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Elsewhere Rooftop
Photographer: Luis Nieto Dickens/Elsewhere's rooftop in 2019

The best birthday party ideas in NYC for adults

Celebrate your special day with these adult birthday party ideas in NYC

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Every day can be a party in NYC, with a slew of restaurants and bars that feel nothing short of celebratory, so when it comes to celebrating your birthday, it’s gotta be special. Unless you prefer to hide from the fact that you’re another year older, you’ll want to plan something fun and creative to bring your friends together for the big day. These adult birthday party ideas in NYC are sure to be a blast, making your latest trip around the sun a memorable one. There are so many amazing things to do for your birthday in NYC, from sipping cocktails at a rooftop bar or having an outdoor adventure to hitting up a spa or taking a cooking class. Leave the brainstorming to us with this list of the best birthday party ideas for adults in NYC.

Best adult birthday party ideas in NYC

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Want to have a casual outdoor bash but don't have a backyard? Pier 17 can help with that. The Greens are 28 mini lawns that are 14x14 square feet in size and seat up to eight people. Each pod comes with a Yeti Cooler, cabana-style lounge chairs, a USB charger and an umbrella so your party has what it needs for a good time. Order your food and drinks via a QR code and play your friends in backyard games, from Jenga to cornhole, bocce and more. And of course, the best part is the view—you'll revel in the lower Manhattan skyline while safe and socially distanced from the other New Yorkers around you. It doesn't get better than this.

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Gowanus
  • price 1 of 4

You might not think beer and axe throwing mix, but it actually makes for a good time. Kick Axe offers up ample space to throw some sharp things (with help and supervision) and some good suds to keep you cool. The place even has a birthday offering that includes a drink of your choice, the use of its "birthday axe" and a voucher for free axe throwing on your next visit — just show your ID with a birth date that is within 2 weeks of your visit. Happy throwing!

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Ridgewood
  • price 2 of 4

If you have a crew happy to get out of bustling Manhattan, head to the beloved Nowadays for a backyard bash. While you wait for your moment to hit the outdoor dance floor, you can grab barbecue at one of the food trucks, sip on tiki drinks, enjoy the sunshine and praise the fact that you’re surrounded actual trees and greenery while partying. 

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  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops

New York City is a culinary wonderland, with some of the best restaurants in the world, amazing bakeries, delicious desserts, fabulous ice cream, and the skilled chefs that make them tick. So why would you want to take a cooking class? Because it’s fun! Round up your friends and brush up on your skills, then feast on your creations when you're done.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Want to get away but can't? Take the ferry to Governors Island and go glamping with Collective Governors Island or just head over for the day and it'll offer the same vacation vibes you're looking for (camping, biking, food trucks, art). It officially opens on May 1 with a huge slate of activities to do, from ongoing art installations to big events like the Jazz Age Lawn Party in June. Plus, new this year, the island has five sheep that'll be "mowing" the lawn in Hammock Grove. There's much to do and see, so make it happen!

  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • New Jersey

Everyone knows your birthday is as much about you as it is about your friends having fun. So when you suggest a plan, why not shock them with something over-the-top that won’t break the piggy bank. Head to this New Jersey spa by taking a free shuttle that they offer from Times Square area, for a day of pampering. Among the highlights at this full-service facility are an insane rooftop infinity pool with a view of the Manhattan skyline, a volcanic sand treatment using rare lava sand imported from Japan, and a scorching charcoal sauna. Daily admissions cost $55 per person on weekdays and $75 on weekends and holidays. That'll get you unlimited access for the day to all pools and baths. It's unlikely that you'll come close to covering the whopping eight floors of treatments that this relaxation arena offers, but give it your best, this is sort of like Disneyland for everyone. 

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  • Things to do

Are you and your friends into the outdoors? Why not take a birthday hike! These hikes near NYC offer picturesque views, varying terrain and a change of scenery. You’ll find hikes that range from easy to challenging, wind through forests and valleys and, most importantly, allow full-on communing with nature. When you're done, you'll have earned that celebratory drink and birthday cake.

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  • Health and beauty
  • Spas

Your friends will enjoy a bit of relaxation in your honor with a head-to-toe spa treatment. Many of the best spas in NYC offer group packages as well as all-day options where you can chill with champagne and snacks for a blissful birthday celebration.

  • Things to do

There's nothing like a party on the water. Athletic types can try kayaking NYC’s rivers, and landlubbers can stick to the city’s prominent waterfront restaurants and boat bars, but if you have any hint of seafaring fun in you, a boat party in NYC is one of the best ways to celebrate a birthday. Open waters, sea breezes and stunning views of Manhattan are all on tap when you embark on a booze cruise in NYC. Oh and did we mention full bars, great food, and live music?

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Relive your favorite TV moments on your big day at the Friends Experience that has 18 rooms, including the orange couch in front of the fountain, Monica’s kitchen, the hilarious 'Pivot!' scene, and the Las Vegas wedding chapel where Ross & Rachel tied the knot. There will even be an actual functioning Central Perk that serves coffee, pastries, and desserts, too. New props and costumes have been added this time around, including Chandler's bunny suit and Rachel's famous cow jacket, as well as Monica and Rachel's living room and Ugly Naked Guy. For someone who is a big fan, this could make for the dream birthday date.

  • Travel

Tight friend groups can handle a full day exploring somewhere new. Broaden your horizons for your birthday by getting out of the city and taking a day trip. From historic cities to quaint towns, there are plenty of day trips that make for a fun day out.

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  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Gowanus
  • price 2 of 4

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). Once its karaoke reopens, you can book a small room so you can have your birthday girl (or boy) diva moment.

  • Restaurants

Instead of celebrating at a restaurant, make your birthday party a moveable feast with a food tour. Whether you're into pizza, bagels, sweets or dumplings there's a fun food tour in one of NYC's unique neighborhoods just for you.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Chelsea
  • price 2 of 4

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.

Looking for another party in NYC?

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