Capital Region Events · Local Events · Uncategorized

The Ultimate Guide to the 2018 Hannaford Kidz Expo

Hard to believe it’s been one year since our last trip to the Hannaford Kidz Expo! The 2018 Hannaford Kidz Expo will be held on Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Egg and Convention Center in Downtown Albany. We’re back again with another Ultimate Guide to the Expo to help you plan your day. Just like last year, we’ll plot out where all of the different attractions will be. A new addition to this year’s post is we’ll be referencing questions posted on the Hannaford Kidz Expo Facebook event page. Let’s get to it!

This year’s featured activities:

  • Hannaford Supermarkets (Meeting Rooms 3– 4): All Day
  • The Octonauts (Hart Theater):11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
  • Meet the Octonauts (Hart Theater):2:00pm, 4:00pm
  • Win a prize at the Piñata Wall (at the Bash Birthday Parties booth in the Convention Center)
  • See Circo Comedia Performance (MR 6):10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm
  • Incredulous Chris & Presto Pete Magicians (MR 6): 1:30, 3:30
  • Planetarium Adventures (Concourse): 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm
  • Make a Comet (Concourse): 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm
  • Enjoy Debuts Theater Performance (MR 6): 11:30am
  • Battlefield Live Laser Tag (Concourse)
  • Observe dance and movement shows by Dance Dimensions (Concourse): 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
  • Ride the Rails at Roaming Railroad (Concourse)
  • Putt putt your way to fun at Fun Putt (MR 5)
  • See reptiles from Reptile Adventures (MR 1)
  • Lots of activities for the little ones in the Toddler Zone (Base of The Egg): All Day

How much is all this fun going to cost?

You weren’t the only one asking that question. Our first Facebook question comes from a mom in Saratoga Springs: Is everything free bounce rides face painting etc to which @EmpirePlazaEvents replied:

Empire State Plaza Events All of the shows and activities are free. Food and merchandise will be available for purchase from vendors. It is also $5 to park in Visitor Parking. Free parking is available in the East Parking Garage and in lots on Madison Ave.

cost of admission
How much does all this fun cost?

Anyone that’s attended this huge, free family fun event before knows that it has lots to offer parents and kids of all ages but it can be a bit daunting because it is so big. To help, we’ve come up with a guide for your trip to the 13th annual Hannaford Kidz Expo at the Plaza to make the most of your trip!

Note: This guide is meant to be a helpful source of information and we’re not being paid to put this together. Of course, we’ll do our best to keep this updated so if you see something incorrect please shoot us an email so we can update –

Hannaford Kidz Expo at the Plaza!

Parking at the Empire State Plaza for the Kidz Expo

Let’s start with parking. The Visitors Parking Lot (V Lot) is located within the Empire State Plaza and we definitely think the location is worth the $5 parking fee (weekend rate). You can reach the lot from Exit 3A off of 787, you’ll enter the tunnel that goes under the Concourse and it will be the last parking lot on your right before you exit the tunnel and the road turns around the other way (a confusing description but you’ll understand it when you see it). More info about parking in the area can be found on the NYS Office of General Services website.

Cool to Cruise Around with Strollers?

Those of you thinking of bringing strollers, you’ll find your answer from the Hannaford Kidz Expo Facebook event page.

strollers ok inside

To make it even easier, if you do park in the Visitors Lot, there are elevators that take you up to the Expo from the Visitors Lot.

Map of the Empire State Plaza

Alright, you’ve made it in to the Kidz Expo! The Expo is divided up into 4 major areas, the Egg’s Hart Theatre and the Base of the Egg (Toddler Zone), the Meeting Rooms, the Convention Center,and the Concourse . We’re going to breakdown the attractions and vendors in each area. Before we do that, you need to know where we’re talking about. We took this map from the NYS SBA and add some descriptions to let you know the areas we’re referring to:

2018 Hannaford Kidz Expo Guide Map_Bash Birthday Parties
Our Map of the Hannaford Kidz Expo at the Plaza

If you’ve taken the elevator up from the Visitors Lot you’ll find yourself at the star on the map – right in the thick of it! Now where to start? We’ve taken each area of the Hannaford Kidz Expo and broken down everything it has to offer by category: Kids Activities, Events/Rentals/Entertainment, Food, Education & Health, Shopping, Sports & Dance, Summer Camps & Kids Programs. Let’s get going!

