Who says you’re too old to have a birthday party? Making it to another year is certainly something to celebrate, and though the pointy hats and balloons may be for kids (or not!), there are many ways to commemorate the big event. Whether you’re up for a huge birthday bash or a small gathering with friends, here are some activities and places that are perfect for celebrating another trip around the sun.
Spa Day at the Windsor Court Hotel
Enjoy a little R&R on your birthday. This luxury spa, located at one of the city’s most recognizable hotels, is well-known for their facials (they were featured in Goop!). Gather a group of friends—or go by yourself—and enjoy a full day of pampering. Open daily, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., more information/reservations here.
Bowling at Fulton Alley
One of the secret treasures of downtown is Fulton Alley. Located down the street from Harrah’s and the Convention Center, Fulton Alley is an upgrade from the typical bowling alley. They serve modern Creole and American drinks and fare lane-side, and you can wait for your turn at the bar. Groups of all sizes will enjoy the nostalgic party idea. Available for private events, more information here.
Honey Island Swamp Tour
Play tourist for the day and head down to the Honey Island Cypress Swamp for a tour. This virtually untouched region is a great place to learn more about the fragile Louisiana environment. You’ll see local alligator, fish, and bird species, and you might even get to hold a baby alligator. For an adventurous group, this tour is a great way to explore outside of the city. Tours offered daily, group rates available, more information here.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum
Fun for foodies and non-foodies alike, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum celebrates the food and drinks of the South, from barbecue to red beans and rice. Within SoFAB, there’s the Rouses Culinary Innovation Center, a huge test kitchen where demonstrations are held. Since this visit is bound to make you hungry, next door is Toups South, owned by renowned Cajun Chef Isaac Toups. Open Wed-Mon. 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., more information here.
There’s no music club in New Orleans more historic than Preservation Hall. Founded in 1961, the Hall was established to preserve and revive live jazz performance. Listen to some of the best jazz in the city while taking in the city's musical history. Plus, the Hall is in the heart of the French Quarter, so you’ll have plenty of options for a pre- or post-show cocktail. Nightly shows at 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 p.m., more information here.
Located off the beaten path in the East Carrollton neighborhood, Brigtsen’s is known for their delicious Creole seafood from acclaimed chef Frank Brigtsen. The intimate setting is perfect for a a smaller birthday gathering with family. Open for Dinner Tues.-Sat., more information here.
Beyoncé ate here once. This award-winning Southern food joint is perfect for a casual birthday lunch. Be sure to pick up a celebratory pastry from their incredible bakery (we recommend the chocolate chip cookies). This place tends to fill up fast, so have a reservation ready or arrive early to try your luck. Open daily 7 a.m.-9 p.m., more information here.
Bubbles at Brennan’s
Brennan’s sparkling happy hour is a Champagne lover’s dream. They offer a variety of sparkling wines by the bottle, as well as bubbly cocktails. Brennan's kitchen offers bars snacks like Duck Confit Poutine and Baked Gulf Oysters, that are sure to complement your effervescent drinks. Mon.-Thurs. 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Fri. 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.; more information here.
Named one of “America’s Best Wine Restaurants” of 2018 by Wine Enthusiast magazine, Compère Lapin boasts an 18-page wine list and an extensive cocktail menu. While the food is nothing to sneeze at (chef Nina Compton has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation), those looking for creative and delicious cocktails will be delighted by Compère Lapin’s offerings. Pop in for drinks or stay for a meal—you can’t go wrong either way. Cocktails served daily 2:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m., more information here.