Honestly, if you’re going to celebrate your birthday, then you might as well do it in the greatest city on Earth – New York City. Because as you probably already know, there are tons of fun things to do in NYC for your birthday!
You just need a super savvy, 30+ year local to show you the ropes and provide you with expert tips on what to see, do, eat, and where to stay when partying it up in the city that never sleeps.
So, if you’re ready to give Kim Kardashian a run for her money and plan basically the greatest birthday of all time, then this, my friend, is the post for you.
Because I’m about to share all the juicy deets that you need to plan the ultimate birthday weekend in NYC! Especially since you know what they say, right? The party don’t start til I walk in…
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especially since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
🏆 Looking for the BEST HOTEL IN NEW YORK CITY? Reserve a room at The Library Hotel and feel extra special on your birthday. 🏨
Where to Stay When Looking for Fun Things to do in NYC for Your Birthday
Okay, so, first things first. If you’re desperately seeking out some of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday, then you probably need a place to stay.
And depending on your budget for this birthday extravaganza, here are some of my all-time fave hotels in NYC.
- The Leo House (Chelsea, Budget) – Although this hotel isn’t technically associated with any religion, it is run by the Catholic Sisters of St. Agnes. And if you’re on a tight budget, this is a beyond fantastic place to stay since rooms start at $105 per night for a room with a shared shower. I also love that this place is in Chelsea and super centrally located, allowing you to easily get to all the best things to do in NYC for your birthday on this list. Just don’t expect fancy digs because the peaceful rooms here are simple, comfortable, include in-room safes, access to a 24-hour front desk, cable TV, use of a beautiful on-site garden, and the option to enjoy a $9 breakfast buffet (the fresh baked goods are amazing).
- The Library Hotel (Mid-range, Midtown East) – Book lovers who want to live the pseudo-high life in NYC will adore this hotel since each room features a unique theme that has something to do with the Dewey Decimal system. This wonderfully bookish boutique hotel is also within walking distance of the NY Public Library, Grand Central, and Times Square, with rooms that offer book-inspired decor and premium amenities. Whatever you do though, do not leave without making use of their amazing rooftop lounge. Yeah, it’s seriously next-level gorgeous. You’ll also want to try their fantastic free breakfast, enjoy complimentary wine and cheese in the evenings, and sample some all-day refreshments in the reading rooms.
- The Ace Hotel (Mid-range, Nomad) – There are soo many amazing hotels for you to stay in when looking for fun things to do in NYC for your birthday. But, this one is hands down my all-time fave since it’s a 2-minute walk from the subway, is super safe, and offers vintage-inspired rooms that include minibars, Wifi, flat-screen TVs, and more. There’s also a Stumptown Coffee in the lobby (so good) and a bar with wine on tap, making this an ideal place to stay for basically anyone and everyone traveling to NYC.
22 Fun 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’s 100% an amazing experience. 🚁
⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5.0 (158 Reviews) Price: $765 per two people Duration: 30-45 minutes 📍Meeting Point: Atlantic Aviation West, 67 Tower Road, Harrison, NY 10604 Operator: Wings Air Helicopters Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
There are many ways to go all out for your birthday in NYC, but one of the coolest activities is definitely taking a helicopter tour of the city!
And this private helicopter tour of NYC allows you to get a glorious, bird’s eye view of all of the city’s best sites during your 30- to 45-minute flight.
So, keep an eye out for iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Yankee Stadium, the Chrysler Building, and more.
If you want, you can even schedule your flight for sunset so that you can see the city with the majestic golden glow of the sun in the background.
Plus, on top of the amazing views, you’ll also get to learn some fun facts about New York City, making this a truly unique way to experience the city that never sleeps and one of the many fun things to do in NYC for your birthday.
“Only to be recommended! It really is worth every penny. We took the train from Grand Central to White Plains ($45 round trip for 2 people) and then took an Uber to the airport (about $15-20 one way). Everything worked great.”Leslie (read more reviews now)
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on that notoriously pesky NYC weather before you book your flight. Because if you happen to fly on a super cloudy, overcast day, the views can be anything but inspiring. You can also cancel your flight 24 hours in advance and get a full refund.
⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5.0 (584 Reviews) Price: $76.00+ Duration: 2-3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Specific Broadway Theater Operator: GetYourGuide Tours & Tickets GmbH Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
New York City is known across the globe for its fantastic Broadway shows. From The Lion King to Wicked to The Phantom of the Opera, there are so many Broadway shows here that are worth your time.
And since there are twenty-seven different Broadway shows that each run eight times per week, you’ll definitely have your pick of performances to choose from.
Usually, tickets for Broadway shows can be a bit pricey. So, depending on the time, show, and date, tickets range in price anywhere from $20 to $175 – although most hover around the $120 to $130 range.
However, if these types of Broadway shows are still a little out of your financial reach, don’t worry! Because as a super savvy local, I have a few insider tricks and tricks that will help your birthday wish to become a reality (cough, get the TodayTix app, cough)!
“The most incredible show of my life, the sets, the costumes it was fabulous it’s a sight to see when you come to New York.”Sarah (read more reviews now)
I mean, contrary to what many people think, there are actually a ton of different ways to get cheap Broadway tickets, including the TodayTix App, the TKTS booth in Times Square, Broadway Roulette, or standing-room-only tickets.
In other words, you don’t need to empty your wallet to make your Broadway birthday dream come true as you experience all of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday!
