The Oscars might be the most important night in Hollywood, the Met Gala might be the most important night in fashion, but in the world of kids, one occasion is singular: their birthday. When you’re young, you can still enjoy turning a year older—as long as there’s cake to eat, candles to wish on and presents to open. Of course, for many NYC parents, those basic ingredients alone don’t quite cut it. To help those who opt for over-the-top plan their next memorable affair, we’ve rounded up a few of the most unique, lavish and fun party packages available in the city.
You can rent out this state-of-the-art Upper East Side studio to record an album, take lessons in everything from singing to DJing and to turn your child’s birthday into a jam session—even if they don’t know how to play a note. For kids under six, there’s the “jam band” party, where kids pose on a step and repeat, play along with a live band and have pizza and cake. Children ages seven and up have the chance to actually record songs, which are then emailed to them after sound engineers work their magic. “The kids come in and it’s like being a Katy Perry of Taylor Swift,” explains founder Theresa Scotto. “They have headphones on, everyone gets their own microphones, the birthday child picks two songs prior to the party, they record the song with a real engineer in the booth, he’s talking to them through the headphones and the birthday child gets to sing the solo on each one of the songs.” Extras like graffiti artists, face painters, videographers, photographers and more are also available through Chord Club. “From being a mom and having birthday parties for my twenty and seventeen-year-olds throughout the years, one of the things I made sure of was that it was a one stop shop for everything we did,” says Scotto.
This SoHo boutique carries adorable handcrafted jewelry designed by owner Elise Perelman and other local artisans, with pieces ranging from fun stud earrings to sparkling diamond engagement rings. The Lunessa team will even work with customers to create one of a kind keepsakes, and women can host wine-filled soirées where they craft whimsical trinkets out of semi-precious gemstones and beads. For young girls, the boutique offers a kid-friendly variation. The Beading Blast Party for ages six and up or the Designer Jewelry Party for ages seven to 14 might lack wine, but they do include all of the materials needed to create real, wearable jewelry made with sterling silver, Swarovski Crystal beads and beyond.
Every little girl wishes they could live like Eloise, the adorable Plaza resident who occupied a “room on the tippy-top floor” in the famous books. Thankfully, in addition to an Eloise suite and Eloise themed tea-time at The Palm Court, the legendary hotel offers numerous Eloise event packages. Included in the most extravagant offering—the Eloise in Paris party— are Eloise berets and sunglasses, an opportunity to design paper doll clothes, a scavenger hunt, makeovers, a fashion show where guests will don gowns and over the top tutus and a painting session to create a French masterpiece. Guests will go home with a caricature of themselves, an Eloise in Paris doll, Eloise in Paris the book, and a goodie bag. Various upgrades are also available, including etiquette lessons from Lisa Taylor Richey or manicures.
“The idea behind our platinum party is that it’s completely all inclusive, so it’s for parents that are busy and want to throw an absolutely incredible party for their kids and not have to do any of the little nitty gritty things that you have to do when you’re throwing a party,” says Jenny Young, a mechanical engineer and the founder of Brooklyn Robot Foundry, which has additional locations on the Upper East Side and in Tribeca. While the inclusion of ice cream, cake, food, decor, goody bags and RSVP management is amazing, it’s just the cherry on top. Birthday party guests get to design and build their own robot with the help of the scientifically inclined staff. “It’s really empowering and it really creates a sense of ownership and pride and it’s also extremely fun, because who doesn’t want to make some type of robot that moves and looks however you want,” says Young.
The elaborate World Premiere Experience turns a birthday party into a movie premiere at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “There’s red carpet with velvet stanchions, there’s a step and repeat, there are people in an evening gown and tuxedo asking the birthday child and all of their friends questions about film, movies,” says co-founder Eva Shure. After everyone gets their red carpet moment, the kids create their own movie against a green screen, filming bits and pieces which are edited together with pre-filmed templates while the kids enjoy pizza and birthday cake at a “wrap party.” “By the time they blow out the birthday candles, the world premiere of the movie they all just starred in is ready and waiting for them in the movie theater. They have a popcorn and concession stand, they have everything you could think of for the world premiere of their film on the big screen. We have an awards ceremony after where we give awards,” says Shure.