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Some of the best in Hudson Valley Birthday Party Entertainment

Yesterday a kid’s party was about “pin the tail on the donkey” and then everyone went home.

Today, it’s all about clowns, DJs, fairy godmothers, magic shows and live animal shows. Need a mad scientist to come to your kid’s party? We got that covered. Here’s just sampling of the terrific birthday entertainment available in the Hudson Valley.

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Science fun

Is your birthday child mad for science? Erik Maldonado and Brian Crandall, both teachers, are franchise owners of Mad Science which offers hands-on science programs for kids. They come into your home and show the kids how to make bubbling potions, indoor fireworks, cotton candy and slime; launch rockets, do demonstrations with electricity and it’s all interactive, says Maldonado. The kids take an active role and always get to take home what they make. Maldonado and Crandall also conduct a summer camp and school programs. Costs run from $275 to $425 depending on the number of kids and favors. 845-294-5434.

A fairy for a day

Camille McKay of Fairy Wings Birthday parties comes to your home dressed as a Fairy Godmother. Each child gets her own set of hand-painted fairy wings, and McKay plays music and age appropriate games, and does face painting. Each child gets a unique gift such as bath salts, fairy necklaces or perfume sprays. McKay will also provide unique specially made cupcakes baked by a local organic baker. For the older kids she has created a “Dancing Diva” themed party where she’ll custom create a dance, do makeup application and nail painting. Parties can be themed for boys and girls. Basic package is $185 and up for 10 kids. 845-558-5671.

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

Take your chocolate loving kids to Gourmetibles. Regina Furphy and her sister and partner, Anne St. George, have been in business about seven years and recently opened a retail location in Beacon at 494 Main St. with one side of the store dedicated to birthday parties.

The kids get to decorate cupcakes, make candy and mold lollipops, dip popcorn and chips in chocolate, decorate and dip pretzels, marshmallows and cookies. “We basically take care of everything,” says Furphy. “We supply the invitations, decorations, goodie bags and paper goods. The parents don’t have anything to worry about. The birthday cake is cupcakes, and the birthday child gets an apron that all the kids sign.” Furphy also runs a candy bingo game where kids can win prizes, and for an extra charge, there’s a chocolate fountain.

Furphy recommends her parties for kids age 8 and up but will make adjustments for younger children. The cost is $225 for 10 children. 845-765-1165. 

For the active kids

Gold’s Gym in LaGrange provides birthday parties for kids ages 3-12. The events are sports specific, and may include basketball, soccer, or fun activities, such as tag or dodge ball. Gold’s staff supervise the games, and set up a party table and serve pizza, birthday cake and a beverage. Paper goods and invitations are included, along with a small gift for each child. Members are charged $290 for up to 14 kids. Non-members pay $330. 845-463-4800.

If the kids would like to swim, Gold’s Gym, 15 Racquet Road in Newburgh has a swimming pool and sets up pool parties or games. The Newburgh Gold’s will provide pizza, but parents provide the birthday cake. Members pay $200 for up to 15 kids, including the birthday child. Non-members pay $250. A birthday bash without the pool is $175 for members and $225 for non-members. 845-527-5142. 

Gear Up, located at 3050 Rte. 208 in Wallkill is a sports complex that includes batting cages, a basketball court, a golf area and bouncy houses. Kids play a variety of supervised games including soccer, dodge ball and parachute. Parents bring the birthday cake and Gear Up supplies the invitations, pizza, goodie bags and snacks. The birthday child receives a Gear Up T-shirt. Fees are $10.50 per child for 15 or more kids or $11.50 per child for up to 14, plus $50 rental for ½ hour in the bouncy houses/$75 for the turf area/$65 for the court area. 845-895-8111.

Hoebowl Orange Lanes in Walden offers bowling birthday parties on weekends, according to manager Joe Darmachwal, who adds, “we can accommodate weekday parties as well, after school or during school holidays.”  There’s no minimum or maximum number of kids; price is $13 per child, and the party runs two hours. Each child receives a slice of pizza, pitcher of soda (for every 5 kids), ice cream cup, bag of chips, and a pass for a future game. The birthday kid gets a real wooden bowling pin signed by the guests. For teens, the music plays and the lights go down. 845-778-5151.

Party with the animals!

Kids love bugs, let’s face it, and a party that features local bugs and their habits, or other wild creatures, is a winner. Marian Goldin, marketing manager for the Hudson Highlands Museum in Cornwall, says that parties for kids 4 to 8 run on weekends from 10am-12pm, with the museum closed to the public.  Museum then opens at 12pm, and closes at 4pm. A minimum of 15 kids is required, with a maximum of 20 permitted.

The birthday child receives a museum mystery gift, the guests create a simple take-home craft, receive a souvenir mug and a family pass for a return visit. Parents bring in cake and pizza but no balloons, noise makers, or piñatas, as they startle the animals.

With school permission, the party can even be brought into the classroom. Goldin says a museum educator will visit with a live animal for a 40 minute nature lesson. “Teachers love it because it typically fits the topic the class is covering,” says Goldin. Prices for animal parties run the same with $195/non-museum members, or $150/members. 845-534-5506.

Birthday bash at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum

"Our Mission is to enlighten minds through a fun and creative learning environment where hands-on experiences spark curiosity, discovery and the joy of exploration."  What better way to celebrate a birthday with hands on fun AT A MUSEUM!!  Up to 20 kids can enjoy a Birthday Bash Package that includes a two hour event with full access to the museum exhibits and free activities for the day.

Each child receives a museum gift. Reservation times are 9:30-11:30am; noon to 2pm, or 2:30-4:30pm. $120/members or $210/non-members. Maximum of 24 people at the party, with a $5 charge for additional guests.

For larger groups, the museum itself is available for rent, and can hold up to 60 guests.  Include a slime, or other science activity.  Contact Gerri, Director of Visitor Services at (845) 471-0589 ext. 12 or email at for date availability. In your email, state the date and time you'd like to reserve.

DJ entertainment

Mike Colvin of Poughkeepsie is the Mike of Mad Mike and Friends DJ Service. There’s no age limit. Colvin tailors the entertainment to the child’s age and will play all the favorite games such as musical chairs, hot potato, Simon Says and Karaoke.

He’s also done parties for teens, and for the scouting groups in the area. For the older kids, parties feature hula hoop, Twister contests, line dancing, a light show and giveaways.

Colvin has done a candle-lighting ceremony or set up a big screen TV with a slide show of the guest of honor. A four-hour party with lights, continuous music and giveaways is $500. Colvin can be reached at 845-485-7792.


Anita Manley is a freelance writer and former newspaper reporter.