New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

8 birthday bash ideas for every type of party-goer in New York City

Throwing yourself a party can be tricky, especially with so many options in the city to choose from. Here are eight ideas for every type of celebrant.

Planning a birthday party can be stressful. Maybe your apartment can’t fit more than 10 people, or maybe you can’t get a reservation at your dream dining destination. Though the city offers many fun ways to celebrate, the hundreds of options can make the task feel daunting. So, I’ve narrowed it down for you. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or a homebody, there’s something for you on your special day.


For the extroverted mixologist

Dance the night away at Elsewhere

A nightclub with purple-blue lighting full of people. From the ceiling hangs a disco ball.
(Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Located in Brooklyn, this venue boasts three vibrant stories filled with captivating artwork, live performances by local artists and a delicious selection of handcrafted cocktails. With strobe lights, vibrant music and a lively crowd, this is the perfect setting for the social butterfly. For energetic vibes, jam at The Rooftop or dance to the DJ at The Hall, and if you need a break between sets, chill in the warm ambiance of The Loft — you don’t have to stick to just one vibe for an evening of memories with your friends. There are different artists and special events depending on the night, in case you want to extend your birthday to a birth-weekend.

Sip in style at The Skylark

There’s no better time to indulge in a lavish evening like your birthday. Situated 30 stories above Times Square, The Skylark is a luxurious lounge that offers great views of the city. You’ll have to dress to impress to match the classy atmosphere, so come wearing your favorite elegant evening attire. Grab one of The Skylark’s 12 signature cocktails for $20, or browse their food selection for a bite.


For the homebody who hates birthdays

Read and relax at Book Club

Front of a bar with an open facade with patrons inside. The signage is black with white font that says “BOOK CLUB.”
(Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

Located in the East Village, this independent bookstore has a pleasant surprise — a bar. This unconventionally cozy spot is your home away from home. Book Club’s ambiance is warm and welcoming, inviting guests to relax and unwind. Find your next binge-worthy book while sipping locally roasted coffee or cracking open a cold one. At Book Club, you’ll find reasonable prices with all loose-leaf teas priced under $5 and wine available for under $15 per glass. If you want a cocktail, consider trying the fan favorite, “A Gentleman in Moscow Mule.” A good drink and a new book can make a perfect gift to yourself. 

Feast at Ichiran Ramen

A man pays at the automatic cashier inside Ichiran Ramen’s foyer. In the background is a wall with menus and decorative cans and bottles.
(Blake Salesin for WSN)

With a few locations throughout New York City, Ichiran Ramen is every introvert’s dream. It’s known for a unique solo dining, with a full sit-down service experience instead of counter service at a fast-food joint. Come prepared with an appetite and some extra money. Ichiran offers a delicious variety of ramen but holds a higher price tag. Don’t let that discourage you though — the fresh noodles and delicious “tonkotsu” pork bone-broth ramen are definitely worth the price. Top off a hearty meal with their Japanese-style matcha pudding to make your birthday even sweeter. 


For the bestie on a budget 

Picnic and craft in Central Park 

Man standing atop a tall rock in Central Park taking a photo of the trees.
(Alex Tey for WSN)

Nothing is more relaxing than a casual day at the park with a big blanket, Trader Joe’s flowers, pizza, a small cake and a summery outfit. Ask your friends to bring a light snack for everyone to share, and voilà — suddenly your picnic becomes a delightful feast. If you all grab some savory snacks, sweet desserts and refreshing beverages, there can be a tasty treat for everyone. As you soak up the sun and chat away, don’t forget to pull out your camera to snap the perfect group photo. If you have an extra hand and some dollars to spare, give your friends a blank journal and bring some old magazines so you can scrapbook together. Tape in some flowers from the park, cut out your favorite pics and draw until your heart is content. 

Track down your birthday freebies

Front of a restaurant with a red awning that says “UNLIMITED SEAFOOD BUCKET FEAST CRAB HOUSE.”
(Naomi Mwai for WSN)

Embark on a city adventure to get all the complimentary birthday gifts offered by dozens of stores and restaurants. Make sure to bring a valid photo ID, as most of these locations will require you to present it to claim the deal. Eat like royalty at Crab House where you can get a free all-you-can-eat seafood meal with at least three paying customers in your party. If seafood isn’t your thing, try a free Hot Pot and BBQ meal at 99 Favor Taste. If you want to grab breakfast, head to Liberty Bagels for a free rainbow bagel with cream cheese. Grab some friends and you’ll have yourself a fun and food-filled day of scouring the city for the best deals.


For the thrill seeker

Reach new heights at City Climb

Three people in blue jumpsuits and harness gear stand atop a tall structure.
(Krish Dev for WSN)

If you want to do something more exciting than a picnic, how about scaling a skyscraper? Located at The Edge in Hudson Yards, this is the ultimate adrenaline rush. Soak in the best panoramic views of the city as your harness holds you to the side of 30 Hudson Yards. Climbing at a 45-degree angle, this experience isn’t for the faint of heart. You will be over 1,200 feet above New York City and will have the opportunity to lean off the edge of the building — if you’re brave enough.

Celebrate in the sky with HeliNY 

Two helicopters, one yellow and the other black, sit on a helipad on the water.
(Krish Dev for WSN)

You’ve seen the Empire State Building, Central Park and Yankee Stadium, but have you seen them from above? HeliNY offers helicopter tours around the city, ranging from 15, 20, or 30 minutes. This is a perfect birthday splurge and great way to make memories that will last a lifetime. Strap in and prepare for a birthday where you will truly soar.


Contact Ashley Simons at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Alex Tey
Alex Tey, Editor-at-Large
Alex Tey was previously WSN’s editor-in-chief. She is now at large. Watch out!
Krish Dev
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with friends, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.

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