If you’re planning to spend your birthday in NYC then you NEED this local’s guide to all of the very best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Trust me on this people. I’ve spent 30+ years of birthdays in New York (no, I’m too vain to reveal my actual age).
Therefore, I know all about some of the most epic birthday activities NYC has to offer – super cool places to go for your birthday in NYC that you probably won’t find in any travel guide.
As a result, dare to be different and skip the generic AF drinks at a random bar. Instead, try something a little bit unusual as you explore this epic list of NYC birthday ideas.
This way, regardless of your budget and personal interests, you’ll be able to quickly and easily find some of the best birthday ideas NYC has to offer.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop stressing and start enjoying your next hella awesome birthday (21 is a great age. Wink, wink) with this local’s guide to the very best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
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Best Places to Stay in NYC for Your Birthday
🏆 Looking for the BEST HOTEL IN NEW YORK CITY? I highly recommend booking The James New York. It is a midrange hotel with ultra comfy rooms that are guaranteed to make you feel extra special on your birthday. 🏨
Not sure where to spend the night when looking for some of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday? If so then check out these amazing hotels.
It’s also a modern, pod hotel where rooms (with queen-sized beds, TVs, night tables, etc.) start at around $120 per night. And while the rooms are “cozy”, they are super clean and nestled inside a residential home from 1918.
The Duffy Times Square by Kasa (midrange)– Tucked away in Hell’s Kitchen, rooms here start at around $140 per night and are sleek, chic suites with Belgian linens, iPod docks, flatscreen TVs, and WiFi that overlook a stunning central courtyard.
The James New York (midrange) – This chic and stylish hotel in NOMAD offers guests clean and comfy rooms that start at $177 per night. They also feature snazzy things like high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, glassed-off bathrooms, and comfy linens made
Lotte New York Palace (luxury)– Perhaps the single nicest hotel in the city, this stunning, 4.5-star hotel in Midtown East sits inside a historic 19th-century mansion and is right across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
It also includes fantastic suites with WiFi, flatscreen TVs, designer toiletries, and more. 24/7 room service is also available as well as access to an on-site spa, a French bakery, and a sleek bar.
Best Things to do in NYC for Your Birthday
🏆 Looking for the best thing to do in NYC for your birthday? Then book this helicopter tour today! It is such an amazing experience to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Plus you get to say that you’ve flown in a helicopter! 🚁
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5.0 ( 2108 Reviews) Price: $229 per person Duration: 15 -30 minutes 📍Meeting Point: Meeting point may vary depending on the option booked Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Want to create a truly special day when planning some uber-fun birthday activities in NYC? If so then you can’t go wrong with a hella awesome helicopter ride above NYC.
After all, who doesn’t want to have an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience as they soar above the city that never sleeps and get a unique, bird’s eye of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and more? I know I do!
And while it’s definitely one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday that is a bit more expensive, your birthday comes but once a year. So, you deserve to splurge a little on yourself.
“Wow! What an incredible experience. The helicopter tour was fanrastic from start to finish. We were running late due to taxi driver going to wring location and the staff were so helpful in ensuring we were kept informed. We were then able to fly after slight delay. Katheleen Patricia was particularly accomodating-extremely professional and a delight.“Claire (read more reviews now)
Plus, real talk? You haven’t seen New York City until you’ve seen it from the air. Not really anyway.
So, book your private helicopter tour of the city NOW and enjoy a 30 to 45-minute flight through the air. Your pilot will also provide you with fun commentary and share some cool insider facts about this amazing metropolis.
If you can, also be sure to book your flight around sunset. This way you can see a kaleidoscope of colors light up the sky as you live the luxe life from the comfort of your private helicopter.
Pro Tip: Monitor the weather because this is one of the best places to go for your n=birthday in NYC that will really suck if it’s cloudy and you can’t see anything. Thankfully though, they allow you to cancel your flight 24 hours in advance and get a refund.
Address: Ross Aviation, 67 Tower Road, Harrison, NY 10604.
Hours: Flights depart every half an hour between 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm daily.
Price: $730 for a group of three or $244 per person. FYI, the 7:00 pm, sunset flight is more expensive and costs $1000 for three people.
How to Get There: Go to Grand Central, take a Harlem line train to White Plains station, and then a taxi from the station to the airport.
If you dare, head on over to St. Patrick’s Basilica in Little Italy (not the famous one you’re thinking of) and descend deep beneath the Earth to uncover hidden passageways and secret sections of NYC’s oldest cathedral during this New York City Catacombs by Candlelight Tour.
Trust me, it’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience since you’ll get to see areas of the church that are otherwise inaccessible to the public and can hear all about the church’s dark past.
