Competitive Socialising

Surprise Birthday Ideas in NYC

By Swingers

Looking to set up a surprise birthday party for a loved one? We’ve got some great ideas for activities to book here in NYC. 

Surprise Birthday Ideas in NYC

Is an important date coming up for someone special? If you’re looking to delight someone with a surprise birthday party, it’s important to get the setting right. 

You’ll want to organize something that will please most of the guests, but also most importantly, the birthday guest of honor.

You’ll need to organize something that allows them to be hands-off on the day—the last thing you want is for them to have to get involved in helping out with their own party when they haven’t prepared!

We’ve put together a list of the best surprise birthday party ideas in NYC so the big day goes smoothly.

Visit Swingers NoMad

Swingers Crazy Golf

Swingers mini golf is the ultimate crowd pleaser and a great spot for a surprise birthday party.

Having an activity to do during a party is the perfect ice breaker and takes the pressure off the person whose birthday it is. Rather than trying to force conversation between guests who haven’t met before, you can all bond over the game at hand. Any awkwardness will fade away when the competition heats up.

For larger groups, you can hire a space within our NoMad venue for a more exclusive feel. You’ll also get a dedicated team to oversee your event, making sure everyone is happy and their glasses are full! You’ll also get premium food and drink for all your guests, ranging across our delicious gourmet street food vendors.

Our bottomless brunch option is ideal for cocktail lovers – with unlimited drinks and mini golf, and live DJs, it’s the best way to get the party started! 

There are a number of activations happening in the venue across the year, so make sure to keep an eye on our socials to see what’s on near you. We’re currently running our Summer Spritz Bar (through September 1) located in the Greenhouse Bar, with a bespoke menu, five special cocktails, and beautiful summery décor, featuring picnic baskets, umbrellas, wine crates, and citrus fruits. 

Brewery Tour

brewery tour

Credit: Made in Cumbria

If you have a beer-lover’s birthday fast approaching, why not organize a brewery tour? With multiple breweries around the city, dating back to pre-prohibition, not only will you get to sample NYC’s beer offerings, but you also get to learn about the history of the breweries and the brewing processes.

City Brew Tours has a number of tours to choose from, so check out which tours are closest to the birthday person and their guests, and book in – even better if the brewery that makes their favorite beer is on the list!

Plus, an organized tour means there’s nothing you or anyone else in your party will have to do – just turn up and enjoy.

Soja Spa Club

relax at a spa

Credit: Clinique La Prairie

If a pamper day is on the cards, booking some spa treatments for the day will certainly be much appreciated!

Whether it’s for a group of you, a select few, or just you and the birthday person, a spa is a real treat and the perfect option for a low-key, relaxing time.

Recharge in the sauna, float in the thermal pools, and indulge in the various treatments on offer. Not only will it be a nice birthday treat, but it’s also a treat for the guests!

Clinton Hall

clinton hall

Clinton Hall is a 4,000 square foot beer hall with outdoor and courtyard areas, and perhaps the location of an epic surprise birthday?

With five locations across the city (Financial District, 36th Street – 10 minutes away from Swingers! -, 51st Street, Bronx, and soon to be added Staten Island), it’ll be easy for you to organize the best location for everyone to meet.

With delicious food and games available around the location, your guests will be happy and in a great atmosphere for catching up. Occasionally, there will be birthday packages available, so keep an eye on their socials for more information.

Karaoke at Baby Grand

birthday karaoke

Credit: Quayside

Gather together your friend’s favorite people for a big singalong! Make sure the birthday person gets the limelight they deserve and get them in front of a crowd to sing their favorite songs.

Baby Grand is a fab location, with private rooms if you’re looking to keep it an exclusive event, or a main stage if you’re wanting a bit of exhibitionism. They also have a live band every Wednesday at 8pm, so you can feel like a real rockstar.

Bring your favorite snacks, or order in some fast food to fuel you throughout the evening. If you’re having issues breaking the ice (going first can be daunting!), encourage duets or have everyone sing along with you to calm any nerves.

Beat the Bomb

beat the bomb

Credit: Beat The Bomb
If your birthday-person has a friendship group who are up for a challenge, why not try Beat the Bomb?

Based in Brooklyn, you’ll be challenged to an hour-long bomb mission, where you’ll all be dressed up in hazmat suits, taking on lasers and code cracking. 

A fun activity where you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a video game, it’s a great challenge. Just be sure to invite people who are good at working as a team – you don’t want to ruin the birthday party with someone getting too competitive!

Candle making class

candle making class


Credit: Brittani Burns

For a fun, hands-on birthday activity, consider booking a candle making class for a group of friends. 

2nd Chance Candles host candle making workshops all day, everyday. 

Not only will it keep you all busy for two hours, but you’ll also get to take your creations home with you! Perfect for aligning your focus and encouraging everyone’s creativity – while you’ll all be given the same materials, you’ll be amazed at the difference in what people create.

Choose your own glass candle jar, fragrances, and gemstone embellishments.

Cooking Class

pasta making


Credit: Jorge Zapata

Does your birthday-person fancy themselves as an amateur chef? Why not get a group of friends together for a cooking class, where they can really show off their abilities.

There are a number of premium cooking classes to book that would be perfect for a birthday celebration – whether you’re looking for a Hungarian strudel class or a Balkan banquet – whatever your niche, you can find it! Plus, you’ll get to eat your creations afterwards, so the cooking class doubles up as dinner!


Looking for more ideas?:

Swingers ~ The crazy golf club

We believe that life is more fun when there is an element of competition, and that competition is best enjoyed with friends.

Swingers, the crazy golf club takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into one incredible social experience