Birthday Parties

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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 parties, 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 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.

20 Birthday Party Spots for Brooklyn Toddlers and Preschoolers

Your toddler is another year older, which means it's time to throw a birthday party! Entertaining the under-age-5 crowd, plus a small army of their closest friends (and parents), can be tricky. Lucky for us, the borough of Brooklyn is filled with party places to please even the most diverse pack of enthusiastic toddlers and preschoolers.

Animals, arts and crafts—even just tumbling around for a few hours—are all options at these creative venues across Brooklyn. Read on for our list of favorites, and find even more birthday party inspiration in our NYC Party Guide.

The Best Places for Pancake Breakfasts on Long Island

Nothing would seem to get kids more excited about breakfast than pancakes. Thin, fluffy, smothered, or sugared, this delectable treat delivers a sense of warmth and hominess that can’t be topped.

So with National Pancake Day looming (March 12), we've rounded up our favorite pancake destinations in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and even one worth a journey to the East End.  While you’re sampling these scrumptious local bites, check out our guide to kid-friendly restaurants, including LI's best ice cream parlorscandy shops, and places where kids can eat FREE.

Best Indoor Birthday Party Places in the DC Area

For kids celebrating birthdays during the fall or winter, chances are they'll be celebrating it indoors. But no matter the season, the DC area is chock full of indoor birthday party spots perfect for kids of all ages. From rock climbing to museums, there's no shortage of places to have some indoor birthday fun. Many of these spots show up on our list of favorite indoor play spaces in the area so these aren't fun just for celebrating birthdays but anytime you want to get out of the house, but not get outside, with the kids.

Read on for our top picks for indoor birthday party places in the DC area.

Night at the Museum: 5 NYC Museum and Zoo Sleepovers for Kids

Sleepovers are all the rage (even Governors Island has gotten into the overnight game). And while a night chaperoning a group of small night-owls might not rank high on your to-do list, kids will get a big kick out of sleeping over at one of their favorite cultural institutions. From the Bronx Zoo to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum to the new Sharks! exhibit at Coney Island, there's a museum sleepover to fit every kid's interests. And you'll earn some serious cool parent cred—some of these overnight adventures are so extravagant, they landed on our list of NYC splurges worth doing at least once.

15 Best Indoor Birthday Party Ideas for LA Kids

There is a special kind of stress—both emotional and financial—that planning a birthday party can cause if you have kids born between the months of November and March. Oh sure, everyone struggles with the great birthday party question, but those moms who gave birth in LA in August are pretty safe claiming a corner of a public park or throwing down some blankets on the beach. If you have a December baby, you may have tried that, but at some point probably cried "Never again!" LA might not have a proper winter, but it has a proper Indoor Birthday Party season, if only for the sanity of the parents. Allow us to share some of our favorite options for entertaining the masses without stressing about the weather.

7 Cool Escape Rooms for NYC Kids to Conquer

For parents, life in a tiny New York City apartment can feel like a constant escape game. The clutter is closing in on you and you've got to locate two toddler shoes, a missing must-have accessory for your tween, and your own MIA cell phone before you can unlock the door to take on the mean city streets.

If your clever kids don't see the game in that routine, they might be up for a different kind of challenge. Consider splurging on an afternoon in one of these kid-friendly escape rooms, where their puzzle skills (and yours!) will be put to the test. Most offer birthday party packages, too. Be aware that most spots require a reservation to get locked in, so plan your outing in advance.

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