40 Best Things to Do for your Birthday in NYC
Having a birthday in NYC is an experience akin to none. Whether you’re a native city slicker or an out-of-towner, there is no shortage of fun to be had in New York – The City That Never Sleeps.
With your birthday right around the corner, you’re probably looking for things to do in NYC that don’t involve drinking booze out of a giant neon fishbowl. In all of the bars and different locales in New York, it’s not uncommon to think that you can just go anywhere to celebrate someone’s special day. Birthday dinners are great as well, but why stop there? From creative shenanigans to adrenaline rushes, New York has something for everyone. So, if you’re ready to say farewell to the typical cake and ice cream routine, try one of these out-of-the-box ideas for your next birthday bash in The Big Apple.
If you live in NYC or are coming to town to celebrate your birthday, below is a list of 40 things to do for your birthday to transform the ordinary into extraordinary:
Root for the Home Team
Whether it’s basketball, baseball or beyond, nothing is better than a ballgame with tasty food, cold brew and good company. Depending on the season, you can cheer your favorite team to victory at Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden.
Escape a Locked Room
Bring your shrewdest family and friends to help you escape a locked room with only an hour to find your way out! Located in Midtown Escape Room NYC (static.escapetheroomnyc.com) will challenge even the craftiest of escape artists!
If you’re one of those people who happily sign up for birthday perks, today is the day you reap the rewards! As soon as the e-vites start rolling in, plan your course of action! Curb your caffeine addiction at Starbucks, treat yourself at Johnny Rockets (www.johnnyrockets.com) with a free burger and fries and top things off with a free cupcake from Sprinkles.
Catch the Wave
If you were born during dog days of summer, why not hit Rockaway Beach and learn how hang ten on your special day? Grab a few of your most adventurous friends for a beachside surfing lesson with Locals Surf School.
Channel your inner artist at Make (www.makeitinbk.com), a Brooklyn-based hot spot where you can learn to sew, knit, make homemade soap and more. Or shop to your heart’s content in their retail section of freestyle arts and crafts.
Why not strap on a pair of skates and groove to the music? Get down and boogie to your favorite hits from the 80s and 90s. If your invite list is a mile long, reserve a spot where you can kick back and relax should your birthday festivities get a little rowdy. Dreamland Roller Disco (www.dreamlandrollerrink.com) is the locale to get your groove on.
Mini Golf with an Edge
What could be better than a spectacular view of the Hudson? How about watching the sun go down while playing a rousing of mini golf at Pier 25 with cocktails and oysters Grand Banks? Swing by Pier25 (http://pier25.com/mini-golf/) for the details.
DIY Photo Shoot
Your inner tourist will love this awesome birthday idea! NYC is home to some of the most spectacular backdrops in the world, so grab a few Pinterest-worthy props and head out to the top New York City attractions (https://www.esbnyc.com) for a DIY photo shoot.
Did someone say laser tag? Go wild at Indoor Extreme Sports where you can pelt your family, friends and even zombies with festive ammo. Once you’ve saved humanity, treat yourself for a job well done at Zombie Hut (nymag.com/listings/bar/zombie_hut/) tiki bar.
Celebrate another rotation around the sun by learning how to drive like Mario Andretti. Venture from the hustle and bustle to Raceway Park (www.etownraceway.com) where you can drive real Sprint Cup stock cars.
Bake Your Own Birthday Cake
Fun fact: Momofuku Milk Bar (milkbarstore.com) is home to some of the tastiest birthday cakes in the Big Apple. Grab your besties and head over to Williamsburg where you’ll learn how to make your own birthday cake.
Plan a City-Wide Scavenger Hunt
Whether you do it yourself or enlist the help of gurus at StrayBoots (www.strayboots.com), when it comes to out-of-the-box birthday ideas, this one takes the cake! Manhattan’s infinite maze of subways and side streets set the stage for an epic scavenger hunt.
Nosh Until Your Heart’s Content
For most New Yorkers, the way to their hearts is through their stomachs, so show why not show some love on a birthday food tour? Learn about the diverse neighborhoods of New York as you sample delicious tidbits along the way. Head over to Foodsofnyc.com (www.foodsofny.com) for the delicious details.
Who Wants Ice Cream?
Located on Nevins between President and Union Streets, Ample Hills Creamery (www.amplehills.com) is an outstanding place to celebrate your birthday. There’s a private party room with a connecting roof deck where you and 100 of your closest friends can eat, drink and be merry.
Shine Like a Diamond
Everyone dreams of being a rock star, so why not make it a reality on your special day? Head over to Arlene’s Grocery (www.arlenesgrocery.net) where you can hop on stage and perform with a live band and backup dancers.
Raise your glass to a fun-filled evening as you climb aboard Manhattan’s Shearwater schooner (www.manhattanbysail.com/sails/sails-by-vessel/Shearwater/1/) and sail down the Hudson River with your besties.
Under the Big Top
If you’ve ever wanted to run away and join the circus, now’s your chance. Head over to Eisenhower Park (iflytrapeze.com) where you will learn the ropes of swinging from a trapeze. Once you master the basics, you can swing through the air like a pro!
Love is in the Air
If you’re looking for things to do with your better half, hit Brooklyn’s most idyllic paradise. Brooklyn Botanical Garden (www.bbg.org) is 50 acres of rose gardens and cherry blossoms in a balmy conservatory.
Hit the Streets
Bleecker Street Bar (bleeckerstreetbarnyc.com) may be of the hottest spots in New York, but there’s still plenty of room for your festivities. Located in the quintessential Greenwich Village, this pub is probably older than you are!