“Very informative and really cool!”Kimberly (read more reviews now!)
Next, step inside long-forgotten cemeteries, walkthrough eerie catacombs, and see where famous New Yorkers like the Delmonico Family, Civil War General Thomas Eckert, and Bishop John Connolly (first resident Bishop of New York) have all been permanently interred.
Because, if you dare, you’ll experience all this (and more) during a 1.5-hour long Catacombs by Candlelight Tour for just $37.00 per person.
Yup, it’s easily one of the coolest things to do in NYC for your birthday that is perfect for anyone (like me ) who wants to put the “fun” back into funky on their very special day.
Address: 266 Mulberry Street (corner of Mulberry Street and Jersey Street)
Hours: Tour is 1.5-hours long and it departs every 45-minutes between 10:30 am and 4:15 pm, Friday through Monday.
Price: $37 per person.
How to Get There: Take the C/B/D/F/M to Broadway/Lafayette station, the 6 to Bleecker Street, or the Q/W/R/N to Prince Street and walk from there.
⭐️ Rating: 5/5.0 ( 78 Reviews) Price: $86 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 62 Chelsea Piers Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Another great way to get a fantastic view of the city – from an entirely different perspective – is to grab a seat aboard the Adirondack Sail Schooner and enjoy a sunset cruise through New York Harbor.
Because throughout this incredible 2-hour cruise, you and your closest friends/family will get to relax on a cush, 80-foot-long sailboat as you watch the sun slowly descend beneath the horizon and cruise past the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Battery Park.
“This was our best part by far of our whole stay in New York. It was a very exhilarating experience. The crew really looked after us well and the views were incredible. Throughout our holiday in the US we’ve heard the word awesome used again and again – this trip was however lived up to the adjective it was AWESOME.”Sandra (read more reviews now!)
Plus, added bonus? This is one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday that costs just $80 per person and that includes one alcoholic beverage of your choice.
So, channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw, order that cosmo, and take in the unobstructed panoramas that surround you. Just do yourself a favor and bring either a light jacket or sweatshirt since it can get quite chilly out on the water once the sun goes down.
Address: 62 Chelsea Piers, which is located at West 22nd Street and the Hudson River.
Hours: The cruise is 2 hours long and departs sometime around 6:00 pm daily. But, departures can vary based on when the sunsets.
Price: $80.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to 23rd Street station, get off, then take the M23 bus to 12th Avenue and West 23 Street, and walk from there.
If you’re looking for things to do in NYC for your birthday that are a little more macabre then check out this epic Greenwich Village Ghost Tour.
Not only is it one of the more incredibly unique NYC birthday ideas on this list, but it’s a truly bone-chilling tour where your expert guide will introduce you to:
- The Hanging Tree in Washington Square Park
- Explain all about the 22 spirits that now haunt the murder house
- Regale you with fascinating stories about the fire at the Brown Building (aka the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire)
- And more!
“I have been a New Yorker my entire life, born and raised in Brooklyn. I wanted to know more about my city, especially it’s creepier lore as we move closer to Halloween. I was blown away by the tour guide’s knowledge and how much history is stored in places that I pass everyday. In addition, the guide was very friendly, enthusiastic, and eager to share information. The tour was accessible, informative, and a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend!”Jessica (read more reviews now!)
Plus, all along the way, your expert guide will be happy to answer any question you’ve been DYING (lame puns activated) to ask as you enjoy even more gruesome stories about how artists John Lafarge still inhabits the Church of the Ascension.
You’ll also get to see the iconic Stonewall Inn and can even end the night at the one and only Chumley’s speakeasy.
Plus, this tour lasts a glorious 2 hours and costs just $35 per person – making it one of the more affordable New York birthday ideas on this list.
Address: 385 6th Avenue, New York City (meeting point)
Hours: Tours depart daily at 8:00 pm and last 2 hours.
Price: $35.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to Christopher Street station and walk from there.
Sure, you can take a food tour through a wealth of different neighborhoods scattered throughout the city. However, Greenwich Village is easily one of the best locations of them all – especially since one of the things New York is known for is food.
In fact, its a wonderful area that is home to a ton of great eateries (thanks NYU students), is rich in fascinating history and features a series of picturesque cobblestone streets that are lined by enchanting, Greek-revival style brownstones.
So, be sure to book this Greenwich Village Food Tour and experience the insane deliciousness of some of the city’s best restaurants, like MIMI and Murray’s Bagels.
“Our tour was great! It was just my wife and I on the tour with Alex. He was terrific! Very knowledgeable, easy to get to know and very comfortable walking around the Village. We learned so much in 2 short hours that we would have never known without the tour. We will definitely do this kind of tour again…different part of the city. We would highly recommend Alex!!”Perry (read more reviews now!)
