Have a kid with a birthday coming up and hoping to safely celebrate by having the party outside? (With masks and lots of hand sanitizer, of course.) Taking to the outdoors for a party is a popular option right now due to COVID-19, and many NYC businesses and birthday entertainers are adapting, bringing al fresco fun to parties. From outdoor manicures and animal shows to clowns, games, puppet shows and more, we found lots of ways to have an outdoor birthday party in NYC for kids. Read on to start planning the big day!
DIY Outdoor Birthday Party & Supplies
Of course, you can hold an outdoor birthday party in NYC in one of the city's many, many parks, or your favorite playground. (Read our tips and must-dos on holding a playground birthday party here.)
Of course, your activities and their intensity will vary depending on your age group, but here is some inspiration and general good things to have when holding a bday outside in the time of COVID.
Water Balloon Freakout: Eight zillion water balloons for a massive water balloon fight? Yes please.
For Mobile Manis & Pedis
Pink Princess Nails will bring the spa to you in the form of these chic teepees. A six-hour rental for eight kids is $450, and is available anywhere in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester County/White Plains, New York. Pink Princess Nails also has a Mobile Spa Party option for the same rate, if you prefer a non-teepee option.
For a Scavenger Hunt in Your Backyard or the Park
Let's Roam will take kids on a scavenger hunt in the backyard or a nearby park. (Or even in your apartment.) Kids will complete exciting challenges, go on mini-quests, and find hidden treasures that are right in front of their eyes. Pricing starts at $14.99 for the park/backyard scavenger hunt, recommended for up to 10 kids. If you have more attendees, a custom hunt is recommended, you can also choose a custom hunt to make it extra personal.
For an Animal Show
Federally-licensed animal handler Nick Jacinto (AKA "Nature Nick") will come to you in his wild RV for a 45-minute outdoor show featuring 10 or so animals such as an owl, baby alligator, toucan, hedgehog, turtles, etc. He employs sanitary protocols that are in line with current CDC recommendations, and is routinely tested for COVID-19. (Wanna see his results? no prob.) He also wears a mask and shoe coverings when setting up, breaking down, and when the animals are brought over for each child to pet. Hand sanitizer is provided to all of the children as well. Plus: birthday kids get a signed copy of his book or a stuffed animal. Parties are $2,000 for up to 25 kids.
For Karate in Prospect Park
Popular Kensington/Windsor Terrace karate studio Blitz Dojo will get the kids moving and kicking with karate basics and fun games in Prospect Park or, if you live in the area and have the room, at your outdoor space. Parties are 90 minutes for 15 kids and cost $350, with $10 for each additional child. If you want them to handle food and favors, it's $550.
For Creative Fun in Queens
A creative and educational hub in Hunters Point/Long Island City, PLAYDAY NYC has a big outdoor space out back. Host everything from a classic bday party (see the Cat in the Hat party above, complete with character appearance and pinata) to a "Large Scale Still Life" painting party with kids creating masterpieces based on huge, fruity pool floats. (Super fun!) Or enlist PLAYDAY in dreaming up another outdoor creative activity for your party—they can help! Cost is $550 for 10 children.
5-37 51st Ave.
For a Yoga Party
Yogi Beans brings the fun to an outdoor party in the form of a unique birthday class with structured yoga activities, a choose-your-own-theme adventure, and personalized music. One or two instructors lead a 45-60 minute class for kids ages three and up. Maximum number of kids is 12; mats are not provided. Cost is $350 for one instructor.
For a Silly, Yet Classic Magician
Silly Billy is a veteran NYC children's entertainer, who's been making kids laugh for more than two decades. (He also recently received an AMA Performing Fellowship, the highest honor a magician can receive in the U.S., and was named 2019 “Magician of the Year” by the N.Y. Society of American Magicians.) His show is tailored to kids ages three to eight, and there's no minimum or max for a headcount. His starting rate is $400 for a 40 minute show, and he performs throughout NYC.
For an Arty Party
Private Picassos has been doing outdoor Art Birthday Parties for over 14 years, so they're ready for your request! Party packages include an hour long art activity (with all materials, set-up and clean-up), Private Picassos' balloons, gift bags to transport artwork home and a complimentary private art lesson for the birthday boy or girl. Choose from Watercolor Painting, Collagraph Printmaking, Mixed Media Clay Sculptures and many more projects—they can even customize a project just for you. Parties start at $40/child and are available throughout NYC, Westchester and parts of Long Island for kids ages two and up.
For a High-Octane Afternoon: The Adventure Park at Long Island
Traipse among the trees at The Adventure Park at Long Island, a ropes and zipline course in the sky. For a real bargain, book a weekday party, when a group of six can play for two hours for $222; weekends are $294 for six people. (Parties can be up to 15, pay about $40 per additional climber.) The guest of honor also gets an Adventure Park gift. (P.S. find more ziplines around NYC here!)
Adventure Park at Long Island
75 Colonial Springs Rd.
Wheatley Heights, NY
For a Funky Puppet Show for Little Ones
A fun and funky take on your classic puppet show, Puppetsburg is great for kids five and younger. Outdoor parties are available in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and feature either one or two performers in a lively, interactive show with dancing, music, bubbles and more. Customize your show for an additional fee. Availability varies by neighborhood, with solo shows starting at $300, and parties with two performers starting at $400.
For Pony Rides
You can have a horse or pony rides at kid's birthday party a variety of ways in NYC.
Rent a pony for an hour from Brooklyn's Kensington Stables for $195-$250 (price varies by location). If you can have your party in Prospect Park near the Bridle Path, it's just $125. Click here for more info.
The Bronx Equestrian Center offers pony rides and a party area for $300 for two hours on site, and trail rides are also available. Click here for more info.
The Jamaica Bay Riding Academy does parties for kids (minimum 12 guests). Parties are 90 minutes, with 45 minutes for rides. Cost is $45 per person. Click here for more info.
For Mini Golf
Hudson River Park's Pier 25 is home to an 18-hole miniature golf course, perfect for birthday fun. Its Mini-Golf Party package includes 20 games of Mini-Golf, as well as 1.5 hours of table seating for up to 20 guests. Party seating is set up just outside of the mini-golf area. (The course remains open to the public during the party.) You can also add on pizza: order either five or 10 fresh-made pies for an additional cost. Rates are $5 for kids 12 and under; $10 for everyone else. Click here to book.
Hudson River Park
Head to Turtle Cove Golf Center on City Island for a rousing round of mini golf! Parties are for up to 10 kids, ages 12 and under. Parties includes: five wood-fired pizzas, water, ice cream and golfing. Price is $150.00 plus tax. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
1 City Island Rd.
Pelham Bay Park
For Theater Fun
Child's Play NY creates customized birthday parties, with party games tailored to fit a theme based on your child's favorite books, shows and music. (Frozen? The Lion King? SpongeBob SquarePants?) Theater teachers bring improvisation and play to a whole new level, while also making the birthday kid the star of the day. With a focus on imagination and creativity, these parties throw a spotlight (get it?) on good old-fashioned games and play. Parties with 75 minutes of games and activities starts at $400 for up to 10 kids; kids remain socially-distanced during the party. Areas served are Manhattan's Upper West Side & Upper East Side, as well as Prospect Park, Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn.