For most, holiday season means bring on the parties! If you are anything like me, you may have a kid’s birthday, family reunion, work holiday party, and a significant other’s adult birthday happening in the next three months (um, yikes!). And where are we to hold all these parties?! I have compiled a list of great spots on the UWS great for parties of all sorts – just be sure to book with plenty of time to spare!
As I was looking around for some fun, new venues to share, I realized just how many KIDS venues there are on the Upper West Side – all you have to do is Google “Kid’s birthday party venues on the Upper West Side” and there are EASILY 25 hits for places just down the street from you. It’s insane. So I am going to kick off this list with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan… and then move right past the other kid-obvious spots and get to some grown-up fun.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 West 83rd Street
The children’s museum is the perfect place for a party – with a plethora of activities, events, and space, your kiddos are bound to be entertained for hours.
Central and Riverside Parks
Visit the official parks website here for detailed info. Here is the short of the short. $25 and 30-days advance notice will get you a permit for a good old-fashioned park picnic party. If you are short on funds this is as good as it gets – plus you get beautiful scenery. As it gets colder outside, just bundle up and make the theme about Frozen (…just kidding).
Who would have thought?! Laid back party on the mind – this is for the true New Yorker at heart. Burgers, fries, and milkshakes all around from one of the most beloved burger joints! The Rec Room, located downstairs, is available for parties, meetings, showers… or to just hang with their big screen TV!
The Baseball Center NYC
202 West 74th Street
Partying here has no age limit. They boast hosting birthdays for all ages (it’d be a hit for the men in your life… no pun intended!), corporate, and charity events. This premier facility is the perfect location for some good, clean, intentional fun and mingling.
430 Amsterdam Ave
For a crazy fun night rent out the Oak Cellar, the downstairs room at Jake’s Dilemma. This restaurant bar will have you re-living your college years in a hot minute. Beer pong and flip cup here are the real deal (although totally optional for your party!). Great drink specials that you and your party can totally get behind. Here.
The Gin Mill
442 Amsterdam Ave
Owned by the same company as Jake’s Dilemma, The Gin Mill is a bar for a good party (and great Upper West Side happy hours!). Slightly different specials and decor – this sports bar with wall-to-wall screens is ready to accommodate whatever you throw at them. Here.
An old time-y Italian family ambiance – this place is great for a reunion. Family-style plates and service that will not disappoint. And if you Yelp this place, the pictures of their desserts will make your mouth water. Good sweets: every good reason to party and reunite here!
Landmark on the Park
160 Central Park West
This is a true event venue – wedding, corporate party, fundraiser, or holiday party. The spaces range from a gym to chapel to main hall! It is so beautiful and relatively affordable. A must-see! The event director also has received raving reviews (…and honestly, a coordinator can make or break your experience for the event!). Here.
503 Columbus Ave
This place was created for a good time. From open mic nights, to Speaking Easy, to live music daily… this venue has multiple private rooms and areas for a great night out. Their rooms accommodate groups from 30-75 people. Custom menus, private bars, iPod hook ups, and flat screen televisions are just a few of the amenities!
Prohibition is also a great place to hear live music on the Upper West Side.
And if your budget allows… my number one choice would be to wine and dine with the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. You can rent out different halls for weddings, parties, charities, or corporate events. I suggest checking out the stunning lookbook on their website for some beautiful ideas, but until the day comes that I throw my party there – I will be throwing bashes and reunions at these other trendy bars and restaurants.