Cool NYC Winter Birthday Party Spots for Kids

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Planning a winter birthday party for a kid is hard enough—planning a winter baby’s birthday party during the latest Covid surge? A “challenge,” as they say. Never fear: we have ideas! Whether you want to throw an outdoor party that embraces winter activity, or celebrate virtually with a special guest, game or project, we found ways to mark the occasion safely, and with flair! (See more ideas for virtual birthday parties here!)

New York Ninja Academy

New York Ninja Academy

For a high-energy bash, head to New York Ninja Academy, where party guests train on ninja warrior obstacles (similar to those seen on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior) with professional ninja staff. For Covid-19 safety, birthday parties are currently capped at 15 kids. A 90-minute party includes a course run at the end, complete with lights, sound effects, and hitting the buzzer at the end of the course. Parties are $800 max, with prices adjusted down according to the number of attendees. Kids must be at least five years old to join. 

625 W. 55th St. 
Midtown West
917-903-7535
Online: nycninja.com

Watermark

Make S’Mores at Watermark’s Winter Wonderland

Book your own private, heated and sanitized “glass house” at Watermark’s Winter Wonderland and feast on s’mores, fondue and other goodies. This Winter Wonderland on the pier features a tunnel of lights; 40, 15-foot evergreens, and even the occasional “Snow Show” thanks to a snow machine. Don’t forget to get a group photo on the Watermark Sleigh with the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges behind you.

Two-hour time slots are available, with rates varying by time slot and number of guests. Prices start at $100 for up to four guests at 4 p.m. and do not include food or drinks. 

78 South St. 
Pier 15
Seaport District
Online: watermarkny.com

Larissa F. via Yelp

Movie Night at the Skyline Drive-in

The drive-in movie theater experience has seen a resurgence in the past year, as a way to go out to the movies while still staying safely distant. The Skyline Drive-in is an option that often shows family movies—Goonies, Grease and Ratatouille are examples of past screenings here—and it offers a beautiful Manhattan view. Tickets are $55 per car.

Skyline Drive-in
1 Oak St.
Greenpoint
Online: skylinedriveinnyc.com

Janelle Connor

Hit the Trail with Some Pony Rides

You can have a horse or pony rides at kid’s birthday party a variety of ways in NYC. 

Rent a pony for an hour from Brooklyn’s Kensington Stables for $195-$250 (price varies by location). If you can have your party in Prospect Park near the Bridle Path, it’s just $125. Click here for more info.

The Bronx Equestrian Center offers pony rides and a party area for $300 for two hours on site, and trail rides are also available. Click here for more info.

The Jamaica Bay Riding Academy does parties for kids (minimum 12 guests). Parties are 90 minutes, with 45 minutes for rides. Cost is $45 per person. Click here for more info.

Beat the Bomb

Beat the Bomb IRL or Online

Beat the Bomb (the puzzle game experience that covers you with paint if you “lose”) is re-opened in DUMBO. All sessions are private, and Covid-19 precautions are in place. Read them here. (Also: you wear a sanitized hazmat suit.) Recently introduced is the clean, or “no-paint” bomb, the Ballz Bomb (literally soft balls), if your party doesn’t want to get messy. Cost is $44.95/person, with individual groups of up to six people. 

Too close for comfort? Beat the Bomb also offers 45-minute online parties, hosted by a game master, that feature three online arcade games. Play as a single team or compete against each other. Cost is $20/person. 

Beat the Bomb
255 Water St. 
917-983-1115
DUMBO
Online: beatthebomb.com

Jennifer D. via Yelp

Snow Tubing

If you’re willing to travel, snow tubing could be a real crowdpleaser. The closest spot is Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah, New Jersey. Tubers must be 42 inches or taller. Pricing ranges from $27-$35 per person, depending on the day. For more options, see our favorite places to go snow tubing near NYC here!) 

Campgaw Mountain
200 Campgaw Rd. 
Mahway, NJ
201-327-7800
Online: skicampgaw.com

Sari Goodfriend/The Trust for Governors Island

Ice Skating

A perennial go-to for winter babies is the ice-skating party. Why fight it, especially when you have so many amazing rinks to choose from, including several new rinks this season. Case in point: the rink at Governors Island’s Winter Village, shown here. 

Check out our picks for the best ice skating rinks in New York City here

Great Wolf Lodge

Own the Park at Great Wolf Lodge

Yes, it’s a Bucket List thing, but we just had to include it. The Great Wolf Lodge has launched a new “Own the Park” package, which allows families to gain exclusive access to the entire water park for 2.5 hours after the park closes in the evenings!

The package starts at a hefty $10,000 and for the entire evening, only family and friends on your list are allowed entry into the park. All the features of the park are available during this time, and the party will be overseen by Great Wolf Lodge’s lifeguards. The package also includes complimentary (non-alcoholic) drinks, up to 10 Family Suites for the night, breakfast (also private and exclusive to your guests), a welcome gift and more.

Great Wolf Lodge
1 Great Wolf Drive
Scotrun, PA (about 1h 45m from Penn Station, NYC)
Online: greatwolf.com

Super Soccer Stars

Winter Soccer with Super Soccer Stars

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some active play and sports fun! Book a private session for a small group for an experience completely customized to you. Sessions can be booked for 45 – 60 minutes and will be held at a place of your choosing. If you have a favorite instructor, you can request them for the soccer party (depending on availability), and you choose the focus and level of instruction. 

