How to plan a unique 27th birthday party in Boston?
March 18, 2008 6:22 PM   Subscribe

What activities, in or around Boston, would create an amazing birthday evening for my delightfully nerdy, almost-27-year-old boyfriend?

He isn't picky or demanding, which makes me even more determined to ensure he has an awesome time.
Examples of great birthday parties you've been to, or organized, would be helpful. I'm totally up for throwing something in my apartment, too.

-some things he enjoys: live music, microbrews, bowling, billiards, video games, karaoke, cooking, brunch, zombies, philosophy, controlling the music, samurai flicks, theme parties
-thinks he doesn't: club-y scenes, dancing, bees
posted by evalenza to Human Relations (26 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
For microbrews a tour of the Sam Adams brewery? For the bowling and billiards theres Jillians but that might be to club-y although if you go during the day/ early evening its not bad. For video games theres Good Times Emporium in Somerville. For cooking its not really him cooking but everybody I know seems to love Fire and Ice in Boston or Cambridge.
posted by lilkeith07 at 6:30 PM on March 18, 2008

I went to a bachelor party at F1 Boston once. It wasn't quite as exciting as they make it out to be on their website, but it was still pretty damn fun.
posted by bondcliff at 6:31 PM on March 18, 2008

How nerdy?

Ascari F1 Boston has stock car racing which is REALLY fun - plus a bar and good food. They do private parties, or you could just go as a group.

Or maybe a trip to the Museum of Science? That kind of nerdy?

Boston Beerworks has very good microbrews.
posted by mazienh at 6:32 PM on March 18, 2008

How about a "progressive" party? Start out at Boston Beerworks | Fenway (61 Brookline Avenue) for food and drink ... then make your way down a few blocks on Landsdowne to Jillian's for bowling and billiards at the Lucky Strike Lanes.
posted by ericb at 6:33 PM on March 18, 2008

Or, what others have suggested above!
posted by ericb at 6:34 PM on March 18, 2008

mazienh, generally social-computery-indie-music nerdery. he's been in the area for about 4 years now and we've hit most of the museums around. the F1 idea might be fun, as is boston beerworks. we're both big fans of bukowski's, but we've done that already for a b-day.
posted by evalenza at 6:36 PM on March 18, 2008

I don't know where does it, but a group of my buddies all went to a microbrew supply place of some sort, and brewed their own beer.

It wasn't a tour, they paid a fee that included all the supplies etc and got to take the beer home whatever it does before you can drink it.

This was in either NH or Northern MA, and they did have a good time, Google may help find a place that does this.
posted by mazienh at 6:39 PM on March 18, 2008

For the bowling and billiards theres Jillians but that might be to club-y although if you go during the day/ early evening its not bad. For video games theres Good Times Emporium in Somerville.
Good Times is very townie-licious. Jillian's is a much more up-scale arcarde/bar. Not sure what you're looking for, but hope that helps.
posted by laradar at 7:07 PM on March 18, 2008

Oh, also on Lansdowne, Jake Ivory's is a ton of fun. It's a "dueling piano bar" where everybody ends up singing along by the end of the night.
posted by laradar at 7:09 PM on March 18, 2008

laradar, i've heard about this place and then forgot all about it, thanks for reminding me. i think the idea of silly group activities like that might work better than the arcade type solitary-in-groups ideas.
also... good times kinda scares me despite the townie-liciousness.
posted by evalenza at 7:15 PM on March 18, 2008

Ugh! One strong vote against Jillian's and Jake Ivory's for someone who isn't into the clubby vibe. How about the Sam Adams brewery and bowling at Milky Way? Same idea, mush more laid back. Plus, they're both in JP. I like Good Times, but that's because I am a townie. I wouldn't recommend it to most people. Same with Boston Bowl.

Trust me---for bowling, Milky Way is what you want. I've never been to the F1 racetrack but heard wonderful things about it. I do think it's a bit pricey, though.

Oh, if he likes 80s music the Thursday night "love night" at Common Ground is an absolute blast. Doesn't really get going until 11PM, though.
posted by emd3737 at 7:21 PM on March 18, 2008

Harvard Square - Cambridge
Dinner at John Harvard's Brew House (good microbrews, food, and reasonable prices), followed by a trendy Art House Flick at The Brattle Theatre a couple blocks away followed by live music at Ryles Jazz Club which is about a 15 minute walk(or take the away in Inman Square. Good Coffee diagonally across the street from Ryles as well as Ice Cream.
posted by Rafaelloello at 7:36 PM on March 18, 2008

Mush more is the new much more. D'oh!
posted by emd3737 at 7:36 PM on March 18, 2008

Jillian-type vibe is something I definitely want to avoid. I haven't been to the Milky Way yet, but it seems like a great choice from what my friends have said about it. Yes, to the laid-back.
posted by evalenza at 7:37 PM on March 18, 2008

