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10 ideas for mens’ birthday parties in New Orleans 

1 Bar games Alcohol and games are a winning combination for birthday parties, and a couple of bars focus on games for a range of interests and skill levels. Barcadia offers a large menu of beers and dozens of arcade games ranging from Atari Food Fight and Pac-Man to Spy Hunter, Mortal Kombat and NFL Blitz. Party spaces are available in the main bar or the Ohm Lounge, and party sizes range from 25 to 500 guests. Reserving space is free at Shamrock and the bar offers a variety of packages for parties of 20 to 600 guests, including a professionally run pool or poker tournament. There's a full bar, live music and a range of sports options including mini bowling lanes, pingpong cages, darts, air hockey, skee ball, a punching bag and basketball, soccer and football games.

2 Bayou bash Invite guests to paddle canoes and kayaks along Bayou St. John, stopping along the way to toast the birthday boy and take in the views. There's no charge to use Bayou St. John. If you want someone to lead the party, Kayak-Iti-Yat and New Orleans Kayak Swamp Tours offer trips of varying lengths and equipment rentals.

3 Bowling & cocktails Go old school at Rock 'N' Bowl, complete with food, libations and bowling, as well as live music Wednesday through Sunday nights; put on a classy party at Fulton Alley, which has food and craft cocktails in an elegant venue and recently added games including foosball, bocce, bounce-back shuffleboard, darts and board games; or head for the bright lights of "cosmic night" at Colonial Bowling Center, which has neon, animated scoreboards and a full bar.

4 Disc golf tournament Have your guests bring their favorite flying disc (or hand out discs as party favors) and play the disc golf course at New Orleans City Park (there's no charge), which winds through the park's flora and traverses picturesque bridges. Hire a sno-ball cart to provide post-game treats (and bring vodka or rum to spike them).

5 The Great Gatsby Have guests dress in 1920s costumes and set up a croquet course on the lawn. String colored lights for decor and set up a photo area with props and accessories. You can rent a photo booth or set up a camera on a tripod and assign someone to take shots. Serve gin rickeys and mint juleps, and on the food table stack oranges and lemons as centerpieces and pick items from Gatsby's menu (such as salad, baked ham, finger foods).

6 Jazz cruise What could be more New Orleans than riverboats and jazz? The Creole Queen paddlewheeler offers a three-hour dinner cruise with a live jazz band every night (the boat boards at 6 p.m.), and the Steamboat Natchez leaves the dock at 7 p.m. each night and features live jazz by the Dukes of Dixieland, as well as dinner and drinks.

7 Mystery tour Escape games, in which players are locked in a room and have an hour to find a way out, are a challenging and fun way to bond with friends or co-workers and are popular team-building and bonding exercises. Clue Carre designed its rooms with New Orleans themes including vampire hunter, Secret Agent 504, voodoo, Mardi Gras and a haunted swamp. Escape My Room has storylines (finding a treasure or solving a murder, for example), fashioned around the former mansion of the eccentric DeLaporte family. Cost is about $30 per player.

8 Paintball wars What's better than running around in the woods, firing paintball guns and playing war with buddies at LA Xtreme Paintball in Slidell or Paintball Command in Mandeville? Prices start at about $35 per person with equipment.

9 Party with the Zephyrs Zephyr Field has several areas for rent, including shaded picnic areas, private suites and a swimming pool. Catering services are available; outside food and drinks aren't allowed. Check the schedule for post-game fireworks displays.

10 Racing party NOLA Motorsports offers party packages that include a kart race for up to 15 drivers (junior go-carts and adult go-carts aren't allowed to race together), a party room, food and beverages. There also are packages that include limousine transportation, Champagne and go-cart race heats or driving luxury sportscars (Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche) on a 1.8 mile-long racecourse or sprint course.

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