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At children's parties in Central Park, the use of balls, soap bubbles and even tables is prohibited: strange rules shocked parents


Alina Prikhodko

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Central Park has banned the use of bubbles, hot air balloons, tables and chairs, ball games and tug of war. According to New York Post, city residents are perplexed by such strict rules.

Much of the ban on partying has baffled parents, who don't understand how these arcane new rules can be used at a party with more than 20 children.

“We got permission to celebrate our son's 4th birthday in Central Park, but we didn't know there were so many restrictions,” complained one desperate mother. According to her, restrictions include the installation of tables and chairs, the use of balloons and soap bubbles. “Active sports,” including kickball, spikeball and tug-of-war, are also prohibited.

party time

It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission

She asked for alternative entertainment and creative ways to serve birthday cake without a table. Many were surprised by the ban on soap bubbles, because they are just soap and water. Some suggest using the refrigerator as a table and bringing picnic blankets. Others believe that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Or change the location of the holiday.

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“I wouldn't bother, we've been having birthday parties in the park for years with tables and balloons and bubbles and they never told us anything,” said the Upper East Side mom.

“The Parks Department said balloons are not allowed, but I've seen a lot of balloon parties over the years,” said another parent who is throwing a party this month.

Many were shocked by the rules, which they say are contrary to what is in reality, but the Parks Department says the rules are not new. They confirmed a long-standing requirement that prohibits the use of balloons. They, they say, “do enormous harm” and pose a big problem. They did not provide an explanation regarding the ban on bubbles and games.

Special circumstances

A permit is required for parties of 20 or more people and costs $25. In Manhattan, tables and chairs require prior approval. After confirmation, the restriction still applies. Tents and awnings are generally prohibited, except in “special circumstances.” Signs and banners, garlands and flags also cannot be hung on trees or fences.

Parks officials were unaware of these rules and said they were not asked to enforce such requirements. They may have come up with the Central Park Conservancy, which maintains and restores the area, but they said that the parks themselves set all the rules and enforce them.

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