After all, epic tours like this usually introduce you to a few new places that you’ve never heard of as you see iconic jazz clubs, walk past enchanting bookshops, and inhale decadent delights from local chocolatiers.
Plus, If you happen to have dietary restrictions, then your guide will be happy to accommodate you as you enjoy this NYC bucket list activity.
Because whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free, this Greenwich Village Food Tour has something for everyone to enjoy and is easily one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday!
Address: Meet at the fountain at Jackson Square Park, at the cross-section of 8th Ave and 13th street.
Hours: This tour lasts two hours and starts daily at 12:30 pm.
Price: Tickets start at $86 per person.
How to Get There: Take the A/C/R train to 14th Street and 8th Avenue or the 1/2/3 train to 14th Street station and walk from there.
⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5.0 ( 378 Reviews) Price: $104 per person Duration: 2-3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 61 Chelsea Piers. Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
In NYC, brunch isn’t just a meal, it’s a way of life. So, if you love breakfast food but are a super anti-morning person like me, grab a few of your best gal pals and enjoy one of the best brunches in NYC…from the water.
Because this hella epic brunch cruise allows you to dig into NYC classics like fresh bagels, delicious quiche, exquisite salmon, and fresh flakey pastries.
“This was one of our favourite activities we did in NY. The boat was bigger than anticipated and the food and service was spot on ! This was the brunch tour and it was a lovely 3 course meal with unlimited mimosas (we all came off the boat quite tipsy). The dj was a great addition too! All the staff were fantastic and Mickey who was our waiter deserves a special mention as he was fab. Thank you. I would definitely recommend this boat trip and if/when I return to NY I will be re-booking.”Nicole (read more reviews now!)
But, the only thing better than the food is the drinks, which include champagne, Mimosas, or bloody Marys – allowing you to relax and get your drinky drank on aboard this vintage-inspired, 1920s feeling luxury yacht.
Other than that, just relax for the next 3 hours amidst glossy wood tables, panoramic windows, and charming booths as you take in impressive views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building.
Therefore, if you wanna feel extra fancy then be sure to book this amazing brunch cruise through New York Harbor right now.
Address: Chelsea Piers (Pier 62) at W. 22nd and Hudson River (this is the meeting point)
Hours: Cruises depart at either 10:00 am or 10:45 am on Saturdays and Sundays and last for about three hours.
Price: $154.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take the 1 train to 23rd Street station and then the M23-SBS bus to the 12th Avenue and West 23rd Street stop.
7. See a Broadway Show
Easily one of my favorite things to do in NYC on your birthday. attending a Broadway show is a truly timeless activity. Especially since New York is known the world over for its first rate theatrical performances.
Plus, with so many different types of shows available to you, you’ll easily be able to find a show that suits your own personal tastes.
So, choose from among classics like The Lion King, Wicked, and Phantom of the Opera. Or, opt for something a bit more modern like Dear Evan Hansen and the Book of Mormon.
Either way. you’ll have an amazing time attending one of twenty-seven different performances that are shown at theaters throughout the city no less than eight times per week.
And while tickets to one of the best birthday ideas NYC has to offer can be be expensive, it’s worth it since Broadway shows are next-level incredible.
Therefore, expect to pay anywhere between $20 and $220 per ticket for the performance of your choice. Although, truth be told, most tickets cost between $120 and $130 each.
However, you can easily procure yourself tickets at half this price if you use the TodayTix app, Broadway Roulette, the TKTS booth in Times Square, standing-room-only tickets, and more.
8. Grab Drinks with Friends
Yeah, I know. This is one of those generic AF NYC birthday ideas that you probably didn’t expect to see on this list of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
But, come on, hear me out. After all, there are a ton of totally unique bars in NYC where you can party like a rockstar and kick a little ass on your very special day.
So, choose between a wide variety of live music bars, sports bars, and high concept bars as you look for the best birthday places in NYC for adults.
If you want you can also opt for a super snazzy rooftop bar that features sick views of the NYC skyline. In fact, The Skylark is an ideal choice if you’re looking to live the luxe life to the extreme while indulging in a burrata pizza and coyly sipping on a love potion #39 cocktail.
Otherwise, if you’re looking for something a bit more low-key then mosey on over to The Polynesian. After all, this super cool bar has a fun island theme about it that you can enjoy while sipping on the notorious P.O.G.
However, if you’re all about living that super sweet, Insta fab life then check out Serra by Birreria in the Flatiron District. Take in the over-the-top, seasonally inspired decor that surrounds you while enjoying an Aperol spritz and chowing down on Eataly’s decadent Italian arancini or tiramisu.
