Planning a birthday party for a child in the age of PAUSE is not what any of us were imagining for 2020, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate in style. NYC businesses are getting creative to help you throw an virtual birthday party for your kids. Options include online cooking parties, painting  and art parties, yoga, singalongs and dance parties, and even an online bubble party or party with princess or a llama! Model some resilience and flexibility and get to planning the best kids’ birthday party at home ever. Let’s do this!

photo: samaraagenstvofeeria_pexels

CAMP

CAMP, the concept store/experience is hosting a free online birthday party for kids every day at 5p.m. Send the kid’s info 24 hours in advance (name, favorite things) and your child will be one of the online celebrants. You’ll get a link to share so friends and family can join the party. Several kids at once are celebrated, with singalongs, story time, magician shows and more. If you want a private party just for your special kid, email birthdays@camp.com for details. 

Online: camp.com/birthdays

Kidville 

Kidville is now hosting a giant online community birthday block party on the 15th of every month! This virtual pop-art party is led by Maker Morgan and her messy mascot Painty. Guests get an easy-to-procure supply list and then create a craft live at the party. This reimagined Bob Ross-style interactive party provides a fun way to say "Happy Birthday" to kids celebrating the big day. The party ends with a mega birthday song singalong. Click here to party!

Online: kidville.com

photo: Evan Paquette

Magic Evan

Evan Paquette, AKA "Magic Evan", is one of the most in-demand birthday party entertainers around, and now is your chance to book him. (At a reduced rate at that!) He's offering three different packages for entertaining kids, birthday or not!

"A Touch of Magic" is a 30-minute interactive, virtual magic show, equal parts magic and silly fun.  Plus: a personalized Magic Evan Magic Set that arrives in the mail pre-show! Rate is normally: $325; now $150. 
  
"Magic Wizard School" is a 45-minute virtual program featuring a magic show, V.I.P. magic class, and up to 15 "Bag of Tricks" gift bags filled with three magic tricks, plus a book that teaches an additional 75 card tricks. (Guests receive their gift bags in the mail before the event.) After the show, children go 'behind-the-scenes' to become honorary magicians and learn the magic tricks. Extra gift bags can be purchased for $5/each. Rate is normally $425; now $250.
  
The "Magic Party Extravaganza" includes everything in the previous packages, plus a printable gift certificate for three online magic classes, plus supplies mailed right to your door. Cost is $325. 

Online: virtualbirthdaymagician.com
 

Bubble Dad

Astoria's Bubble Dad is not letting PAUSE burst his...well, you know. Bubble Dad birthday parties showcase his amazing bubble-making abilities and tricks: square bubbles, smoke bubbles, a bubble snowman, a bubble cake, a bubble snake, bubbles inside of bubbles—and  even a rubber chicken that burps up a bubble. After the show, party guest learn how to make two of the bubble wands used in the performance, using common household items like straws, rubber bands and cardboard tubes. Each party begins with some meet and greet time and ends with time for "Happy Birthday" and well-wishing. 

Online: bubbledad.com

photo: Freshmade NYC

Freshmade NYC

Get busy in the kitchen with Freshmade NYC, which is offering virtual party options for kids of all ages (and adults).  The parties are hosted live by a Freshmade NYC teacher and one Freshmade NYC party host. Choose your date and time, then create a cooking project that will work for the age of the guests, with allergy and dietary restrictions considered, as well as accessibility to ingredients. Popular themes have included DIY Sushi Night, DIY Taco Night (homemade tortillas, use what you have taco bar), customizable vanilla cupcakes from scratch with homemade frosting, pizza, pasta and sweet or savory crepes. Personalized digital invite is included, as is ingredient list to send to attendees. Parties are one hour long, with no limit on number of guests; rates start at $20 per guest. 

Online: freshmadenyc.com

photo: Taste Buds Kitchen 

Taste Buds Kitchen 

Host a cooking party via Zoom with Taste Buds Kitchen. Recommended for kids three-and-a-half to 12, the one-hour live party includes games, cooking and social time, as well as digital invites. Options include handmade pizza, soft pretzels and dipping sauce, mac & cheese cupcakes and brownie bites with whipped cream. You get a recommended shopping list prior to the party. Cost is $195. 

Online: tastebudskitchen.com

The Dynamite Shop

The Dynamite Shop is hosting all kinds of online parties for kids and adults. Parties are 1 and 1/2 hours via Zoom, include invites, recipes (with flexible ingredients) and shopping list, a "group photo" at the end and some hang time to eat and chat. To make it extra special, order up some Dynamite Shop trucker hats or aprons ($15). Party projects include "Quesadilla Fiesta", "Choose Your Own Advenure Cookie Party", "Breakfast Bash" and a "Cupcake Challenge Party." Rates start at $350 for up to 10 households.   

