• The Pillars Of Planning A Bar Or Bat Mitzvah In NYC

    Our guide to the most popular local venues

    By Eric Messinger

    The Angel Orensanz Foundation; Photo by Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company

    As it happens, this edition of our twice-annual Bar & Bat Mitzvah Guide coincides with my second child’s own Bar Mitzvah, taking place at the end of April. Naturally, this guide has been infused by info from the front, as my son attends celebrations from friends from school, synagogue, and camp. I have but one caveat: Plan well, but when the big day arrives, just enjoy it. Don’t let any hiccups in the execution of the party distract from the real joy and meaning of day meant to be focused on your child as they being the journey into adulthood. –Eric Messinger, Editor of New York Family

    202 East can host up to 120 guests on the second floor of a two-story townhouse, while the space’s discreet appearance allows for a great deal of privacy. The refined décor features light gray, gold, and turquoise color motifs that create a soft environment, further enhanced by wall-mounted candles, adjustable lighting levels, and high vaulted ceilings. Food is not provided at the venue and must be catered from elsewhere. 202east.com

    404 is a sleek multi-level facility with lots of floor plan flexibility to accommodate all types of events, be it both a service and reception on-site, an integrated adults and kids party, or an affair separating certain aspects of the event such as a game room, dance floor, adult seated dinner and/or adult lounge. 404nyc.com

    Park Hyatt; Photo by Michael Jurick

    The Angel Orensanz Foundation, at 172 Norfolk Street, was built in 1849 and is the oldest surviving synagogue building in New York. They don’t build them like this anymore—the interior was designed to resemble Paris’ Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the sanctuary was designed to resemble the Sistine Chapel. It can hold up to 260 for a sit-down dinner with a dance floor. orensanzevents.com

    Apella Event Space, at Alexandria Center at 450 East 29th Street, can hold up to 300 guests for a cocktail reception, 225 seated theater-style, and various other setups for smaller events. All food and beverages are exclusively catered by Tom Colicchio’s restaurant, Riverpark. apella.com

     Arena NYC at 135 West 41st Street in Bryant Park has been renovated to include New York’s most extensive programmable lighting system as well as a modernized state-of-the-art facility accented by the classiness of the venue’s original 1920’s architecture. It’s a great space for budding fashionistas (it can accommodate up to 150 people for a seated dinner) to celebrate their milestone. arenanyc.net

    Battery Gardens is a popular waterside restaurant in Battery Park that easily transforms into a festive space for Bar or Bat Mitzvah parties, with plenty of room to show off a child’s delights and hobbies amid the gorgeous views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. batterygardens.com

    Mandarin Oriental; Photo by Michael Jurick

    Blue Man Group at the Astor Place Theatre is great for Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. This unique theatrical experience is a form of entertainment like nothing else, guaranteed to be an outing that your group will never forget. Party packages—which include discounted tickets, the name of the mitzvah child on the LED screen, and a merchandise item for each guest—are available for groups of 10 and up. Located on Lafayette Street between 4th Street and Astor Place. blueman.com

    Bowlmor Lanes, with locations in Times Square and at Chelsea Piers, is the only indoor spot in New York City where you can play billiards, laser tag, and arcade games, bowl, eat and drink, and hit the dance floor all in one night. This super-fun spot is perfect for an activity-packed mitzvah celebration. bowlmor.com

    The Brooklyn Museum is known for iconic collections of Egyptian antiquities and American Art, but the Brooklyn Museum’s Beaux-Arts building also has a magnificent and timeless Beaux-Arts Court, with its original archways, a large brass chandelier, and an updated glass-tile floor—a lovely backdrop for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration for the ages. brooklynmuseum.org

    Bryant Park Grill is a New York classic with a Parisian feel in Bryant Park, and the location has several options for accommodating a large festive yet classy Bar or Bat Mitzvah party that is pleasing to both adults and children. arkrestaurants.com/bryant_park

    Capitale is a 15,000-square-ft grand ballroom is marked by tall Corinthian columns, a coved ceiling, and an art glass skylight. If you’re going the lavish and sophisticated route, this one of the city’s go-to event spaces. capitaleny.com