9. Radio City Music Hall
If you are a fan of the arts then Radio City Music hall definitely should be one of the options on your list of things to do in NYC on your birthday. This is after all the spot where legends perform. In fact, it is also called the Showplace of the Nation.
Radio City Music hall is famous for the Rockettes and quite literally serves as their headquarters. This fascinating dance company has organized performances for so many important events in American history. In fact, they’ve even performed at a Presidential inauguration.
The best part is that aside from a tour that highlights the intriguing architecture of Radio City Music hall, you can also catch one of the iconic performances by the Rockettes. You do have to check for the show timings and plan in advance but I promise that it is worth it
Address: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020, United States
Price: Standard tickets start at $60 per person. The cost of this is variable though. It all depends on how much demand there is for the show and how early you book your ticket.
How To Get There: Take a bus to 6th Avenue. It is a short walk from the bus stop.
10. Enjoy the Escape Game Escape Room
This is one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday if you have kids or feel like a total kid at heart. And while there are many different escape room experiences in NYC, The Escape Game is easily one of the best.
Yeah, The Escape Game offers an all-around amazing, 60-minute experience where you follow a set of clues, solve fun puzzles, and do everything you can to escape the room in time (hence the name).
Plus, they have an outpost conveniently located near Grand Central that features a ton of interactive themed challenges like The Heist, Gold Rush, Playground, Prison Break, and Special Ops: Mysterious Market.
Personally, I did the Special Ops game and absolutely ADORED it since you’re left inside this old-school market where you’ve got to hunt for clues and solve insane puzzles to unlock the door, disarm a nuclear missile, and, TADA, save the day.
Plus, although most escape rooms feature a single room, THIS experience has two rooms for you to explore.
So, once we completed the first challenge, we were ushered into an “elevator” where we were shown a video and led into a second room where we had to disarm a missile.
Sure, the puzzles were more than a little challenging. But, we managed to solve them in time and had fun doing so since the props were top-notch and the puzzles feature tons of high-end technology.
Therefore, if you’re looking for one of the best NYC birthday ideas of them all, then don’t miss The Escape Game.
Address: 295 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (E. 41st Street)
Price: $41.99 per person.
Hours: Games are 60-minutes long and held 7/8 times a day between 8:50 am and 9:00 pm daily.
How to Get There: Take the 4/5/6, the 7 train, or the shuttle from Times Square to Grand Central Terminal and walk from there.
11. Go Back in Time at a Roller Disco
Wanna party like it’s 1978 and try “Stayin’ Alive” while you’re at it? If so then this is easily one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Because a roller disco is a great, budget-friendly way to hang out with friends and feel like you’re going back in time as you rock those sick bell-bottoms and channel your inner John Travolta.
You’ll also love that the city has a few different roller discos for you to choose from, like the always popular Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Rink.
Yeah, it’s a super rad weekly event that runs from the end of spring through the middle of autumn. It can also be found inside Brooklyn’s ever-awesome, Prospect Park.
So, feel free to roll on up (lame puns activated once again) any Friday evening and skate until you can skate no more inside their 16,000 square foot covered roller rink.
Plus, this mega-awesome facility overlooks Prospect Park Lake and is home to the green roof terrace, where you order plenty of beer and wine at Bluestone Cafe.
Whatever you do though, don’t forget to wear some 70s-inspired attire to really take the experience to the next level!
What? Want some NYC birthday ideas that are a little more exclusive in nature? If so then try The Roller Wave’s roller disco pop-up!
It’s basically one glorious extravaganza that features fun DJs, live bands, and delicious cocktails, among other things.
Plus, The Roller Wave has also been known to host silent roller discos – an experience where everyone wears headphones and selects their own music,
Address: 1205 Boardwalk, Brooklyn 11224
Hours: Most Friday nights between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
Price: $15.00 for admission plus the cost of skate rentals.
How to Get There: Take the D/F train to Coney island and Stillwell Avenue station or the Q train to West 8th Street and New York Aquarium station and walk from there.
12. Play Some LaserTag
Ummm…who doesn’t want to partake in a little laser tag for their birthday?
I know I do since this is one of those fun birthday activities NYC has that makes you feel like a total kid as you zip around corners and try to annihilate your friends with your “laser beam”.
However, with so many great laser tag facilities in the city, it can be hard to choose one as you research fun things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Well, luckily for you, I’m a super savvy local who knows that Area 53 NYC is the ideal spot for laser tag in NYC.
I mean, it’s an enormous, two-story facility that looks like an abandoned warehouse and that is outfitted with graffiti-laden walls, piles of empty wood palettes, and exposed brick.
