Celebrating Creatively


By Veronica Chavez

Photo courtesy of Will Clayton.

Birthday parties are fun when you’re a kid. An adult handles all the planning, heaps of people are almost guaranteed to show up, and there seems to be endless party ideas.

Unfortunately, as people get older, the days of pinatas and goody bags fade away and we’re left inviting 80 “friends” to a vague bar outing through Facebook.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

BTR rounds up some creative birthday party ideas–whatever your taste may be.

Music junkies

Photo courtesy of Steve Snodgrass.

Whether you’re an avid vinyl collector, obscure instrument aficionado, or a member of a band you’re certain will be the next Led Zeppelin, there are a slew of places to celebrate a birthday while also celebrating your love for music.

The New York City restaurant, Vynl, provides the perfect ambience for music lovers. TVs display music videos, both old and new, for a pleasant twang of nostalgia. Records and mosaics of musicians adorn the walls and provide an eye-catching backdrop for pictures. Plus, with cocktail names like Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Phil Collins, even ordering is a fun music-themed event.

For a more interactive experience, head over to Swing 46, the “jazz and supper club.” This popular NYC restaurant offers dining, dancing, and cocktails, as well as a free dance lesson. The Swing DJ and live bands every night make Swing 46 the ideal place for upbeat dancing without the stuffiness of a club.

DIY idea: Visit your local record shop and scour the collection with friends. Make a list of rare records to find and split up into groups to see who can find the most, winners buy dinner (or drinks).


Photo courtesy of ryan harvey.

For those who want to start a new year of their lives with a dose of adrenaline, Six Flags isn’t the only place that can provide a rush.

Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, NY, offers tandem jumps, views of the Shawangunk Mountains, a team of videographers to document the moment, and even a restaurant on the premises that will cater your party once you’re safely back on the ground.

If jumping out of a plane seems a bit extreme, opt for indoor skydiving or “body-flying.” At Flyaway Indoor Skydiving, participants are placed in a vertical wind tunnel allowing them to “break the bonds of gravity and body fly.” And because they teach you all the skills you need to know on the spot, a trip to the facility before the day of the party is unnecessary.

For an activity a bit more engaging than jumping out of a plane or floating in mid-air, spend the day at a trapeze school. Trapeze School New York offers party packages for groups as big as 21 or more, which include decorations, music, and necessities like tables and chairs.


Photo courtesy of Kevin K.

People love the sensation of nostalgia; just take one look at BuzzFeed and you’ll see that the power of the throwback is stronger than ever.

For the ultimate ’80s and ’90s music playlist, make your way over to The Pyramid Club. DJs play the best dance hits from the decade making the club a great setting for an old-school themed shindig.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed setting for after-dinner coffee and dessert, check out Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain. Classic egg creams, pies, and a selection of 15 uniquely-made ice cream sundaes make this a terrific spot to satisfy a post-dinner sweet tooth.

To go beyond reminiscing and reawaken your inner child, plan a trip to Bounce! located in Syosset, Long Island. The indoor trampoline park offers wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits, dodgeball, and basketball. Book the venue for a party and you and your friends will have the place to yourselves.


Photo by Samantha Spoto.

Birthdays are a good excuse to finally make the time to connect with nature. Scenic routes, captivating views, challenging hikes, or just the feeling of grass underneath your feet are all good reasons to spend your next birthday outdoors.

To save some money, more Millennials are taking advantage of these outdoorsy options. Tanya Silverman, for example, prefers spending her day of birth in nature.

“My birthday’s on the brink of spring and summer, so because there’s usually pleasant weather, I prefer to throw outdoor parties like picnics,” she tells BTR. “The best picnic party I had in recent years was at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, where they had all these massive wooden figures and vertical mirror poles installed, plus DJs playing experimental noise music–providing the perfect setting to gorge on Greek spreads and green vegetables.”

Samantha Spoto also embraces the good weather that her early Autumn birthday provides. “My birthday lands directly in the middle of October, which is a beautiful time of the year to spend outdoors,” Spoto shares. “I like to partake in autumn activities–such as apple picking or hiking–in places where I can admire the fall foliage.”

If you don’t want to have to worry about deciphering trail maps all day, check out Discover Outdoors. The year-round adventure group plans local day trips, camping, and international adventures for whatever experience-level you might be. This month’s adventures include whitewater rafting, a day of horseback riding and wine tasting, as well as a zip line and high ropes expedition.

While living in a tourist-centric city leaves you with no shortage of bars to explore on your birthday, don’t forget there are plenty of other unique places to host your party.