Sydney Birthday Venues

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Sydney might as well be the centre of Australia... and if you've got a big birthday coming up, what better place to celebrate the milestone? There are hundreds of Sydney bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs offering private function rooms or designated spaces for birthday parties - with so many options, there is bound to be something, somewhere that will give you and your friends a great night to remember!

Picking an inner city location is a great way to get people from all over to catch up in the one spot. And letting someone else host the party means you won't have to do the clean up! The only problem is, with so many great party venues on offer throughout Sydney - how do you choose the right one?

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18th Birthdays

Unfortunately, the 18th birthday has got a bit of a bad reputation over the years. Some Sydney venue owners will say no outright if they hear you're planning an 18th birthday, and unfortunately there isn't much you can do about this blatant discrimination. (But really, who wants to be at a venue where you're not welcome anyway?)

Generally speaking, licensed venues will be happy to accommodate you if they believe you will have a successful, controlled event. No venue wants a group of intoxicated young people causing hassles for staff, other patrons and one another - make sure you take measures to ensure this won't occur. Take steps to ensure your guests will respect their surroundings and venue management will be much happier.

Things you'll want to consider are;

  • Will there be alcoholic beverages served? If quite a few patrons are going to be under 18, it might be a better option to make it an alcohol-free event. Some venues are happy to provide wristbands (or some other identifier) so bar staff can quickly ascertain who they can legally serve drinks to - efforts to cheat these systems and encourage underage drinking may result in your event being cancelled. Be aware that the actions of a few can reflect badly on your group as a whole.
  • Will you allow management to turn away patrons that turn up intoxicated? This is the venue's legal responsibility and arguing will generally solve nothing. Make it clear to your guests that this will not be tolerated.
  • Will there be older adults (e.g. family) present? Older adults can set an appropriate example for the younger people and set a more responsible tone - generally venues will be much happier if there will be older family members present.
If you can't find an appropriate licensed venue, consider hiring a hall - generally scout halls or suburban council/town halls can be hired easily as long as you don't mind doing the "clean up" yourself the next day (maybe try to rope a few friends in too). Also consider hiring private security guards and notifying the Police of your party - this can help you keep things from getting out of control.

Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks
Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks

21st birthdays and above

Venue owners and event planners seem to have fewer hesitations hiring out licensed bars and pubs to people trying to celebrate their 21st birthdays. Birthday parties for 21sts and above, are really the best suited to Sydney pubs and bars - although, you still have a few things to think about:

  • Expected guest numbers should not greatly exceed the venue's maximum guest capacity. (Inviting 300 people to a bar that only holds 30 will most likely end in trouble.)
  • Some venues will require an upfront hiring fee, others require a minimum spend on the bar, some may request both. Often you can set an initial bar 'tab' to cover all or part of the minimum spend requirements and then patrons can purchase their own drinks (and food) once the bar tab has been exceeded.
  • Feel free to ask the function manager for an inspection, or pop by the venue to have a look around when you think you might be able to get a viewing (2.30-4.30pm weekdays or 6.30-8.30pm are generally less busy times where pub staff can spend more time with you).
  • The Internet can be your best friend to browse multiple venues online and save you a lot of unnecessary legwork! Consider having a look at bar, pub and restaurant websites online to get a better idea of if the venue will be right for you and your friends and/or family. For bonus points, feel free to have a look at my website for Sydney 21st Birthdays Venues (21Sydney.com) - it lets you browse loads of Sydney venues from the comfort of your Internet browser, and includes lots of pictures and up-to-date pricing. Oh, and you get to contact the function managers directly online - for free! (Tell me what you think in the comments below!)
  • Prices vary for the night of the week you pick. Fridays and Saturdays will generally cost more, but mid-week parties can be much cheaper.
  • Be wary that some venues don't let you bring in outside food (even birthday cakes) and some won't allow balloons! Make sure you discuss these items with the function manager before the big day to avoid any potential disappointment.
  • Don't forget to include your phone number on the invitations! It's amazing how many people can get lost looking for your party venue! Also, remember to include the venue address on the invitations and consider adding a web link or map to help people find their way.

Venue Suggestions

Auora Hotel, Surry Hills
Auora Hotel, Surry Hills
Beach Palace Hotel, Coogee
Beach Palace Hotel, Coogee
Back Bar at Europa, Sydney
Back Bar at Europa, Sydney
Endeavour Lounge, MV Sydney 2000
Endeavour Lounge, MV Sydney 2000
Vessel, Sydney
Vessel, Sydney

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