Yup, one of the best places in NYC to bring your kids or to just channel your inner Jojo Siwa (Not sure who this is? Ask a local child).
Just pace yourself since it’s pretty easy to get tired AF as you dart through the darkness and take out opponents left and right.
Thankfully though, you can always chill in between sweet laser tag sessions on their Upper Level, which comes well-stocked with cozy couches, foosball tables, and delicious catered cuisine.
Then, when you’re finally ready to call it a day, unwind for the evening with a drink at 68 Jay Street Bar. Yeah, it’s a great bar that sits just around the corner and that serves some pretty solid manhattans, martinis, margaritas, manhattan, and negronis.
Yup, that sounds like one of the best birthday ideas NYC has to offer to me.
Address: 616 Scholes St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Hours: Sessions are one hour long and are held between 11:00 am and 8:00 pm daily.
Price: Starts at $37.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take the L train to Jefferson Street station and walk from there.
13. Try a Scavenger Hunt
This is another one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday that both kids and adults will adore.
Because guess what? NYC is an insanely large city with tons of big-name spots, and hidden gems, that everyone will love exploring as part of a fun scavenger hunt.
So, if you’re a hardcore history nerd like me then try the Hamilton: The Scavenger Hunt. Yup, just follow a series of clues to Hamilton’s grave, his workplace, his home on Wall Street, and more as you try to solve the puzzle and enjoy the incredible history of NYC.
And, added bonus? This is one of those NYC scavenger hunts that has a kid-friendly option available if you’d like to make this more of a family-friendly event.
But, if you’re not a fan of history and have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with food then one of the best birthday places in NYC for adults is The Munch Around Greenwich Scavenger Hunt.
Because this incredible scavenger hunt will take you past places with tons of foodie significance like restaurants showcased in Sex and the City, E.E. Cummings fave watering hole, and a 100+-year-old coffee shop.
Plus, as the event unfolds, you’ll also get to chow down on cannolis, croissants, kebabs, and paratha. Pardon me, I think I may need a moist towelette.
However, if you love the great outdoors and want to find your way back to nature then The Secrets of Central Park Scavenger Hunt is totes mcgoats for you!
Because, as the name suggests, this unique scavenger hunt will introduce you to incredible secret spots in Central Park, like a full-on bird sanctuary, a carousel, and a dairy.
And, yes, there’s even a kid-friendly version that you can use to enjoy a bit of birthday fun with the whole family.
Address: Varies by the event.
Hours: Each one is around 2.5 hours long.
Price: Starts at $24.00 per person.
How to Get There: Varies by the event.
14. Try Out a Cooking Class
Channel your inner Martha Stewart and swan dive into an incredible cooking class as you look for the best birthday activities NYC has to offer.
Because if you love food even a little bit then you owe it to yourself to try a primo cooking class with League of Kitchens or to sign up for a course with the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).
In fact, ICE offers cooking classes for non-professionals every day of the week, allowing you to learn how to make killer cheese fondues and amazing vegan burgers that people will actually want to eat.
And that makes sense since NYC is one of the most culturally diverse places in the entire world. Therefore, it’s easy to find classes to suit a variety of different skill levels.
Although, If you have a saber-tooth-tiger-sized sweet tooth like me, then you might enjoy a Mille-Feuille Bakery cooking class that will teach you how to create macarons.
Plus, with a maximum class size of just eight people, you’re sure to get the individual attention that will help you create the dessert of your dreams.
That being said though when it comes to cool cooking classes in NYC, League of Kitchens is a stand-out fave.
I mean, everyone knows that grandmas around the world truly are some of the best chefs in the world. And League of Kitchens puts their unique talents to good use as they teach you how to create secret family recipes from Uzbekistan, Greece, and Japan.
So, stop ordering take-out and start cooking like a pro grandma as you celebrate your birthday in NYC like a boss…a cooking boss that is.
Address: All League of Kitchens classes are currently offered online.
Hours: Classes are typically 2-hours long and are offered all day, throughout the day.
Price: Starts at $60.00 per class
How to Get There: N/A
15. Do a Little Dinner in the Dark
Being able to see is SOOO overrated. Okay, just kidding. However, people do love embracing all of their other senses as they indulge in a unique, dinner in the dark experience.
However, just in case you’re not in the know, these types of restaurants have you dine completely in the dark so that you can enhance some of your other senses, like the sense of taste,
As a result, your food should taste infinitely better as you rely less on sight and more on your tastebuds. Yeah, I know it sounds a little kooky but it’s a lot of fun and deffo one of the more unique things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Although, for the best dining in the dark experience possible, hit up Abigail’s Kitchen and enjoy a 2.5-hour, 4-course meal filled with delicious foods that you won’t know about until you actually taste them.