    Cipriani 42nd Street was inspired by the Italian Renaissance, and is a masterpiece of towering marble columns, soaring ceilings, magnificent inlaid floors, and glorious chandeliers. It’s a big beautiful statement for a Bar or Mat Mitzvah celebration projecting opulence and old-world charm. cipriani.com

    Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine, brought to you by former New York Knicks star Clyde Frazier, is a perfect spot for basketball-loving Bar and Bat Mitzvah kids. This 10,000-square-ft restaurant, located at 485 10th Avenue, features a free-throw court in addition to the typical dining room and bar and lounge spaces. Forty-two TV screens, a nine-screen video wall, and treats by a Latino-focused culinary team round out the entertainment offerings. clydefraziers.com

    Edison Ballroom; Photo by Michael Jurick

    Conrad New York, in keeping with the Lower Manhattan hotel’s premium on elegance and and excellence, has several beautiful options for creating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration of any size and festive reach. Worth noting: The location’s exclusive food and beverage partner is Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events. conradnewyork.com

    The Craft Studio (and its prime UES location) can now be rented out for mitzvah parties with a fun and creative feel. The venue has disco balls and high ceilings, and can be transformed to suit any theme, with plenty of space for additional furniture, tables, and décor. Plus, there’s a huge menu of craft stations to select from and space for up to 75 people. craftstudionyc.com

    Culinart United Nations & Culinart Woodbury operate at over 250 locations, from cafés to executive dining. Two of its popular special events spaces include the Woodbury Jewish Center and the United Nations. culinartcateringcollection.com

    Current at Pier 60 offers an expansive open space filled with natural light overlooking the Hudson River and Chelsea Piers marina. With more than 6,000-square-ft of flexible event space and unrivaled water views, this modern-chic venue makes for an upscale mitzvah celebration venue. It currently offers state-of-the-art technology, solar and blackout shades, full AV services, and valet parking. Plus, noted caterer Abigail Kirsch provides scrumptious cuisine and service to make the experience extra special. piersixty.com/current

    Dave & Buster’s at 234 West 42nd Street, on the third floor, is a great pick for a fun-filled mitzvah celebration. Everyone can let out their inner child at this 31,500-square-ft gaming venue. D&B can hold parties for as few as 10 or as many as 1,200 guests. daveandbusters.com

    The Delegates Dining Room is a state of the art event space located on the 4th floor of the United Nations world headquarters. The indoor event space is a blank slate, which can be designed to complement your mitzvah theme and accommodate up to 300 guests. The room has ample space for games and entertainment. The DDR also boasts one of the largest outdoor patios in NYC, overlooking the East River. Additionally, United Nations tours can be coordinated and timed within your event. delegatesdiningroom-un.com

    The Edison Ballroom, formerly the Times Square Supper Club, retains its Art Deco style. With three rooms and separate areas for kids and adults available, The Edison Ballroom gives you maximum flexibility to create the perfect Bar or Bat Mitzvah layout. Use their award-winning chef and kitchen staff or bring in your own. edisonballroom.com

    eSpace at 635 West 42nd Street is a clean, modern space just steps from Times Square that can seat anywhere from 50 to 1,200 guests. The space offers customized LED lighting and personalized projection onto fabric walls, and teens will be thrilled to discover the wireless internet access which they can use to post real-time updates of the evening. espaceny.com

    Brooklyn Museum; Photo by Michael Jurick

    Eventi offers a sleek and chic setting in a scene-defining neighborhood located at 851 6th Avenue in Chelsea. Popular features include the Big Screen Plaza, a giant multimedia art screen for displaying footage or branded logos, distinctive catering, a large veranda terrace, a sit-down dinner for 250 guests, and much more. eventihotel.com

    Factory 220 has over 30,000 square feet of industrial space and loft studios in Passaic, NJ. It can be tailored to any kind of Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration imaginable from elegant to sporty. factory220.com

