FAO takes pajama party to new level

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When "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" just wasn't enough, FAO Schwarz launched its Ultimate Birthday, giving young children run of the New York store on a Sunday morning for a birthday party beyond compare.

Now the famous toy store has taken sleepovers and campouts out of basements and backyards with its Ultimate Sleepover Adventure.

For $17,500, parents can throw a sleepover for 15 kids (FAO says the event is appropriate for kids ages 7 to 11) on a Saturday night at the New York flagship store.

Both the sleepover and $2,200 birthday party are organized and managed by In Tandem Productions, a company that specializes in high-end parties for children.

Activities include a scavenger hunt, a stop at FAO Schweetz for a sugar fix, a late-night movie and morning shopping spree. There's also racetrack, laser tag and arcade games available for boys, and fragrance and cosmetic creation for girls.

Each child receives a customized backpack for the adventure with a disposable camera, talking watch and bottled water tucked inside. The children also receive three meals, an FAO T-shirt, photo stickers, sleeping bag and a $100 gift certificate.

FAO organized several of the sleepovers last year when the program was introduced in its annual catalog. The store will have thrown a dozen of the sleepovers by fall.

The sleepovers are promoted through mailings to FAO's loyalty program members, via In Tandem Productions' Web site and through word-of-mouth. FAO has also seen an increase in sleepover sales after donated parties are bid on at charity auctions.

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