If you live in New York City, congratulations. You’re making your home in a city with no shortage of options for, well, just about anything. New Yorkers speak 800 languages, if you’re interested in learning a new one. If you like birdwatching, then you can go to Central Park and view some 275 species of birds. If you’re a fan of pizza, then you’ll have no shortage of pizza-by-the-slice options. But aside from the food and birds and diversity, New York also has an impressive array of entertainment options. If you’re looking for entertainment at your party, you don’t have to look far. In fact, you’ll probably have a hard time narrowing down your choices. Here are a few suggestions for finding the best party entertainment for your needs.
Know Your Audience
This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to overlook the guest list if you’re focused only on what you want to see at your party. Keeping your audience in mind is especially important if you’re throwing a party for a group of people that’s much different from yours. The most obvious example is a kid’s birthday party. Kids are not merely smaller, clumsier versions of adults. You may like some of the same movies and TV shows, but there are also several forms of entertainment that would work for an adult party but not a party full of 7-year-olds. For instance, drinking games are most definitely inappropriate for a child’s birthday party.
But serving alcohol is OK in certain circumstances. Respondents to a PopSugar online poll concurred, as 54 percent of people agreed with the statement that “A good host always provides adult beverages.” Forty-six percent of respondents felt like alcohol is never OK at a party that’s designed specifically for kiddos. If you serve alcohol, don’t serve too much. A small selection of beer and wine should be fine. There’s no need for an open bar; this is a birthday party, not a wedding.
By the same token, there are also things that work a lot better at a birthday party for kids. If you’re throwing a fifth birthday party in Astoria, then searching for clowns in Queens makes a lot of sense. Clowns are great at entertaining children with party tricks and balloon animals. But while your adult friends might not mind a clown, they won’t be nearly as excited about is a room full of elementary school students.
Know Your Budget
Not every party can be a huge blowout. But if you’ve got enough money to hire entertainment, you’ve probably got enough money to hire good entertainment. There’s no need to ask your Uncle Fred to perform magic tricks, at least not unless he’s a semi-professional magician. If you can afford to hire someone, then you can afford to hire someone who really knows what they’re doing.
But resist the urge to think that more entertainment is always better. One entertainer is enough for all but the biggest or most extravagant parties. Sure, some characters are better with a buddy. If Woody from Toy Story is going to make an appearance, then it might make sense for his pal Buzz Lightyear to show up as well. But too much can become overwhelming for your guests. One character is a fun way to liven up a party. Four or five or six characters can quickly lead to sensory overload.
Finally, it’s worth considering another twist: asking kids to dress up as their own favorite characters. There’s no rule that says the person in the costume getting paid is the only one who can role-play a little bit. If you’re throwing a party for a kid who loves to read, you can ask their friends to dress up as their favorite book characters. That way, you get an even more immersive party experience, plus a lot of awesome photos.