    The Fieldhouse at Chelsea Piers is a great option for families seeking a sporty vibe for their celebration. The Mezzanines at the Field House feature a spacious reception area that overlooks the gymnastics training center, batting cages, rock climbing wall, turf fields, and basketball courts. Families can choose to rent each mezzanine individually in combination. A Mitzvah at Chelsea Piers can to accommodate groups of up to 250 people, and receptions for up to 125 guests can held on each mezzanine. The venue is also central to all Field House activities, which young guests are sure to enjoy. chelseapiers.com/mitzvah

    Gansevoort Park Avenue will customize your celebration so that it’s tailored exactly to your vision. The 3,000-square-ft ballroom offers floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of Park Avenue South with a neutral palate that becomes your blank canvas, while their chic rooftop is available as well for more laidback affairs. This venue offers a variety of spaces to host your Bar or Bat Mitzvah, including their Red Room, Ivy Lounge, Park Avenue Lounge, Pool Bar, indoor/outdoor pool deck, rooftop Sun Deck, and a dividable 3,800-square-ft ballroom with a connecting terrace. gansevoorthotelgroup.com

    The Garrison offers private rooms with natural light. The elegant interior design by Tony Chi is purposely classic and neutral, flexible to fit any theme. Located just an hour north of NYC, The Garrison is easy for your guests to reach on your family’s big day. Creative cuisine from Chef Vin Mocarski’s kitchen is tailored to your event. There’s also room for playfulness, like retro dessert stations featuring homemade versions of Twinkies and Oreos. thegarrison.com

    The Glasshouses at 545 West 25th Street offers a blank canvas of windowed walls. Choose from a room with 11- or 14-ft ceilings; both spaces can accommodate up to 150 people for seated dinners or 200 for cocktail receptions. theglasshouses.com

    Gramercy Theater is a small music venue on East 23rd Street can be–what else?—a really cool spot for a child who wants a club-like vibe for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah party. thegramercytheatre.com

    Guastavino’s window-filled building under the Queensboro Bridge at 409 East 59th Street is classic New York. It was named for the buff-colored canopy of tile vaults designed by Rafael Guastavino, an architect from Barcelona. Guastavino’s is owned by D&D London, a restaurant company which boasts over 30 of the most famous restaurants and event venues in London, Paris, New York, and Tokyo. guastavinos.com

    The Hard Rock Café at 1501 Broadway is ideal for a party that really rocks. Every room in the venue is filled with music memorabilia, and you can rent the café’s indoor/outdoor space overlooking Times Square. hardrock.com

    Tribeca 360; Photo by Michael Jurick

    The Harlem Stage Gatehouse is a performing arts center that bridges Harlem’s performing arts legacy to contemporary artists of color, its theater–complete with a magnificent arch and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems–is a really special spot for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration with a cultural theme. harlemstage.org

     Harmonie Club, at 4 East 60th Street, is the second oldest social club in New York City, dating back to 1852. Its posh Beaux Arts design outside and traditional wood paneling inside make this locale a classic choice just steps from Central Park. harmonieclub.org

    Helen Mills is a host to everything from product launches to arts events to personal celebrations; the Chelsea location offers a spectacular 4,000-square-ft loft-like, street-level space in which to come up with the Bar or Bat Mitzvah of your customized liking. The venue also features a 140-seat theater, for those who really want to show off that montage. helenmills.com

    Home Studios is a conveniently located loft in the heart of Manhattan. With 14-ft ceilings and maple floors, the 4,000-square-ft space at 873 Broadway offers classically simple furniture in addition to an elegant ambiance and access to top caterers for privately hosted parties. homestudiosinc.com

    Hudson Terrace at 621 West 46th Street is a turn-of-the-century upscale nightclub. Overlooking the Hudson River, this midtown Manhattan landmark can host up to 400 guests in one of its party spaces, which include an old-world salon, an outdoor garden terrace, and an open-air retractable rooftop garden lounge. hudsonterracenyc.com

    The IAC Building is a breathtaking building in Chelsea has two lobbies available for party rentals. The West Lobby looks more like a typical event set up, with large windows and 6,500-square-ft of space, while The East Lobby has more of a modern lounge feel with a large video wall available to customize your party. iac.com

