woman blowing out candles at a restaurant while celebrating her 30th birthday in NYC

30+ Things To Do For A 30th Birthday In NYC

Dale P.Discover NYC Leave a Comment

By Jessie Festa & Dale P. This guide to celebrating your 30th birthday in New York City contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Are you looking for the best things to do for a 30th birthday in NYC?

Then you’re in the right place!

There are many amazing ways to celebrate your 30th birthday in New York City. It’s a big milestone—your twenties might be behind you now, but you’re ushering in a brand-new decade of life!

NYC is the perfect place to celebrate turning 30. Whether you’re looking for a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience or a more low-key birthday outing, there are endless things to do.

To help you make it unforgettable, here are some of the best things to do in NYC for a 30th birthday!

Want beautiful photos taken for your 30th birthday in NYC? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Unique 30th Birthday Ideas In NYC

Let’s kick things off by going over some unique and fun birthday celebration ideas in NYC:

1. Book a private New York photoshoot

If you’re looking for fun ways to celebrate your birthday in NYC while also commemorating the milestone, consider booking a professional photoshoot with our company, NYC Photo Journeys.

On a pre-shoot call, you’ll let your photographer know your goal for the shoot, whether you’re looking for a whimsical Central Park session, an epic Brooklyn Bridge photoshoot, or something else. You can even send sample photos and mood boards to help bring your vision to life!

You can choose between an edited photoshoot, which comes with professionally edited shots, or an unedited photoshoot, which is more budget-friendly and includes more photos (since you’ll leave with the whole camera roll).

During the shoot, your photographer will help you with posing to help you feel comfortable and confident so that you end with truly amazing images!

You can view sample images on Instagram @NYCPhotoTour.

➡️ Click here to view full packages & pricing for our NYC photoshoots.

woman posing for a photo on the Brooklyn Bridge during a birthday photoshoot in NYC
Guest enjoying a Professional Photoshoot for her birthday. Photo via NYC Photo Journeys.

2. Take a private NYC photo tour

Visiting New York for your 30th birthday? Then a better option might be booking an NYC photo tour!

Part tour, part photoshoot, you’ll explore the city with a licensed sightseeing guide who will also take photos of you along the way.

These tours take you to some of the best photoshoot locations in NYC. In fact, one of the most popular 2-hour itineraries is Times Square, Central Park, Upper East Side, and Brooklyn Bridge—with the option to add DUMBO for a 3-hour tour.

Within about a week of your tour, you’ll receive a downloadable folder of lightly edited images to keep. This way, you’ll always remember celebrating your birthday in New York!

You can view sample images on Instagram @NYCPhotoTour.

➡️ Click here to view full packages & pricing for our NYC photo tours.

3. Spend your birthday on a boat

One of the most fun NYC 30th birthday ideas is spending a day or an evening on a boat, especially during the warmer weather.

Having a birthday party on a boat in NYC is a great way to celebrate your 30th birthday with all your friends and create amazing memories with the Manhattan skyline as your backdrop.

While it’s possible to charter your own boat, that’s the more expensive option and it will run you several thousand dollars or more.

A more cost-effective choice is booking an NYC brunch cruise or NYC dinner cruise, which also saves you from having to plan out food, drinks, or entertainment for your special day.

Manhattan skyline as seen from the New York Harbor
See NYC from the water on a birthday boat cruise. Photo by Benny Rotlevy on Unsplash.

4. Take a helicopter tour

If you’re looking for more fun 30th birthday ideas in NYC, why not treat yourself to a helicopter tour?

This once-in-a-lifetime experience offers you the unique chance to enjoy a bird’s eye view of New York City while soaring above landmarks like Central Park, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty.

This is an exhilarating activity that is perfect for celebrating turning 30 in style!

5. Treat yourself to a spa day

If you’re more interested in relaxing things to do in NYC for your 30th birthday, consider treating yourself to a spa day.

One of the coolest local spas is QC NY Spa on Governor’s Island, a car-free island that is a short 5-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan.

This spa offers a variety of wellness treatments and experiences and has a pool overlooking the New York City skyline where you can sip wine with a view.

If you’d prefer to stay on the island of Manhattan, AIRE Ancient Baths is another top-rated spa that offers wellness treatments and thermal baths inspired by ancient Roman times.

Some options for amazing hotel spas in NYC include the Bamford Wellness Spa at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Shibui Spa at The Greenwich Hotel, and The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, New York.

man enjoying an outdoor Tears of the Clouds Spa Pool at QC Spa NYC on Governors Island in winter with snow coming down
QC Spa offers birthday fun year-round. Photo via QC NYC.

6. Have a movie night at Nitehawk Cinema

If you’re looking for low-key things to do for your 30th birthday in NYC, consider having a movie night at Nitehawk Cinema.