Pro Tip: Not sure which show to see? You absolutely can’t go wrong with The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin (good for kids), Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Come from Away (really touching), Dear Evan Hansen (really thought-provoking but not for little kids), and more!
3. Go Out for Drinks
If you’re just looking to spend a night out with friends for your special day then you should consider simply going out for drinks. Sure, it’s more of the more lowkey things to do in NYC for your birthday but it’s still a whole hell of a lot of fun.
Which is why, hello, everyone does it. Plus, NYC is pretty much home to basically every type of bar imaginable, including live music bars, sports bars, high-concept bars, and so much more.
And while there are loads of different bars to choose from in New York City, my personal favorites are the rooftop bars.
Not only can you sip on delicious drinks, but you can also stare at ridiculously amazing views of the city. After all, there’s no place in the world that’s quite like the Big Apple.
Now, sure, there are several awesome rooftop bars in NYC. However, if you’re looking for a spot that’s all glitz and glam, then spend your birthday at The Skylark with a burrata pizzetta and a love potion #39.
Otherwise, if you’d prefer a place with a fun island-inspired theme then check out The Polynesian. You can even make sure that your drinks match the decor by ordering tropical-inspired libations like a mai tai or a notorious P.O.G.
And last, but certainly not least, if you want to feel like you’ve traveled to Italy without hopping on an 8-hour flight, then make your way to Serra by Birreria. We all know that Eataly’s Italian cuisine is superb, so you won’t be disappointed by the Aperol spritz, the arancini, or the tiramisu.
Pro Tip: Don’t wing it when looking for the best things to do in NYC for your birthday and be sure to make reservations if you want a table at any one of these amazing local watering holes. Trust me, NYC is known for a lot of things but being un-crowded is not one of them.
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (78 Reviews) Price: $86 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pier 62, Chelsea Piers Operator: Classic Harbor Line – New York City Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
My favorite time of day in New York City is sunset when the city is awash in the vibrant glow of the golden hour.
And while you can see the sunset from pretty much anywhere in the city, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better view than from a sunset cruise (except for maybe the helicopter I mentioned earlier) – especially if it’s the best dinner cruise NYC has to offer.
Because when you’re out on the water, very few things can obstruct your view of the stunning sunset and the iconic NYC skyline.
Yes, the only glaring exception to that general rule may be the most iconic site in NYC: the Statue of Liberty. And honestly, that’s not a bother, since the Statue of Liberty is backlit with bold, bright colors to create the ultimate, picture-perfect scene.
“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 up to the adjective it was AWESOME.”Sandra (read more reviews now)
And although there are quite a few different sunset cruises in New York City, this 2-hour, Sunset Schooner Cruise stands out among the rest.
Its unique vessel and complimentary drink just round out an already amazing experience.
Plus, to top everything off, hundreds of past guests have raved about this particular sunset cruise, so you know you’ll enjoy it too as one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Rating: 4.9/5.0 (28 Reviews) Price: $99 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: The fountain at Jackson Square Park Operator: Manhattan Walking Tour Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Calling all foodies! Because if you love to eat all the feels then this Greenwich Village Food Tour is definitely one of the most fun things to do in NYC for your birthday.
However, just in case you’re not totally in the know, Greenwich Village is actually a foodie hub in NYC. I mean, first of all, there are a ton of classic eateries that you have to visit, like MIMI and Murray’s Bagels.
Then, there are always a few new places that you may not have heard of. Luckily for you though, this Greenwich Village Food Tour takes you to a lovely combination of both!
So, during your culinary tour of wonder, you’ll get to visit a beautiful mixture of jazz clubs, bookshops, and chocolatiers – all of which serve up some of the best food in New York City.
FYI, many of these places are total hidden gems that you’ll only find with the help of a handy dandy local. That’s why this food tour is definitely one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Plus, If you have dietary restrictions, they’ll be happy to accommodate you! Because regardless of whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free, this Greenwich Village Food Tour has something delicious to offer you!
“This was my niece and her husbands first trip to NYC. We tried to choose our tourist activities carefully because of the time limitations. We were all so happy we chose your tour! It exceeded our expectations. Lots of information, great food that we would never have experienced otherwise. I would highly recommend it!”Jackie (read more reviews now)
Pro Tip: Looking for even more foodie awesomeness? Then check out my list of the best food tours in NYC now!
6. Visit a Roller Disco
If you feel like throwing it back to the 70s, then hitting up a local, NYC roller disco is a fantastic idea. And luckily for you, you can find everything – including roller disco – in NYC. As a matter of fact, there are a couple of different spots for you to choose from.
Now, the most popular roller disco experience in the city is at Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Rink. It’s a weekly event that runs from the end of spring through the middle of autumn.
So, feel free to roll on up (Get it? Because it’s a ROLLER disco?) to Prospect Park on almost any Friday night, skate for hours on end, and have an absolutely amazing time. And don’t forget to dress up in a 70s-inspired outfit to really complete the experience!
It also doesn’t hurt that this 16,000 square foot covered roller rink overlooks the Prospect Park Lake and is home to a fantastic, green roof terrace where you can get beer, wine, and specialty items aplenty at Bluestone Café.
But, if you’re looking for something a little more exclusive, you’ll want to keep an eye out for The Roller Wave’s roller disco pop-ups!
Because with amazing DJs, live bands, fun cocktails, and friendly people, what more could you really want from a roller disco spot?
