5 Best NYC Rooftop Venues and 8 Tips to Host an Unforgettable Rooftop Event

May 10, 2023

New York City is one of the most iconic cities in the world, known for its stunning skyline views and excitingly diverse cityscape. Hosting a rooftop event in NYC can be an unforgettable experience, feeling as if you’re sitting at the very top of the world.

Needless to say, there are countless reasons you may want to host your next event on an NYC rooftop. Whether it’s a wedding, a corporate event, a private party, or a charity gala, rooftops are an impressive way to take advantage of the breathtaking views the city has to offer. Providing an elevated setting and panoramic scenery, rooftop venues add a touch of glamor and sophistication while also creating a unique atmosphere, different from more traditional indoor events.

When it comes to planning a rooftop event in NYC, there are several key factors to consider. The first and undeniably most important, is finding the right venue. New York City has a variety of rooftop spaces available, from intimate settings to large-scale event spaces. It is absolutely necessary to choose a venue that matches your budget, style, and guest list. 

Cocoon offers a curated portfolio of event spaces throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Upstate NY, and New Jersey, many featuring private and design-focused rooftop spaces. From a warm 3,000 sf rooftop terrace overlooking Brooklyn to a sunny 1,200 sf rooftop venue on the Lower East Side, our spaces were selected based on their location, ease of use, and accessibility. Cocoon also provides a range of pricing options based on the number of guests and the type of event. We can help you find the best space for your rooftop event based on your specific needs.

Here are five of Cocoon’s top ranked rooftop venues as selected by our clients.

Cocoon’s Top-Ranked Rooftop Venues

Casa Caeli

Whether day or dusk, dawn or night, views from Casa Caeli are striking at any time. Conveniently located in Greenpoint, Casa Caeli Rooftop features ample outdoor space overlooking Brooklyn with a prime view of the Manhattan skyline. Caeli Rooftop also offers a range of tables and guest seating options including a woven hammock and plush outdoor club chairs with a sofa. Clients are also welcome to utilize the barbecue grill and the outdoor shower.

Casa Janka

Often considered as a quintessential New York rooftop, Casa Janka Rooftop is known and appreciated for its raw and rugged energy, authentic dome windows, and expansive outdoor layout. Located in Little Italy, Janka Rooftop features some of the best views of the Manhattan Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. Janka is not only ideal for events but also productions, often hosting brand photoshoots, movie and TV series filming, and more. It also offers both a freight elevator and a fire escape for easy loading and unloading.

Casa Duende

Located on the Lower East Side, Casa Duende’s serene indoor vibe is only further heightened when you step out onto its 1,200 sf rooftop. Vibrant touches of plantlife accent the space, complimenting its subtle Mediterranean decor, and the sun provides the best natural lighting for productions and event photos. Features and finishes include a fire brick oven, a bar, and a curated selection of patio furniture.

Casa Boto

A rooftop venue in Tribeca, Casa Boto offers 800 sf of open air space, complete with a lounge area, lush greenery, and panoramic views of Manhattan. Boto clients appreciate the versatility and privacy of the space, ideal for any and every type of event – from birthday parties to micro-weddings to graduation events.

Casa Estrella

For more intimate events like an engagement or a dinner for two under the stars, Casa Estrella grants guests exclusive access to an elegant 400 sf greenspace in a historic East Village townhouse. Though not sitting atop a building, Estrella’s terrace is accented with ornate Baroque wrought iron decor and finishes and exudes Old World class with a side of vintage. The space also features two marble tables with clear crystal chairs.

8 Tips for Hosting Successful Rooftop Events in NYC

After finding your venue, you’ll need to start planning the details of your event. This may include selecting a theme, creating a menu, and coordinating entertainment and decor. It’s important to think about the atmosphere you want to create and the type of event you want to have. Depending on the size and scope of your event, you may also need to obtain necessary permits and insurance.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the planning process, Cocoon offers specialized SuperConcierge service to assist with event planning. From the booking process to the day of your event and even clean-up, we can coordinate every requested detail. Our team of professional space and event managers can help you navigate the complexities of NYC rooftop event planning and ensure that your event runs smoothly. They can also help you stay within your budget, negotiate contracts with vendors, secure permits, and troubleshoot any issues that arise.

Along with the event logistics, it’s also important to consider the type of experience you want to create for your guests. Rooftop events can provide a unique and unforgettable experience, but it’s important to ensure that your guests are comfortable and engaged throughout the event. One way to enhance the experience for your guests is to offer interactive activities and experiences. For example, you could offer a photo booth, a wine or cocktail tasting, or even a cooking demonstration. These types of activities can help break the ice among guests and create a fun and memorable experience. Cocoon SuperConcierge offers clients a range of popular and also custom activities to choose from. We could hire a DJ or live band, offer a photo booth, or even bring in a professional magician to entertain your guests.

