There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Inexpensive birthday parties are possible in the bustling metropolis of New York City. Getting away from the tourist attractions in the downtown core and making the most of local attractions and community events are a huge resource for the parent birthday party planner. Of course, making simple adjustments like reducing party size are also useful for parents on a budget. Add this to my Recipe Box.
Plan a picnic in a park. The cost of visiting the park is free and bringing kid-friendly snacks and treats made in your own kitchen is much cheaper than paying restaurant prices. Buy an assortment of themed napkins, paper plates and cups at your local discount or dollar store and plan activities related to life in the park. A scavenger hunt, supervised by parents, or a nature walk are all fun birthday activities.
Keeping your children's party on the smaller side by inviting close friends instead of every kid on the block is a way of cutting costs. Take the child's closest friends to a children's exhibit at the Modern Museum of Art or explore nature at the Museum of Natural History. Museum admission for children is free under certain circumstances and group rates are available. Other cultural attractions offer specials, such as the 13th Street Repertory Theatre, which charges $10 per child for a movie viewing and lets you bring your own food to the event space for just $50, at the time of publication.
New York City is a big city but it is full of smaller communities that are like villages in the metropolis. Use your local community center, such as a YMCA or Jewish Community Center, and host an afternoon party of swimming for your children's friends. Although these facilities are in New York City, the costs are reduced and much more family friendly than the same rates at major hotels or other purveyors of children's special events.
Get out of the downtown core of the Big Apple and visit the boroughs of Queens, Bronx or Brooklyn. The boroughs have local activities for kids, such as painting pottery or making beads, that are at small business rates and off-the-beaten path.
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