And the correct answer to this question is, of course, nothing.
Plus, The Roller Wave even occasionally holds silent roller discos – an event where everyone wears headphones and picks their own music – in order to be more inclusive.
Address: 1205 Boardwalk, Brooklyn 11224
Hours; Most Friday nights between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
Price: $15.00 for admission AND 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.
Rating: 4.8/5.0 (62 Reviews) Price: $154 per person Duration: 165 minutes 📍Meeting Point: Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 Operator: Classic Harbor Line Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Breakfast is fantastic and lunch is wonderful, but brunch is the best of both worlds! Especially since you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to enjoy it (I am basically the anti-morning person).
So, why not take your birthday brunch experience to a whole new level with this fly like a G-6 brunch cruise? I mean, I’ve been to all of the best fun brunch spots in NYC but this experience is something extra special.
“A fantastic experience! Very well organized trip with welcoming staff. Plenty of space on the boat and you get a specific table assigned, via the ticket, so it is not “first come, first served.” Lots of space and only a few people, compared to the size of the boat. One can get up and walk around without disturbing others. Soups delicious air conditioning as well as large and shiny clean toilets.”Paulina (read more reviews now)
Because guess what? This particular NYC brunch cruise serves up many of your brunch faves. So, bite into a fresh NYC bagel, cut into a fantastic quiche, feel a little fancy with some smoked salmon, and finish it all off with a flaky beyond-belief pastry.
Just don’t forget your choice of champagne, bloody Marys, or Mimoses since no brunch experience could ever be complete without an alcoholic beverage of some sort.
And to make this 3-hour cruise even more awesome, you’ll actually be eating all of these decadent delights while aboard a 1920s-style luxury yacht. So, do expect to find glossy wood tables, huge windows, and adorable booths around every turn since this vessel is absurdly charming.
You’ll also be able to enjoy amazing views of Manhattan during this scenic brunch cruise as you glide past iconic sites like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building.
8. Laser Tag
Laser tag is easily one of the most fun things to do in NYC for your birthday, regardless of your age. I mean, when you’re a little kid, laser tag is basically like the dream birthday party.
Therefore, why don’t we carry this exceptional party idea over into adulthood? Especially if it creates loads of fun? Because the bottom line is that laser tag is an incredible activity for adults too.
And Area 53 NYC is the perfect laser tag spot for adults. It’s a giant, two-story venue that looks like an abandoned warehouse, complete with graffiti, piles of empty wood palettes, and exposed brick walls.
Yup, definitely one of the coolest places in town to brush up on your laser tag skills and embrace your inner child.
And while you’ll probably want to play for hours on end, it’s pretty easy to get worn out rather quickly. Luckily for you though, Area 53 NYC also has an Upper Level, where you can rest in between games.
You can also munch on some delicious catered cuisine, take a seat on one of their comfy couches, or play a few games of foosball.
Finally, when you’re all laser tagged out, you can relax and grab a drink at 68 Jay Street Bar just around the corner! Once there, you can sip on a solid martini, margarita, manhattan, or negroni before heading back home.
Yessiree, that sounds like a pretty perfect birthday to me!
Address: 616 Scholes St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Hours: Sessions are an hour long and are held daily from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Price: Tickets start at $37.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take the L train to Jefferson Street station and walk to the laser tag facility from there.
9. Scavenger Hunt
There are tons of big-name sites in New York City. And since most people are busy visiting all of these famous spots, some of NYC’s best-hidden gems are often overlooked.
And one of those epic, totally underrated places is an NYC scavenger hunt!
But, because there are so many scavenger hunts scattered throughout the city, you’ll want to pick the one that aligns with your interests.
And first up for this history nerd du jour? None other than Hamilton: The Scavenger Hunt. Just follow the trail of clues and make your way to Hamilton’s grave, his workplace, his home on Wall Street, and more.
Plus, this epic scavenger hunt also has a kid-friendly option, if you’d like to take on this adventure with the whole family.
Otherwise, if you’re a diehard foodie, then one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday is definitely The Munch Around Greenwich Scavenger Hunt.
Because even though NYC is absolutely brimming over with noteworthy food joints, this particular scavenger hunt will take you to spots that have a little extra significance.
You know, super food-centric hotspots like eateries featured in Sex and the City, the go-to bar of E.E. Cummings, and a historic coffee shop that’s well over 100 years old!
Along the way, you’ll also get to munch on an absurd number of tasty treats, including cannolis, croissants, kebabs, and paratha. Excuse me while I grab a moist towelette.
And finally, if you’d like to get back into nature and spend some time frolicking through fields of daisies, then The Secrets of Central Park Scavenger Hunt is ideal!
Because throughout this glorious hunt, you’ll uncover several secret spots in the park, including a bird sanctuary, a carousel, and a dairy.
And like Hamilton: The Scavenger Hunt, The Secrets of Central Park Scavenger Hunt also has a kid-friendly version – easily making this one of the many fun things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Address: Varies by the event.
Hours: Hunt’s are 2.5 hours long.
Price: $24.00 per person.
How to Get There: Varies by the event.
10. Take a Cooking Class
Calling all culinary wizards (or aspiring ones)! Because if you want to get your culinary swerve on then taking a cooking class is easily one of the most fun things to do in NYC for your birthday.