Area 1: The Egg’s Hart Theater & Base of the Egg

The Octonauts will be in the Hart Theater at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 and you can meet the Octonauts at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The Toddler Zone is located in the Base of the Egg along with Guido’s Frozen Desserts and Fidelis Care. Last year this area hosted face painting, clowns and balloon twisting so they’ll be sure to have lots of fun, age appropriate activities.

1 year old
Is this event something a one year old would enjoy?

Area 2: The Meeting Rooms

The Meeting Rooms are between the Concourse and Convention Center and will provide lots of great entertainment and shows for the kids.

Room 1: Reptile Adventures

Room 3-4: Hannaford

Room 5: Fun Putt

Room 6 has lots going on:

Circo Comedia at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm

Debuts Theater at 11:30am

Incredulous Chris & Presto Pete at 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm


Area 3: The Convention Center

The Convention Center is sure to be a popular area because that’s where you’ll find the bounce houses! We (Bash Birthday Parties) will be in the Convention Center at Booth 3, which is on the top tier to the right of the bounce houses. Be sure to stop by to say hi, check out our Fiesta Bash booth, and maybe even win a prize at our Pinata Wall!

Kids Activities at the Convention Center:

Bounce Houses from Bounce N’ Play

Take a pull at the Piñata Wall with Bash Birthday Parties


Events/Rentals/Entertainment at the Convention Center:

Piéce d’Occasion – Photobooth Fun, giveways and a chance to enter to win a Birthday Party

CRE Bushkill Group LLC

Enchanted Forest Water Safari


Herkimer Diamond Mines & KOA Campground

Hi-4! Entertainment

Howe Caverns Inc.

Mountain Ridge Adventure

Palace Theatre

The Great Escape Resort


Summer Camps & Kids Programs at the Convention Center:

The Fresh Air Fund

Albany JCC Center Camps

Kreative Kidz Zone Program Inc.

Capital District YMCA


New York State Network for Youth Success

SCAMP at Doane Stuart

Schenectady JCC

Summer Academy for Youth

Theatre Institute at Sage

Tumbling Tykes


Sports & Dance at the Convention Center:


Northeastern New York PGA Junior Golf

School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet


Shopping at the Convention Center:

Action Novelty

Children’s Place at the Plaza

The Jerky Hut

Gail Laboissiere

Old Tyme Toys

Health & Education at the Convention Center:

Capital District Child Care Council

Capital Region Safe Kids

Dr Douglas Tucker DMD

Fidelis Care

Homeless and Travelers Aid Society

NYS Workers’ Compensation Board

St. Peter’s Health Partners

The Community Hospice

The Doane Stuart School

Albany Community Charter School

Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls

Brighter Choice Charter Schools

City School District of Albany

Henry Johnson Charter School

KIPP Tech Valley Primary School

RiverRun Community Montessori

Sacred Heart School

Saint Gregory’s School

SKribblers Magazine Inc


Yacon Village Learning Community


Home, Auto & Finance at the Convention Center:

LeafFilter North of New York, LLC.

New York Life

New York Power Authority

Renewal by Andersen



Area 4: The Concourse

The long hallway of the Concourse offers up a little bit of everything.

Kids Activities at the Concourse:

Planetarium Adventures: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm

Make a Comet: 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm

Battlefield Live Laser Tag

Dance Dimensions: 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm

Ride the Rails at Roaming Railroad

Create art inspired by the Empire State Plaza Art Collection with NYS Curatorial and Visitor Services

Star Wars Characters from The 501st Legion & Garrison Excelsior

Events/Rentals/Entertainment at the Concourse:

Hoops By Jem

Sparkle Spa Parties



Summer Camps & Kids Programs at the Concourse:

Albany Boy Scout Troop 2

Capital District Youth Pipe Band



Sports & Dance at the Concourse:

Dance Dimensions

Tri-City ValleyCats

Westland Hills Park

Shopping at the Concourse:

Action Novelty


Usborne Books and More



Health & Home at the Concourse:

Albany County Department of Health

Albany PD

NY State Fire

NYS Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

NYS Division of Consumer Protection


Food at the Concourse:

Cravings Too Inc

Dom’s Fried Dough and Pizza



And that’s our guide. We hope it helps you make the most of your trip to this year’s Expo and don’t forget to say hi to us in the Convention Center! We’ll be posting all sorts of pictures the day of, so follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@BashBirthdayParties). See you there!


