Top 5 girls getaway activities in New York City

Need a break from your day job? Tired of watching the basketball playoffs with your man? Has a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond become the highlight of your week? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time for a girls getaway.

There’s no better place than the Big Apple to bond with your lady friends. It’s no wonder the sophisticated women of Sex and the City and Gossip Girl call Manhattan home– from tame to wild, New York City offers plenty of attractions for a girl’s night out.

The following 5 picks are based on my personal experience as a New Yorker with a solid history of bridal shower, bachelorette party and girl-bonding adventures. Share your own picks by leaving a comment below!

Top 5 Girlfriend Getaway Activities

Ranked from “Zen” to “Wild”

#5. Spa Day

A spa day is a great way to bond with the girls! (Photo: Oasis Day Spa)

Want less drama in your life? Gather your girlfriends for a relaxing spa getaway. I recently visited Oasis Day Spa with my good friend and fellow traveler Charu of Butterfly Diary. She opted for a pregnancy message while I enjoyed a “Sleep Well” massage that melted away the stress of living and working in the country’s fastest-paced metropolis. The combination of aromatherapy– via a scented oil containing Lavender flowers, Marjoram leaves, Cedar wood & Ylang/Ylang petals– and the skillful hands of my masseuse, Carrie, had me drifting off to sleep at the massage table. The Oasis Day Spa offers party packages with customizable options like massages, facials, body scrubs, manicures and make-up applications.

Oasis Day Spa
1 Park Ave (between 32 & 33 Streets), New York, NY 10016
Tel. 212-254-7722
Cost: $$$. Massages start at $70 for 30 minutes; customized parties start at $125 per person for spa services plus $30 per person for catering.

#4. High Tea

Lady Mendls Tea Salon NYC tea kettle

Enjoy high tea in the Big Apple at Lady Mendl's Tea Salon.

Looking for an excuse to wear a frilly hat and wrap dress like the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Great Britain’s “Princess Kate”)? Head to Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon, located in an unassuming town house in Manhattan’s posh Grammercy Park neighborhood. You’ll enjoy a five-course royal tea service that includes classic dishes like cucumber sandwiches and crumpets and clotted cream. The wide selection of teas ranges from green and white to classic black, each accompanied by slices of candied ginger. This is a great alternative to brunch and serves as a sophisticated bridal shower venue.

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
56 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003
Tel. 212-533-4466
Cost: $$. The 5-Course Afternoon Tea will set you back $35 per person; Bridal showers and tea parties start at $55 per person. See the website for a schedule of daily seatings (reservations are required).

#3. Brunch

Café Orlin

Brunch is a classic New York City activity. (Photo: Flickr/cherrylet)

Brunch is a quintessential New York City experience. Unleash your inner Carrie Bradshaw by gathering the girls at Cafe Orlin, a popular East Village eatery, for Eggs Benedict and a mimosa. This breakfast hot spot has been featured in several Hollywood productions including the TV show Smash and the upcoming film Vamps. The affordable brunch special features organic eggs, cappuccino and fresh squeezed OJ. Both indoor and outdoor seats are packed on summer weekends, so make sure to arrive before noon or late in the day to snag a plum spot (brunch is served until 4 PM).

Cafe Orlin
41 Saint Marks Place, New York, NY 10003
Tel. (212) 777-1447
Cost: $. The weekend brunch special costs $14.50 (before tax and tip).

#2. Pole Dancing Class

Pole Dancing in Lagoon

Pole dancing is great exercise and a fun group activity. (Photo: Flickr/Lululemon athletica)

Want to do something fun and sexy that you won’t regret the next morning? Skip the all-male revue and sign up for a group pole-dancing class. A cross between stripping and a gym class, this intense workout will tone tone your arms, thighs and behind while giving you a few sensual moves to bring home to your man. I recently honed my pole dancing skills with a group of girlfriends at Long Island’s Fitness Loft, but a variety of NYC venues offer these courses, including gyms and specialized centers like Body & Pole and New York Pole.

Multiple venues; check Yelp for a more options.
Cost: $$. Classes typically start at $25- $40 per person

#1. Evening of Burlesque

Girls Getaway_LeScandal Cabaret Composite

Le Scandal Cabaret features a sword swallower and other unique acts.

If you think a girl’s night out isn’t complete without cocktails, dancing and partial nudity, head to Hell’s Kitchen for a burlesque show. Le Scandal Cabaret is a popular bachelorette party venue that features creative acts like an elderly woman who swallows two-foot swords and a human doll who strips down to her pasties. The show is sexy, funny and decidedly female-friendly. It is run by a woman, stars mainly women (with the occasional male magician or pianist), and caters to a largely female clientele. After enjoying a few cocktails at Le Scandal Cabaret, hit up the many bars along Ninth Avenue in the 40s and 50s. Hint: Make sure to time your visit during Fleet Week for maximum enjoyment!

Le Scandal Cabaret
Downstairs at the West Bank Cafe—The Laurie Beechman Theater
407 West 42nd Street (just west of 9th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
Tel. 917-558-0646 (group reservations and questions) or 212-868-4444 (purchase tickets)
Cost: $$. The entry fee is $25 plus a $15 food/beverage minimum for the Saturday night show.

What’s your favorite girl’s night out activity?

Share your picks with other readers by leaving a comment below! If you are reading this post via email or RSS feed, make sure to click on DowntownTraveler.com to leave your comment.

Note: The writer received a complimentary “Sleep Well” massage from the Oasis Day Spa in order to evaluate their service and write this review.

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About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded DowntownTraveler.com after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.