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A virtual birthday party at Key to My Art Amityville 

A student draws a bird during a class

A student draws a bird during a class at Key to My Art, in Amityville. The studio is now hosting virtual birthday parties.  Credit: Linda Rosier

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Skylar Kane was looking forward to the sleepover party she had planned to celebrate her birthday this weekend — so when her mom told her it would need to be canceled due to social distancing, she did what any other disappointed girl about to turn 11 would do.

“I felt really, really upset and I started to cry,” says Skylar, who lives in Massapequa.

That sent her mom, Marta, into overdrive. “As a mom, you’re like, ‘How do I fix this?’ ” Fortunately, she got an email from Key to My Art in Amityville, which is offering online birthday parties for $150. Marta, 41, who handles communications for the town of Oyster Bay, suggested the substitute event to Skylar.

“She loved the idea; she thought it was awesome,” Marta says. “It was a relief we were able to come up with something.”

On Friday, Skylar created invitations to her virtual party. Her mom drove to Key to My Art, where owner Riesa Fischer left her a set of canvases outside the door. Then, Skylar and her mom dropped a canvas on the front porch of each invitee, along with the invitation to the party, which is scheduled for Sunday. Fischer will lead an art project while the students follow along using paints or markers that they have around the house.

If party hosts don't want to pick up canvases, they can ask guests to use what they have on hand around the house, even the cardboard from a cereal box, Fischer says. For each party, kids can choose any theme, including a favorite food, animal or character; Fischer will email them options of paintings and they can choose.

“The kids will get to see each other, sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her and make art together,” Fischer says. The one-hour party will be held on the Zoom video platform. One benefit: unlimited guests.

“We even invited her cousins down in Florida, which is really cool,” Marta says. Skylar chose an ocean theme. “I like mermaids,” Skylar says.

So all's well that ends well for Skylar’s big day. “I was really happy that I would still be going something for my birthday,” Skylar says.

To book a Zoom birthday party at Key to My Art, contact Riesa Fischer at 631-608-9048.

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