This isn’t your average movie theater, as you can enjoy a drink in the bar before your movie begins, before moving into the theater which offers plush reclining seats.

You can order food and drinks directly to your seat and enjoy dinner and a cocktail before the movie begins.

Nitehawk Cinema has two locations in Brooklyn, one in Williamsburg and one in Prospect Park. In addition to popular new films, they also show art films, foreign films, and older films.

7. Travel the world through food

One unique way to celebrate your 30th birthday in New York is to take a cooking class through League of Kitchens.

Their classes allow you to visit the NYC homes of grandmas from around the world to learn their family recipes and about their cultures. For instance, when I took a class I traveled to Uzbekistan without leaving Brooklyn.

Not only will you immerse yourself in a culture different from your own, you’ll learn some new cooking skills and recipes you can bring into your new decade of life.

woman teaching a group of people how to cook Uzbek cuisine through League of Kitchens in NYC
Learning how to cook Uzbek cuisine through League of Kitchens. Photo via Jessie Festa.

8. Visit a winery (or three)

With this 30th birthday party idea, you have a few options:

My personal favorite is Rooftop Reds, the world’s first commercial rooftop vineyard. It’s located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and offers beautiful views of the skyline.

If you’d prefer to stay in Manhattan, City Vineyard pairs wine with live entertainment and beautiful waterfront vistas.

9. Go on a speakeasy crawl

Another one of the best NYC birthday ideas for your 30th is going on a speakeasy crawl.

A lot of NYC’s nightlife scene is geared toward people in their late teens and early twenties, and by the time you’re turning 30, you often feel like you’ve outgrown it.

So there’s nothing better than enjoying a low-key night of grabbing cocktails at unique speakeasy bars around the city.

Some of the best speakeasies to check out are Please Don’t Tell, The Back Room, Garfunkel’s, and Fig 19. All of these spots are walkable from each other if you want to go to them on your birthday bar crawl.

Or, if you’re exploring the Upper East Side, check out speakeasies like UES and Keys & Heels.

If you don’t want to plan it yourself, you can also go on a guided speakeasy tour for drinks at multiple locations and interesting history woven in, too.

spicy craft cocktail with chili peppers on top from Keys & Heels speakeasy in the Upper East Side of NYC
Cocktail from Keys & Heels. Photo via Jessie Festa.

10. Go on a brewery crawl

Prefer beer over cocktails and wine? New York City is home to over 40 breweries—mostly in Brooklyn and Queens.

A fun 30th birthday party idea is choosing a neighborhood with lots of breweries within walking distance to one another so you can hop around (pun intended) and experience more than one spot.

In Long Island City, Queens, you can wander between breweries like Fifth Hammer, Alewife, and Finback.

Alternatively, in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you can visit Grimm Artisanal Ales, Interboro Spirits & Ales, and 18th Ward Brewing.

11. Go to a karaoke bar in Koreatown

For a night full of fun and amazing memories, head to Koreatown. Going to a karaoke bar is one of the best 30th birthday party ideas in NYC.

Many karaoke bars offer private rooms that you can reserve for yourself and your friends, so come prepared to sing your heart out and have a blast.

Some of the best karaoke bars in Koreatown include The Spot Karaoke & Lounge NYC, Karaoke City, Space Karaoke Bar & Lounge, and Ms. Kim’s Lounge & Private Karaoke.

close up of a microphone with bokeh lighting in the background
Sing your heart out at karaoke for your 30th birthday. Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash.

12. Learn a new skill

A birthday is the perfect time to follow your passions or indulge in a new hobby and pick up a new skill. Luckily, New York is full of places to do this, like:

  • Trapeze School New York (aerial arts)
  • Nazz Forge (blacksmith & bladesmith workshops)
  • SassClass (hip hop dance)
  • Painting Lounge (BYOB paint & sip classes)
  • Earthworks Pottery (pottery classes)
  • HB Studio (acting classes)
  • East Village Hats (hatworks & millinery)
  • And more!

13. See a Broadway show

One of the best 30th birthday activities in NYC is seeing a Broadway show.

Opt for a classic like Chicago, The Lion King, or Wicked, or for something new. If you don’t like musicals, Second Stage Theater puts on some great dramatic performances.

Also, why not treat yourself to a swanky pre-show dinner at a restaurant like Le Bernardin? It has three Michelin stars and offers the perfect place to celebrate turning 30 in style.

close up of the Hamilton Broadway show sign at the Richard Rodgers Theater in the Theater District of New York City
Seeing a Broadway show is the perfect 30th birthday activity in NYC. Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash.

14. See a rooftop concert

During the warmer months, one of the most fun 30th birthday ideas in NYC is to see a show at Pier 17.

This is my favorite concert venue, as it’s on a rooftop that sits on the East River so you can take in epic views while you sing and dance to your favorite bands.