    Lexicon is a cozy Midtown venue can seat up to 425 people without losing its intimate vibe, with a sunken dance floor, multiple bars, and lounge décor that help to elevate your party experience. metronomenyc.com

    The Liberty Theater at 233 West 41st Street in Times Square was originally built in 1904, and for many years was home to some of New York’s finest theatrical productions before undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation in 2007. It’s now a restaurant and event space that can accommodate parties of almost any scale. libertytheaterny.com

    LIFE…The Place To Be is a modern industrial event venue located in Westchester County. LIFE features 29,000 square feet of flexible, NYC loft-style event space, offering all of the conveniences and technology of a full-service banquet facility. LIFE includes plasmas and projection screens, LED lighting throughout the venue, a state-of-the-art sound system, arcade games, mini-bowling, laser maze and laser tag, a climbing wall, and more. LIFE can accommodate 20-500 guests and allows both adults and kids to enjoy every minute of an event from dinner to games, with a separate area for adult cocktails, ultra-modern seating, and lounge furniture. lifetheplacetobe.com

    The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers at Pier 60 is a waterfront space that can hold up to 1,650 guests for a cocktail reception and between 200-1,200 guests for banquet-style experience. Floor-to-ceiling windows have sweeping views of the Hudson and the lights of New Jersey. An outdoor patio makes this a perfect spot for a warm-weather cocktail hour. piersixty.com

    Lucky Strike Lanes at 624-660 West 42nd Street has fun to spare for your upcoming mitzvah celebration! Hold your party in the main bowling area or rent the ultra-private Luxe room with its own private entrance, four private lanes, a dedicated bar, a private DJ station, and much more.
    bowlluckystrike.com

    Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club boasts 13 waterfront acres in Westchester County, only 30 minutes from NYC. The gracious clubhouse was designed by noted architect Stanford White, and features a glorious main ballroom, stunning formal and informal gardens, and tented deck–all cantilevered over the Long Island Sound. mamaroneckbeachandyacht.com

    LIFE…The Place To Be; Photo by Michael Jurick

    Mandarin Oriental New York is a part of the Time Warner Center and has a 6,000-square-ft ballroom that’s a perfect fit for opulent Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebrations, with its 18-ft floor-to-ceilings windows, three immense oval chandeliers, and majestic views of Central Park. mandarinoriental.com/newyork

    Meadowlands Racing has a couple of festive spaces that are well-suited for Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebrations. There’s a space with enormous TV screens that can offer that night club feel; and other spacious areas that can be customized to your theme and party preferences. playmeadowlands.com

    Melrose Ballroom, located at 36-08 33rd Street in Long Island City, Queens, has four different, unique spaces, the largest of which can seat up to 450 guests in banquet-style fashion. The main ballroom also includes two bars, a hydraulic stage, a video wall and several wall-mounted plasma screens. melroseballroom.com

     MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL Jets and Giants, offers a variety of options for your mitzvah celebration. From an intimate wooded lounge to a bustling and colorful field-side club, their state-of-the-art event spaces are sure to provide a unique and memorable experience. Each of their five stadium clubs are inspired by prominent New York City venues and designed by world-renowned architect David Rockwell. metlifestadium.com

     Midtown Loft is noted for large windows on all four sides offering lots stunning views of the city in Midtown, this space has a charming and upbeat vibe that attracts families who want to make a room their own with going over-the-top. midtownloft.net

     Museum of Jewish Heritage, a “living memorial to the holocaust,” may seem an unlikely backdrop for a celebratory occasion, but for many Jewish families the opposite is true. They appreciate the connection, and enjoy the Lower Manhattan building’s large event hall with its spectacular views of New York Harbor. mjhnyc.org

     New York Hall of Science at 47-01 111th Street, Queens, offers an out-of-this-world setting. Holding your affair in their North Wing gives your guests an opportunity to explore outer space, dance with the stars, and even check out the interactive exhibits. nysci.org

