Gotham Comedy Club, Chelsea: (212) 267-9000 Ext.12; gothamcomedyclub.com. Budget: $$
Caroline’s, Midtown West-Theatre District: (212) 956-0101 Ext. 203; carolines.com. Budget: $$
In the spirit of friendly competition, assemble the crew at Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex located at 23rd St. and the Hudson River. This popular destination has unique athletic venues, recreation facilities and reception spaces. It even has a team-building staff that will work closely with you to create customized mental or physical programs to challenge the champion couch potato, the aspiring Olympic athlete and everyone in between. There are several programs for groups of all sizes, ages and levels of physical condition. However, if arcade games, bowling or ice skating are more your staff’s style, consider Bowlmor Lanes, Wollman Skating Rink, ESPN Zone and Dave & Busters.
Chelsea Piers, Chelsea: (212) 336-6777; chelseapiers.com. Budget: $$–$$$
Bowlmor Lanes, Union Square: (212) 255-8188; bowlmor.com. Budget: $$
Wollman Skating Rink, Midtown-Central Park South: (212) 439-6900 x13; wollmanskatingrink.com. Budget: $–$$
ESPN Zone, Times Square: (212) 921-3776; espnzone.com. Budget: $$
Dave & Busters: Times Square (646) 495-2015 or Westbury (516) 542-8501; daveandbusters.com. Budget: $$
Wine and Dine
Host a private wine tasting at Bacchus Wine Made Simple located at 2056 Broadway between 70th and 71st St. on the Upper West Side, in their 3,000-square-foot space. Bacchus wine events include a sommelier or wine consultant, a selection of six different wines to taste, tasting notes and a “goodie bag” for each participant. In-house event pricing ranges from $62 to $71 for 10–75 people. Pricing for off-site events for 80–100-plus people ranges from $20 to $25 per person. Another tasting venue to consider is NYC’s celebrated speakeasy The 21 Club. The secret wine cellar is considered one of the most coveted dining rooms in the world, and guests can enjoy either a three-course lunch or seven-course tasting dinner paired with the finest wines; minimum of 20 people.
Bacchus: (212) 875-1200; bacchusnyc.com. Budget: $$
The 21 Club: (212) 582 -1400; 21club.com. Budget: $$$
Bring the Party to You
Inspired by the “stay-cation” trend, you can create the same quality experience found at any of the aforementioned options in the privacy of your own boardroom, cafeteria or conference room. Contact Amusitronix, an organization that specializes in bringing top-quality games and virtual experiences including sleigh rides, skiing and snowboarding competitions to your location.
Amusitronix (800) 643-0589; amusitronix.com. Budget: $$
Sparty is the perfect blend of spa treatments and a cocktail party. The transformation from workplace to on-site spa includes spa decor, furniture and equipment. Amidst a candlelit glow, in white fluffy robes, guests enjoy a spa-themed event with an indulgent range of spa services, cocktails, music and fun. Sparty can accommodate from 10 to 300 guests.
Sparty: (646) 291-2705; spa-party.com. Budget: $$–$$$
You can bring the bright lights of Broadway to your door with custom performances by genuine Broadway actors and dancers provided by New York Offstage.
New York Offstage (212) 265-6077; newyorkoffstage.com. Budget: $$$
Swirl Events offers customized wine tastings in various themes that are fresh and hip for corporate and private affairs, including seated events, cocktail parties and wine stations, for groups as small as eight people up to 500-plus. The venue specializes in per-person pricing, starting from $75 for the classic wine-tier package, $85 for the premium package and $110 for the super premium. Wines are paired with a gourmet cheese and chocolate. Swirl experts discuss the essentials of wine and lead your group through tasting an array of wines and the stories behind them. They can also discuss relevant wine topics, including ordering the right wine with confidence and pairing wine with food, and pass along tips for impressing clients. The experts can kick off your party with an activity or ice breaker.
Sandra Placide is a certified special event professional, founder and president of Illumination Marketing + Events, LLC. She can be reached at illummktevents.com.