Throwing an economical birthday party in Westchester doesn’t mean giving up all the bells and whistles when it comes to having a fabulous party; it just means scouting out the perfect venue, getting a little creative or thinking outside of the box. In order to save you some time, we’ve done the research for you. Here are nine fun ideas for economical parties that any kid (and parent) would love!
1. Muscoot Farm: Kids will enjoy running around and exploring the farm as well as getting an up-close view of a variety of animals. Birthday parties are by reservation only on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. It is highly recommended to book three months in advance before the actual date of the party by calling the farm office. Indoor party space is available in the Activity Building for a fee of $125 for approximately 30 people. Included in the fee are five tables, 30 chairs, and use of the refrigerator and stove. Outdoor space is also available for $50 and includes five reserved picnic tables. Add a hayride to your party for an extra fee of $75. Muscoot Farm, 51 Rte. 100, Katonah. 864-7286. musco
2. Little Buddha Restaurant: The Zagat-rated Little Buddha, an Asian Fusion restaurant located in the Thornwood Town Center, guarantees to provide a live cooking show. Book a party on a Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Hibachi table for $10 to $12 per child, depending on the entrée. Restaurant can accommodate up to 22 children. Little Buddha, 1008 Broadway, Thornwood. 495-3365. littl
3. California Pizza Kitchen: Parties here cost $10 a child and includes a tour of the restaurant, individual paper chef hats, the opportunity for each kid to put toppings on their personal pizza as well as make a dessert sundae, plus a free kids’ meal coupon for each participant to be used on their next visit. Catering for adults is available. “You tell us your budget and we will help you customize your party,” says General Manager Drew LaBohm. California Pizza Kitchen, 365 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale. 722-0600. cpk.com.
4. Nail Fun: Westchester does not lack nail salons! Most charge $8 to $10 per child for a manicure. Talk to your local nail salon about the best hours to host a birthday party. If you prefer for the party to continue after manicures are dry, then look for a nail salon that is located in a shopping center with a restaurant and treat guests to lunch.
5. Village Creamery & Sweet Shop: The Creamery, as this Valhalla shop is affectionately referred to, was established by owners John and Kristin Caldarola. The couple “wanted to create a place with a sense of community; one where families could come to enjoy homemade ice cream,” says Kristin. A party costs $15 per child and includes a hands-on lesson in ice cream making, a single scoop ice cream to enjoy and a take home treat. There is a minimum of six children and a maximum of 12. Scout troops also welcome. Village Creamery & Sweet Shop, 32 Broadway, Valhalla, 421-1300. villa
6. Handcrafted Soap: “The kids are all about how much glitter they can incorporate into their bath soap or bath fizzy (also known as a bath bomb),” says Perian Foss, owner of the handcrafted soap company, essentially simple by mommy and me. Foss brings the party to you. Her 90-minute soap/bath fizzy party is held at your choice of location and costs $12 per child. During the hands-on party, Foss discusses the all-natural ingredients and encourages party guests to explore different scents to include in their creation. Foss is also available for Girl Scout meetings. essentially simple by mommy and me, 391-9433. peria
7. Scavenger Hunt Party: Perfect for the teen who wants to be able to celebrate with friends in an independent fashion. The party is split into teams and sent off on their own to find items or “do things” as indicated on a scavenger list. The team who accomplishes the list first is the winner. Google “scavenger hunt party” and lots of ideas come up, including printable hunt lists. Places to have a scavenger hunt are limitless but may include a mall, an outdoor park or your own neighborhood. Be sure to get appropriate approval if holding in a public place.
8. Fast Food Fun: While you may not want to eat fast-food every day as a treat – in terms of fun, cost and age-appropriateness, you just can’t beat hosting a birthday at Burger King for the preschool set. A 90-minute party costs $10 per child and includes a kid’s meal including a toy, birthday cake, time in the play area and a party host. Birthday child is free. Manager Bob Moir says parties are usually held at 4 p.m. and can be booked seven days a week. Maximum number of tykes is 30. Burger King at 230 N. Bedford Road, Mt. Kisco. 666-8600. bk.com.
9. A Late-Over Party: This is a win-win for tweens and their parents. Guests arrive in pajamas and enjoy all the liveliness of a slumber party (think pizza, snacks, movies, games, karaoke, etc.) but instead of spending the night go they home around 10 p.m. Everyone has fun and enjoys a good night’s sleep.
Rachael Sanderson Benz is a Westchester-based freelance writer, wife extraordinaire, and working mom of two beautiful children.
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