     The New York Yankees Steak House in Midtown offers a traditional gourmet dining environment with the history of baseball infused into all of the décor and ambiance. There are three distinct private party areas available for your Mitzvah celebration—the Clubhouse, which can accommodate up to 85 guests; the Vault Room, which can accommodate up to 30 guests; and the Upper Level, which features and open kitchen and private restrooms, and has capacity for up to 175 guests. nyysteak.com/manhattan

    NoMa Social (NoMa meaning “North of Manhattan”) private parties are customized to suit your taste with a wide-range of scrumptious Mediterranean-style menu items to choose from. The 3,000-square-ft space—located inside the New Rochelle Radisson—is beautifully decorated with a warm and inviting atmosphere. nomasocial.com

    One Atlantic Events makes for an experience that’s anchored in a family’s own personal tradition. With breathtaking views of the sea and skyline, One Atlantic offers a spectacular backdrop for an event that will be remembered for a lifetime. They have partnered with the best in the region to produce both traditional and contemporary simchas, and their catering team offers exceptional Glatt Kosher and non-Kosher catering options. oneatlanticevents.com

    Opia Restaurant at 130 East 57th Street in Midtown has adjoining rooms, which means you can host anywhere from 6-400 people for a sit-down dinner with dancing, or just serve drinks and appetizers. opiarestaurant.com

    Park Hyatt New York is the flagship of the Hyatt hotel chain and is noted for its mix of opulence served up with an artistic and personal feel. Located on 57th Street, it has 8,000 square feet of event space with touches of metal, marble, and exotic woods, including a stunning ballroom and a resplendent outdoor terrace. newyork.park.hyatt.com

    Prince George Ballroom is a grand hotel from early part of the 1900s, and their main ballroom finished a major renovation last decade, modernizing its facilities while maintaining its original Neo-Renaissance features. Entering that room is like coming upon a hidden masterpiece. princegeorgeballroom.org

    Sands Atlantic Beach has a beautiful ocean-side backdrop, an elegant and spacious venue, and has long been one of Long Island’s most popular venues for Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebrations. They offer all-inclusive packages and can accommodate almost any party theme imaginable. thesandsatlanticbeach.com

    SIR Stage37 is a flexible event and performance space from music industry leaders SIR Entertainment Services located just one block from the Javits Center. With over 13,600 square feet of space, SIR Stage37 offers comfortable, contemporary features that will flawlessly frame your event. stage37events.com

    Cipriani 42nd Street; Photo by Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company

    Slate has the ultimate lounge vibe, brimming with comfortable oversized plush chairs and sleek sofas. Resembling a large living room, the highly social atmosphere features flexible floor layouts, modern American cuisine, group entertainment games such as pool, ping-pong, and foosball, state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities, a spacious dance floor and banquet seating, a Funktion-One sound system, and a nine-panel video wall. The 16,000-square-ft venue at 54 West 21st Street accommodates various party sizes, and the staff will kindly honor special requests. slate-ny.com

    SPACE NJ offers all-inclusive Bar and Bat Mitzvah packages that include a variety of fun activities and games for guests to enjoy—including unlimited play on all the video games, glow-in-the-dark mini bowling, laser tag, and paintless paintball, to name a few! SPACE also offers custom menus prepared by their in-house chef, DJ services, a beautifully decorated event space, custom linens, comfy lounge furniture, an LED wall, and more. Plus, their helpful and professional staff will be on-hand to make every detail go smoothly. spacenj.com

    SPiN New York, which is partly owned by Susan Sarandon, takes ping pong out of the suburban basement and transports it to a sleek and hip setting. Now imagine that setting transformed in a mitzvah party for kids, with all the dancing and hoopla, plus something else that you can’t get anywhere else: Lots of ping pong fun and games. newyork.wearespin.com

    Splash Light Studios’ natural light is just one of the things you will have in abundance here. The polished concrete floor and all white interior make the studio feel hip and spacious, as well as private bathrooms, and the ability to combine multiple studios into one large space. splashlight.com

    Stage 48/Cantina Rooftop was built in the 1950s as a horse stable, and the building has been completely remodeled mixing the old industrial architecture and modern elements. A large horseshoe balcony overlooks the main party floor–and at the top level, the excellent restaurant Cantina Rooftop can be converted into a full-flung Mitzvah fiesta! stage48.com

