Over the week my friend Alison Brod held an eventful birthday celebration for her two sons. Alison produces hundreds of events a year for clients, but she says it’s her kids’ birthday parties are the only parties she has full control. “If I want to have the world’s largest beach ball at the party, there is no one to tell me I can’t have it,” she says.
The first big party she had was at FAO Schwarz, and because her son Spencer liked cookies, they had 3,000 cookies built into the décor. Last year, she turned Sports Club/LA into a carnival with an inflatable rollercoaster, kiosks of carnival “mini” food, and a candy shop with all gummy carnival food candy. The invitations came in popcorn boxes and New Yorkers and their kids like Kelly Rutherford and Donny Deutsch rode on life-size mechanical tigers and polar bears around the gym.
This year the join birthday was again at the Sports Club/LA. Stacey Bronfman suggested the winning theme of a “beach” party in January. They played reggae and Jimmy Buffet beach playlist on the iPod. And in addition to the “world’s largest beach ball,” there was a Pinkberry stand where they debuted their new Blood Orange flavor, inflatable furniture and giant pirate ship slide, shark tank bounce house, a Treasure Island obstacle course, a ferris wheel with Baked by Melissa cupcakes on rotation, and a Spiderman Velcro wall where kids put on Velcro suits and bounced to body slam themselves to stick to it. On the way out, they gave guests beach pails and fish nets and there were a dozen aquariums filled with 150 lbs of gummy sea creatures to take home.
Ben Zion, who is a former child actor who was the equivalent of Israel’s Macaulay Culkin before he moved to New York to open Smart Catering, always does Alison’s catering. At the party he also tested out two new flavors of cupcakes, peach and chocolate banana cream–both were a hit.
The 240 guests included Lamb’s Club and Food Network star Geoff Zakarian and his wife Margaret, Fresco owner John and Maria Elena Scotto, Stacey Bronfman, Marielle Safra, Julie and Billy Macklowe, Simone Levinson, Jenny and Michael Ruff, Martha Stewart’s Darcy Miller, Gotham and Hamptons editor-in-chief Samantha Yanks, nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot, Meredith Verona, Jackie Hochberg, and Anthony Logistics for Men owner Tony Sosnick all with kids.