• Sunday, May 31, 2020

virtual birthday party ideas

It's Virtual Party Time
May 13, 2020
By , Families Contributor

These are extraordinary times. In the current climate, traditional parties as we know them are on hold, but you can still throw a fun celebration that birthday boys and girls are sure to remember for oh-so-many reasons. Not sure where to begin? We’re here to help.

Want to keep it low-key at home with your favorite friends? There are a few simple steps to get started and the rest is cake (pun intended!). First and foremost, choose your preferred platform, whether Google Meet, Netflix Party, Skype, UberConference, Zoom, or another favorite. Where applicable, make sure to add a password to avoid party crashers. Create an online invitation, or simply send an email to your guests. Let them know if it’s a surprise, and provide any special instructions like BYOC (bring your own cake!).

Guest lists are now the more the merrier! Include anyone and everyone you would like to celebrate with (and it won’t cost a small fortune!). Online rooms can get crowded, so stagger entry times, and consider smaller groups or even multiple mini-parties with different sets of friends to maximize (screen) time together and to keep from overwhelming the party kid and partygoers. Plus, it keeps the celebration going. Choose a theme, add décor, and do as much or as little as feels right for your family. In lieu of gifts, consider having everyone contribute an item for a birthday time capsule.

If you want to throw a virtual party along the lines of a more traditional NYC birthday bash while supporting your favorite local party place, then pamper your birthday prince or princess with one of these perfect virtual parties! We checked out the first local NYC venues hosting virtual parties and share their outstanding offerings below. It’s (virtual) party time!

Here are some fabulous local NYC venues hosting virtual birthday parties:

1.  Camp is making sure no kid’s birthday goes uncelebrated during this time by hosting free virtual birthday parties. Camp has hosted 20 parties with thousands of participants in the last two weeks. Every day at 5 p.m., Camp hosts free virtual birthday parties for kids of all ages from across the country so they can celebrate their special day together. During this 30- to 40-minute “event,” friends and families gather online and are entertained by magicians, musicians, and storytellers, ending with shared birthday wishes from guests and a dance party. Interested families with upcoming birthdays can pick a date and share more details on their child (age, birth date, fun facts, favorite song, etc.) so that every child feels special during the virtual party, which is celebrated with other birthday kids. Camp also hosts private parties for those who wish to have more customizable experiences. Families who are interested in a private party can email birthdays@camp.com.

2.  Chris Palmieri Puppeteer is currently offering half-hour virtual puppet shows via Zoom and other similar platforms for children’s birthday parties, as well as for schools and daycare centers. The shows feature original puppet characters led by Lucky Duck, the curious, kind duckling who leads each performance. There are stories, both originals and classics based on literary and fairy tales, as well as sing-a-longs, puppeteer training, and follow-along craft segments. Recommended donation for a private show: $50-$100

3.  Clowns.com has done a good number of virtual parties. Parents like them because they can still provide some fun and excitement in these trying times. They have parties with superheroes, princess, and mascots, as well as full-on magic shows. For example, a Belle Party featured the Disney princess (played by a professional singer) who sang and serenaded the birthday girl with songs from the Beauty and Beast soundtrack. Birthday kids also receive a digital picture of their character, a nice photo-op to share on Facebook or Instagram. 30-40 minutes: $175-$199

4.  The Craft Studio is offering virtual birthday parties through Zoom. The hour-long parties include making a craft and playing games. There are two crafting options: make a basic craft using materials most people already have at home, or do a bigger craft and ship craft kits to all guests. The kits range in price between $2 and $50, depending on the craft, plus shipping. 60 minutes: $100 for fewer than 10 kids, $150 for 10-15 kids (15 children maximum)

5.  Galli Theater New York is offering virtual birthday fun through Zoom. The party includes a Galli Theater Story acting performance with one Galli actor interpreting a fairy tale chosen from their repertoire, with the option of integrating children in the show. This truly interactive experience includes dancing and singing “Happy Birthday.” 40 minutes: $200