    Studio 450 is a penthouse duplex in Midtown with a roof top terrace and incredible skyline views and a lovely spot for those who want to make the space their own and don’t want a trendy or slick backdrop. It can seat up to 230 people. studio450ny.com

    Sunset Terrace, which sits on the western tip of Pier 61 off the West Ice Arena of Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, is a 3,400-square-ft space that offers the perfect setting for a celebration. Available year-round, Sunset Terrace can accommodate up to 200 guests with a dance floor and offers full-service and kosher catering. The best part? Breathtaking panoramic views of the Hudson River! chelseapiers.com/mitzvah

    Taj Lounge is a Chelsea lounge that offers the real deal: a popular lounge, with Indian-accented décor and, most importantly, a really fun vibe and great sound system. It hosts Bar or Bat Mitzvah parties before it turns over into a scene for young adult enjoying a late-night out. tajlounge.com

    Trattoria Il Mulino, in Gramercy Park, is a casual chic dining from one of the city’s greatest Italian food restaurateurs can also be turned into a celebration space for up 160 guests. trattoriailmulino.com

     Tribeca 360 provides breathtaking panoramic views of Manhattan in more than 30,000 square feet of space. In addition to offering views of the scenic cityscape, the minimalistic décor of the architecturally designed venue is highly versatile. To top it off, a 3,000-square-ft hickory wood dance floor can be enjoyed by up to 700 people. threesixtynyc.com

    Trump SoHo is where the Trump signatures—modern sophistication and technology married to timeless elegance—all come together, especially in the main ballroom, with its muted color palette and floor-to-ceiling windows. Perfect for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration on the swank side. trumphotel.com/soho

    Upper Story is an elegant event space ran by legendary chef and restauranteur Charlie Palmer that makes the most of its big views and terrace on the 14th floor of the iconic D & D Building, on Lexington Avenue and East 58th Street. It’s the kind space that works well for kids and adults alike. upperstoryny.com

    Union Square Ballroom combines understated modernism with chic warmth. The venue, located at 27 Union Square West offers state-of-the-art sound and light technology, vaulted acoustic ceilings, and recessed perimeter floor lighting. Seating up to 500 guests, the room’s “blank palette” design allows for creative décor and room design. unionsquareballroom.com

    W New York Union Square is an innovatively re-mixed space that is home to a 2,300-square-ft Great Room. With ceilings that are 23 feet high and opulent turn-of-the-century décor, the room at 201 Park Avenue South still boasts detailing from the original 1911 Guardian Life Beaux-Arts building and can accommodate up to 200 people. wnewyorkunionsquare.com

    The Lighthouse; Photo by Sarah Merians Photography & Video Company

    White Space Studios can make any celebration you plan feel sophisticated. The expansive studio is, you guessed it, all white and well lit, offering space for half day and full day celebrations. whitespacechelsea.com

    The Woodbury Jewish Center is an all-new sub-dividable space full of glitz and glam with an elongated all-marble cocktail bar, tiled fireplace, and stunning chandeliers. The Gallery lobby is newly renovated and contains antique Judaica set in a modern design. The Sanctuary is transitional in design with two-story, floor-to-ceiling glass set behind the hand-carved arc, allowing outdoor light and greenery to be the backdrop of your ceremony. Additionally, their suspended, hovering chuppah is the only one of its kind in the area. thewjc.org

    Yankee Stadium, at East 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx, is a dream come true for baseball aficionados. The Legends Suite Club extends from home plate down each baseline for unparalleled views of the ball field. Or try the Great Moments room, which is adorned with images of historic plays in Yankees’ history. yankees.com

    Ziegfeld Theater is due to open in September of 2017. This well-known New York establishment will now operate as a full special event space. There are few places as iconic and opulent as the New York Ziegfeld Theater and due to its open floor plan and built in room dividers, this venue will be great for a variety of event types and sizes. theziegfeldtheater.com

    For Bar and Bat Mitzvah planning tips from the pros, click here.

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