Online: thedynamiteshop.com

Brooklyn Robot Foundry

Is your kid less of a cookie-maker and more of a robot-creator? Host an online birthday party with the Brooklyn Robot Foundry! All supplies and tools are delivered to guests ahead of time, and you can add on a mini cake for guests  (the birthday child's is included), a custom-created video of the party and more. Parties are an hour-long zoom, for six kids (you can add more for an additional fee), and there's a project for kids ages six to eight or nine to 11. Parties include a custom Zoom background for the birthday boy or girl and singing "Happy Birthday." Base rate is $300. 

Online: brooklynrobotfoundry.com

photo: Joy’s Princess Parties 

Joy’s Princess Parties 

Have a princess drop by virtually for some birthday entertainment,  story time, sing-a-longs, and magical princess activities. Your digital guest of honor can be Elsa, Anna, Belle, Rapunzel, Cinderella, to name a few. Choose from the Pixel Dust Party (20 minutes story time, sing-alongs, live interactions, Q&As.), $40; the Virtual Fairytale (30 minutes story time, sing-alongs, Q&A, a princess lesson, and a magic trick), $50, or a themed 30-minute puppet show plus a sing-along with Lucky Duck and professional puppeteer Mr. Chris. Show choices include Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the three Bears or Lion & the Mouse, for $75. 

Online: joysprincessparties.com

My Fairytale Party

If your kid's preferences skew toward superheroes, unicorns and beyond, check out My Fairytale Party, which will create a personalized video message for your celebrant ($49), or host a 30- or 60-minute party ($99 and $129, respectively) with your kid's favorite character. Less conventional choices include "Unicorn Princess", "Ms. Captain", (Captain America) "Fly Girl" (Supergirl), "Happy" (Joy from Inside Out) and "Hula Princess" (Moana). You can see all the options here. 

Online: myfairytaleparty.com

photo: The Paint Place

The Paint Place

You can "paint and sip" (with milk and juice) with the kids at home!  The Paint Place has already hosted several successful virtual painting parties for adults, and now the kids can get get in on the fun, too. Parties are 90 minutes-long, and hosted via Zoom call. The birthday child chooses the painting the kids create, and the party includes time for cake and singing. (Some parties also include a little extra time for socializing amongst the group.) Cost is $45 per person plus shipping cost. 

Online: thepaintplaceny.com

photo: Valeria Ushakova via Pexels

Yogi Beans

Have a yoga birthday party with Yogi Beans and select from themes like "safari", "outer space", "unicorn island", and "birds." the 45-minute celebration include a custom birthday invite, singing "Happy Birthday" together, the birthday child as "helper" (i.e., everyone else is on mute) and a final 15 minutes of everyone wishing the bday kid well. Plus, you get a recording of the party. Cost is $135 for up to 35 kids. 

Online: yogibeans.com

photo: Treasure Trunk Theatre

Treasure Trunk Theatre

Kids and their friends can go on a 30-minute Imagination Adventure via Zoom, with the birthday child finding a hidden birthday surprise at the end of the journey. (Coordinated with you ahead of time.) Treasure Trunk will tailor the theme and story to whatever your kid fancies, so anything goes! Rates start at $150 for up to 20 guests. Click here to book.

Online: treasuretrunktheatre.com

photo: New York Transit Museum

Party on Wheels

A bit of a pivot, but for a train-obsessed kid, this could be tons of fun. The New York Transit Museum is taking its annual fundraiser, Party on Wheels, online. This yearly event benefits the Transit Museum's educational programs. 

The online party will include a virtual tour of the Transit Museum’s vintage train cars, singing and dancing to the music of Seth Ginsberg, costumed characters from the past, puppet performances and storytelling and making transit-themed art. 

It's $50 per household, a fee that's tax-deductible and a relatively bargain for a lot of train-tastic fun. 

May 16, Noon- 1:30 p.m.

Online: nytransitmuseum.org

 

Llama as Special Guest

By now you may have heard that you can have a Llama attend a virtual meeting, in exchange for a donation to an animal sanctuary. An idea pioneered by Sweet Farm in  Half Moon Bay, California, the idea is such a hit, other sanctuaries around the country (including in Woodstock, NT and the Catskills) have been recruited to meet the demand. You can get a private, 20-minute tour of a farm For $65, you can get a tour  that highlights a few animal ambassadors and areas of a farm for up to six connections, and for $100, you can host a group of as many connections as you like. Participants will receive a GoToMeeting link prior to the tour. 

Online: sweetfarm.org

—Mimi O’Connor

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