The Boogie Down borough has a growing list of cool party spots for kids, from old favorites like the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden, to more recent additions to the scene.
As Bronx mom with three kids, I find myself in a perpetual state of party planning. And while we've had many a house party, I’ve found that once I factor in food, decorations, favors and more, it costs just as much as a destination bash, especially in the Bronx, where packages are usually less expensive than they are in Manhattan. Plus I don't have to deal with the cleanup! Here are eight Bronx birthday party places with options for kids of all ages and interests.
Uptown Sports Complex – Kingsbridge
170 West 233rd Street near Broadway
This indoor athletics complex offers one-hour instructor-led gymnastics, baseball or soccer activities for parties. Can’t decide? For an extra fee, you can opt for an all-inclusive sports package that includes all three. All packages include a private party room, pizza and beverages. Cake, themed party decorations and paper goods are available at an additional cost. Packages start at $450.
Riverdale Y – Riverdale
5625 Arlington Avenue near Independence Avenue
The Y offers lots of themed party options, including baking, sports, gymnastics, swimming and art. Paper goods, utensils, a party host and activities are included. You provide food, cake and favors. Packages start at $400.
Bronx House – Bronxdale
990 Pelham Parkway South at Hone Avenue
Bronx House offers two different themes to choose from: arts & crafts and swimming. Parties include one hour's worth of activities plus time in a private party room. The cost is $375, which covers up to 35 guests! I've been to two parties here and both were a blast.
Bronx Equestrian Center – Baychester
9 Shore Road
Located in Pelham Bay Park, this horse-riding school offers different packages depending on whether you're looking for: pony or hayrides for the preschool set, or trail rides for more experienced equestrians. Aside from the steed and the room, you provide everything else, from invitations to food to cake, so it's a bit DIY. Packages start at $200.
Bronx Zoo – Belmont
2300 Southern Boulevard
Chances are your little animal lover has been to the Bronx Zoo, but has he ever celebrated a birthday there? The zoo's birthday party packages include food, a private room, close encounters with small animals, party games and activities, and a tour of the Congo Gorilla Forest. Prices start at $800, making it one of the borough's pricier options, but it's certainly memorable.
New York Botanical Garden – Fordham
2900 Southern Boulevard
Celebrate your kid's big day on the glorious grounds of the NYBG. Party packages are offered year-round and feature nature-themed crafts, scavenger hunts and gardening projects, as well as access to all exhibits. Pizza, water and organic juices, and paper goods are included. You supply the cake.
Yankee Stadium – Concourse
1 East 161st Street at Macombs Dam Bridge
Yankee Stadium offers a Party City Birthday Bash featuring a tour of the venue, with stops at the New York Yankees Museum, Monument Park, the press box and more. If you book during baseball season, you'll also get to check out the dugout and batting cage. Afterward, hit the onsite Hard Rock Café for food, beverages and a Carvel ice-cream cake. Invites and a Yankees souvenir for the birthday child included.
Chuck E. Cheese's – Pelham Gardens & Concourse
1816 Gunhill Road near Bruner Avenue
700 Exterior Street
Go ahead and groan. The fact is, kids love this cheesy game spot and the party packages are economical. So even if you get a headache while there, at least you won't pass out when you see the bill. Guests get game tokens, food and beverages, and the birthday kid enjoys face time with the rat-like mascot. No need for goody bags since guests can redeem the tickets they win for kitschy prizes. You can even plan your entire party online.
Find out about other creative ways to celebrate birthdays in our Party Guide.
This post originally published in February 2013.