And thanks to the diverse group of people that have settled in the city, you’ll have a wide variety of cuisines and skill levels to choose from when it comes to your ideal birthday cooking class.
Now, home cooks looking to up their game to professional-level status will love a cooking class at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). With recreational cooking classes available every day of the week, you can learn how to make everything from sous vide steaks to vegan burgers.
However, If you have a monster-sized sweet tooth like me, then you might prefer the Mille-Feuille Bakery cooking class. Their most popular baking class teaches you how to make macarons.
And with only eight people per class, you’ll get the individual attention you need to make divine macarons.
But, without a doubt, one of the coolest cooking classes in New York City is offered the League of Kitchens. I mean, let’s be real people.
Everyone knows that grandmas are the best chefs in the world. Especially since throughout the course of their lives, they’ve taken the best family recipes and adapted them to make them even better.
That’s why, at League of Kitchens, talented grandmas from all over the world – from Uzbekistan to Greece to Japan – teach you their best family recipes right in their very own homes!
So, if you can only do one cooking class in NYC, let this be it!
Address: All League of Kitchens classes are currently offered online.
Hours: Classes are typically 2-hours long and are offered all day, throughout the cay.
Price: $60.00 per class
How to Get There: N/A
11. Enjoy Dinner in the Dark
The dinner in the dark trend has been booming around NYC. But just in case you’re not familiar with it, the premise behind these types of restaurants is to limit your other senses – in this case, your sense of sight – to enhance your ability to taste the dishes you order.
Now, I know this concept might sound a little weird at first, but there’s solid science to back it up.
And for the best dinner in the dark experience in New York City – and one of the best things to do in New York for your birthday – you’ll want to head to Abigail’s Kitchen.
See, their two-and-a-half-hour, four-course dinner includes quite a few delicious dishes. BUT you won’t know what they are until you eat them!
Plus, since this entire meal takes place in the dark, your other senses will have to figure out what tasty ingredients are on the plate.
As a side note, please inform Abigail’s Kitchen of any dietary restrictions or allergies you might have when you purchase your ticket for dinner in the dark.
Yeah, nothing ruins one of the fun things to do in NYC for your birthday quite like anaphylactic shock.
Also, If you’re a little apprehensive about the concept of dining in the dark at Abigail’s Kitchen, you can rest is because this eatery does a great job of easing you into it.
I mean, while other dinner in the dark experiences have no lighting whatsoever, Abigail’s Kitchen is dimly lit and asks guests to wear comfortable blindfolds.
So, if you ever get apprehensive about the darkness, you can simply pull the blindfold off and you’ll be able to see, no problem.
Address: 85 Macdougal Street, New York, NY, 10012
Hours: Dinners run from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Saturdays.
Price: $150 per person
How to Get There: Take the C/E train to Spring Street station or the 1 train to Houston Street station or the B/D/F/M train to West 4th Street and Washington Square station and walk to the restaurant from there.
12. Enjoy a Comedy Show at the Comedy Cellar
Birthdays are all about celebrating you and your awesome life. So, you should definitely do things that bring you joy on your birthday.
That’s why one of the most fun things to do in NYC for your birthday is to watch a comedy show at Comedy Cellar.
I mean, you’ll be laughing so hard, tears will be streaming out of your eyes! And I dunno about you but that definitely sounds like a joy-filled night to me!
Anyway, just in case you’re not in the know, The Comedy Cellar is considered by many to be one of the best comedy clubs in the entire country.
Therefore, expect to find tons of famous comedians performing at this world-renowned venue, including Aziz Ansari, Dave Chapelle, Sarah Silverman, and Kevin Hart.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see one of these greats in action. Or maybe you’ll get to discover a couple of rising stars before they make it big!
Be sure to make your reservations for the Comedy Cellar far in advance though since this place is popular! Because despite the fact that their New York location hosts 30 shows per week, seats still fill up shockingly fast.
Pro Tip: This place is pretty small so it will be crowded. There is also a two beer minimum, three beer maximum here. And if you’re into celebrity spotting, then head on up to The Olive Tree (the restaurant right above The Comedy Cellar) after the show since that’s where all the performers go. Otherwise, you can grab a falafel at Mamoun’s Falafel or some divine spinach artichoke pizza at Artichoke Basille’s.
Address: 117 Macdougal St #1267, New York, NY 10012
Hours: Open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 am.
Price: Tickets are $17 per person plus your 2 beer minimum.
How to Get There: Just take either the A, C, E train or the B, D, F train to the West 4th Street station.
13. Do an Adult Afternoon Tea
If you feel like partaking in a fancy day out in NYC, then you should 110% consider enjoying the beautiful glory that is the best afternoon tea in NYC.
And although there are quite a few different afternoon tea spots in the city, many of them are highly overrated. But luckily for you, I’m here with my local expertise and recommendations to help you make the most of your birthday in NYC!
Now, my personal favorite is King’s Carriage House. From the outside, King’s Carriage House looks like a relatively unassuming brick building.
However, on the inside, it transports you back to Britain’s Victorian era with vintage wall hangings, sparkling chandeliers, and classy dinnerware, That’s why King’s Carriage House is unlike any other place in New York City.
And while the atmosphere of King’s Carriage House is ridiculously awesome, we certainly can’t forget to talk about the tea in their tea room! Because this particular tea room has plenty of tea for you to choose from, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for you.
