How to Hire An Entertainer for Your Child's Party

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Up the fun factor at your child's birthday party ?by hiring a great local entertainer By Robin Saks Frankel Whether it's a small family gathering or a big birthday blow-out, choosing the right performer for your child's party can be a make-it-or-break-it decision. We've compiled a list of New York's favorite children's entertainers for bashes of any size or style. Clowns Each child who attends Looney Lenny's hilarious, interactive magic show (with juggling!) receives their own clown-o-rific name. Every party guest walks away with a balloon animal. Juliet Schaefer Jeske studied clowning at the New York Goofs Ultimate Clown School, which should tell you all you need to know. Schaefer's talents include face painting, balloon twisting, stilts, silly magic and the ukulele. Sammie and Tudie's clowning philosophy: Life is better when you're laughing. Boasting over 20 years of experience, this comedic magic circus show is ideal for ages 3 and up. Face Painting Not your typical face painting experience, the award-winning Faces by Derrick will make your kids, ages 3 and up, never want wash their faces again. Girls love the signature unicorn design of Face Art by Melissa. This mother of two does fabulous face art and gorgeous glitter tattoos. The owner of Hearts Face Painting & Balloon Art brings both creative art forms to birthday environments. Her professional background lies in painting, so party spaces and little faces are sure to transform. Kiki's Faces and Balloons is an all-encompassing entertainment company offering face painting, balloon sculpting, "silly people" and princesses. Party Faces By Rachel's namesake has a background that's practically a Ph.D. in paint. The Brooklyn preschool teacher's ability to charm the little ones while she works helps keep them comfortable with the painting process. Magicians The Amazing Max is so beloved he has his own Off-Broadway show for mega-magic families. His high-energy, interactive show blends comedy and juggling. Paying tribute to the great magicians of the turn of the century, Cardone the Ultimate Vaudeville Magician's act includes escape artistry, ventriloquism and classic scarf, coin and card tricks. Ages 3-7 will fold into fits of laughter at Gary the Great's comedic magic act. He adapts his show based on audience response, so no two performances are alike. Magic Al's sleight-of-hand tricks will stupefy even grown-ups, and his goofy antics keep kids in stitches throughout every performance. Mario the Magician's 45-minute set is aimed at kids ages 4-11 who are sure to go nuts for his silly antics, age-old slapstick humor and a live dove named Mozzarella. Kids ages 3-8 (and their parents) will adore Silly Billy. This self-proclaimed "comedian for children" uses magic, balloon twisting and lots of jokes to drum up laughter. Musicians Led by Audra Tsanos, a highly sought-after Music for Aardvarks instructor, Audra Rox's family-friendly band is just right for Big Apple birthdays. Audra incorporates the birthday child in the music and will have every guest jamming along on percussion props. Brett Band is the brainchild of early childhood music educator Brett Rothenhaus, formerly of Little Maestros. His original music and kiddie classics make for a playlist that gets everybody on their feet. Moey's Music Party brings the pompoms, maracas and parachute for 45 minutes of fun. Try the Princess Party Package, filled with boas, bling and boogeying. Meredith LeVande, perhaps better known as Monkey Monkey Music, specializes in upbeat, original tunes for little ones. Her parachute-, instrument- and bubble-infused party shows instantly get all ages grooving. mr. RAY, a pioneer of the kiddie genre, takes a mix-it-up approach to birthday gigs. Beginning with a concert and transitioning into a dance party, the festivities end with kids stepping up to sing solos on the mic. A one-man band, Rockin' With Andy makes kids and their parents want to shake their groove things. Mom and dad love Andy's acoustic guitar versions of grown-up hits, and the little ones go bananas for his kids' classics. Andy also brings shakers, bells, scarves and animal puppets for maximum rocking. Specialty If you can dream it, Nick the Balloonatic can make it. At it for 20 years, Nick's handiwork includes flower bouquets, superheroes, monkeys on palm trees, top hats and much more. Wendy the Pipe Cleaner Lady is a category unto herself. Girls adore her tiaras, boys covet her spider creations and even Martha Stewart wants her pipe cleaner flower rings. Robin Saks Frankel is a mother of two toddlers and a freelance writer, editor and social media addict. For more birthday party planning tips, visit

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