Party Decorations · Uncategorized

Tutorial: Trolls Paper Lanterns!

This weekend is going to be a busy one for Bash Parties. Cara will be over at the Phyllis Bornt Literacy Center on Central Ave. in Schenectady hosting a Cake Bash for the library’s first birthday celebration! Very exciting!

Meanwhile I’m going to be in Averill Park hosting a Trolls Art Bash! Pinterest has a TON of awesome ideas for a Trolls party so I really got inspired after doing a little research. I decided to add troll hair to my paper lanterns as part of the decorations.

Aren’t they cute?!
They’re really easy to put together and I’m very happy with how they turned out! Here’s the DIY instructions for the Trolls paper lanterns:

What you’ll need

Paper Lanterns (mine are 8″ in diameter, but you could use different sizes)

Colorful paper (I used neon copy paper, the thinner paper is easier to work with when cutting and forming the “hair”)

Ruler (not totally necessary but helpful)

Tape (translucent tape and if you have double sided tape that’ll come in handy)

Paper trimmer (again, helpful but you could get away with using scissors)


Thread for paper lantern hanging

Not pictured: Washi tape

Let’s get started!

Give yourself a guideline for cutting
What we’ll do first is prep the paper for cutting. You’ll need two sheets of paper per lantern. Smaller lanterns may only need 1 sheet of paper. What we want to do is fray the paper to create hair. I don’t know about you, but when I’m doing something repetitive I tend to zone out, so I gave myself a guideline of where to stop cutting so I don’t cut all the way through the paper. I measured 1″ from the bottom of the paper and drew a line across.

Note: Because the paper is so thin I just stacked the 2 pieces of paper on top of each other when I made my guideline and did my cutting. If your paper is thicker you may need to cut one sheet at a time.

Cut 1/4″ – 1/2″ sections across the paper. Be sure not to cut all the way through!
Next step is to cut the paper. If you have a paper trimmer just line it up and make your cuts every 1/4″ or so. It doesn’t need to be exactly 1/4″ apart, just keep the cuts relatively consistent.

2 sheets of frayed paper ready to go
Once you’ve made your cuts you’ll need to separate the papers and line them up next to each other, about an 1″ overlapping and tape them together.

Overlap and tape together your 2 pieces of paper
Then you’ll take your paper by the uncut section and make a circle and tape. Make sure your pencil guideline is facing inside the circle, you don’t want it to show on the outside.

Your frayed paper taped together in a circle
Now you need to gather the hair on the top. This is the tricky part. I found that washi tape worked well to hold the top together but you could try ribbon, pipe cleaners, regular tape, whatever works for you. I held a prepped cut piece of washi tape in one hand and held the hair like an ice cream cone with the other and wrapped the tape around all of the hair strands.

Hold the hair like an ice cream cone and apply tape, ribbon, pipe cleaner, etc. to hold the strands together.
Now you have your troll hairpiece! You can leave it plain or you can add some embellishments. I thought it would be appropriate to make one Poppy Troll so I used the pink hair and added her flower headband. Here’s how I did it.

Cut 2 small strands of paper for the headband
Poppy’s headband is green with blue flowers so I first cut 2 small strands of paper (mine were about 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide) and taped them together lengthwise.

Using double sided tape I wrapped and taped the band around the hair piece, cutting off the excess green paper.

I used my Cricut machine to cut out blue flowers for her hair band and taped them on the hairband with double sided tape. If you don’t have a Cricut you can print these flower outlines on blue paper and cut them out with scissors. Template can be found here: poppys-headband-flowers-template

And here’s the finished Poppy troll hair!

