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Photograph: Courtesy Puttshack

14 best ways to celebrate your birthday in Boston

Why not do something extraordinary for your next birthday bash?

JQ Louise
Written by
JQ Louise

Grab your closest friends and make your next birthday bash extraordinary in Boston! Skip the standard dinner reservation and opt for something fun like pasta making or darts or arcade games! Though we can’t plan your whole evening, we hope our list of birthday ideas and party venues inspires you to do something unique to celebrate your next trip around the sun. But when all else fails, you can always have a fun time at one of the best cocktail bars in Boston, the best nightclubs in Boston or the best restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Boston birthday ideas and party venues

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Puttshack is “the world’s first and only upscale tech-infused mini golf experience” and their first Boston location opened in the Seaport last year. Puttshack Boston has two floors, spanning over 26,000 square feet. There are four nine-hole mini-golf courses and while you are playing enjoy views of Boston from the floor-to-ceiling windows and a nightclub vibe featuring local DJs every night.

  • Bars
  • Central Sq
  • price 2 of 4

Relive your youth with throwback arcade games supplemented by grilled cheese and adult beverages? The forces behind Area Four operate this speakeasy arcade filled with ‘80s classics like Galaga and Pacman as well as pinball machines, Mario Kart, Tetris and more. The distinctly grownup cocktail menu impresses, as does the selection of local craft brews. You can visit as a group or make it a private affair: rent out the arcade during one of the four-hour windows during their daytime buyouts (between 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday) or any four-hour window on Sundays and Mondays.

Tastings at The Urban Grape
Photograph: Courtesy Urban Grape

3. Tastings at The Urban Grape

Your friendly neighborhood wine store gets even friendlier with Urban Affairs, its private wine-tasting division. Two-hour, in-home or in-store tasting events can accommodate up to 50 of your fellow winos—or beer geeks or sake savants; simply pick your poison. One of the Urban Affairs team members will plan the whole event to your needs, all with a mutual understanding that your event is rooted in education–so sip, savor and learn, then get a little rowdy at the after party (wherever that may be!). The team can also pair up with a local restaurant to cater the affair.

Celebrate at a speakeasy
Photograph: Justin Albaniel

4. Celebrate at a speakeasy

From Offsuit’s secret, 25-30 person bar to Shore Leave’s underground intimate banquets, take your party back to the roaring 20s at Boston’s best speakeasies. You can count on extraordinary cocktails and personalized vibe whether you do a buyout or just reserve a table. And if you’re up for it, why not make it a classy bar hop? Just be sure you’re familiar with all the locations before you start imbibing–they’re renowned as speakeasies for a reason, some behind secret doors or back alley entrances.

Take a pasta-making class at La Scuola di Eataly
Photograph: Courtesy Eataly

5. Take a pasta-making class at La Scuola di Eataly

If you’re looking for a hands-on way to spend your next big day, Eataly Boston’s cooking classes are for you. Though pasta-making comprises a majority of La Scuola’s cooking class calendar, they also host a series of other workshops, like classes focusing on the sweet Italian dessert tiramisu or even cocktail lessons, where you can learn to mix up some of Italy’s most renowned cocktails (including the classic gin-based negroni). You’ll get the whole group involved and even learn something new (which, for many of us, is a goal around our birthdays, so you’ll already be a step ahead for your next year ahead).

Play darts at Flight Club
Photograph: Courtesy Flight Club Darts

6. Play darts at Flight Club

Friendly competition with a side of beers or cocktails? Your friends will thank you for having your party at Flight Club Darts, a bar and social darts club that emphasizes camaraderie. Reserve an oche (rhymes with “hockey”), which includes your own seating area and the space from the throw line to the dartboard for a small group or for a bigger bash, Flight Club offers customizable packages for groups of up to 300 people. The latter is a buyout of their Harbor Room event space with four oches and a private bar. 

Get out of town
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

7. Get out of town

In a city as bustling as Boston, sometimes you just want to get out of town and experience a change of scenery for your big day. Luckily, we’re within driving distance to some first-class getaway locations, from the Berkshires to the Green Mountains, to The Cape and Coastal Maine. Make your birthday a weekend affair anytime of year, choosing from a cozy retreat in winter to a summer beach house weekend getaway or lake property in spring and autumn.

Make it a spa day
Photograph: Courtesy Balans Organic Spa

8. Make it a spa day

If you’ve ever enjoyed a couples massage and appreciated sharing the experience with someone, why not spread the joy even further? Boston has some world-class spas from the Mandarin Oriental to Exhale, to Encore and many of them offer spa packages for small groups so all of your friends can enjoy a little pampering in honor of you. 

  • Things to do

Head to Encore Boston Harbor for a full slate of birthday-worthy activities. From gambling to nightclubs to celebratory restaurants and lounges, Encore has it all. Looking to make it extra? Keep an eye out on the ever-exciting event schedule, from live DJs to comedy acts, then book a room and make a day out of it–start at brunch, play some slots or try your hand at Black Jack, indulge in a fine dining experience at Rare Steakhouse then bounce to your event of choice, all without having to worry about rides home.

  • Things to do
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

Ascend to new heights on 25,000 feet of climbing terrain and prove you're still spry by gathering your friends for a day of indoor climbing. Group bookings of 20+ start at $19 per person and smaller groups are on request (inquire directly for pricing and info.) After you've climbed to near exhaustion, celebrate with beers at the adjacent Aeronaut Brewing Company (they’re particularly known for their IPAs).

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