Finally, it’s important to communicate clearly with your guests about the details of your event. Once planned, we can provide your guests with information about transportation, parking, dress code, and any other relevant details. By keeping your guests informed, we help ensure that your event runs smoothly and that everyone has a great time.

Here are some tips to consider when planning your next rooftop event in NYC: 

1. Obtain insurance to ensure you and your guests stay safe.

If you’re planning an event on a rooftop in New York City, you need to take into account the potential risks involved. Rooftop events can be a fantastic way to celebrate and enjoy the city’s skyline, but they also come with their own set of unique challenges. That’s where rooftop event insurance comes in. Rooftop event insurance is designed to protect you and your guests from any accidents or incidents that may occur during your event. This type of insurance can cover a range of risks, including falls, property damage, and even cancellation due to inclement weather. When you’re looking for rooftop event insurance in NYC, it’s important to choose a policy that fits your specific needs. You may want to consider factors such as the size of your event, the location of the rooftop, and the type of activities that will be taking place. With the right rooftop event insurance policy, you can enjoy your event with peace of mind, knowing that you and your guests are protected. Don’t take any chances when it comes to the safety and security of your event – invest in rooftop event insurance today. Securing your rooftop event insurance also ensures you avoid any costly fines. Cocoon has years of experience in working with insurance providers. We can make the process effortless so you have more time to focus on your event. Booking with Cocoon also ensures that the venue has proper safety measures in place, such as railings, non-slip surfaces, and adequate lighting so that your guests can move around safely. Our onsite Casa Managers are also there to minimize risk and assist with anything you may need.

2. Plan to keep your food fresh and your beverages cool.

When looking to keep food hot at a rooftop event, consider using chafing dishes or insulated carriers to keep your dishes warm. Chafing dishes are a great way to keep food warm for extended periods of time. They come in a variety of sizes and styles and can be rented from party supply stores or provided through our SuperConcierge Team. Insulated carriers are perfect for transporting hot food to your rooftop event.  Before adding your hot food, be sure to preheat your holding dishes by filling them with hot water. This will help keep your food warm for longer. A slow cooker is always an excellent way to keep food warm and can be set up on a table or counter.  Lastly, don’t forget to cover your food: Covering your food with aluminum foil or a lid will help keep it hot by trapping in the heat. To keep beverages cool, a cooler is always helpful to have on hand. Fill it with ice and place your beverages inside. Insulated drinkware also keeps your beverages cold for longer periods of time. They come in various sizes and styles and can be purchased at most home goods stores. We also often have coolers on-site and can always help you source one.  Consider pre-chilling your beverages too. Before packing your cooler, pre-chill your beverages in the refrigerator. This will help keep them cold for longer. At the event, try to keep your cooler in the shade: Direct sunlight can quickly warm up your beverages. Lastly, be sure to plan ahead or chat with your event manager to make sure the space has enough outlets to accommodate your heating and cooling devices.

3. Communicate with your guests on how to best access the rooftop.

One of the biggest potential challenges of hosting a rooftop event is getting guests up to the rooftop. The most obvious solution for getting guests to the rooftop is the elevator. However, depending on the size of your event and the capacity of the elevator, it may not be the most efficient option and not every space may have an elevator available. Consider hiring an elevator attendant to help manage the flow of guests and ensure that everyone is getting to the rooftop safely. For Cocoon rentals, guests can see our onsite Casa Manager to direct you to the event and assist with riding the elevator. For spaces without elevators, our Operations Team can assist you with tips for accessibility in spaces prior to your event.  Stairs can be a great alternative to elevators, especially if you have a smaller event. However, it’s important to make sure that the stairs are well-lit and clearly marked. Consider placing signs or balloons along the way to guide guests to the rooftop. Additionally, make sure that the stairs are clear of any obstacles or hazards. No matter which method you choose for getting guests to the rooftop, clear communication is key. Make sure that guests know where to go and how to get there. Include directions and a map in your invitations, and have staff members or stationed at key points to answer any questions and direct guests as needed.