Poppy’s pink hair with blue flower headband
The final step is putting the hair on the paper lanterns. I reuse my paper lanterns for lots of events so I didn’t want to permanently attach the hair but you could definitely do that with some dabs of hot glue. Here’s how I attached the hair to the paper lantern without gluing:

This is before I made Poppy’s headband – I think the hair looks cute plain as well!
Assemble the paper lantern as instructed and attach the thread you’ll be using to hang the lantern. I use simple sewing thread to hang my lanterns because they’re so light.

Next you’ll need to “thread” the string through the hair. Tape the end of the string to a pen, pencil or bamboo skewer. Feed the pencil through the hair from the bottom to the top of the hair piece and pull through. Then remove the tape from the pencil. Now the hair is threaded to the lantern. Gently slide the hair to the bottom of the string and have it rest on top of your lantern. You’re all done! Now you just have to hang them!

The Poppy lantern!
I made a couple more lanterns that I embellished them with some stick on jewels, more flowers and bows – feel free to get creative with it!

Overall I’m thrilled with how these little lanterns turned out and I think they’ll be a big hit at the Trolls Art Bash this Saturday. We’ll be posting pictures of the party over the weekend so stay tuned and as always, you can follow us on Facebook to see what else we’re up to. Let me know what you think about our Trolls Paper Lanterns in the comments below and definitely let me know if you try these out for your Trolls bash!

Party on!




Our Recipe for Easy Party Frosting

Hi everyone! Hope you’re having a great day! I’m writing with a fun and easy party dessert recipe that’s quick to whip up and tastes great.

The recipe is simple – add fruit jam to frosting. That’s it! I happened to have blackberry jam in the house so that’s what I used but you could try all sorts of flavors, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, the list goes on. I also added a squeeze of fresh lemon to my recipe, the acidity helps cut some of the sweetness of the frosting. It’s not totally necessary but it’s a nice added touch.

One thing to note, some jams have seeds. That’s cool and all, but be aware of it when picking out the jam to mix with your frosting. Some people may dig the fact that there’s seeds in the frosting but others may not.

I used the blackberry frosting to top off some yellow cupcakes but this would pair really well with lots of different desserts so get creative with it. I made a short video of the steps and how I made my cupcakes.

For inspiration, here’s a short list of combinations that I think would be fantastic together:

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Frosting

Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Yellow Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting

Devil’s Food Cake with Raspberry Frosting

So if you’re in a pinch for a dessert with a little pizazz, but sure to try it out.  And if you do try it let us know in the comments or tag us on Facebook or Instagram!

Party on!



Winter (Break) is coming

Next week is winter break for most of the kids in the Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties. The kiddos are pumped – 5 days of no school!


You may not be feeling as excited – what am I going to do with these kids for 5 days?! To help you or your daycare provider out we’ve compiled a list of fun, art related programs in your area to get everyone out of the house. The best part – all of them are free!

Here’s the link to the presentation. It’s interactive, so if you see a program you’re interested in just click on it and it will bring you to the appropriate website with more information.

Winter Break Art Programs Presentation

Be sure to let us know if you check out any of these activities by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram or by writing to us in the comments below.

Or if you’re looking for some easy indoor activities to keep the troops entertained, check out our Facebook post – “5 Screen Free Activities for your Snow Day”

Good luck and happy Winter Break!




Yay! We have a blog!

For those of you that don’t know us, we’re Bash Parties! Based in Troy, NY we’re a traveling event company that’s been partying all over the Capital Region since 2013.  We’re focused on the what of your party, as in “What are you going to do with all of these kids?!” (and that means kids of all ages). All of our Bashes are activity based, meaning we keep everyone occupied learning new skills, socializing, trying new things and playing games. Set up, hosting and clean up is included in all of our parties because our goal is to make your next party a fun and memorable adventure for your guests and an easy, low stress experience for you.

Now that you know a little about us, you can help us celebrate because we finally have a blog! We’ll be sharing our party experiences as well as lots of fun and helpful information to make your next event a stupendous soirée. So happy to have you here with us as we look forward to an exciting fun filled 2017!