Just remember to let Abigail’s Kitchen know about any allergies or dietary restrictions you might have since nothing ruins a New York birthday faster than a wicked awful case of anaphylactic shock.
And, if you’re a bit concerned about spending hours in total darkness, not to worry because Abigail’s Kitchen is great at transitioning you into the experience.
Because while other places have no lighting whatsoever, Abigail’s Kitchen is actually dimly lit and requests that guests wear blindfolds to keep the light out.
So, if you ever start to feel uncomfortable, you can just pull your blindfold off and you’ll be good to go.
Address: 85 Macdougal Street, New York, NY, 10012
Hours: Dinners are held between 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Saturdays.
Price: Starts at $150 per person
How to Get There: Take the C/E train to Spring Street station, the 1 train to Houston Street station, or the B/D/F/M train to West 4th Street/ Washington Square station and walk from there.
16. Attend a Comedy Show at the Comedy Cellar
If you want to laugh – like milk coming out of your nose funny – then the only comedy show that you need to attend for your birthday in NYC is at the Comedy Cellar.
Because it is here, inside this super informal, dingy, basement-level comedy club in Greenwich Village, that you’ll find some of the best comedians in the city.
Yeah, people like Dave Chappelle, Jim Norton, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, and Robin Williams all got their start here long before they became uber-famous.
However, this place is one of the more popular things to do in NYC for your birthday. So, be sure to make a reservation well in advance.
Also, do be aware that this place has a 2 beer minimum and a 3 beer maximum in place. Plus, the beers are very much not cheap since this is the big apple.
But, I’ve heard on the DL that if you’re super nice to the waitstaff then they might forego that 3 beer maximum. #justsayin’
Pro Tip: Wanna hobnob it up with some celebs? Then visit The Olive Tree (a restaurant right upstairs) after the show since this is where the comics usually hang out after their sets. Or, you can always head downs the street to Mamoun’s Falafel for some of the BEST falafel in the city.
Address: 117 Macdougal St #1267, New York, NY 10012
Hours: Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 am.
Admission: Tickets are $17 apiece, plus the cost of your 2 beer minimum.
How to Get There: Take the A/C/E train or B/D/F train to the West 4th Street station and walk from there.
17. Indulge In the Secret Underground Ping Pong Experience
If you are looking for some truly unique things to do in NYC on your birthday, you can’t miss the underground Ping Pong experience.
We Are Spin has two epic destinations in New York where they have organized a number of table tennis tables for use by their loyal clientele.
Mind you, the experience comes at an hourly price. On the positive side, the cost is per hour per table and not per head which is great if you come in a larger group.
The ambiance is perfect with the table tennis tables being the center of attraction. This is a hell of a destination because it is literally underground and it mutes out the buzz of the city. You probably won’t even realize that you have spent hours here.
You do need to get a partner to play a game BUT you are more than likely to find someone in the lounge who is looking to pair up.
Plus it also has loads of great food. Most of the food is designed to be shared and serves as fuel for the hunger that a game of ping pong can bring.
Pro Tip: Reserve your table before coming over. Even though We Are Spin has two locations in NYC, they fill up quickly. It is after all one of the quirky and fun spots in the city. Oh and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes if you intend to play a game of tennis.
Address: 48 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010, United States
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 4pm – 12am, Friday: 4pm – 1am, Saturday: 12pm – 1am and Sunday: 12 – 8pm
Price: Sun – Thurs: $49/hour per table and Fri – Sat: $59/hour per table
How To Get There: Take the subway down to 23 St. It is a short walk from there.
18. Indulge in a Bit of Afternoon Tea
Pinkie’s up b*tches because we’re about to get extra fancy and indulge in some of the best afternoon tea in NYC.
Because really, is there any better way to feel super special on your very merry birthday in NYC? And just in case you were wondering, the correct answer to that question is an emphatic, “no”.
So, steer clear of overrated, incredibly expensive afternoon tea spots (yes Plaza, I’m talking about you) in NYC and use my secret local recs to have the best birthday ever.
And my personal favorite fan fave is none other than the Upper East Side’s very own King’s Carriage House. Sure, it looks like an unassuming, ordinary brick building from the outside.
But, when you step across the threshold you’ll uncover a stunning, British Victorian-style home complete with historic wall hangings, vintage crystal chandeliers, and chic dinnerware – making King’s Carriage House unlike any other place in New York City.
And while the atmosphere is top-notch, King’s Carriage House also offers a wide array of loose leaf teas for your to choose from, in addition to a series of refined snacks, tasty finger sandwiches, and incredible tartlets.
Also, not gonna lie, the scones here are pretty dang delicious too. You can also upgrade your NYC birthday experience to include champagne too.
Pro Tip: Highlights of afternoon tea here include smoked salmon tea sandwiches, sesame chicken salad, goat cheese tartlets, fresh scones with jam/clotted cream, raspberry ginger tartlets, and apricot coconut tea cakes.
Address: 251 East 82nd Street, New York, NY, 10028
Hours: Open Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Price: Three-tiered classic tea service starts at $29.95 per person. They also offer High Tea for $39.95 per person with more substantial foods like baby truffled grilled cheese sandwiches.
How to Get There: Take the 4/5/6 train to 86th street station and walk from there.
19. Indulge in a Day at the Spa
I don’t know about you but I love spending the day pampering myself with a massage and facial at one of the best spas in NYC.
As a result, a day at the spa is an easy pick for one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday. And for an exceptionally wonderful day of relaxation try The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental New York.
I mean, not only is the service exceptional, but they offer all those extra little touches that make hotel spas feel extra fancy.
However, if you don’t want to go too crazy, opt for classic spa treatments like a massage, a facial, a restorative detox wrap, and aroma stone therapy.
Or, if you do want to spend the day living the supremely luxe life, then you can’t beat one of their holistic wellness rituals.
Either way, step away from all of your electronic devices and do a Digital Wellness Escape as the pros here expertly restore all of your aching muscles.
And for a refreshing spiritual cleanse, relax amidst aromatherapy oils while enjoying a massage as part of the Inner Strength treatment or a custom-designed Time Ritual.
However, for a truly one-of-a-kind spa experience try the Aire Ancient Baths instead. After all, these incredible stone baths are designed to mimic ancient Greek, Ottoman, and Roman baths, making you feel as though you’ve been transported back in time.
And while the atmosphere here is second to none, the treatments are pretty epic too. So, stop by to enjoy a massage, a thermal bath, or a Himalayan salt experience.
Plus, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, opt for their wine bath experience since you’ll get to relax in a stone tub filled with wine and make all your most fervent birthday wishes come true.
Address: 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Price: Packages start at $190 per person.
How to Get There: Take the N/R/W/A/C/E to Canal Street or the 1 train to Franklin Street station and walk from there.
20. Rock Out at Karaoke
When it comes to planning your birthday in NYC, karaoke is a great choice since you and your friends can take to the stage, throw caution to the wind, and sing along with iconic tunes like “Walking on Sunshine” or “A Thousand Miles”.
But wait, what if you’re a terrible singer and are absolutely terrified of singing in public? Umm, yeah, hi, me too.
If so then not to worry because there are a ton of private karaoke rooms for you to enjoy in Koreatown.
Yup, this super fun part of the city is home to some of the hottest karaoke places around, including Insa, Space, or 5 Bar Karaoke.
Because each of these incredible venues has a totally unique vibe about it and offers guests rad things like mouthwatering Korean food, the best karaoke equipment possible, or quirky props.
But, if I had to pick just one standout favorite it would be Gagopa Karaoke. After all, they are known for their massive selection of songs (30,000+ to be precise) that include recent hits as well as old favorites.
Address: 28 W 32nd St #3fl, New York, NY 10001
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 pm to 4:00 am and Sunday from 7:00 pm to 4:00 am.
Price: $36 per hour for up to four people and then $9 per hour per person for more than five people.
How to Get There: Take the N/R/W/B/D/F/M train to 34th street and Herald Square or the 1/2/3 train to Penn Station and walk from there.
If it’s my birthday, I love going someplace totally unique. This way, I can create a truly memorable experience as I enjoy some of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
And Barcade is just such a place since it offers guests copious amounts of beer, delicious food, and vintage arcade games – all smooshed inside one amazing space.
Plus, it’s so beloved that it now features locations all across the city. Although, my fave is still the original, which was first opened in 2004 in Brooklyn.
However, most of their locations are great and still allow you to get your drink drank on while playing classic games like Pac-Man Battle Royale, Mortal Kombat II, Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, and Daytona USA.
However, if you’re not super into arcade games then try Full Circle Bar instead. Because this place has TONS of skeeball lanes for you to enjoy. And if you’re really into it you can even become part of their in-house skeeball league.
Then, just pair your game with drinks like local craft beer, a spiked Arnold Palmer, or El Jefe’s mango margarita and you’ll be good to go.
Address: 148 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011
Hours: Open Monday through Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am, Thursday from 4:00 pm to 2:00 am, Friday and Saturday from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am and Sunday from 2:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Price: Cocktails start at $12 and entrees start at $14 each.
