So you’re about to celebrate a birthday. Soon your social media feeds will be inundated with well wishes from friends and video clips of Uncle Luke suavely navigating a jet ski while pontificating on the merits of each birthday month.
Yet, every year, you have the same problem: where can you host a worthy celebration? Here are seven South Florida spots up to the task.
1. PlugIN Private Karaoke Rooms
Get a room — literally. At PlugIN’s Gulfstream Park location, you can book one of 18 private karaoke rooms, each one outfitted with microphones (note the plural there), a flat-screen TV, digital song selection and food/drink service. There are more than 35,000 songs at your vocal disposal here, so finding your karaoke magnum opus shouldn’t be a problem. Each room can hold up to 150 people, which give you plenty of room re-enact Jennifer Beals’ legendarily sweaty “Maniac” routine in “Flashdance” to a captive audience.
2. El Tucán Cabaret and Nightclub
Sometimes, you just want to sit back and be entertained. And at El Tucán, that’s what you get: an elaborate cabaret show with bedazzled dancers, contortionist, singers and an assorted crew of surprise performers. A full dinner and cocktail menu accompany the show, which morphs into a wild nightclub scene at the end of the night fueled by DJ-spun sounds, pulsating lights and sparklers. Everyone knows sparklers are way better than birthday candles.
3. Bagatelle Miami
It’s not a party until a half-naked person comes soaring through the air with a bottle of champagne in tow. And if you’re an individual who subscribes to that notion, look no further than Bagatelle. While brunch here gets all the press (with good reason), dinner parties can get equally raucous. Just ask the waiter wearing a tablecloth as a cape and dancing to a DJ spinning “Don’t Stop Believing.” Better yet, get up there and join that crazy goof. Your branzino can wait.
4. Ricky's South Beach
Ricky’s is what happens when Chuck E. Cheese turns 21. You’ve got the old school arcade games, air hockey and cheesy slices of pizza (from New York’s Artichoke Pizza, no less). All that will make your inner 12-year-old swoon, but there are also plenty of adult beverages that’ll get you carded. Like the “Dime Bag Darryl,” made with CBD-infused Johnnie Walker Black. What’s CBD? It’s cannabidiol—the non-active ingredient in marijuana. Don’t look so disappointed.
5. The Wharf
Located on the Miami River, The Wharf is sort of like the Jersey Boardwalk with Miami sensibilities. This 30,000-square-foot open air space has a vibrant, almost carnival-like atmosphere with rotating food trucks, three bars, lawn games and a fish market/raw bar from local favorite Garcia’s. Reserve a few tables in the covered lounge area on the wooden deck and take in some live entertainment while watching the yachts sail past the dock.
High atop the East, Miami hotel in Brickell City Centre, there’s a Bali-inspired rooftop garden that offers some of the best views of the city. With your birthday crew in tow, settle into one of the cozy garden nooks outfitted with ornately carved sofas and bamboo chairs. As you’re lording over the city from your 40th story perch in the sky – it’s your birthday, you can lord if you want to – order Asian-inspired small plates and drinkslike the pork belly buns and the Sweet Life cocktail made with Templeton Rye and Thai iced tea. Don’t forget to take in the spectacular Miami sunset with your closest friends.
7. Super Wheels Skating Center
Do you like freestyle music? Can you skate with the magnificence of an extra on the set of “Xanadu”? Are you a fan of watching your friends endlessly face plant? Perfect. Round up a group and celebrate your day at this long-time Kendall arena. You can book a private party on most nights or head out on one of the adult skate nights and commandeer a few of the booths for nachos, burgers, chicken, pizza and yes, beer and wine. Should work wonders on those motor skills.