You’re a savvy New Yorker who eats at the best restaurants and always knows what’s in style. So why is your go-to birthday spot still a place that serves booze in giant neon fishbowls? Here are our nine favorite spots to celebrate a (slightly classier) birthday in the city.
10 Awesome Places to Celebrate Your Birthday (That Aren't a Bar)
Take A Two-hour Island Vacation
Sure, you could ring in your next birthday in a dark, candlelit bar or you could sip frozen plantain slushies in the sun-drenched Loosie’s Kitchen. Oh, and there’s fried chicken.
91 S. Sixth St. (at Berry St.), Brooklyn; 718-384-2904 or loosieskitchen.com
Cook Up A Storm (in Someone Else's Kitchen)
Round up your culinarily inclined (or challenged) friends and head to Cook Space—an awesome women-run culinary center that looks like the apartment of our dreams—for a hands-on class in anything from Neapolitan pizza to Israeli cuisine.
Have A Boozy Milkshake Party
The milkshakes at OddFellows are an amazing treat on their own. But for your birthday, you can rent out the entire store for two hours, bring your own alcohol and concoct boozy ice cream creations. One rosé raspberry shake, coming right up.
Locations in Williamsburg and the East Village; 347-599-0556 or oddfellowsnyc.com
Knock Down Some (classy) Pins
OK, we know you haven’t been bowling since your sixth-grade birthday party. But Frames, a hidden spot below Port Authority, has traded pizza and smelly shoes for truffle flatbread and Champagne.
550 Ninth Ave. (at 42nd St.); 212-268-6909 or framesnyc.com
Rent A Movie Theater
We’d love to relive those lazy movie nights of our youth…if only our apartment could accommodate more than four people. Fortunately, you can rent out an entire theater at Nitehawk Cinema or Alamo Drafthouse and screen whatever the heck you want while getting booze and queso delivered to your seat.
Lead Your Own Rock Band
Renting out a karaoke room and singing along to scrolling words on a TV? Yawn. Jump up onstage at Arlene’s Grocery, where you can sing rock hits accompanied by a live band and backup dancers. Look out, Beyoncé.
95 Stanton St. (at Orchard St.); 212-358-1633 or arlenesgrocery.net
Learn To Hang Ten
Hey, summer babies: You’re contractually obligated to celebrate your birthday outside. Make the most of it and head to Rockaway Beach with a few adventurous buddies for a beachside surf lesson with Locals Surf School.
Beach 67th St., Rockaway Beach; 347-752-2728 or localssurfschool.com
Be Your Own Bartender
Looking to ramp up your drink skills beyond, um, pouring a glass of wine? Liquor Lab, a brand-new cocktail school in Soho, will turn you and up to 50 pals into mixology whizzes in classes like “Iconic NYC Cocktails and Their Creators.” (And yes, a Manhattan tastes even better when you make it yourself.)
Play Mini Golf With A View
The only thing better than watching the sun set over the Hudson? Watching the sun set over the Hudson while playing 18 holes at Pier 25…then going next door for oysters at Grand Banks.
225 West St. (at N. Moore St.); 212-766-1104 or pier25.com
Do The Shuffle
Lean into the whole “getting older” thing by trying your hand at the Floridian retiree’s sport of choice at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club. In between rounds, relax in a private cabana with tropical drinks—you can even BYO cake (or perhaps a pie from nearby Four & Twenty Blackbirds). Oh, and a selfie against the flamingo wallpaper in the bathroom is mandatory.