Best Venues for Sweet 16 Birthday Parties in NYC

Grab your besties and celebrate a Sweet 16 in NYC at one of these local venues.  Photo by Beah S,
Grab your besties and celebrate a Sweet 16 in NYC at one of these local venues. Photo by Beah S,
6/17/24 - By Jordana Drell Herman

What comes to mind when you think of a Sweet 16 birthday party? Black-tie? Formal? Boring??? Not true for Sweet 16 birthday parties in New York City. NYC teens—and their parents!—are a creative bunch. Sure, you can do the dressy party, but New York City teens know how to do it right, with sequin dresses paired with rockin’ sneakers and colorful blazers layered with awesome hoodies.

While we've got plenty of traditional venues where you can host an awesome dance party, our list of the best Sweet 16 birthday party venues in NYC includes a variety of destinations to celebrate this milestone in all kinds of experiential ways. Find more NYC birthday party venues for all ages in our NYC Kids' Guide to Birthday Parties, including our top 15 picks for teen birthday party places.


Subscribe to our newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox.

Sweet 16 Birthday Party Venues in Manhattan

Manhattan has an overwhelming number of Sweet 16 venues, party spaces, and private restaurant rooms for rent. Here are just a few to get you thinking about the possibilities.

1. Doubles Club – Upper East Side

I was on party “pick-up” duty one night and was a little nervous and then struck by how absolutely awesome this venue is for a Sweet 16 party. I went to the address, 783 Fifth Avenue, but there’s no building with that number. There’s 781 and 785, but where is 783? Ack! Had I gotten this wrong? Oh no! I decided to ask the lovely doorman at the Sherry Nederland Hotel. “Right this way.” the doorman explained. “See that hidden door handle, grab it.” I felt as if I had just walked into a mash-up of Harry Potter (hidden buildings) and Alice in Wonderland as I opened the secret door, which led me down plush, steep, curving stairs to a hidden, private club. Decorate the space in your Sweet 16’s style and watch hugs replace eye-rolls in minutes.

2. Ascent Lounge – Upper West Side

When thinking about throwing a Sweet 16 party in Manhattan, I can’t imagine anything more iconic, or better suited for a selfie background than Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. Ascent Lounge provides just that in luxurious surroundings. If your teen loves all things Manhattan and desires a sophisticated venue, Ascent provides a beautiful location.

3. Bowlero Times Square – Times Square

Arcade? Bowling? Mocktails in the bar? Dancing? Why decide? You and your teen can have it all at this Times Square staple. Choose how long you’d like to enjoy each activity and let Bowlero do the rest. This full-service venue provides food and drink and will recommend any other vendor or service you conjure. The dress code can range from casual to black-tie. Who doesn’t love bowling in top hat and tails?

4. Dinner and a Show – Times Square

OK, this isn’t a venue, but it is a quintessentially New York experience. If you have a Broadway-loving teen, as I do, nothing would make them happier than to see a show: Even better, let them bring a few besties with them. If you want to try to get a deal, we've rounded up our tips for scoring discount Broadway tickets here. You can also take your chance and visit the TKTS Booth in Times Square. Get in line early and be prepared to be flexible and creative with seating arrangements. Getting tickets in singles and pairs is the easiest. Pro tip: If you have a TKTS ticket stub from the past seven days, you can skip the line and go right to the front. Make a reservation for one of the many excellent Times Square restaurants or stand in line for more Broadway fun at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, one of our favorite restaurants with entertainment in NYC.

5. Marquee – Chelsea

If your teen wants to go “clubbing” for their Sweet 16, you can rent this iconic venue for the event and party the night away (OK, only until 10pm) with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system that perfects the DJ experience. This venue is perfect for a larger crowd.

6. Second – Chelsea

If you're looking for a Sweet 16 venue that offers space to throw a blow-out party for the kids and also includes some more intimate (OK, quieter!) rooms for adults, this lovely event space is perfect. There's enough room for the kids to party, and grandma can be included, too!

RELATED15 Sophisticated Bar Mitzvah Venues in New York City

The Color Factory : Sweet 16 Birthday Party Venues
Jump into color with a birthday party at Color Factory! Photo by the author

7. Color Factory NYC – Soho

For my daughter’s bat mitzvah party, I knew she wasn’t going to want to do a traditional dance party. We wanted something outside the box, yet entertaining for the entire guest list, which ranged from 1-year-olds to 93-year-olds, and Color Factory did not disappoint! We held the cocktail hour in the entrance hall, the guests then experienced the 14 interactive rooms at their leisure and the main party was in the best and last room of the experience: the sophisticated, large, light blue ball pit! I knew the ballpit would be fun, but having the space completely filled with friends and family of all ages sliding down the slide, throwing balls, and swimming together was a magical experience. The pictures are absolutely perfect! (Psst...I’m not the only one who thought this was a great party spot. In May, Rhianna had her 2-year-old's birthday party there!)

Where to Throw a Sweet 16 Party in Brooklyn

8. 501 Union – Gowanus

This beautiful space has natural light and an outdoor garden space. It features some beautiful design elements that provide a nod toward its history as a restoration garage and the Art Deco-era with opulent wallpaper and custom-built globe chandeliers. This space is perfect for theme parties, as it can be transformed into anything you’d like!

9. Brooklyn Bowl – Williamsburg

If your teen is really into music, book a private event at Brooklyn Bowl to celebrate their Sweet 16 in Brooklyn. You can book the bowling lanes while they’re open for a show or take over the entire venue and host your own battle of the bands!

10. The Pink Moon – Park Slope

Sophisticated and Instagrammable, this stylish space can be transformed into anything your teen can dream up! Have a sophisticated brunch or tea. Set-up Instagrammable areas and snap selfies to their hearts' content, or bring in a karaoke machine and sing the night away.

11. Pizza and Ice Cream Tour – Multiple Locations

Brooklyn is home to some of the most delicious and sought-after pizza and ice cream. Hit up famous spots for pizza like Lucali (a favorite of Beyonce and Jay-Z), F&F, Baby Luc’s, and Di Farra’s. Keep the fun going with world-class ice cream. Make sure to check out Malai for Indian-inspired flavors, VanLeeuwen, OddFellows, or the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

More Sweet 16 Experiences in New York City

12. Museum of the Moving Image – Astoria, Queens

If you have an aspiring director or movie buff, check out the current exhibits at the Museum of the Moving Image. Rent out one of its screening rooms for a private screening of your teen's favorite (or original!) film.

13. Zero Otto Nove – Arthur Avenue, the Bronx

Consider hosting a sophisticated, plated affair at this lovely restaurant in the heart of Arthur Avenue, aka the real Little Italy. Guests can dine on Southern Italian specialties and finish the meal with a Nutella pizza, but the real star here is the lovely, hidden grotto that makes a picture-perfect backdrop for your celebration.

14. The Vanderbilt – South Beach, Staten Island

Home to the only oceanfront ballroom in NYC, The Vanderbilt provides a sophisticated backdrop for your Sweet 16 celebration. On-site catering makes planning a breeze. There's plenty of room to dance, and the waterfront location is picture-perfect.

Places featured in this article: