Baby’s first birthday party seems easy, compared to planning events for older kids, whose interests have to be taken into account. If you’re still searching for a unique birthday experience that goes beyond the playspace (or the restaurant party space), here’s a few fun options that will be enjoyable for all kids, and will especially satisfy the scientific set.
Ample Hills Creamery, Prospect Height/ Gowanus
To celebrate the arrival of warmer weather, indulge in an ice cream making party at either the Vanderbilt or Gowanus location, which has a dedicated party room. At either place, the Ample Hills staff gives a kid-friendly tutorial on the science of ice cream, and then kids get a chance to pedal an actual cream-churning bicycle to whip up a batch of their own. While the ice cream freezes, kids engage in a craft project like making a placemat, tote bag or a frame (for the keepsake photo they’ll receive of them on the bike). Finally, the guests will be served the homemade ice cream that they made, on top of fresh waffles with a choice of sundae toppings. Parents can choose to provide adult guests with bottomless French-pressed coffee (an additional $35) to keep up with their sugar buzzed children. But outside food, drinks and decorations can also be brought in at no charge. For 20 children, the cost of the entire party is $575 plus gratuities. This is great for kids of any age, but the sweet spot is probably five to nine years old. Book at least two months ahead to ensure the date you want.
Cosmic Cove with Carmelo the Science Fellow, Boerum Hill
These scientific birthdays are appropriate for every child imaginable, but are a must for fans of Carmelo the Science Fellow’s book and two preschool locations. The first 40 minutes of the party, kids play with real, live animals like blue-tongued skinks, snakes, gerbils, bunnies, or geckos. The children get to touch and hold the animals, while they learn all about them. Next the kids transition to experiments, where kids get to follow along and participate in all the activities. They may make glow-in-the-dark silly putty, fake snow, or paper rockets. The staff does a wonderful job of keeping large groups organized and engaged. Parents can bring in outside food and snacks, or they can opt to have Cosmic Cove order pizza for the group. The kids eat in a back room, where cake is then served. The party is finished with gift bags that include the experiments that were made earlier. For 25 children, the cost of the two-hour party is $600 (and $10 for each additional child, up to 30 total). For an additional fee, you can even get custom gift bags or invitations. These parties are perfect for kids ranging from three to ten years old. (If any guests are younger than three, they can still sit and participate, but with their parents.)
Brooklyn Robot Foundry, Gowanus
For a fully customizable experience, look no further than Brooklyn Robot Foundry’s parties. They have three different package options, depending on age range, project choices and extras included. Their silver package is best for younger kids (4-6 years old), and runs $375 for 10 kids ($20 each additional), and includes one-and-a-half hours of making and playing with parachute robots. You’ll bring food and drinks, and they can recommend local venues for cake or pizza. The gold package is the most popular (for kids 6+) at $750 for 10 kids ($30 each additional), and includes one-and-a-half hours of making your own working robot that kids can take home with them. This choice also includes a squishy circuit goody bag. The platinum option is for those parents who want everything taken care of. The all-inclusive cost is $1600 for 10 kids ($60 each additional), and includes everything from invitations, custom robot creating, food, cake, drinks, decorations and even managing the RSVP list. Parents just need to show up (with their kids) and have a great time.