When I stepped into Carnival Time, a party venue that throws indoor carnivals for kids’ birthdays, I found myself transported to everything I love about being at an outdoor fair — without all the stuff (crowds, sweltering heat) I don’t like so much.
It was almost like we were outside — there was faux grass on the floor. Plus, there was everything you’d expect to see at a carnival: games, craft tables, picnic tables for drinks and snacks. The space looks brand new, even though it opened in 2009, and it’s divided into numerous booths with adorable bright red and white striped awnings. No long carnival lines here — my kids never had more than a few kids ahead of them.
Then the kids played carnival games like fishing, bean bag toss, Mexican hat toss and basket ball. The staff was patient and encouraging with all the kids, especially the youngest. After each game, they got to pick a prize and I could see the confidence building in my three-year-old’s face.
This was my youngest child’s first carnival experience and when she tossed those bean bags, they sometimes went behind her. But she got a lot of encouragement, probably more than she would have had at a real carnival. Plus, there were step stools in front of each game.
After the carnival games came pizza and cupcakes. I noticed a lot of kids forgoing their cupcake for cotton candy. You don’t get cotton candy at most birthday parties! The birthday boy turned five years old, but there were a lot of younger siblings, too. Everyone looked happy. There was that carnival feeling in the air!
All party packages include pizza, juice and cake, but you can add other things like cotton candy, face painting, tattoos, a hot dog stand and themes. Party packages start at $550.
Carnival Time: 360 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Mamaroneck; 914-381-8944