Were you lucky enough to have a spring or summer baby? That is, do birthday-month temperatures accommodate the budget-friendly option of an outdoor playground celebration? An especially good choice for the toddler set (because, just add cake and friends) a playground party be a real cost-saver, loads of fun and even, with a little planning, easy to pull off. Click through our guide to throwing the best playground birthday party ever.

Choose Your Birthday Party Venue Wisely

You can have a party at any NYC public playground. You’ll want to suss out your options carefully before deciding on the perfect location. Look for a playground with age-appropriate equipment and a fence that locks securely. You’ll want the playground to be big enough to hold all the kids at the party, but not so big that you can’t see where your kid is at all times. If your party is in the summer, look for one that will be shaded at the time of your party.

A few other things to consider about your venue: does it have tables you can use? Are there bathrooms? A water supply? Does it have sprinklers to cool kids down? How busy does the playground get? And one very important detail to consider - how far away from is the playground from your home? Don't forget that you’ll be trekking there and back with a lot of stuff, so the closer the better.

— Christine Knight

Have you thrown a NYC playground birthday party? What tips do you have for doing it right? 

photos: Kristy May Photography