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35 Exciting New York City Theme Party Ideas

New York City Theme Party

Updated on: Feb 18, 2024

Some people don’t like big crowds or constant noise. Some people are in love with the “city that never sleeps.” New York is a bustling city, full of life and adventure. What better party to host for someone who enjoys that kind of atmosphere than a New York City theme party? Here’s a to-do list of all the essential elements to the best NYC theme party.

New York City Theme Party Decorations

1. Lighting

Use Christmas lights to replicate the lights in NYC. Keep the overhead lights off to enhance the effect of the theme. New York is riddled with big screens and bright lights so this element is crucial.

2. Skyscrapers

Build your own skyscrapers by spray-painting several boxes and then piling them on top of one another. If you make several skyscrapers, you can have your own 3D cityscape!

3. Music

Playing the right music sets the tone for every party. Play songs about New York City such as “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. You can also use soundtracks from Broadway shows set in New York City like Rent.

4. Road Signs

There are many iconic road names in New York City. “Broadway” and “Madison Ave” are two examples. You can paint or purchase NYC road signs to hang on the walls.

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5. Empire State Building

Purchase several miniature Empire State Building figurines to use as centerpieces or as other decorations.

6. Balloons

If going for a more colorful theme, you can decorate with balloons as colors such as yellow and black to represent the taxi cabs that are all over the city.

7. Photo Op

Set up a New York City backdrop for a photo op. This idea can include props and supplies like a cutout of a taxicab or the statue of liberty. Have props like “I Love NY” sunglasses and hats. Everyone loves a photo-op to commemorate the night.

New York City Theme Party Favors

8. NYC Keychains

There are many NYC-theme key chains to choose from. You’ll find them in every NYC gift shop. They are cute little mementos for your party.

2x New York Big Apple Empire State Chrysler Building NYC Night Skyline with Big Apple Heart Shape Keychain NY Souvenir Gift Key Chain Ring - Set of 2

9. Shot Glasses

Shot glasses are perfect memorabilia that can be found in many different Big Apple designs. Hand them out to guests to remember your party.

10. Empire State Building Figurines

Give your guests an adorable, miniature Empire State Building figurine to keep on their desks.

11. NYC Magnets

NYC theme magnets are simple and practical prizes that are easy to find.

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12. New York City Apparel

"I love NY" is classic phrase used to describe the city. Order some socks with this saying for your guests to take home to keep memories of this pary.

13. Chocolate–Covered Pretzels

You can purchase or make your own chocolate-covered pretzels. Wrap them in New York City theme favor bags.

New York City Theme Party Food Ideas

14. Black and White Cookies

A chocolate and vanilla cookie is a staple dessert to get in the City. Have these as a sweet treat to honor the popularity.

15. Hot Dogs

New York City hot dog carts are a staple, so be sure to serve plenty of hot dogs with a variety of toppings.

16. Halal Food

Halal food is a staple food in New York City. There are many Halal carts spread throughout the five boroughs. You could cook this food yourself or have it catered. Through catering, you may be able to get a more authentic taste of Halal food.

17. Candied Nuts

Other food carts in New York City are famous for their candied nuts. Serve them in little paper bags for a more authentic “street food” feel.

18. Steak

Peter Lugers is one of the highest-rated steak restaurants in New York. But because you aren’t in NYC, you will have to make do with a local restaurant or home-cooked steaks. If your party is more extravagant and formal, steak is an excellent New York City theme party main course.

19. Manhattan

Why not serve a Manhattan at your party? It’s perfect for the 21+ crew. It’s a cocktail made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

20. Deli Favorites

Delis are everywhere in New York. Every New Yorker has their go-to deli too. They provide drinks, food, and loads of snacks at an affordable price. Buy a bunch of deli cookies, cupcakes, and muffins for your guests to have.

21. Bagels

Bagels and a cup of coffee make up the perfect breakfast on the go. There are endless flavors and combinations for you to choose from. There are plain bagels, everything bagels, butter, regular cream cheese, and strawberry cream cheese; the options are endless. Host a bagel bar if your party is in the morning.

22. Pizza

New York is well known for its $1 pizza slices. Serve Brooklyn-style pizza at your party. You can even have your guests make their own pizza! It’s a fun activity and this way you’ll ensure everyone gets what they want.

23. Chinese Take Out

With all of the hustle and bustle of city life, the best feeling is curling up on your couch with some Chinese food. Call your favorite Chinese restaurant and order some for your NYC party.

New York City Theme Party Games and Activities

24. New York Trivia

Host a New York city theme trivia night. Brainstorm New York trivia questions such as “What are five of New York City’s nicknames?” or “How many people live in New York City?”

25. Subway Performance

Split your guests into groups and have them create their own subway performances with props such as boxes and cups. Turn it into a competition by having a judges’ panel vote on the best performance. NYC party activities like these will get everyone laughing.