In addition to your tea of choice, you’ll also get to munch on loads of dainty snacks, including small sandwiches and tartlets. If you like, you can even upgrade your experience to include some champagne or a fancy entree.
Pro Tip: Decadent delights included with your tea service include smoked salmon tea sandwiches, sesame chicken salad, goat cheese tartlets, fresh scones with jam/clotted cream, raspberry ginger tartlets, apricot coconut tea cakes, chocolate pistachio tea cakes, lemon curd squares, etc.
Address: 251 East 82nd Street, New York, NY, 10028
Hours: Closed Sundays and 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: Their classic three-tiered tea service is just $29.95 per person. They also offer a decadent High Tea Service that is $39.95 per person and includes slightly more substantial food items like baby truffled grilled cheese sandwiches.
How to Get There: Take the Q to 57th street station or the 4/5/6 train to 86th street station and walk from there.
14. Spa Day
Who doesn’t love a day of pampering? After all, with all the stress of life, a spa day may be exactly what you need to do in NYC on your birthday.
So, for a day of luxurious pampering, I recommend The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Somehow, they always provide that added touch of lavishness that comes with hotel spas.
To keep things simple, you can get a massage, a facial, a restorative detox wrap, or an aroma stone therapy. But if you’d really like to take your birthday pampering to the next level, you can try one of The Spa’s holistic wellness rituals.
And if you tend to spend too much time on your electronic devices, you can enjoy a Digital Wellness Escape, which is specifically designed to relax muscles that are strained by these actions.
But, If you’re in dire need of both a spiritual and mental cleanse, then the aromatherapy oils and relaxing massage of the Inner Strength treatment may be exactly what you need. And if you’d like a treatment that’s designed specifically for you, you can always enjoy the Time Ritual.
Although, if you want your spa day to be both an experience and a day for relaxation, then you should definitely head to the Aire Ancient Baths. These stone baths are inspired by ancient Greek, Ottoman, and Roman baths, so you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a different time and place.
And while the atmosphere is one of the main highlights of the Aire Ancient Baths, the incredible treatments are nothing to balk at either.
So, stop by today to partake in a massage, a thermal bath, or a Himalayan salt experience. You can even try their wonderfully unique wine bath experience, where you literally relax in a stone tub filled with wine. Talk about the ultimate birthday dream come true.
Address: 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Price: Experiences start at around $190 per person.
How to Get There: Take the N/R/W/A/C/E to Canal Street station or the 1 train to Franklin Street station and walk to the baths from there.
One of the most fun things to do in NYC for your birthday is definitely singing karaoke.
Just picture it: You and your closest friends take the stage. You decide to sing one of your favorite songs, one that stirs up all of your best memories.
You knock the song out of the park. You even hit that ridiculously difficult high note at the end. And as you bask in the sound of the applause, you feel like a superstar!
Thankfully, you don’t have to do all of this in front of a live studio audience (lol) since many of the best PRIVATE karaoke rooms in New York City are in Koreatown.
So, be sure to check out Insa, Space, or 5 Bar Karaoke since they are some of the best. Because each of these dynamic venues has something that makes it stand out, whether it’s the mouthwatering Korean food, the best karaoke equipment possible, or the quirky props.
Personally, though, I recommend Gagopa Karaoke since they have a massive selection of songs to choose from. Like, 30,000+ songs to be precise, including many recent hits. Therefore, you’re sure to find many of your favorite songs to jam out to.
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 $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 station or the 1/2/3 train to Penn Station and walk to the karaoke place from there.
16. Try a Graffiti Art Workshop
Love street art almost as much as me? Want to enjoy one of the best birthday activities in NYC that is totally unique?
If so then sign up for a graffiti art workshop with Graff Tours.
Because throughout these artist-led workshops and/or tours, you’ll be able to legally create your very own street art mural and leave it out there for everyone to see on the not-so-mean streets of NYC.
In fact, you’ll learn all about things like what spray paint to use and how to apply it so that the colors are extra vibrant.
Plus, your expert guide with even teach you all about the local street art and show you where you can find some of the all-time best pieces in the tri-state area.
So, if you like street art even a little bit then is is definitely one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
Address: 282 Meserole Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Hours: Dates and times vary but they run daily at 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:30 pm, with tours at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm on the weekends. Classes also last about an hour.
Price: Starts at $40.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take the L train to Montrose Avenue Station and walk from there.
17. See the Dueling Pianos at Bar 9
If you love music even a little bit then run, don’t walk, to Bar 9 and check out the Dueling Pianos.
Trust me, this isn’t your average, boring AF piano music.
Instead, head inside this immortal Hell’s Kitchen watering hole – on Friday or Saturday nights – and be treated to one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday.
And if you’re not sure what order, try their Bar Nine cocktail and pair it with loaded nachos, a bourbon-glazed burger, and a bacon-wrapped hot dog.
What? I know that’s a lot of food but didn’t you hear that calories don’t count on your birthday?
Anyway, once you have drinks and food in hand, enjoy a lively show that everyone can get behind as the audience is encouraged to sing along to piano-inspired versions of classic rap, country, punk, and rock tunes.
Honestly, this place is so much fun that sometimes even the waitstaff and bartenders sometimes get in on all the action.
Address: 807 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Hours: Shows are held on Friday at 8:00 pm (arrive at 7:30 pm) and Saturday at 7:30 pm (arrive at 7:00 pm). You also currently need to RSVP on their website due to COVID.