4. Set the tone with outdoor furniture, lighting, and decor.

If you’re planning a rooftop event, whether it’s a corporate party or a wedding, furniture and decor are key elements that can set the tone and create a memorable atmosphere for your guests. When choosing furniture, consider the style of your event and the number of guests you’re expecting. You’ll want to make sure there’s enough seating and tables for everyone, while also leaving enough space for mingling and dancing. Outdoor lounge furniture, such as sofas and armchairs, can create a relaxed and inviting vibe, while high-top tables and bar stools are perfect for a more casual affair. Lighting can transform a rooftop space from a simple outdoor area to a magical wonderland. String lights, lanterns, and candles can all add warmth and ambiance to your event and can often be rented through your event planner or if approved, brought in by you. Plants and flowers can also play a big role in the decor, bringing a touch of nature to the urban rooftop setting. Working with a professional event planner who specializes in rooftop events can help ensure that your furniture and decor choices are both functional and stylish. They can also help with logistics, such as making sure the space has enough outlets, coordinating delivery and setup of furniture and decor, and sourcing electric or battery-operated lighting based on the space.

5. Be mindful of noise levels and take steps to reduce noise.

Rooftop events are a popular way to enjoy beautiful views and fresh air, but they can also easily incur noise level violations. These violations can be a nuisance to neighbors and can lead to legal consequences for event organizers. It is important to be aware of noise level regulations when planning and hosting rooftop events. For example, in New York City, noise levels are regulated by the Noise Code. According to the code, noise levels cannot exceed 42 decibels during the day (7am-10pm) and 37 decibels at night (10pm-7am) in residential areas. To avoid noise level violations, event organizers should be mindful of the time of day and the proximity to other residences when planning rooftop events. They should also consider using noise-reducing equipment, such as sound barriers or sound-absorbing panels. It is important to note that noise level violations can result in fines and legal action. In New York City, for example, the fine for a noise violation can be up to $8,000. It is the responsibility of event organizers to ensure that their events are not causing a disturbance to the surrounding community.

6. Prepare for inclement weather.

When it comes to planning a rooftop event, the weather is always a concern. Whether it’s too hot or raining, you need to be prepared to keep your guests comfortable and happy. If the forecast calls for rain, make sure to have a rain plan in place. Consider renting a tent or utilizing the indoor space as a backup. If that’s not an option, have plenty of umbrellas on hand for guests to use. It’s also a good idea to have a contingency plan for any outdoor activities or entertainment you have planned. Make sure to book a location with an annexed indoor space with a kitchen, so your food can be maintained, cool, and protected in the indoor area – pulled out only when it is time for your guests to enjoy it! On the other hand, if it’s going to be too hot, make sure you have plenty of shade available. Consider setting up tents or umbrellas to provide relief from the sun. You can also provide fans or misters to help keep guests cool. And of course, make sure there are plenty of cold beverages and ice available to help guests stay hydrated. No matter what the weather brings, the key to successful rooftop event planning is to be prepared. Keep an eye on the forecast and have a plan in place for any scenario. With a little bit of foresight and preparation, your guests will have a memorable and enjoyable experience. Our SuperConcierge team can also coordinate canopy rentals for light weather conditions, so you can still enjoy the outdoor space if the situation is a light rain.

7. Keep sustainability in mind.

You should also consider the sustainability of your event. Rooftop events can create a lot of waste, so it’s important to minimize your environmental impact as much as possible. Cocoon knows this firsthand. We are part of a new generation of business owners who see the city’s role in sustainability as essential to survival and profit. Our operations are powered by the idea that we must safeguard our oceans, air, and land. Many of our clients are businesses practicing corporate social responsibility and individuals who want to know their special event will be environmentally responsible. You can count on us as your strong partner. We offer discounts on plastic-free events, and we reduce bottle waste by ensuring each event space offers clean unfiltered water and reusable drinking containers. We reduce food waste by donating leftovers to Rescuing Leftover Cuisine and other community kitchens, and we encourage recycling paper, plastic, and aluminum at every event.

8. Consider supporting local vendors.

You may also want to consider sourcing vendors for your event from the surrounding communitiesThis not only supports local businesses but also reduces the carbon footprint of your event by minimizing transportation emissions. Cocoon’s Local Vendors initiative partners with small businesses throughout NYC to provide service to our clients. Each vendor has been vetted by the Cocoon team before adding to our network. We aim to connect and support the communities our spaces are located in and that starts with collaborating with local businesses and offering them the opportunity to reach new audiences. Some of our favorite partners are Flower Cafe, Dandelion Wine, and Campbell & Co., to name just a few. Read about more of our partners here

Hosting a rooftop event in New York City can be a remarkablea unique and memorable experience for both you and your guests. By considering all of the important factors, from venue rental to safety and transportation to sustainability and entertainment, you can create an event that will be talked about for years to come. So take advantage of the stunning views and unique atmosphere that rooftop venues have to offer and plan your next event on a rooftop in New York City.

Don’t see what you’re looking for? Explore Backyard Spaces or See All Cocoon Spaces.

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