45-minute musical comedy show features hilarious stories by kids around the globe, and the world premiere of your child’s original story. The Pirates even bring their own set, which they promise can fit in your apartment. Parties are recommended for kids ages 4-10, and start at $1395.
We all go a little mad sometimes, don’t we? Especially at birthday parties? So why not run with the theme and host some “Awesome Science Demos”, complete with a take-home chemistry experiment for all guests, and a goody bag full of things that fly, stretch, grow and spin. The mad scientists aren’t only educational (without seeming like it) they’re also funny, mixing up bubbling potions with names kids love like the “Big Burp.” Prices range from $325-$525, with add-ons available.
photo: via Puppy Party on Yelp
Awww… Puppies! (That you don’t have to clean up after and get to send home when the party’s over.) Puppy Party brings the adorable fuzzballs to you, along with an instructor to teach kids how to properly treat the animals, and lead the entire brood through educational and empathetic activities. And it’s not just fun for the kids. It’s good for the puppies, who are being socialized in advance of placement with a family. (Just make sure you find out beforehand if any guests – or parents/guardians – are allergic, though Puppy Party claims they can make accommodations.) Cost is $175 for travel within 50 miles of Puppy Party’s Brooklyn location.
photo: Nature Nick Animal Adventures Facebook page
Animal Adventures Parties
“Nature” Nick Jacinto, professional animal trainer, TV personality and author, likely has nothing against puppies, but his adventure parties kick things up a notch, with a selection of 7-10 animals, three of which — kangaroo, bird of prey, and monkey — are guaranteed at every appearance. Magic is also included in the 45-50 minute birthday show. Costs in Manhattan typically run $1,500, and include a gift for the birthday boy or girl.
Karma Kids Yoga
It’s not Downward Dog, it’s Downward Doll! Karma Kids provides the yoga mats, props, and music, as well as games, foot massages and relaxation time (supposedly for the kids, but no one says Mom and Dad can’t jump in, too). Cost is $300 for a one-hour party for up to 10 kids, with an extra $20 for each additional child, and possible travel fees.
photo: via Steve Snodgrass on Flickr
Mobile Kids Spa Parties
Though based in New Jersey, Mobile Kid Spa will happily come to New York City to host a party for girls as young as 3, up through the teen years. Adults are also encouraged to join the fun! Get a massage, a facial, a mani/pedi, and your hair styled, or try a craft like making bubble bath, bath salts, and a sugar scrub, or your own lip balm. Mobile Kids Spa Parties will even provide you with an online photo album of memories. Pricing is based on the number of attendees and other factors.
photo: via Angela’s Sugar Fix Facebook page
Angela’s Sugar Fix
Sugar: most parties have to have it, you might as well make it a part of the festivities. Angela’s Sugar Fix comes to the party with freshly-baked cookies and kits for decorating that are customized to your party’s theme. Kids play a game while the cookie decorating station is set up, then help decorate a pair — one to devour on the spot, and the other to take home as a party favor. (Revelers can even decorate the box used to carry the cookie home.) And best part (for parents): Angela cleans up afterwards. Add-ons include different butter-cream colors, mini aprons, and rolling pins.
photo: Strong Heart Fun
Strong Heart Fun
The birthday party entertainment that takes care of itself! A great option for the tiniest of celebrants, Strong Heart Fun will bring the ball crawl (and foam mats and “Nessie” rides-ons, etc.) to you! The company even has a teeny tiny “roller coaster” available. Packages start at $200 for a four-hour rental; you can also rent individual elements starting at $100 for four hours. And yes, all pieces are thoroughly sanitized between uses!
My Baby Fingers
My Baby Fingers is far from the only place that offers music, storytelling, art, bubbles and face-painting for your child’s party, but they are the only ones with a unique add on – sign language! Ask for Jacob, a musical theater actor and sign language teacher, and get all the usual birthday party entertainment fare — with a little something extra.
Who’s your go-to for in-home kiddie party entertainment?
– Alina Adams