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The best birthday party ideas in NYC

You're another year older and wiser, and you're ready to party. Do it right with these awesome NYC party ideas.

By Time Out New York contributors and Jennifer Picht |
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

You’ve made it through another year, and that's worth celebrating! We’ve come up with super-fun birthday party ideas to get you stoked about your big bash. From awesome karaoke bars and spacious outdoor bars to the best pizza in the city, these are the top places to savor your magnificence—and get pumped for the year to come.

Best birthday party ideas in NYC

Beauty Bar
Photo: Beth Levendis
Bars, Lounges

Drink booze and get beautified

icon-location-pin Gramercy

Apart from offering the best damn deal in town ($10 for a martini and a manicure), Beauty Bar has a dance room where you and your guests can boogie to the oldies as well as classic hits beneath a disco ball. Just go past the 1950s hairdryers (after posing for photos with them, of course) to shake your groove thing.

<p>K-Town Old-Fashioned at Insa</p>
Restaurants, Korean

Gorge on Korean BBQ and sing karaoke

icon-location-pin Gowanus

Insa—a Korean food and karaoke joint—is where folks go to celebrate. After sharing a spread of finger-lickin’ Korean BBQ and a $40 scorpion bowl (serves four to six people), book a small karaoke room (up to 10 people, $60/hr) so you can have your birthday girl (or boy) diva moment.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Nicholas D.
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Throw a backyard bash at Freehold

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

This spacious outdoor hangout in Williamsburg is great for folks with birthdays during the warmer-months. The backyard is decked out with plush grass, twinkle lights and comfy patio furniture for chilling. There’s also an outdoor bar that serves cold Buds and tasty frozen cocktails for your convenience. Once you’ve had your fill, you can challenge your guests to outdoor ping pong. Whoever is celebrating their birthday wins by default, obviously.  

Photogtaph: Courtesy Yelp/Shirley D.
Restaurants, Pizza

Have an adult pizza party at Roberta's

icon-location-pin East Williamsburg

Relive the glory days of shoving cheese slices in your tweenage piehole at the best pizza joint in Bushwick. The popular spot does not take reservations, but the za haven does offer group dining for parties of 10 to 16 people. You can also buyout the atrium for a 25 to 35-person rager.

Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Ann L.
Bars, Cocktail bars

Play vintage board games at Porchlight

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Danny Meyer’s Southern-twanged cocktail lounge is a great spot for some laidback boozing with your pals. You can rent out the joint’s game room (fits 40 souls), which is chock-full of your favorite childhood board games including Life, Yahtzee and darts. For something a bit smaller, reserve the porch (fits 15) for some outdoor drinking.

Brooklyn Bowl
Photograph: Courtesy Adam Kane Macchia
Things to do, Concerts

Do some boozy bowling at Brooklyn Bowl

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

This bowling alley and live-music venue takes its design cues from Coney Island with old freak-show posters and carnival-game relics, and all of the beer sold inside—by Sixpoint, Kelso and the Brooklyn Brewery—is made in the borough. This is a great place to entertain a big rowdy group: you can tackle a pitcher and the stoner-food menu from the Blue Ribbon team (delicious fatty brisket, Old Bay–fried chicken) laneside between frames. The plush tufted couches are the most luxurious alley seating we’ve ever seen.

Chelsea Piers
Photograph: Courtesy Scott McDermott
Sports and fitness, Golf

Perfect your golf swing at Chelsea Piers

icon-location-pin Downtown

Want to celebrate your birthday over a rousing game of golf? This West Side complex doesn't require membership: casual golfers can whack a few balls when the mood takes them from one of the 52 stalls over four floors. Come during off-peak hours to get more bang for your buck (148 balls for $25, as opposed to 90 during peak hours). The simulators ($45 an hour) allow you to compete in over 55 virtual championship courses while supping on pizza and beer from Chelsea Brewery Company downstairs.

Bushwick Country Club
Bars, Dive bars

Go to a non-douchey country club

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

John Roberts, owner of Bushwick Country Club, believes that “miniature golf and drinking go great together,” so he added a nine-hole course in the backyard. Find your inner John Daly by putting through a Pabst Blue Ribbon windmill or drilling a ball into a robot’s belly. There’s never a wait to play, and even non-country club members can afford the greens fee: everything but the beer is free.

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