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The Most Unique Birthday Party Ideas In NYC

boat birthday party with 6 friends by the Statue of Liberty

Whether a birthday marks a milestone age or another year around the sun, New Yorkers have lots of choices for celebrating in style. 

New York City has always been the dream place for holding that one-of-a-kind birthday party for you, your family members or your friends. You and your fellow party goers can choose to head to a happening location or try a joint activity that readily caters to your interests or wishes. 

To get started on your planning, Go Sailing NYC has these suggestions for holding a birthday party in NYC that will make for an unforgettable revelry.

  • See a Broadway Show

Here’s some exciting news for theatergoers! In complying with health and safety regulations by the CDC and New York City and State guidelines, Broadway is set to resume in fall 2021. 

Expect the returns of the hottest tickets in town — think  “Hamilton,” “Wicked,”  “The Lion King,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Come From Away” — as their cast and crew come back for their respective runs. 

Or welcome in some new productions, ranging from “MJ The Musical,” based upon the life of Michael Jackson, to “Diana: The Musical,” which centers on the Princess of Wales.

  • Schedule a Spa Day

Go ahead, treat yourself for your birthday by booking a full-day spa service for yourself and your friends. Or, if you’re planning a birthday party, why not give the birthday girl or boy the gift of self care? 

In New York City, spa options can encompass wellness centers or respective chains but almost all offer massages, facials, mani-pedis or specialty body treatments. In between waiting, guests might opt to dip into their plunge pools, steam rooms or saunas. 

In Lower Manhattan, Aire Ancient Baths is noted for its relaxing thermal pools and treatments, while the Great Jones Spa in NoHo has a water lounge that can be used pre- or post-procedure. 

Inside the Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca, the Shibui Spa draws upon Japanese influences in providing a wellness-focused ambiance. 

Overlooking Central Park, The Spa at the Mandarian Oriental, New York takes guests high up with floor-to-ceiling views of its surroundings; along with other services, there are men’s-only treatments.  

  • Hang Out at a Rooftop Bar or Restaurant

If celebrating outdoors is more comfortable at this time, then consider one of New York City’s rooftop bars or restaurants. These venues feature panoramic overhead views, live entertainment, and a delicious food and drink menu. Tip: see if advance reservations are required beforehand. 

Some of our favorites include Mr. Purple, which is open year-round on the Lower East Side, while Eataly in the Flatiron District brings out its seasonal restaurant, “SERRA by Birreria.”  

Sushi Lab Rooftop Times Square in Midtown serves interesting interpretations of this Japanese dish. You might also try The Greens in South Street Seaport, with its lawn-centered setup, or Selina in Chelsea New York City, with a Medittereanan menu. The PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown can get whimsical with themed decor that’s topped off with its flower tunnel. 

Yet we’re very impressed by the RH Rooftop restaurant, with table seating underneath its chandelier fixture on the sixth floor at RHNew York, an interior design gallery in the Meatpacking District. 

And the Electric Lemon at the Equinox Hotel in Hudson Yards takes our breath away with its sleek and spacious outdoor layout.

  • Have Some Playtime Together

Sure, it’s nice to sit and share a meal or drinks but why not enjoy some friendly competition by heading to a venue that’s also a game spot. In different parts of the city, there are game halls where you and your teammates can try your hand at shuffleboard, bowling, bocce, axe throwing, video arcade games, and table tennis. 

Popular hotspots range from The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club and Kick Axe Throwing, with both in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, to SPiN New York, a place known for ping pong, in the Flatiron District. Test your swing at Five Iron Golf, an indoor version of this game, with three venues throughout Manhattan.

In Greenwich Village, The Uncommons is all about board games, as this cafe has quite the library to choose and play from. Then on The Lower East Side, Two Bit’s Retro Arcade can transport you back to the decade of your childhood with old school machines. The same goes at Barcade, with locations in the East Village and Williamsburg.

  • Go on a Sailing Excursion

A birthday party-themed cruise along New York Harbor provides a lively scene where you and your closest friends can admire skyline views while sipping on drinks and catching up with each other. Go Sailing NYC can stage this scene through its “Sailing Birthday Party” package, with a festive excursion onboard a private yacht. 

With sailings departing from Chelsea Piers and lasting from two to four hours, this full-service yacht birthday party includes a licensed crew at your service and a five-star beverage and catering service. Along with servings of champagne and birthday cake, this birthday party yacht will provide picture perfect backdrops, with the opportunity to take a closeup with the Statue of Liberty.

  • Cheer on Local Sports Teams

New York City doesn’t skimp on its sports, with all the major leagues covered. As their seasons kick off, think about making a day or evening at the ballpark or the sports arena. 

For example, the New York Yankees have private suites that could be available for a birthday party rental, depending upon availability, at home games. The same goes for the New York Mets, with similar seating perks offering views of  the action at CitiField. 

At Madison Square Garden, one of the most famous arenas in the world, sports fans can purchase tickets not only to suites but also to behind-the-scenes experiences. They can include visiting the Rangers and Knicks locker rooms. For sports lovers, it’s hard to think of a better birthday party idea than this!

  • Perk up Your Kitchen Skills

Develop or perfect your culinary capabilities in good company by booking a group lesson at one of many cooking schools in New York City. 

Your group’s epicurean education could involve classes at the International Culinary Center, which focuses on in depth instruction at a professional chef level, or at businesses focusing on specific cuisines or dishes. 

Brush up on your “Kitchen 101” at City Cooking West End or perfect your cheese platings and pairings from Murray’s Cheese. Or go global with League of Kitchens, whose home cooks teach how to make certain dishes from their respective countries. 

  • Shake up Your Mixology Level 

What would an adult birthday be without cocktails? NYC has places to learn how to shake, stir, pour, and sieve drinks that will make you a central part of any party. 

Consider enrolling at Liquid Lab, a mixology school in the Flatiron District. Or the Apotheke Academy in Chinatown, whose courses cover topics on Mexican spirits or the Prohibition era.

If wine time appeals more to you and your party, sign up for tastings at Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg; the winery holds tours too. Le Grand Triage: Wine and Whiskey, on the Upper East Side, has classes on these two beverages. Gotham Winery in Chelsea has a Wine Society, which offers their members many perks, and puts on interesting pairing events. 

Whichever activity you choose to do, holding a birthday party in NYC is guaranteed to be a great time.