Their calendar features a mix of indie artists and well-known acts across multiple genres, so you’re sure to find a show that suits your tastes!

Want beautiful photos taken for your 30th birthday in NYC? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

30th Birthday Restaurants In NYC

Looking for the best restaurants for a 30th birthday in NYC? Check out:

15. Le Coucou

If you’re looking for a great restaurant for a 30th birthday dinner in NYC, look no further than the Michelin-starred Le Coucou, a chic French eatery in Lower Manhattan.

On the menu, you’ll find refined French fare including duck, rabbit, foie gras, and lobster.

The elegant and airy atmosphere of Le Coucou is perfect for a birthday dinner to celebrate your 30th in a way that truly feels like the special milestone that it is.

tables with white table clothes and lit candles at Le Coucou Restaurant in NYC
Le Coucou dining room. Photo via DITTE ISAGER for Le Coucou.


Another great restaurant for celebrating a 30th birthday in NYC is THE GRILL.

Located in East Midtown, this high-end chophouse is a wonderful place for a classy birthday dinner. You can’t go wrong with any of the steaks at THE GRILL, though the Prime Aged Filet Mignon is a standout.

Like all of these restaurants, it’s a splurge, but your 30th birthday only happens once! This is also a good spot if you have a larger group for dinner because they offer two private dining rooms.

17. Scarpetta

If you’re still wondering where to have a 30th birthday party in NYC, Scarpetta is a good option for a fancy dinner with friends.

This high-end Italian restaurant in NoMad is always buzzing thanks to the world-class service, candlelit ambiance, and beautifully plated meals.

In terms of what is on the menu, their handmade pastas are recommended, as are dishes like grilled branzino, braised short rib, and prime sirloin.

woman having a 30th birthday dinner in NYC at a fancy restaurant with a long table and white plates set out
Celebrate your 30th with a special dinner at a restaurant like Scarpetta. Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.

18. Waverly Inn & Garden

Another one of the best places to celebrate a 30th birthday in NYC is the Waverly Inn & Garden in the lovely Greenwich Village neighborhood.

It has a cozy atmosphere inside making it perfect for an intimate birthday dinner with friends.

The eatery puts a high-end twist on classic American comfort food, and they also have a great selection of cocktails on the menu. Add some spice with a Habanero Mezcal Margarita or opt for something refreshing like The Puck made with gin, manzanilla sherry, chamomile, and lemon.

Note that it can be difficult to get a reservation, so make sure to plan in advance.

19. Lilia

One of the best places for a 30th birthday in NYC is Lilia.

Located in a converted auto body shop in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, this hip restaurant serves elevated Italian fare in a hipster space.

On the menu at Lilia, you’ll find wood-fired Italian dishes including fish and pasta. Also make sure to start with their delicious homemade mozzarella.

Although it’s a high-end restaurant, it has a more relaxed atmosphere than the other spots on this list, making it a great option for a chill 30th birthday dinner in Brooklyn with friends.

Lilia restaurant in NYC with wooden tables and brick walls with patrons eating and drinking wine
Lilia is the perfect restaurant for a 30th birthday dinner in New York. Photo via Rachael Lombardy.

20. 99 Favor Taste

For something cheap and fun that is great for groups, 99 Favor Taste is a fan favorite. They offer all-you-can-eat Chinese hot pot and Korean BBQ.

The atmosphere is lively, fun, and relaxed. I’ve had my birthday here many times and always do the hot pot which offers a huge selection of noodles, vegetables, meats, and seafood to add to your broth of choice.

Along with their large main dining area, there are private dining rooms. Plus, you get a free meal on your birthday!

21. tán

Visit Tulum without leaving New York through a 30th birthday at this trendy Mexican restaurant.

Serving seafood-forward dishes paired with tasty cocktails and wines sourced from Baja California, tán allows you to visit Mexico without leaving Midtown Manhattan.

Recommendation: start with one of their fresh ceviches before moving onto the striped bass served with warm corn tortillas and fillings.

woman holding a spicy cocktail at tán restaurant in Manhattan, New York during a birthday dinner
Having a birthday dinner at tán in Manhattan. Photo via Jessie Festa.

22. Maya

Prefer a 30th birthday brunch? Maya is the sister restaurant of tán and is known for their lively brunches that include unlimited drinks and food for just $59 per person.

While not cheap, it’s a lot more budget-friendly than going out for a fancy dinner, especially when you consider the amount of food and drinks you get.

Enjoy music from rotating DJs as you sip margaritas and dine on chilaquiles, shrimp enchiladas, carnitas tacos, and more.

23. Sammy’s Roumanian

Another option for a birthday restaurant with a relaxed vibe is Sammy’s Roumanian, an old-school establishment on the Lower East Side that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

The eatery is known for its delicious Jewish Romanian food and lively atmosphere thanks to the fact that there is always some type of vodka-fueled party going on.

