Birthday Parties

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5 Must-Try Laser Tag and Paintball Arenas for NYC Kids

Are your big kids bored of bowling? Not quite ready for the zip line? Consider laser tag or paintball, both fun party options and action-fueled activities you can find right here in NYC.

For the uninitiated, laser tag is a high-energy game of tag meets hide-and-seek that’s played with infrared laser guns in a darkened arena. Paintball pelts participants with small dye pellets. The object of both games: Get to your opponents before they get to you out by strategically shooting, running, and hiding from cover to cover. Don't worry, the laser guns emit harmless, invisible rays that register a "kill" by lighting up a spot on your adversaries' vests and paintball pellets might sting for a few seconds, but there's no long-lasting effects.

Check out one of these five fast and furious laser tag and paintball spots.

Birthday Freebies in NYC: Where Kids Eat Free and Get Gifts

In the era of rent-out-the-whole-museum and hire-a-marching-band kid birthday party, it's nice to find a freebie.

Of course, there are plenty of at-home, DIY ways to celebrate your child's birthday for FREE, from mirror notes to playing hooky. But it's also the one time of year that you can take advantage of all those corporate birthday clubs that promise to make your kid's big day even more special with fun freebies like complimentary gifts, food, and other deals.

We've rounded up a mix of local spots, with a lot of national chain restaurants and play spots thrown in, which all offer birthday goodies. Some are specific to kids, though some you can snag, too, and most will require some sort of email-list sign up. 

Find more fun for their big day (maybe even a marching band) in our Birthday Party Guide and Directory for NYC families.

Where to Curb Your Cupcake Cravings in Fairfield County

In our house, birthdays start out with cupcakes (or cake!) for breakfast.  It's our perfect family tradition that ensures that the best part of the birthday celebration doesn't get upstaged by a full belly! 

But hey, cupcakes aren't just for (birthday) breakfast anymore! They are the perfect-sized treat that have earned their own specialized bakeries and even food trucks. So whether you need cupcakes for a special occasion, or you are are just plain hankering for a cake-fix, try one of these local bakeries in Fairfield County for delicious cakes or cupcakes.

For birthday party ideas, make sure to check out our Party Guide

15 Great Barbecue Grills and Pits in LA Parks for Cooking Out with Family

Nothing says “summer” like barbecue. Many of our local parks are standing by with grills and pits to satisfy that craving for charred food. And the beauty of life in Southern California is that "summer" can be practically any time of year; the 15 parks below have year-round, mostly free barbecue facilities, ready for birthday parties, holiday celebrations, spontaneous picnics, or family dinners al fresco.

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