Everything You Need To Know About Kid Parties in a Socially Distant NYC

There’s good news if your child has a summer birthday: New York City moving toward reopening after the statewide PAUSE. As of June 8th, our region entered phase one, meaning that 10 or fewer people may gather. By phase three, we’ll be allowed to gather in groups up to 25.

Is a Kid Birthday Party Risky During a Coronavirus Pandemic?

At this point, any contact outside your home pod elevates your risk of COVID-19 transmission, but the 1 percent virus positive test rate is minuscule enough that having a small backyard gathering may not raise the hairs on the back of your neck, especially if you’re friends with several other families that generally minimal contact with others and practice social distancing.

True social distancing can be a challenge with young children. Ideally, each guest would remain six feet apart and wear masks in close passing or when dishing food. Older kids may be able to follow these guidelines, but you may want to consider hosting a Zoom party or a more structured format for younger kids.

Socially Distant Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas

There are many ways to celebrate a child’s birthday, even with social distancing in place:

  • Birthday Parades – Decorate a special chair into an honorary “throne” for the day and set it up curbside, while friends and family drive by with balloons, signs, and music playing. Oriental Trading has a number of themed decorations you can pass out to guests before the big day. You could also ask your guests to dress up in old Halloween costumes to make the parade more entertaining. Gifts can be dropped off to a point person at the end of the caravan if you wish.
  • Movie Parties – Drive-ins are likely to be all the rage this summer. Staten Island BBQ will be showing classic kid-friendly films like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Greenpoint’s new Skyline Drive-In overlooks the East River and Manhattan skyline and welcomes guests who may not have a car to park as well. If you have a grand to spend and would like a more intimate backyard movie party, you could hire Arcade Specialties – or you could source your own materials for less.
  • Picnic Parties – A number of NYC restaurants offer picnic takeout and there are plenty of parks to choose for your setting. Blue Moon Mexican Café offers birthday takeout for six, which includes fixins’ for tacos or fajitas, a dessert platter, beverages, sombreros, and birthday candles. Armed with little more than a cooler, a basket, and a blanket, you’ll have a unique and memorable way to celebrate a birthday with one or two other families. Social distancing will be easier to follow, using the blankets themselves as “safe zones.”
  • Zoom Parties and Virtual Performers – Everyone can join a party from their own comfortable space at home, while a virtual performer sets the agenda so it’s meaningful for the participants and not just anarchy. BubbleDad can wow kids with bubble characters, smoke bubbles, square bubbles, and shared secrets on how to blow the perfect bubble. Yogi Beans will virtually host up to 25 kids with themes like unicorn, safari, or undersea that take kids through yoga activities, a Choose-Your-Own adventure, and a birthday singing – all recorded for your viewing pleasure later. Hire My Fairytale Party to have your child’s favorite princess, hero, or character sing, read, and play games with your group. Sammie & Tudie’s Imagination Playhouse offers an interactive 30-minute Zoom “comedy magic circus” geared toward ages 3 to 8. Kids ages 7+ can make a clay creation – like a bird, shark, dish, cupcake, or dinosaur — led by Clay Art Center or you can have your group make something yummier (like pizza, soft pretzels, muffins, or cookies) along with Taste Buds Kitchen.

Shine Party Boxes Make Your Social Distancing Event Special

This summer, we are pleased to offer the best in high-quality child birthday entertainment, whether you’re celebrating in the backyard with a small group or connecting virtually with friends from afar.

Custom Curated Birthday Party Boxes have been in high demand during quarantine. It’s the next best thing to a fully hosted event. We’ll create custom curated party boxes based on whatever theme you’d like and send them out to all the kids attending your virtual party.

Our first-ever party box, delivered to the birthday child and each invited guest, featured a jolly good pirate theme, complete with costumes, props, treasure maps, gold doubloons, treasure, stickers, tattoos, and all the art supplies needed to make our signature treasure chest craft.

On the day of your event, we’ll dress the part, singing, dancing, and performing live music to complement your theme. Our programming is highly customizable with games, surprise character visits, and baking or crafting activities. We’ll work with you to ensure your child feels attended to on this momentous occasion.

Other Shine birthday options include:

  • Online classes – Enjoy our signature mix of art, music, cooking, crafts, exercise, and more from the comfort of your own home – in a private family session or with friends!
  • Craft bags – Shine Director Aaron Goldschmidt leads engaging Zoom classes paired with craft bags delivered to the homes of all party attendees. Complete up to four signature Shine crafts. We’ve done lanterns, wreaths, decorated journals, puppets, masks, flower pots, vases, bird feeders, tie-dye, bridge paintings, sand art, and more. Check out our quarantine craft bag highlight to see some of what we offer.
  • Private day camps – Host up to eight kids (ages 4-11) with activities ranging from arts and crafts, outdoor science, and nature exploration, to sports and games, percussion workshops, and educational programming. Space is very limited, so email info@shinenyc.net to reserve your spot asap!

We want to help you through this difficult time! Call 212-414-5427 or email info@shinenyc.net to learn more about offerings, options, and pricing.

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