6.  HiArt! Who says you can’t have a virtual birthday party? Of course you can! A little advanced planning is needed, since all supplies have to be ordered and delivered to participants, but as long as each friend has a computer or TV screen and Zoom, you can have something as cool as a candy sculpture party — great for kids from ages 3 and up. And for older kids, you can easily host a manga party with the same setup — a packet of supplies (which doubles as a kind of goody bag) is delivered to each friend’s door. And during the live session, HiArt! takes everyone through the paces, demonstrating and guiding kids as they work on their projects. Prices vary depending upon the quantity of supplies, shipping, and number of kids.

7.  Karma Kids Yoga is making the best out of our social distancing situation, offering Yoga Parties on Zoom. Invite up to 99 people — friends from school, camp, and the neighborhood; cousins and other family members; teachers; anyone you can think of — to join a super-fun online yoga class to celebrate your child’s special day! The Yoga Parties are unique and age appropriate and include basic and challenging yoga poses, creative breathing techniques, fun yoga games and mindfulness activities, great music, and relaxation time. 30 minutes: $100; 45 minutes: $150; 60 minutes: $200

8.  Kids at Work is offering Zoom birthdays with their staff musicians. Hire a Kids at Work musician for a secure, intimate Zoom session for children ages 1-5, with a max of 8 children. You’ll receive information on objects to gather in preparation, as well as private meeting codes for attendees. A separate admin staff on the meeting will make sure everyone’s tech works well and the meeting is kept private! Kids at Work was established in 2007, and their musicians have years of experience working with young children. Interested parents can email info@kidsatworknyc.com for pricing and availability.

9.  Kiki’s Faces and Balloons is offering a remote “Magical Princess” Interactive Show for Birthdays via Zoom, starring a princess of your choice (played by one of their Broadway-caliber actress/teachers) with engaging, magical, musical interactive play. The birthday child gets a special role, and all children participate as various characters. It’s a bit of “real princess magic.” There’s even an adorable “Virtual Fairy Dust” ceremony. There are also Create Your Own Fairytale Show or Broadway Show options. 50 minutes (includes warm-up/meet-and-greet, show, musical games, and cake time):$175; 30 minutes (includes warm-up and show): $125

10.  Little Maestros’ favorite Nick is performing up-tempo, interactive half-hour virtual parties. To watch him in action, check out @littlemaestrosofficial daily stories and IGTV. Little Maestros, which has been around for 18 years, is an early-childhood educator-approved infant and toddler music program. It won Nickelodeon’s “Parents Picks Best Music Class” in NYC and was named “Best Music Class in New York City” by New York Magazine. Dedicated to providing an unparalleled experience, it continues to raise the bar in its specialty: children’s music classes and parties. 30 minutes: $175

11.  Mystery & Mayhem is offering a Fortune Telling Party for ages 8-11. Seated amid plush pillows, Madame Judith gazes into her crystal ball and sees into the lives, personalities, hopes, and dreams of the birthday child and his/her guests. The cards also reveal a private “secret” message, which will be sent to each child via email after the party is over. Madam Judith then takes the group on a “Magical Journey of Discovery,” during which participants identify and create their own “Special Inner Space” with everything they know and love, including the “Wise Person” who resides within them. They then have five minutes to sketch out a drawing of their Inner Space and share it with their friends if they choose. The party culminates in a “wishing ceremony,” and then the group sings “Happy Birthday.” 60-90 minutes: $500-$650 (8 children maximum)

12.  The PIT is offering digitized versions of their Broadway Birthday Bashes, which are unique party experiences that are fun for both children and adults. Your child (virtually) takes center stage while professional actors improvise a never-before-seen musical masterpiece all about the birthday girl/boy and her/his interests, customized to reflect your child’s personality! With an arsenal of talented performers, piano players, and an engaging show host, your child’s Broadway Birthday Bashes party will be the most talked about birthday party of the year. Special needs can be accommodated. Recommended for ages 5 and up. 45-minute musical improv experience (featuring four performers and a music director/pianist): $500

