What should I do for my birthday in NYC?
August 15, 2006 2:00 PM   Subscribe

What can me & a bunch of friends do for my birthday in NYC?

My birthday is coming up towards the end of next week and I'd like to do something for it. Previous years have always been "hang out with the usual friends and dinner with the girl" but this year my friends are in scattered social groups so I'd like to do one of those birthday...thingies. But I'm not a party thrower and not a big fan of house parties anyway. I don't drink so just going out to a bar is really not my thing either.

I've searched and got plenty of questions about "couples" activities but no group ones. Here's what I'd love:

Something really fun - but maybe a little offbeat - for a group of 5-15 to do together that won't cost a lot of money for each of us, isn't restricted to 21 & over, and is pretty accessable from Manhattan.

It will probably be a Saturday or Sunday, but I'm considering begging a day off to give us the chance to do something uncrowded.

Coney Island, bowling & minigolf are on the table so far, but they're all fallbacks and I'd love to hear what you guys can suggest.
posted by Brainy to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Picnic at Fort Greene or Fort Tryon parks? Bike ride up the West Side to Fort Tryon first?

Picnics give you a chance to have the drop-by possibilities that a more structured activity doesn't; you can play stupid games so it isn't just about drinking; and daytime parties are always nice. Plus Fort Tryon and Fort Greene are both more kickback than Central or Prospect parks. I would actually recomment Fort Greene the most.
posted by dame at 2:04 PM on August 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

happy birthday Brainy - if you are born on August 24, then we share the same birthday.

Were you born and raised in NYC? Something fun to do is to see your city through the eyes of a tourist, eg climb aboard a tourist bus and get a tour. The bus might take you to places you have not been to before, despite living in NYC all your life.

Alternatively, you might want to visit a museum (MOMA is free on Friday nights, as you may already know)
posted by seawallrunner at 2:09 PM on August 15, 2006

here's an option
beach it. go to jacob riis park in far rockway queens, which accessible by subway to bus (not that bad). then follow up by going to nick's lobsters on flatbush (which is back to towards the subway on the bus), or (by car or taxi) to L&B's spumoni garden, a broolyn summer classic.
posted by alkupe at 2:27 PM on August 15, 2006

Response by poster: Hmmm, a picnic sounds like it might be good. I'd have to see if we could scrape up frisbees and stuff.

Seawall, we do share a birthday! Thats a great idea, although my Aunt came from Illinois late last month so I spent a few days doing all the tourist stuff. I didn't know about MoMa being free on Fridays but that sounds really fun for maybe this weekend...for the birthday thing, I'm thinking less intellectual.
posted by Brainy at 2:29 PM on August 15, 2006

Rent a private karaoke room at one of these places. You've got the perfect size group for it, it's fairly inexpensive.
Here are some suggestions on specific bars from a previous question .
posted by cushie at 3:50 PM on August 15, 2006

Roller skating in Crown Heights! Well, Flatbush, really, or they might be calling it "Prospect-Lefferts Gardens." Anyway, a friend had a birthday party there about five years ago on a weekend afternoon, and everyone had a blast. Easy walk from the Q train.
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 6:13 PM on August 15, 2006

Circle Line Tour. Really fun!
posted by WaterSprite at 7:36 PM on August 15, 2006

Brainy -

A week ago, my friend shipped off for basic training (yeah, we don't know why either) and our friend got together everyone who knows him, and surprised him with a bizarre treasure hunt fromCooper park, down 14th St., and up the chelsea piers.

(I got to participate by meeting up with him in Union Square and convincing strangers to pie him in the face for being a republican. It wasn't hard to find volunteers.)

Anyway, his hunt ended, he was led blindfolded to the Frying Pan on Pier 63, where he was spun around and thrown at a pinata.

Now, as this is your party, the surprise part is sort of out, but the point is that The Frying Pan was a great spot to spend his last hours. It's all-ages. There are drinks for those who want them, but it's by no means required, you're out on the water. There's dancing, and it's easy to find a spot for your own group (we were around thirty-or-so strong and managed our own spot on the pier.)

It might not be as specific as picnicking or whatnot, but it lets everybody do their own thing, and by all accounts it was one of the best nights in recent memory for everyone involved.

And Happy Birthday!
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 PM on August 15, 2006

second frying pan and chelsea piers. who doesn't love hitting golf balls out into the water?
posted by slapshot57 at 9:35 PM on August 15, 2006

I have seen one of their other shows for my 28th birthday - a lot of fun for a group..
Awesome 80s Prom its a interactive musical show. Very funny and very different

happy birthday :)
posted by wigmore at 9:54 PM on August 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

Brainy, the Russian baths in Brooklyn are a super fun activity....snacks, eucalyptus leaves, vodka...what more could you want? (And yes, all co-ed-- you wear a bathing suit.)
posted by miss tea at 5:18 AM on August 16, 2006

Oh, the rollerskating linked by LDL is totally awesome even if you don't do it for your birthday. I went to a Prospect-Lefferts neighborhood association fundraiser there and had so much fun. I'd still do the picnic for my birthday personally, but just so everyone knows, that place is awesometastic.

And regarding picnic games: Twister.
posted by dame at 6:01 AM on August 16, 2006

I second the 80's prom :-)
Also - in the vein of treasue/scavenger hunt - these are supposed to be great.
posted by niteHawk at 7:13 AM on August 16, 2006

One of the most fun birthday celebrations I ever went to involved twenty people at Congee Village on Allen and Delancey. Cheap drinks, cheap, delicious food, festive atmosphere, and the weirdest birthday songs you've ever heard.
posted by saladin at 8:09 AM on August 16, 2006

Coney Island (the beach, not the tacky horror next to it) is great, but the whole area is very crowded on weekends.

I second the Circle Line recommendation. However, it's about two hours long and pretty serene as trips go -- they provide the view, but you have to invent your own fun.
posted by gentle at 9:46 AM on August 16, 2006

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