My daughter recently attended a cooking-themed birthday party at Williams-Sonoma in The Westchester, and it was so much fun that I was surprised we’ve never been to one before. It may be because they’re not very well advertised – but they do exist! If your kids are budding chefs or foodies in training – or simply love to eat – here are four places that will cook up a storm with them. And, perhaps more importantly, clean up the ensuing mess!
This cookware megastore offers children’s cooking classes in The Westchester at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. There’s a different theme each week; check out the schedule online and call ahead to reserve a spot. The birthday parties are not advertised but can be done if you call and ask. At the party my daughter attended, the theme was healthy cooking, followed by some decidedly unhealthy cupcake decorating. The store tries to accommodate different age groups and can host up to 20 guests.
The Westchester, 125 Westchester Avenue, Suite 1070A, White Plains; 914-644-8360
Sur La Table
There are two locations in Westchester, one in White Plains at The Westchester, and one in Yonkers at Ridge Hill. This summer, both are offering a cooking series for kids ages 8 to 12 (although I’ve heard they’ll accept slightly younger kids as well). Themes range from “the science of cooking” to “cooking around the world” to “sweet treats.” Classes are only available as a one-week session. Go to the website for more details and to reserve a space. Small-size birthday parties featuring pizza or pasta making, as well as cupcake decorating, can also be held at the store.
The Westchester, 125 Westchester Avenue, Suite 2805A, White Plains; 914-220-9810
Ridge Hill, 1 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers; 914-652-9643
If your kids are serious about cooking, 42 Restaurant, at the top of The Residences at Ritz-Carlton Westchester in White Plains, is offering a cooking camp this summer with certified teacher Angela Bastone-Concalves, restaurant owner Anthony Goncalves and several guest chefs. Kids will work in small groups and rotate between stations that demonstrate everything from culinary techniques to professional kitchen equipment. The young chefs will even get to visit the White Plains farmers’ market to select their ingredients. The camp is divided into three week-long sessions, two running in June and July for kids ages 10 and up, and one taking place in August for kids 7 to 9 years old.
1 Renaissance Square, White Plains; 914-261-7248
California Pizza Kitchen
For the younger set there’s CPK, which will host pizza-making birthday parties for kids as young as 2. The guests are presented with half-cooked pizza pies, which they get to cover in sauce and decorate with toppings. While the pizzas finish baking in the oven, the kids are treated to a tour of the kitchen. Then it’s sundae-making time! CPK only does parties at 10:30 a.m., before the restaurant opens, so that the kitchen can be accessed for the tour. Large groups are welcome.
365 Central Park Avenue, Scarsdale; 914-722-0600