26. NYC Movies

Print out a list of all the movies and TV shows that were filmed in New York. You can broaden this to include TV shows and movies that were set in NYC even if they weren’t filmed there. Then, have each of your guests try to write as many New York TV shows and movies as they can think of. Count and check the players' answers and award the player with the most correct answers.

27. Bobbing for Apples

What better way to celebrate with the Big Apple then to bob for some apples. Fill a large tub up with water and put apples in and start bobbing!

28. Movie Night

After all the fun and games are over, you can end the night with any classic New York movie, such as "Sleepless in Seattle".

29. Name That Tune

Use Broadway musical soundtracks to create a Big Apple version of “Name That Tune.” Play bits of songs from various musicals and ask the players to name the musical it came from or the title.

New York City Theme Party Supplies

30. Plasticware

No matter what kind of party you are throwing, be sure to stock up on plastic utensils, paper plates, and napkins. Make your plasticware New York City themed by using plates with the Statue of Liberty on them!

31. Paper Hot Dog Trays

New York City is known for its hot dog trucks that sell to millions of people walking around, so why not bring a little bit of authenticity to your guests' experience by including classic paper hot dog trays when serving your food?

32. New York City Theme Tablecloth

The New York City skyline is iconic, so it's important to incorporate this into your party. A tablecloth is a great way to do that!

New York City Theme Party Invitations

33. Taxicab

Start your party off on the right foot by sending invitations that are inspired by the Big Apple. This taxicab invitation is ready to be addressed and sent on its way!

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34. Cityscapes

A cityscape silhouette is a great way to add to your New York City theme party invitation. You can draw one onto a black piece of paper, cut it out, and write your party information on the back with a white or metallic gel pen. You can also find great invitations on sites like Etsy that are already made for you!

Birthday Invitation, Custom DIY Printable Invitation, New York City Subway, subway theme, new york theme, new york party, times square, taxi

**This listing is for the digital files only. No physical items will be sent.** If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere! Start spreadin' the news with this New York City themed invitation. KEEP THE PARTY GOING WITH A MATCHING PARTY PACK! --------------------------------- FINISHED SIZE: --------------------------------- 5" x 7" * (fits nicely in a A7 envelope) --------------------------------- FILES INCLUDED: --------------------------------- - PDF file, suitable for printing on your home printer - JPG file, suitable for printing at the photo print shop of your choice &/or using digitally (email, website, evite, etc) --------------------------------- WHY DIGITAL? --------------------------------- - Reprint as many times as you'd like, without additional cost - Save on your computer for future use - Quick turnaround - No shipping cost! --------------------------------- INFORMATION NEEDED TO CREATE PROOF: **Please include this information in the "comments" section of your order** --------------------------------- - First name of birthday girl or boy - Age birthday boy or girl is turning - Date of event - Time of event - Address of event - RSVP name, deadline date & phone number / email --------------------------------- PROOFING: --------------------------------- You will receive a proof 1-3 business days from receipt of payment & information. After approval of proof, your final files will be delivered to you via email within 1-3 additional days. --------------------------------- RIGHTS & RESTRICTIONS: --------------------------------- - All files will be sent to the email address on file with Etsy, unless otherwise specified. - Purchase of this file entitles you to print as many times as you'd like for PERSONAL USE. - This design is not to be forwarded, shared or resold. - All items in this store are copyrighted by Sour Pea Design. - Purchase of this design does NOT transfer copyright or ownership. - No refunds on digital files. --------------------------------- PLEASE NOTE: --------------------------------- Computer monitors display color differently than ink does on paper. Therefore the color you see on the screen may be slightly different than your printed color. --------------------------------- DETAILS ABOUT PDF FILES AND PRINTING: --------------------------------- PDF files are a universal file type used by print shops. Simply take your PDF file to your local copy shop and have them print on the paper of your choice. Bright white card stock with a matte finish looks the best (and smooth is better for designs with fine detail). Most copy shops will be able to do this type of print for you for a minimal cost. Some even offer the ability to upload your file & order online. If you choose to print at home, remember to change your printer settings to a borderless 8.5X11" sheet. (you may need to un-check "shrink to size" in the print settings box). --------------------------------- MORE INFO: --------------------------------- Contact me via Etsy Conversation or via email: melissa{at} Copyright © 2019 | Sour Pea Design | All rights reserved.

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35. New York City Symbols and Ideas

Cut out invitations in the shape of an apple, the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building. These shapes are universal symbols for NYC. Make sure to still write down the specific theme for the party.

New York City Theme Party: Conclusion

If you are planning a New York City theme party for the guest of honor that loves NYC, hopefully, this list was able to help you with your party planning and more!

Written by Jessica Bundy, Anna Wertman and Mackenzie Hogan; Contributors: Samantha Shek and Mackenzie Hogan

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Mackenzie Hogan

The University of Texas at San Antonio

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Medaille College

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Samantha Shek

Binghamton University

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