Turning 21 is a rite-of-passage and a huge deal in New York City, where partying and night-life is such a big part of the lifestyle. It’s the first time you can legally drink alcohol and make your way into the bars. Now, you finally have a chance to see what all the fuss is about, so it’s all the more important to celebrate your 21st birthday with a bang.
But before it hits midnight, you can celebrate at a trendy restaurant with your friends. Some popular choices are Buddakan, with modern Asian cuisine, or Morimoto for sushi. Both restaurants are in the Meatpacking District. For a trendy dinner with Latino cuisine, take a look at Rayuela in SoHo.
After dinner and when the clock hits midnight, it’s time to hit the bars. But which of the many bars do you choose?
For some, a 21st birthday celebration in New York is a chance to go on a pub crawl and see the atmosphere (and drink selection) at multiple bars. In Manhattan, the West Village has many lively bars to choose from like Down the Hatch, Town Tavern and Off The Wagon. For those staying outside of Manhattan, Williamsburg and Astoria are both good places to party at night.
Or, you might be looking for a more classy experience, a night out at a fancy bar with a cool atmosphere. If the weather is nice, one option is The Delancey, a rooftop bar in the Lower East Side. This oasis offers three floors of drinking, dancing, and a great atmosphere.
For a pricey but unique experience, Lucky Cheng’s in the East Village is the place to go. At this drag cabaret dinner theater, you can have your food served by drag queens, enjoy a drag show while you’re eating, and sing some karaoke after the drag show is over!
If you’re not so into the bar scene but you want a fun activity to do while drinking, you may want to consider one of New York’s upscale bowling alleys. Lucky Strike, located near Times Square, and Bowlmor Lanes & Strike, located near Union Square, both offer bowling and drinks in a fun environment. Both of these exciting bowling alleys become 21 and over at night.
Your birthday is a good time to splurge and go to events that might otherwise be too expensive for a night out. Check out the latest plays on Broadway, go see a sports game, concert, or comedian at Madison Square Garden, or see the Opera at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. New York City is a great place to explore the arts, and there’s no better time to enjoy these events than on your 21st birthday.
Whichever activities are most interesting to you, nothing tops a New York City 21st birthday! The city has countless restaurants, bars, and events, many of which could be the perfect birthday destination for you.