13.  Red Carpet Kids lets you step inside your favorite Broadway show for a virtual birthday party. Meet a star from one of your favorite Broadway shows for a VIP virtual meet-and-greet, and have a personal performance right before your eyes! Red Carpet Kids has teamed up with one of the most exciting companies on Broadway to provide birthday packages that leave you smiling, singing, and celebrating in a very special way. Each package includes a custom birthday cake delivered to your home, a one-on-one performance with a star from a Broadway show of your choice, and a microphone karaoke machine platform (to keep) with Broadway sheet music to sing and perform your favorite tunes. Stars are from shows like Hamilton, Mean Girls, Beetlejuice, Aladdin, Harry Potter, Beautiful, Dear Evan Hansen, Lion King, and more! Contact Craig@redcarpetkidsnyc.com or call 310-666-2734 for availability and a list of available stars. Starts at $1,200

14.  Robert the Guitar Guy is offering a 30-minute musical Zoom birthday party. Robert says his Zoom parties work because the children are moving to his songs, and he personalizes parties by talking to participants by name. Robert creates an interactive experience in which the kids are getting constant feedback. In one song, they go to sleep, then wake up and jump. In another, they hide, then march to the spider, then hide again. He tells them where they are hiding, and he sees and reports who is jumping, marching, etc. 30 minutes: $200 (20 children maximum)

15.  Sammie & Tudie Imagination Playhouse is offering a Virtual Birthday Party Show and Birthday Gram. The Party Show is a virtual performance created by Sammie and Tudie for your child’s birthday party. Invite friends and you can all celebrate together with a fun and interactive show via Zoom. Great for ages 3-8 years. The Virtual Birthday Gram is a fun and playful birthday gram for loved ones of all ages. It has everything you need for a good birthday part — silly nonsense and playful fun!

16.  Sky Zone is offering free virtual parties to help kids celebrate birthdays while at home. They guide kids through 15-20 minutes of games, active play, and singing “Happy Birthday.” Plus, they’ll even make the invites and send out a link. Kids can take part in their virtual birthday parties Tuesdays to Saturdays 3-9 p.m. and celebrate with a maximum of 10 friends. To request a virtual party, parents can fill out their Virtual Party Form and a Sky Zone representative will follow up with confirmation details and next steps.

17.  Super Soccer Stars Virtual Birthday Parties are 30-minute high-energy virtual events led by a Soccer Stars coach. It’s perfect for bringing friends closer together by incorporating singing, dancing, stretches, soccer activities, and skills. Additionally, they partnered up with Baked by Melissa so party hosts can order cupcakes and have them delivered right to their house. For virtual birthday party inquiries, email party@soccerstars.com. 30 minutes for 15 kids: $75, $15 extra for each additional 5 kids

18.  Virtual Creatives Collective lets children step right into their favorite animated movie! The adventure starts with creative ways to become their favorite character, and then they jump into games, song, dance, and a special personalized performance that will make their animated dreams come true! Virtual Creatives is a collective of professional singers, dancers, and artists who have performed on Broadway, for Disney, and in professional ice skating shows. For more details, contact VirtualCreativesCollective@gmail.com. $150-$450, depending on customization

Yogi Beans has found an organized and fun way to celebrate your Bean’s special day! Yogi Beans Virtual Parties were created as a way for your child to celebrate his or her birthday together with friends and family, even while apart! For the45-minute yoga birthday party, the birthday child chooses from a selection of themes (safari, outer space, Unicorn Island, birds, under the sea, etc.) and then acts as the instructor’s helper for yoga. The instructor calls the child prior to the party for an introduction and to personalize the experience. Everyone then sings “Happy Birthday” and gives wishes to the birthday child during the last 15 minutes of the party. A recording of the virtual party can be provided afterward. You can also include a birthday announcement on Yogi Beans social media (optional). 60 minutes: $135 (25 kids maximum)