Return of Sherlock Holmes
If you ever wondered what it’s like to solve a murder mystery, head down to The Murder Mystery Company (murdermysterydinnernewyork.com/) in New York and host an interactive dinner party.
Coney Island Kicks
Coney Island is the epitome of fun. Hit Luna Park (lunaparknyc.com) where they have refillable pina coladas. Just make sure you don’t go overboard or you might toss your cookies on the ferris wheel.
For the Pescatarian
If you love all things fishy, head to Red Hook and visit the Brooklyn Crab (brooklyncrab.com). This tri-level seafood shack is the perfect location to enjoy a cold beer and a medley of crustaceans.
Hotel Indigo’s (www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/reservation) rooftop pool and bar is the perfect locale to celebrate you.
Sweets for the Sweet
If you have a sweet tooth, then the Sugar Factory (sugarfactory.com/location/nyc-meatpacking-district/) is the perfect place for your soiree.
If you’re looking for things to do with your gal pals, meet at the Dry Bar (www.thedrybar.com/locations/midtown-parker-meridien) where you and your besties can get pre-bash pampering while sipping some bubbly.
This is one museum tour you’ll never forget with sassy insider stories and treats (when the guards aren’t looking). Check out museumhack.com for details.
Have an Adult Milkshake Party
If you still can’t decide between sweets and bubbly, why not have both? At Oddfellows (www.oddfellowsnyc.com/locations-1/), you can rent out the entire store for two hours, bring your own bottle and create boozy ice cream concoctions.
Knock Down Some Pins
If you haven’t gone bowling since the sixth grade, you may want to rethink that. Frames (framesnyc.com), located near the Port Authority, has traded stale pizza and smelly shoes for truffle flatbread and Prosecco.
Art Deco at its Finest
Nothing kicks off another year of happiness like stripping down and painting yourself with glow in the dark pain. Hosted by Den Art, Paint in the Dark (www.denartny.com/body-painting-classes/paint-in-the-dark-body-painting-class-for-couples/) is a playful activity where you and your better half paint each other in a studio lit by only black lights. Feel free to let your inner Picasso run wild!
Picinic in the Park
Grab a blanket and host a Puerto Rican picnic from Lechonera La Pirana (nymag.com/listings/restaurant/lechonera-la-pirana02/). This Bronx-based food truck is stationed right next to a playground for your dining pleasure.
Poetry with a Twist
Have your shindig at this unique venue and you’ll be the talk of the town! Admire poets dressed in vintage cocktail attire while they read you a private poem. How risqué! Check out Nuyorican Poets Cafe (www.nuyorican.org) online to make a reservation.
Host an Ethnic-Themed Party
Parties are about letting loose and having fun, so what’s a better way to enjoy yourself than to learn a few new dance moves? Host a traditional Bhangra party and let your feet do the talking. For more information, head over to NYC Bhangra (nycbhangra.com) and get ready to dance like no one is watching!
Sundays are for Brunch
Make Sunday the best day of the week and celebrate your special day at Lafayette (lafayetteny.com) where you can chow down with A-list clientele that includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Eva Anna Wintour. This lush bistro offers scrambled eggs with chevre and delectable Tabasco aioli.
Throw a Backyard Bash
Escape the cramped spaces of Manhattan and head to Williamsburg where you can play ping-pong, ring toss and eat your fill of gastropub goodies. Freehold (freeholdbrooklyn.com) has an epic outdoor space to celebrate with your family and friends.
Have an Adult Pizza Party
You won’t need to decide between pepperoni or cheese when you rent out space at Roberta’s (robertaspizza.com) in Bushwick. Although they don’t take reservations, there is an atrium for large groups. Just make sure that you get the first slice!
Return of Donkey Kong
Just because you’re not a kid anymore doesn’t mean you can’t act like one. Barcade is the perfect place to drink craft beer and play video games (barcadenewyork.com) on an adult level. You can even rent the place out for you and 50 of your closest BFFs.
If Southern twang is your thing, the Porchlight (nymag.com/listings/bar/porchlight/) is a great spot to booze with your buddies. You can rent out their game room, which is packed with all of your favorite childhood games including Yahtzee, darts and Monopoly. If you want to keep things on the low, you can reserve the porch for groups of 15 or smaller.
For Your Inner Zen
If loud music and dancing until isn’t your thing, why not host a yoga party? Spend 60 minutes balancing your mind, body and spirit at Glow Yoga (www.glow.yoga/birthday-parties.html) with refreshments served afterward. You might even forget that you are another year older!
Fly Like an Eagle: Birthday Airplane Tours Over NYC – 10% Off
After you’ve tasted and toured your way through all five boroughs, why not soar over the most famous landmarks and experience this city like never before! Celebrate your next birthday in the skies, above the rest! We, at Passion Airplane Tours, will give you a breathtaking aerial birthday celebration you will never forget. Fly high above New York City and celebrate your special day with your friends or loved ones. You will see the storied sites of the Big Apple from a completely different perspective as you soar over the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other landmarks in your party’s private airplane. Take a personalized airplane tour over Manhattan in style!
Providing you with an unforgettable experience is what we do best. Make this year’s blowout one you’ll never forget.
* Passion Airplane Tours is offering an extra 10 percent discount on tours for birthday boys and girls. Our staff will help you arrange the perfect tour that suits your interests and needs if you pick up the phone or contact us via our website.
CALL US: (718) 730-0718
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