At a location of your choosing
Online: newyork.supersoccerstars.com

The Greens at Pier 17
Giada Paoloni on behalf of the Howard Hughes Corporation

The Greens at Pier 17

The Greens is yet another spot offering transparent cabins with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River. Expect cozy seating, a virtual fireplace, air purifiers, hand sanitizers and classy decor inspired by ski lodges. Each cabin can accommodate 2-10 guests and features touchless mobile ordering from a menu of seasonal dishes. Cost is $50 reservation plus a $5 charitable contribution, along with the cost of food and drink. These are selling out fast—hop to it!

The Rooftop at Pier 17
89 South St.
Financial District
Online: thegreens.pier17ny.com 

Kangbino

Play Date at CMOM

Take your party indoors with a private party at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Groups of up to 25 people can rent out the museum for an exclusive hour and 45 minutes.

Guests will have full run of two exhibit floors, activity kits for children to use for the duration of their visit and CMOM educator-led activities that will get kids moving, listening to stories and doing art. This experience is currently open only to members, and costs $500. 

Children’s Museum of Manhattan — the Tisch Building
212 W. 83rd St.
Upper West Side
Online: cmom.org

Chelsea Piers

Sports-themed Birthdays at Chelsea Piers 

Give your kids an active birthday party at Chelsea Piers, which has been reopened to in-person parties with new safety guidelines. Groups of up to 10 children ages 5 and up will be led through sports and other movement-centric activities by trained instructors.

Party sessions last 90 minutes and include an exclusive t-shirt for the birthday child, party favors and a “cake-in-a-jar” from Butterfly Bakeshop. Choose a sport or activity for the party to center around from a list that includes basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and ninja parkour. Reservations require $200 deposit; inquire for pricing on individual sports. 

Chelsea Piers
23rd Street & Hudson River Park
Chelsea
Online: chelseapiers.com

The OP Games

Virtual Game Night at Brooklyn Game Lab

Want to celebrate a birthday from the comfort of your own home? The Brooklyn Game Lab is now offering online Zoom parties full of gaming and fun for kids of all ages. Kids 6 years and older can join a session of Dungeons & Dragons especially tailored to the age and gaming experience of the participants. Children of all ages can play interactive card/board games virtually (no game needed).

Parties start at $350 for groups of six or fewer, but the final price will depend on the length and number of guests. Plus, Brooklyn Game Lab is also starting to offer in-person outdoor parties for small groups if you do choose to have a physical party instead of a virtual one.

At location of your choosing
Online: brooklyngamelab.com

AMNH

American Museum of Natural History

How’s this for thinking outside the box? We hear that because of the drastically-reduced capacity for Covid-19 safety, the American Museum of Natural History can often feel like your own private museum when you visit these days! Mask up and take a small group/your pandemic pod to the museum, checking out the Hall of Ocean Life, the Fossil Halls (home to the dinos) and more for the cost of regular admission. Or, spend a few more bucks and see a special exhibit like the brand new Sharks, shown here. You must book tickets in advance to visit the museum. Admission is $23/adults; $13/kids 3-12; $18/students and seniors. 

Central Park West & 79th Street
Upper West Side 
212-769-5100
Online: amnh.org

TWA Hotel Runway Chalet at The Pool Bar
Becca Singelenberg (Xhibition)

Tiny Pool Party at the TWA Hotel

Pool party in the middle of winter!? Why not! The TWA’s heated rooftop pool is open to hotel guests this winter, and it’s been transformed into an Alpine-themed retreat. Visitors can eat at the restaurant or sit at the bar and sip some hot apple cider as they watch airplanes take off below. Visit the pop-up museum exhibits, created in collaboration with the New York Historical Society, and go back in time through replicas of a 1962 living room and offices of Howard Hughes and Eero Saarinen.

If you want to hold a birthday here, you’ll need to keep it small: only four people are allowed to sit together at the bar and social distancing rules are strictly enforced. Visitors will also need to be hotel guests in order to use the hotel pool and “pool-cuzzi,” visit the observation deck or eat in the restaurant. Room rates vary but typical standard rooms start at $199 per night and a daytripper stay starts at $109.

TWA Hotel
1 Idlewild Drive
Jamaica
Online: twahotel.com

Treasure Trunk Theater

Virtual Adventure With Treasure Trunk Theater

You don’t need to travel far to embark on an adventure! Treasure Trunk Theater, which fosters drama and imagination, is available to book for a virtual birthday party of 30 minutes (with additional time on request), where up to 30 kids will enjoy fun activities that’ll get their voices, bodies and imaginations working.

The Treasure Trunk Theater instructor will lead kids on an adventure to magical lands using only common household items. Parents and grandparents are encouraged to join in, as well! Virtual birthday parties start at $200.

At location of your choosing
Online: treasuretrunktheatre.com

Loop of the Loom

Tapestry Weaving at Loop of the Loom

In just two hours, kids can weave their own tapestry to bring home, with instruction from Loop of the Loom! Private classes are very small — 3-5, depending on the location you visit — and instruction will have kids working on their own looms within minutes. 

Loop of the Loom
227 E 87th St. #E
Upper East Side

197 Plymouth St.
Dumbo

Online: loopoftheloom.com 

—Yuliya Geikhman

 

RELATED STORIES: 

Be Cool: Your Guide to Winter Fun in NYC

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