Written by Claire Leaden & Justine Golata
You’ve got a birthday coming up in the next year or so, right?
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas to celebrate, don’t forget—you live in the best city in the world! There’s no better place to usher in yet another year of life.
Whether you’re looking to check something off your NYC bucket list, party the night away, or get out of the city, here some of our favorite ideas for a NYC birthday.
1. Dine at a pawn shop turned speakeasy lounge and restaurant
Beauty & Essex located on the LES is the perfect place to have your birthday dinner. Disguised as an actual operating pawn shop, open the back doors to find a glamorous lounge and enormous restaurant space! Try their menu highlights like their Grilled Cheese & Smoked Bacon Tomato Soup Dumplings or Cacio e Pepe Mac & Cheese. And don’t forget to order the Beauty’s Wonder Wheel made up of the chef’s dessert selections served to you in a miniature ferris wheel. Make a reservation here.
There’s birthday drinks. And then there’s rooftop birthday drinks. It takes the weeknight happy hour up a notch, but is still easy to plan no matter what size your group is. Check out our favorite rooftop bars here.
For some people, birthdays tend to bring more stress than fun, or if you’re someone who’s more into low-key activities, this classic Candlelight concert is perfect for you. Set in the gorgeous Sixth Floor Loft, this concert series invites everyone to relive the greatest works of classical music, from Vivaldi and more, in an intimate atmosphere. Grab your tickets here.
Everyone wants to feel like royalty on their birthday, and now you can! It’s time to throw out the plaid blanket and reinvent the entire meaning of “picnic.” Whether you’re interested in taking a helicopter ride to an extravagant meal on the beach or enjoy a dashing tea party menu, you and your guests will be delighted to a luxurious picnic like never before. Both options provide delicious treats and unmatched service. Reserve yours now.
5. Laugh hysterically at a comedy club
Why not get this party started by loosening everyone up with some laughter? There are tons of comedy clubs in NYC perfect for laughing the night away like The Comic Strip Live on the UES or Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea. On second thought, if your friends tell the comic it’s your birthday they might embarrass you in front of everyone…well, we all have to laugh at ourselves sometimes!
6. Impress your pals with a jazz cruise
“Oh, I thought we might just go and have drinks on a jazz cruise or something” you reply to your friends nonchalantly when they inquire about your birthday plans. That’s right, you’re the kind of person who celebrates their increasing years with champagne jazz on a boat! Manhattan by Sail features some of the city’s most renown musicians with a jaw-dropping backdrop.
7. Rescue your friends with your intellect
See how good you and your friends can work together under a time crunch. Explore one of the many available escape room across the city like Escape The Room NYC or PanIQ Escape Room all ranging in theme and see if you all have what it takes to make it out. For anyone who likes a challenge, this activity is great way to work up the adrenaline, collaborate, and solve your way around a room.
8. Plan an overnight getaway
If you want to get out of the city for your special day, why not take a super unique train ride where you can spend the night in your own sleeper car? There are ones that leave from NYC and go to New Orleans, Charleston, Chicago, and more. Or, a little closer to home, perhaps check out this tiny cabin?
Who doesn’t love a roller skating party? Rally your peeps and get ready to cruise along the 44-by-56-foot outdoor rink on JFK’s tarmac transformed ‘Roll-A-Rama.’ Skate to energetic retro tunes around TWA’s iconic Lockheed Constellation Connie airplane that has since been remodeled into a cocktail lounge, maybe even grab a drink in there afterwards. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your private party.
10. Get yourself free fro-yo
There are quite a few places in NYC where you can get free stuff on your birthday. One of our favorites is Pinkberry, where you can get a free yogurt on the anniversary of your birth. You have to download the mobile app and sign up online (and obviously don’t get lazy – put your real date of birth) but we know you’d do anything for free frozen goodness.
11. Celebrate at a champagne parlor
It’s your birthday, you deserve to feel fancy and glamorous! And there’s nothing quite as classy as champagne. Air’s Champagne Parlor, located next to Washington Square Park, is fabulously elegant and perfect for some photo-ops. It offers a selection of the finest champagne, caviar, and charcuterie. Check out their website here.
Birthdays are also the perfect reminder to give yourself the love and self-care you deserve. From salt caves to cryotherapy, here are some amazing treatments right here in NYC.
13. Drop the mic at a karaoke bar
Karaoke is only something that makes sense when you are surrounded by your closest friends and everyone has a few drinks in them. And as luck would have it, it’s your birthday and both criteria apply. Grab that mic and belt out your tune (making sure all camera phones are in pockets; you don’t want to deal with that Facebook mess tomorrow). Check out some of our favorites like Gagopa in Koreatown, or Sid’s Gold Request Room.
14. Play and drink at Barcade
You’re not a kid anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t act like one. Barcade is a place where you can play arcade video games and drink craft beer at the same time (perhaps the name of the place already did a good enough job of explaining that). You can even hire the whole place out for just you and your BFFs.
You’d be lying if you said you don’t look forward to a good NYC brunch—and by “good” we of course mean bottomless. Spend your special day enjoying delectable breakfast food that’s appropriate to eat at 4 p.m. with an endless supply of mimosas and bellinis. Here are some of the best deals going on in the city.
16. Play shuffleboard at Royal Palms
Up for a little friendly competition on your bday? Head over to Royal Palms in Brooklyn for shuffleboard and drinks! They have 11 regulation-sized shuffleboard courts, a roof deck tropical drinks, rotating food trucks and regular board games and DJs spinning. Sounds like an epic party to us!
17. Step underground into a secret ping pong lounge
If you’re any bit of a table tennis fan, SPIN is the spot for you. With nearly 20 ping pong courts along with a full bar and dining service, what more could you want? Not to mention the space makes a perfect backdrop for some new photos you can add to the feed. Rent your table here.
Set sail for your birthday and take in all the incredible sights this city has to offer. Let’s be honest, a day spent on the water doesn’t seem like the worst place to be while you’re celebrating another year older. Enjoy the river breeze on the many cruise options NYC has to offer like wine tasting, tacos & tequila, jazz nights, and more. See the full list here.
Featured cover image: Wearespin.com