Rafaelloello- ah, my addled brain never remembers the magic that is Christina's! thanks!
posted by evalenza at 7:39 PM on March 18, 2008

jillian's has not had an arcade game in it for over five years, there is plenty of pool and bowling though.

my vote is stop off at one of allson's many fine liqure stores and load of up on a decent selection of microbrews and head on over to DO Re Mi Music Studio and rent out a room for karaoke. they don't sell alchohol so they are kind enough to look the other way so long as you are not blatant about it and don't leave a mess. being fans of buk's i would than walk the 500 or so feet down cambridge steet to deep ellum. in case you are not familiar with deep elum it essentially a slightly more up scale bukowski's, which happens to be owned/staffed by a large number of the ex-bartenders from the inman location.
posted by mailbox125 at 7:42 PM on March 18, 2008

i would seriously recommend that you try a beer at john harvard's before you decide to have your party there. the last two times i was there the beer was so bad it was undrinkable.
posted by mailbox125 at 7:44 PM on March 18, 2008

if allston is a pain in the ass to get to davis sqaure is a decent location as well. you did not give a date but if you can wait until april 30th the new england real ale exhibition will be going on. after a fine night of cask conditioned ales you could head on over to sacco's bowl haven for either pool or candlepin bowling (go new england!). if april is too late redbones has a decent tap selection and bbq.
posted by mailbox125 at 7:53 PM on March 18, 2008

Ugh: Do Re Mi is very dependent on the group for its vibe, i.e. they rent private rooms rather than sharing a big bar space. I believe there are proper karaoke bars elsewhere in Boston which, while less intimate, are more exciting for the less risk-averse.

Sacco's/Redbones is a 'nice' combo (Sacco's is gross), but get to Redbone's early if it's a weekend! Alternatively: bowl at King's on Boylston near Mass Ave - 10-pin bowling, nice enough liquor, 80's music and videos, but less of a hipster crowd. The Milky Way is the better bet overall - though how about the Summer Shack/bowling combo in Alewife instead? Downscale enough to satisfy anyone.

I second the Common Ground vibe.

What about TOMB in Kenmore Square? It's like a participatory Indy Jones Stunt Spectacular or something, apparently people dig it. But I have no idea whether it's as corny as it looks.

How about the Central Square scene: MIT Museum, Mary Chung's for Chinese food, booze up at the Miracle or Enormous Room, maybe dance with the yupster fucking douchebags at Middlesex?
posted by waxbanks at 8:18 PM on March 18, 2008

Note: none of my suggestions are even remotely unique. You want unique, go drop acid at the Arboretum or mushrooms at the MFA.

(Also: a big group dance class? Salsa maybe?)
posted by waxbanks at 8:19 PM on March 18, 2008

I can't take credit for this - someone like plutor (I think) recently linked it - but nerd + Boston made me remember the intriguing Nerd Nite.
posted by Miko at 8:27 PM on March 18, 2008

admittedly my tastes skew toward the somewhat lower end/skeezerier venus. saccos is a bit funky but you are guarantied to get a lane and it will be a fraction of the cost of kings.

i would stay away from the enormous room, the tide seems to have turned and it is now wicked crowded and full of frattie dbags; i was there last friday night and a fight broke out.

if you are in central square it might be worth calling the folks at river gods and seeing if they still put on guitar hero night. i imagine if they do it, it has switched over to rock band night since the guys from harmonix put it on.
posted by mailbox125 at 8:45 PM on March 18, 2008

All of the above. My Ex once sent me on a scavenger hunt for things I really liked.

I was exhausted by the time dinner was over but then there was a suprise party.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:28 PM on March 18, 2008

Skip Jillian's. Blech. For pool, at least, I would check out Flat Top Johnny's. I haven't been there in a while, but it used to be good, if pricey. Lots of tables and a few arcade games ta boot. They tend to play pretty good tunes too, if you're into indie bands and not your standard top 40.

If you are more in the JP mood (Flat Top Johnny's is in Kendall Sq., Cambridge) then I second Milky Way. It's a fun joint, they have live music and great classic candlepin lanes. Good beer too, if I recall.

I would steer clear of Landsdowne St. in general, especially on a weekend. I figure I'm pretty similar to your boyfriend in terms of tastes, and I can't stand that area myself. But, YMMV.

I like the karaoke idea too, that sounds like fun if you can find the right place.
posted by dubitable at 6:42 AM on March 19, 2008

For pool, at least, I would check out Flat Top Johnny's.

And right behind Flat Top Johnny's is Cambridge Brewing Company [both at One Kendall Square]. The Kendall Square Cinema is across the street.
posted by ericb at 8:38 AM on March 19, 2008

miko, we both have frequented Nerd Nite for a couple years, but now that the organizer has left town, it's no longer an option, sad...

great ideas folks! keep 'em coming. the scavenger hunt idea is great- i bet that would be fun to do in somerville.
posted by evalenza at 12:52 PM on March 19, 2008

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