The big day is coming up, and your toddler is beaming with excitement. You've posted a countdown on the wall and yet you are still questioned hourly on how many more days are left. A young child's birthday is a huge deal, and putting together the right party to celebrate is in order. Queens, New York, is a large enough area to be able to find just the right place at an affordable price.
Reserve a Park
A extremely inexpensive place to have a birthday would be to reserve space in one of the many city parks. If you have more than 20 people in your party, you will need to apply for a permit and pay a $25 fee. Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Passerelle Building (no website; Grand Central Pkwy., Whitestone Exwy. bet. 111 St; 718-393-7272) is where you can apply as well as hold the party. Astoria Park (no website; 19 St. bet. Astoria Park S.; 718-393-7272) or Cunningham Park (no website; 73 Ave., Union Turnpike; 718-393-7272) are a few of the many other tot-friendly options in Queens.
Restaurant or Ice Cream Parlor
There are countless establishments in Queens that would gladly open their doors to you and your tribe of munchkins. Eddie’s Sweet Shop (no website; 10529 Metropolitan Avenue, Forest Hills; 718-520-8514) is an ice cream sundae parlor that would provide for a memorable party. If you want food along with the sugar, Uno's Chicago Grill has birthday specials priced per child. There your kiddos will be able to build their own pizzas and sundaes with chef hats and goody bags to complete the package.
Astoria Sports Complex (ascsports1.com) has a party package suitable for toddlers at a per-child rate with a 10-child minimum. The package includes one hour in the game room, inflatable slide and bounce house, music, hostesses, invitations, pizza, juice, gift for the birthday child, goody bags, parking space and a souvenir cup for each child. A half hour is given for time in the dining room to eat and open presents. For some bowling fun with the tots, check out Whitestone Lanes (whitestonebowling.com). At a low per-child rate with a 10-child minimum, your party will have one hour of bumper bowling, 45 minutes in the party room, pizza, soda, game coupons, paper goods, shoe rentals, invitations, goody bags and a surprise gift for the little guest of honor. You must provide your own cake.
If you are looking for just the right themed party for your toddler, then Dudes and Divas (dudesndivasnyc.com) might be your place. The facility offers a flat rate for an hour and a half for up to 10 kids, with an additional charge for each child above that number. Choose from princess, sports, ballerina, pirate, stuff-a-bear and even American Idol themes. All parties include games, dancing, make-up, balloons, crafts, pizza, juice, face-painting, hostess and a private room. For your little gymnast or dancer, American Dance and Drama Studio (americandanceanddramastudio.com) will host your party. This facility also offers a flat rate, with an additional charge for each child over their 12-child limit. You can choose from a gymnastics and dance party or a disco dance party. They provide the pizza, decorations, cake, face-painting and dance and tumbling space for the festivities.