How to Get There: Take the 1/C/E train to 23rd Street station and walk from there.
22. Watch a Live Taping of Your Fave Television Show
Guess what? Many TV shows are actually taped in front of a live studio audience right here in NYC.
So, why not embrace your love for the small screen and see a live taping of your favorite TV show while enjoying one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday?
Just keep in mind that while some tapings are free and require no tickets, others are insanely hard to get into and have an incredibly strict protocol that you’ll NEED to follow if you want to get tickets.
Therefore, here’s a quick guide on how to get tickets for some of your favorite shows in NYC. Also, these procedures change quite regularly. So, for the most up-to-date info, due check their website.
- Saturday Night Live ((30 Rockefeller Plaza at 48th St) – Send your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org in August so that you can be entered into their ticket lottery. That being said, standby tickets for the 8:00 pm dress rehearsal or the 11:30 pm show are given out on Saturdays at 7:00 am (get there the night before).
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (30 Rockefeller Plaza at 49th St) – Tickets are released a month in advance. So, sign up for your preferred date and you’ll be contacted when you get your tickets.
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (1697 Broadway) – You can reserve tickets online but you need to arrive at the Ed Sullivan Theater early since you won’t be able to join the line after 3:15 pm. For the best seats arrive between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
- Late Night with Seth Meyers (30 Rockefeller Plaza at 49th St) – You can get tickets online or try for standby tickets at 9:00 am the morning of the taping. Then, any additional tickets will be given to The Shop at NBC Studios.
- The Rachael Ray Show (221 W 26th St) – Complete the online form and someone will contact you about filming times. Standby tickets are also available, but they tape multiple shows in a day, so check their website for arrival times. They also have a strict dress code so keep that in mind.
- The Today Show (Rockefeller Center between 48th and 49th St) – No tickets needed. Just stand outside the studio at Rockefeller Center starting at7:00 am and watch the live taping, Monday through Friday.
- Good Morning America (44th and Broadway) – Same as the Today Show. Just get here early to get a decent spot.
- The View (57 W 66th St) – Reserve your tickets online and you’ll be notified 3 and 4 weeks in advance to confirm your attendance. Standby tickets are also available at 9:30 am outside the studio.
- Live with Kelly & Ryan (W 67th St and Columbus Ave) – Tickets are usually released in advance monthly. However, standby tickets are available starting at 7:00 am outside the studio.
Map of the Best Things to do in NYC for Your Birthday
Things to do in NYC For Your Birthday FAQ
Where Can I Throw A Party For My Birthday In NYC?
As you can see, there are so many different things to do in NYC for your birthday BUT if you want a location to actually have a party, then the city does not disappoint either. Here are a couple of venues that really rock when it comes to parties.
Sotto Lounge (starts at $3000 per day) – Rustic, elegant and has a full bar for up to 35 guests!
Main Bar & Balcony At Slattery’s Mid Town Pub ($100/hour) – Great outdoor space with a balcony that can host up to 100 guests!
The Radio Room ($175/hour) – Party space with authentic decor and a fun vibe. Perfect for small gatherings.
Wynwood Private Lounge ($200/hour) – With a maximum capacity of 50 people and has fun amenities like a pool table, karaoke, darts and board games.
592 Private Bar And Banquet At Pekarna ($500/session) – Has a cool old meets new decor. Perfect for both small and large gatherings.
How Can I Spend My 30th Birthday In NYC?
If you want to have an absolute special experience for your 30h birthday then NYC is definitely the place to be. There are novel experiences to be indulged in all across the city. My top suggestions are as follows.
- Book a helicopter ride and catch a bird’s eye view of NYC.
- Take a brunch or lunch or dinner cruise.
- Indulge in a relaxing spa. NYC has loads of options to pick from. Whitby is one of the top rated options.
- Celebrate with a drink at Lavender lake.
- Catch a Broadway show.
How Can I Enjoy My Birthday In NYC On A Budget?
I’ll be the first to admit that NYC is an expensive city. Luckily you can still enjoy most of the things to do in NYC for your birthday without blowing a hole in your wallet. All you need to do is follow these tips.
- Use a culture pass.
- Find out if any of the free museum days coincide with your birthday.
- Get discounted Broadway tickets.
- Make the most of happy hours.
🏆 Looking for the best thing to do in NYC for your birthday? Then book this helicopter tour today! It is such an amazing experience to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Plus you get to say that you’ve flown in a helicopter! 🚁
Additional Resources About NYC You’ll Love
- Best places to shop in NYC on a budget
- Best New York Instagram Captions
- Best Free Things to do in NYC
- Best New York Slang Words
- Best Things to do in NYC with Kids
- Best Vegan Breakfast NYC