Price: $25.00 per person
How to Get There: Take the N/R/W train to 57th street and walk from there.
On my birthday, I love going to places with fun activities and fabulous food (and drinks).
And you know what? All of Barcade’s uber-fab locations fit in with my personal preferences quite nicely. Plus, since New York City has a few different barcades to choose from, I always have options – and so do you!
The most famous barcade in NYC is, well, Barcade. Opened in 2004, this gem is actually the original arcade bar.
Since then, it’s established itself as a fantastic place to play retro video games. A few of the most popular of which include Pac-Man Battle Royale, Mortal Kombat II, Daytona USA, and NBA Jam Tournament Edition.
And to really round out your Barcade experience, don’t forget to enjoy a couple of their fab beers on tap.
But, If video games aren’t up your alley and you still want to live the barcade life, you should definitely consider going to Full Circle Bar.
This particular barcade revolves around skeeball and has dozens of skee ball lanes for you to choose from. They even have a skeeball league, and a bar that is made entirely out of old skeeball parts,
Yeah, not gonna lie, Full Circle Bar could not be more on theme. As for the drinks, you can enjoy a locally brewed beer, a spiked Arnold Palmer, or El Jefe’s mango margarita.
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.
19. Try an Escape Room
Looking for one of the best things to do in NYC for your birthday? Then look no further than one of the many escape rooms that can be found all throughout NYC.
Because I’m not gonna lie, I am hardcore obsessed with escape rooms of every variety. And that makes sense since escape rooms are:
- super fun
- allow you to solve themed puzzles in an allotted amount of time
- are perfect for large groups
- are centered around every topic imaginable (think Harry Potter, vampires, zombies, etc.)
Plus, since all escape rooms tend to operate around the same general principle, you’ll know almost exactly what to expect before you even begin your awesome b-day celebration.
So, yes, you really will be “trapped” inside some room and will need to unravel a series of clues to get out of the room before time runs out (FYI, you usually have 60 minutes).
And just in case you’re not super escape room savvy, there are several “generations” of escape rooms for you to try. And they are::
- Gen I – Very hands-on puzzles that aren’t really techy
- Gen II (this is most escape rooms) – Puzzles will be a combo of traditional, tech-free riddles and more video-game-like activities.
- Gen III – These are like real-life video games. So, pretty much all of the puzzles will have a big tech component with lots of interactive screens.
So yeah, escape rooms are just a great birthday activity all around since adults and kids alike will LOVE trying to figure out how to get out in time (eek!).
And some of my fave escape rooms in NYC include:
- BRAINXCAFE – Flatiron
- Mission Escape Games – Midtown West
- Beat the Bomb – DUMBO Brooklyn
- Escape Games NYC – Tribeca
- The Escape Game – Midtown (FYI, they have locations all around the country)
Pro Tip: This is one of those things to do in New York for your birthday that you really need a large group for. So, if you can, try and do this activity with at least three people. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up doing this escape room with another group that you’ll meet while you’re there.
20. Indoor Skydiving at iFLY Westchester
The beauty about NYC is that it has something for everyone. If you love to get your adrenaline pumping but have never been able to work up the courage to jump off a plane and experience skydiving, try iFLY Westchester. The campus offers a novel way to skydive.
Indoor skydiving mimics the thrill of skydiving without the danger. It uses a themed wind tunnel to simulate the experience. It is a jolly good way to spend time with your friends and is one of the best activities I would suggest for your birthday in NYC.
Pro Tip: If you really enjoy indoor skydiving, think about taking the plunge (pun intended!) and book a skydiving experience with iFLY. Indoor skydiving is to actual skydiving what discover scuba is to scuba diving. It is aimed to give you a taste of the real thing.
Address: 849 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers, NY 10710
Hours: The daily hours differ depending on the day of the week. Mon: 9 am – 9 pm, Tue: 11am – 6 pm, Wed: 11am – 6pm, Thur: 12 -7 pm, Fri: 10 am- 8 pm, Sat: 8 am – 11 pm, Sun: 8:30 am -10:30 pm
Price: Starts st $70.00 per person.
How to Get There: Take a MetroNorth train to Yonkers and catch an uber from the station to Ridge Hill.
21. Experience true relaxation at Aire Ancient baths
Aire Ancient baths are a treat to the senses. Inspired by ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman civilizations, the experience takes place in a historical building that has been restored just for this purpose.
Honestly, if you are looking for a little indulgence and you want something that relaxes your mind and your body then the Aire ancient bath experience is exactly what you need. For me, a birthday is just an excuse. I really need to do this more often.
Pro tip: Make the booking in advance to see if they can accommodate you. You can choose the number of people going with you.
Address: 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013
Hours: Aire Ancient baths are open everyday between 9 am- 11 pm
Price: $270-$300 per person and involves 120 mins of rejuvenation.
How to get there: Take the subway to Franklin street station. The AIRE Ancient baths is a short walk from there.
22. Watch a Live Taping of Your Favorite Show on TV
What’s this? Here in NYC, many TV shows are really recorded in front of a live studio audience.
So why not celebrate your love of television by attending a live filming of your preferred TV program and taking advantage of one of the greatest birthday activities in NYC?
Remember that although some tapings are free and don’t require tickets, others are exceedingly difficult to enter and have a very specific process that you’ll NEED to follow if you want to acquire tickets.
