When the weather starts to warm up, there’s nothing more thrilling than sipping summer cocktails at one of the city’s best rooftop parties. NYC has plenty of non-douchey rooftop bars, at which you can do some leisurely drinking while taking in those gorgeous skyline views. During those summer nights when you really need to get your groove on, ditch Gotham’s typical places to dance in exchange for a bumpin’ rooftop party where you can throw your hands up and touch the stars (okay, not literally). The roof is always on fire at these open-air bashes! Want more things to do outside? We have those too.
RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do on NYC rooftops
Best rooftop parties this summer
Get turnt atop what is considered Williamsburg’s nightlife savior, Output, which boasts a booming sound system for album release parties, live music and dancing galore. The venue hosts rooftop ragers complete with guest DJs and artists. The club fills up quickly, so your best bet is to arrive early so you can get a killer Instagram shot of the Empire State Building before the crowd rolls in.
The reliable club space Good Room kicked off its biweekly rooftop residency at Dobbin St this year with a dope day of dancing and drinking. Chill out to beats by different DJs (Holy Ghost!, Projet Pablo, Nicky Siano and more) while enjoying the view and pizzas from Roberta’s. Tickets ($20) are available here.
Le Bain—the Standard, High Line’s Meatpacking District hot spot—has a lot to offer folks who are looking to get off the ground floor. Sitting by the plunge pool, sipping champagne and hitting up the crêperie are just a few rooftop highlights, but there’s also amazing dance parties like Dance Dance Dance on Wednesday nights, during which you can shake your rump to house music.
Grungy-cool folks flock to this Bushwick haunt for its 1,300-square-foot rooftop, but a big part of the allure is that the joint hosts monthly music showcases and themed dance parties like Supa Dupa Fly: A Missy Elliot bash on July 8. Check out the joint’s free Owl Trivia and Rooftop Movie series every Monday through September with donation based grub from Sky Fortress, snacks and candy concessions. Sip a cold one while throwing your hands up in the open air, and you’ll never feel more alive. Check out the schedule here.
The five-star Knickerbocker Hotel hosts this roaring shindig on its rooftop bar St. Cloud, and much like traditional Full Moon parties held on the beach, this bash is complete with live entertainment, guest DJs, a theme with appropriate décor to match, exclusive cocktails and a special moonlit surprise. After ogling the spectacular sight of Times Square—totally safe from all the dodgy Elmos wandering down below—you won’t even miss the ocean view. Check out the party schedule here.
Hudson Terrace is known to go all out at its rooftop parties, with frills like fire-breathers and laser tag on Friday and Saturday night. At this dance fest, the major perk is a one-hour open bar (10 to 11pm) and, of course, the pretty waterfront views. Throw on your best duds, and turn up early to guzzle enough free booze to elicit the liquid courage that’ll help you tear up both dance floors. Make sure to check the joint’s website to snag tickets ($20) in advance.
Bask in the beauty of the Manhattan-skyline view at this Williamsburg favorite, where the parties are always poppin’. The hotel partners with select Djs to spin tracks on select summer nights, and local table masters switch up the jams every week. With specials like oysters for a buck, vodka mixed drinks for $5 and a beer-and-shot combo for $8, consider this your go-to rooftop spot.