Cook Up Some Birthday Fun at City Bakery’s Birdbath

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New York’s a great town for planning a kid’s birthday party — the options are almost literally endless — but after a few years (and maybe the addition of another celebrant) it can start to feel like you’ve done it all. If you can relate, or maybe just want a seasoned pro to do the planning for you, you may be interested in a new partnership between NYC institution City Bakery (and its little sister venture Birdbath) and Piece of Cake parties.


photo: Marielle Solan/Piece of Cake Parties

Getting The Party Started

The festive new venture combines the forces of City Bakery/Birdbath owner Maury Rubin and Jenny Flax, the woman behind Piece of Cake Parties. Rubin opened a Birdbath café — which prides itself on being one of the most-eco-friendly food businesses on the planet —  in the space attached to kid’s bookstore Books of Wonder; Flax has been orchestrating  deluxe custom party packages for Manhattan families for over 10 years. Now, Piece of Cake will be offering turn-key baking-themed party packages in the Birdbath space. (Don’t worry, you won’t have random kids running through your party; the café space is currently exclusively devoted to hosting events.)

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photo: Marielle Solan/Piece of Cake Parties

What’s Cooking

Three kinds of culinary-themed parties are available, all of which find kids getting hands-on experience making tasty treats with organic, locally-sourced ingredients. Revelers can decorate cakes, make pizza, or craft pretzels, and additional party activities in turn reflect that theme. More than just a slap-some-frosting-and sprinkles on a cupcake kind of affair, the Piece of Cake at City Bakery/Birdbath parties will reflect the homegrown, classic and culinary-conscious ethos of the City Bakery brand.

All parties will include a brief tour of the attached industrial kitchen where the cakes, pretzels and dough that are used for the projects are made, and learn a little something on the side, too. Cake decorators will receive their own six-inch cake to decorate, with a professional cake decorator on hand to demonstrate how to make fondant roses or piping techniques. Pretzel-makers will have the chance to make both sweet and savory snacks (while learning about the science of combining yeast and flour) and pizza chefs roll out crust and top their creations with fresh ingredients grown locally and cooked on site.


photo: Marielle Solan/Piece of Cake Parties

Beyond Baking

The parties aren’t just about making stuff to eat. Partiers play games such as “Baking Bingo” or take part in a game show dedicated to the party’s inspiration which draws upon information offered earlier.  (i.e. “At what temperature are most cakes baked?”) Kids also get to move with things like “Cooking Calisthenics” and be crafty when they decorate the boxes in which they’ll ferry home their edible creations.


photo: Marielle Solan/Piece of Cake Parties

The Nitty Gritty

Piece of Cake/Birdbath celebrations are best for kids ages five to 11; Flax, who has a background in education, scales the sophistication of each activity for different age groups. Additional elements, such as personalized aprons or an on-site photographer can be purchased as well, and the recommended size for parties is 10 to 20 kids. Fees for an hour and a-half party start at $1,100.

Piece of Cake Parties at City Bakery/Birdbath
18 W. 18th St.


Do you have a favorite  spot to hold a birthday party? Tell us about it in the comments!

—Mimi O’Connor


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