See how to get tickets for 5 of the most popular live recordings in town below. Before you know it, you could run across your favorite daytime and late-night hosts in person.
1. Saturday Night Live (30 Rockefeller Plaza at 48th St)- Sending your contact information to [email protected] in August will enter you into a lottery to win tickets. But don’t worry if you missed the deadline! Standby tickets for the 8pm dress rehearsal or 11:30 pm live broadcast are distributed out Saturdays at 7am. Be prepared to spend the previous evening camping.
2. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – Online ticket purchases are available, but arrive early at the Ed Sullivan Theater. After 3:15 pm, no one will be permitted to join the queue, and for the best seats, most spectators arrive between 12 pm and 2 pm.
3. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – A month in advance, tickets are made available. Register for the day of your choice, and we’ll get in touch with you if your reservation is accepted. You may join up to watch Jimmy’s monologue practice on the ticket website.
4. Late Night with Seth Meyers – The program provides standby tickets on the mornings of tapings at 9am if you are unable to purchase one online. Any extra tickets, including those to attend Seth’s monologue practice, will be sold in The Shop at NBC Studios.
5. Today Show – No tickets are required. The show is filmed on Rockefeller Plaza every day at 7 am, but don’t be shocked if lines develop up to three hours early.
23. Become A Ping Pong Champion At SPiN New York
If you are on the lookout for truly unique things to do in NYC for your birthday then I would suggest checking out SPiN New York. This place is the perfect combination of food, drinks and fun things to do. Now while the vibe itself is epic, you will find that SPiN New York is best known for its ping pong tables.
There are numerous ping pong tables in this snazzy place and you can rent them for just $9 an hour after 9 pm. Mind you, this is valid for as many as 10 people so if you are planning a birthday get together, you won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
SPiN also serves up (pun intended!) some really delicious food and some of the best cocktails in the city so it’s a great place to kickback and enjoy too! If you are a foodie then you definitely should try Chad’s burger and the red velvet brownies are absolutely divine. Oh and if you want a truly unique pizza, the Carbonara pizza certainly hits the spot.
Address: 48 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
Hours: Open Monday through Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Thursday from 4:00 pm to 12:00 am, Friday from 4:00 pm to 1:00 am, Saturday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am, and Sunday from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Price: $49.00 per hour per table.
How to Get There: Take the R/W/6 train to 23rd street and walk from there.
24. Enjoy The Best Hot Chocolate In The City
A birthday is a great time to treat your senses and your taste buds. New York has some of the best hot chocolate in the world and this decadent drink is usually popular during the colder winter months but you can definitely enjoy it all year round.
Now if you haven’t scoured the city for the best hot chocolate yet, I would recommend checking out Jacques Torres Hot Chocolate, Max Brenner, and Dominique Ansel Bakery. These are the most popular spots in the city when it comes to the best hot chocolate in town.
I know that loads of people will tell you why one is better than the other but I’ll be honest with you. They are all sooo good. Just pick the one that is closest to you or better still, try them all if you have the time.
25. Catacombs Of NYC
Did you know that there are catacombs under the city? Yup! It is one of the unusual things to do in NYC for your birthday especially if you love doing something out of the ordinary. So if this seems like your thing head to St. Patrick’s Basilica. You’ll find it right next to Little Italy. From here you will descend into the bowels of NYC. Joking! It’s not that scary.
The best way to do this is by booking one of the candlelight tours of Catacombs. You can do this way in advance so you are sure you will catch a spot on your birthday and won’t be disappointed when you reach there.
Here you will hear all the stories about the church’s past and you can even explore the cemeteries where a number of famous New Yorkers are buried. The thing is since it is a tour, you can head out on your own so if you don’t have company, don’t worry. It is also fun with friends though. I would recommend adding this as a fun activity before heading out for dinner or drinks.
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.
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5 (121 Reviews) Price: $39 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: 385, 6th Avenue, New York City Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
While we are on the topic of spooky things to do in NYC for your birthday. Note that this is one of the things you do after the sun has set. After all, night is where the ghosts come out right? The tour takes about 2 hours and you will visit some interesting sights like the hanging tree and Washington Square Park.
You’ll also get to visit the Murder house. Legend has it that this particular house is haunted by 22 spirits so if you feel the chills or hear something while you are there, you know exactly what it is.
“We enjoyed the sights and the history of this tour. We were hoping to meet the ghost dog, but we settled for a great walk through Greenwich, the interesting stories of haunting from our guide Liz, and the perfect eerie drizzly weather, sans paranormal encounters. Maybe next time 🙂 “Jennifer (read more reviews now!)
Brown building is another spot that you will head to while you are on the tour. Now this building was once engulfed in a fire. The story about it is one that has been told again and again. While you are here, you will be able to see the effect the fire had on the building.
These are just a few cool ways to learn about the city and if you are a fan of history, you will find that it’s a great way to spend your birthday.
27. Radio City Music Hall
Radio city Music Hall features on most people’s list of things to do in NYC. It is the Showplace of the nation after all. It is also a great place to head to on your birthday because there are lots of shows that are always scheduled here.
Radio City Music Hall is famous for the Rockettes. It actually serves as their headquarters. You have to realize that the Rockettes shows are really popular so they are almost always sold out. So don’t be spontaneous and head here. Odds are you will head back disappointed. Instead, book your show way in advance so you can choose your seat and even get a good show.
I know it sounds super tedious but it is so worth the trouble.
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.
