I need advice planning a NYC birthday party for my two-year-old. It will be winter so an outdoor picnic is out and a fu n, organized party at [insert name of popular indoor playspace in NYC] costs $895 for 11 kids, + $32/ per extra kid, plus $150 for an extra staffer once you go above 11 kids. That’s $1,100 for 1 ½ hours that my soon-to-be two-year-old won’t even remember.
That’s ridiculous, right?
The thought of entertaining 10-15 kids in our 1BR apartment sounds way too complicated and we’d scrap the whole thing if we didn’t think the guilt would kill us. Suggestions?
Signed, A Fellow NYC Mom
Dear Fellow NYC Mom,
Unfortunately, I am in the same boat. Mazzy’s birthday is in December and it does appear like unless you are the grandchild of Donald Trump and have the funds for a baby disco birthday blowout at Marquee, kids with winter birthdays in Manhattan are SCREWED.
My solution is to throw Mazzy’s party at my dad’s apartment which is substantially bigger than mine and pray none of the kids fall into the free standing fireplace or hit their heads on the slab of granite masquerading as the coffee table. I’ll probably hire a musician (one guitar player from Music for Aardvarks costs $200) and get some Colossal Cupcakes ($42) from Crumbs Bakeshop (my new official sponsor!) and call it a day.
No matter where you decide to have the party (might I suggest the Scholastic Store in SOHO where parties start at $499?), the important thing to remember is that two-year-olds are very easily entertained.
My friend Emily threw a lovely party in her apartment for her son Charlie and all she did for entertainment was have her brother-in-law and his friend show up in a lion and a penguin costume.
The kids reacted like a bunch of 12 year-old girls in the presence of the cast of Twilight and nobody even noticed that the penguin was trying to kill them until after the party was over and the photos surfaced (see penguin’s eyes above as evidence of clear murderous intent). One day rental of such a costume is $125. Or if you’re my friend and your sister works for the Bronx Zoo, you can get them for free.
Even though your child won’t actually remember the party, the pictures last forever. So why not take a lesson from my friend Brooke who threw her one-year-old Styler a Superman themed party complete with a fabulously simple step and repeat?
Packages (including the red carpet) start at $179 from Redcarpetrunway.com and as we all know, a party with a step and repeat is the VERY DEFINITION of a party worth attending. Best of all, the whole thing can easily be put in the hallway outside your apartment.
Another option for people who don’t have the room (or the weather) for pony rides and bouncy castles is a space-saving balloon animal artist for around $75 an hour. He’ll fit easily in a corner between a side table and a plant.
But if one extra head will throw your apartment party over the edge or you are dead set against using extra cash for such frivolities, you can always spend your free time learning how to make balloon animals yourself.
Check out how easy it is!
Too much work? Buy a bubble machine for $30. Sit it on top of a high shelf so as not to take away any precious table space. Do you know how much kids love bubbles???
If you still can’t justify the time, money and energy needed to organize a party for your two-year-old, try looking at it from a different perspective. Can you think of any other instance where it is totally permissable to put Elmo’s head on a stick or hack it to pieces with a knife?
SO worth it.
Still not convinced? I hear ya. Just remember to celebrate your kid’s half birthday with pizza in the park.
— MOMMY SHORTS
PS: Anyone else got any indoor party ideas for my NYC friend?