Having a 30th birthday dinner here is certainly an experience, as you sing and dance to Broadway classics and laugh at musical comedy.

woman blowing out candles at a restaurant while celebrating her 30th birthday in NYC
There are so many ways to celebrate a birthday in NYC! Photo via Cord Allman / Pexels.

24. Red Rooster

This delicious Harlem eatery is the flagship restaurant of Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

At Red Rooster, you can sit on their outdoor patio or inside their hip space to enjoy elevated comfort food like chicken and waffles with maple hot sauce or a lobster roll on brioche.

After dinner, head downstairs to Ginny’s Supper Club, where live music plays in a space that reimagines the Harlem speakeasies of the 1920s.

As you’re in a historic neighborhood, consider booking a Soul of Harlem Walking Tour, where you’ll learn about local history and culture and visit famous Harlem spots like the Apollo Theater, Sylvia’s Soul Food Restaurant, the home of Langston Hughes, and more.

30th Birthday Venues In NYC

Looking to celebrate your 30th birthday with a night out on the town? Check out:

25. House of Yes

If you want to have an unforgettable night, the best place to celebrate a 30th birthday in NYC is House of Yes.

Located in a former warehouse in the trendy Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, House of Yes is much more than just your typical nightclub.

It’s also a performance venue with a constantly changing schedule of unique acts including dance, circus, cabaret, burlesque, and avant-garde theatre performances.

House of Yes offers birthday party packages and table reservations if you want to celebrate your special day in style with a group of your closest friends.

couple in bathing suits dancing at an aquatic themed party at House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn for a 30th birthday in NYC
House of Yes is the perfect place to host a 30th birthday in NYC! Photo via Jessie Festa.

26. 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

Another great place for a 30th birthday celebration in NYC is 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, a year-round rooftop bar in NoMad with amazing views of the Empire State Building.

In the winter, the rooftop is transformed into a unique wonderland of private heated igloos. During other seasons, you can enjoy eating and drinking outdoors while taking in incredible skyline views.

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar is open during the day and at night. On weekends, it’s an amazing spot for a lively boozy brunch featuring guest DJs!

27. The Skylark

If you’re still wondering where to celebrate a 30th birthday in NYC, another good option when it comes to rooftop bars is The Skylark.

Located in Midtown close to Times Square, The Skylark offers amazing views of the city. While sipping drinks on plush leather couches or on their outdoor deck, you’ll take in iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, Hudson Yards, and the Hudson River.

Along with drinks, you can also order small bites from the bar menu like guacamole, tuna tacos, and croquettes.

DJ playing music under bright purple lights
Celebrate your 30th birthday at a cool nightclub like Elsewhere. Photo by Antoine J. on Unsplash.

28. Elsewhere

Want to dance the night away to celebrate turning 30? Elsewhere is one of the best nightclubs in Brooklyn to spend your birthday. Located in Bushwick, this hip club is also a live music venue.

There are multiple spaces where you can listen to live music or dance to DJ sets. There’s even a rooftop terrace where you can dance under the stars!

29. The Box

The Box is a unique nightclub in Lower Manhattan. It’s an interesting place to spend your 30th birthday if you’re looking for something beyond the typical nightlife experience.

This exclusive club features nightly shows that combine music, theatre, and burlesque into incredible performances.

Note that this club is harder to get in, but you can book a table in advance which is recommended if you are coming for a birthday celebration.

burlesque dancer in a hoop at The Box in NYC
Ring in your 30th birthday with a night at The Box. Photo via Laura Weyl.

30. Le Bain

Finally, one of the best places to go for your 30th birthday in NYC is Le Bain, which is home to a few different vibes and experiences.

During the weekends the rooftop is open in the daytime, and in the summer when the pool is open, it’s a live place to be.

At night, it transforms into more of a club atmosphere and you can dance the night away.

As Le Bain is located on the rooftop of The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, you’ll also have easy access to other fun restaurants and clubs, like the Standard Biergarten!

Want beautiful photos taken for your 30th birthday in NYC? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Fun Tours For Celebrating A 30th Birthday

For a unique 30th birthday in New York, consider booking one of these top-rated tours:

➡️ Click here for a full list of fun New York City tours.

Best NYC Hotels For A 30th Birthday Stay

Looking for great places to stay for your 30th birthday in NYC? There are so many options, like NoMo SoHo, the Crosby Street Hotel, and The Ludlow.

➡️ Click here for a full list of New York City hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays?

➡️ Click here to check out unique local rentals, or check out the map below. It’s currently set to Times Square, but you can easily change it to your preferred New York neighborhood: 

What would you add to this list of things to do for your 30th birthday in NYC?

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