28. Coney Island Sideshows By The Seashore
Coney Island is always a great idea if you want to head a bit away from the buzz of the city. Now while Coney Island has a lot of different attractions, the Sideshows by the seashore is one of the unique experiences that you should think about when it comes to celebrating your birthday.
Wondering what is so special about this place? Well… It is the last permanently housed circus sideshow in the USA. There are so many different shows that you can catch here. Think sword swallowers, glass walkers and more. It’s pretty old school and the artists are super talented. You’ll be enthralled the whole time. It is one of the unique things to do in NYC for your birthday.
29. Have A Kickass Harry Potter Experience
Are you a Potterhead? Love everything Harry Potter? Well if you are like me then visiting the Harry Potter store in NYC is one of the experiences that should be on your bucket list. Now I’m going to stop you before you think that it is all about buying Harry Potter memorabilia. I mean there are loads of souvenirs you can get but the interesting part of this store is the Harry Potter experience that is available.
There are two different experiences that you can try out. The Harry Potter Wizards Take Flight and the Harry Potter Castle Of Chaos are both VR experiences that are fun but they sell out quickly so like all things good in NYC, make sure that you book your experience in advance.
Once you are done with the VR experience head to the bakery section. Here you can indulge in some birthday cake which obviously is themed and maybe add some butterbeer to the menu too! You can even have a Harry Potter themed party here!
30. Head To The Observation Deck For Some Mind Blowing Views Of NYC
The views of the NYC skyline are legendary and there are loads of different places that you can head to if you want to just take in the sights. I’ve already told you about many of the cruises which is a good way to see the skyline BUT there are also loads of observation decks in the city where you can see NYC from a different perspective.
Some of my absolute favs are in the Empire State building, the Edge and the One World Trade Center. The thing however is that many people have the same idea. The tickets can also be pretty expensive which is why I recommend checking out the Empire State building and/or SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. This is because both these places offer much more for the amount you pay.
The Empire State Building has a museum which you can go through. This will give you a deeper perspective into NYC. SUMMIT One Vanderbilt on the other hand has a mirrored art installation. So as you can see, this is more about the things that you can do while enjoying the view. So much better than jumping up, catching the view and saying adieu! Don’t you agree?
31. Indulge In A Drag Brunch
Drag brunches are all the rage and what better way to start off our birthday? There’s some solid entertainment, lots of laughter, good vibes and plenty of sparkles all through the event. Sounds like birthday material now doesn’t it?
The best part is that NYC has tons of fun brunches and many drag brunch options. I’m not kidding. Literally every part of the city has great options so keep your eyes open. LIPS Broadway Brunch, Lucky Cheng’s Drag Cabaret, La Pulperia, Dromedary Urban Tiki Bar, or The Standard Grill are some of the best options in town but don’t limit yourself just to this list!
The thing that I love about drag lunches is that it gives me an excuse to dress up and break out the glitter and sparkles. You just can’t head for a drag brunch without sparkles! It really makes for an epic birthday celebration.
Map of the Fun Things to do in NYC for Your Birthday
Things to do in NYC For Your Birthday FAQ
What Should I do for my Birthday in New York City?
Some of the things you could do in NYC for your birthday include:
- Catch a Broadway Show
- Sip on a Drink at a Nice Rooftop Bar
- Do a Harbor Cruise
- Relax at a Spa
- Try an Escape Room
- Book a helicopter tour of the city
- And more!
What Special Things can I do for my Birthday?
Some special things you can do for your birthday are:
- An adult afternoon tea
- Do some karaoke
- Enjoy a soothing day at the spa
- Try a bit of indoor skydiving
- Go bowling
- Try a bit of laser tag
- Go old school and visit a local roller rink
- Do an escape room
- Book a high-end wine tasting
What should I do for my 30th birthday in NYC?
For your 30th birthday in NYC try:
- Having a classy brunch at Tavern on the Green
- Booking a luxurious afternoon tea at The Whitby
- Enjoying a helicopter tour and see NYC from above
- Catching a Game at Yankee Stadium
- Catching a Show at the Comedy Celler
- Enjoying a Broadway Play
- Visiting a fancy Rooftop Bar like St. Cloud Rooftop Bar
- Grabbing a meal at Carbone
- Relaxing all day at the Spa (try the Turkish Baths)
Where can I throw a birthday party in NYC?
Some great places to throw a birthday party in NYC are:
- Sotto Lounge – starts at $3000 per day
- The Radio Room – $175 per hour
- Main Bar and Balcony – $100 per day
- Cask Cellar – $1500 per session
- Lips Area – The Factory 380 – starts at $38 per person
- Back Lounge at Crystal Lake – starts at $575 per session
- Marie Antoinette Room at Dear Irving Gramercy – starts at $2000 per evening
🏆 Looking for the best thing to do in NYC for your birthday? Then book this helicopter tour today! It’s 100% an amazing experience. 🚁
Additional NYC Travel Resources You’ll Love
- 21 Fun Brunch Spots in NYC
- 20 Best Places to Shop in NYC on a Budget
- The Ultimate Guide to Fall in NYC
- 21 Romantic Getaways in Upstate New York
- The Ultimate NYC Solo Travel Guide
- One Day in New York City Itinerary
- 18 Tips for Backpacking NYC on a Budget
- 100+ Amazing New York Slang Phrases You Need to Know!
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- Best Date Night Ideas in NYC