Event Planning

It’s Back-To-School Season! Planning Your Academic Event at HELEN MILLS

It’s Back-To-School Season! Planning Your Academic Event at HELEN MILLS

With classes back in session, there will be a ton of events to plan -- fundraisers, student showcases, conferences, and socials. HELEN MILLS is here to help!

Best Things to Do Before and After your Event at HELEN MILLS

 As a HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater event host or attendee, you may be wondering what else the Chelsea neighborhood has to offer before or after your event with us?

Whether you are a local or visiting from out of town, we’ve compiled a list to help you make the most of your time while visiting our venue. All recommendations are located within a three-block radius, so you’ll be sure to find a little bit of anything and everything. Whether you’re looking for a scenic walk, a place to dine out, grab a drink, or check off your culture quota, this is the place to find it. The team at the HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater warmly welcomes you to your event and into our neighborhood!


Whether you’ve come to HELEN MILLS for an event in the theater or event space, the vast variety of restaurants around HELEN MILLS is sure to fulfill any craving.


1.      Our/ New York Vodka (151 W 26th Street)

Our/New York Vodka is Manhattan's first distillery since prohibition. Conveniently located only a few doors down from HELEN MILLS, you can easily extend your evening of networking with specialty vodka tastings and behind-the-scenes tour. Insider tip: mention that you are a guest of HELEN MILLS and receive their Happy Hour pricing on all drinks (any time of day/night)!

Our New York Vodka bar

Our New York Vodka bar

 Image courtesy of ournewyorkvodka.com


2.      The Smith (1150 Broadway, at 27th Street)

Located just 1 avenue over from HELEN MILLS, The Smith takes the local, the natural and the sustainable into high consideration with their menus. As makers of great food, great cocktails, and a great atmosphere, the Smith is the perfect place to wine and dine after a daytime event at HELEN MILLS.

The Smith Restaurant

The Smith Restaurant

Image courtesy of thesmithrestaurant.com


3.      The NoMad Restaurant (1170 Broadway)

Located in the lobby of the NoMad Hotel, the NoMad Restaurant is the perfect locale to impress your clients after your media or press event at HELEN MILLS. Our personal recommendation? Be sure to request a table in the library or lantern-lit parlor for the most unique and sophisticated dining atmosphere!  

The NoMad Restaurant

The NoMad Restaurant

 Image courtesy of ny.eater.com


Don’t let a great night of socializing at HELEN MILLS keep you off your feet before arriving. Those looking to stretch their legs and take in Chelsea's natural sights before a HELEN MILLS event are sure to find something on our list. All located within easy walking distance of HELEN MILLS, you’ll enter your event feeling refreshed by the outdoors and ready for an evening of fun.


1.      Madison Square Park (Flatiron District)

Located between the intersection of 5th Ave and Broadway at 23rd street, Madison Square Park is home to stunning art installations, quiet reflection and breathtaking gardens. Whether you wish to lounge on one of several benches lining the park, grab a burger from Shack Shake or entertain yourself by scoping out the city’s most adorable dogs before your event at HELEN MILLS, this is the local spot for some much-appreciated fresh air.

Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park

 Image courtesy of madisonsquarepark.org


2.      Flatiron Building (Flatiron District)

After taking in the beauty of Madison Square Park, be sure to stop and bask in the unique architecture of the nearby Flatiron Building. This groundbreaking skyscraper is a triangular 22-story steel-framed landmark that currently houses Macmillan Publishing and has been featured in numerous motion pictures.

The Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building

 Image courtesy of crystalgalerie.com


3.      Gilsey House (E 29th & Broadway)

Continuing the historic tour of Chelsea, and before heading over to HELEN MILLS, be sure not to overlook the lesser-known Gilsey House. A New York City landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this former 8-story 300-room hotel was a personal favorite of Diamond Jim Brady, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Clemens.

Gilsey House

Gilsey House

 Image courtesy of newyorkarchitecture.com


Perhaps of interest to those hosting and attending a film festival or theater event at HELEN MILLS, you can start your culture-filled day surrounded by some of world’s most acclaimed artists and artworks only a few blocks away.


1.      The Museum at FIT (227 W 27th Street)

For the fashion forward member of the party, The Museum at FIT is located in the Fashion Institute of Technology. It is home to rotating exhibitions along with permanent garment and accessory collections. After taking a walk through the museum, you’ll be sure to find an outfit inspiration fitting for your next event invite at HELEN MILLS.

The Museum at FIT

The Museum at FIT

Image courtesy of businessfashion.com


2.      Casey Kaplan Gallery (121 W 27th Street)

Started in 1995 in a single room in an upper floor loft in SoHo, this contemporary art gallery found its home in Chelsea exactly ten years later. Just around the block from our venue, on the street known as Gallery Row, you’ll find yourself surrounded by geometric abstractions, performance art, photography and drawing; all done by artists just emerging on the scene.

Casey Kaplan Gallery

Casey Kaplan Gallery

 Image courtesy of Casey Kaplan Gallery


For those looking to keep the party going after the bar closes at HELEN MILLS, our neighborhood is home to a unique and prevalent bar scene. Bring your friends or colleagues out for one more round of drinks at these distinctive bars that help give Chelsea its one-of-a-kind feel. 


1.      Rare View Rooftop (152 W 26th Street)

As one of New York City’s only year-round rooftop bars, this is the perfect place to grab a bite with coworkers after your all-day meeting at HELEN MILLS. You’ll dine against a backdrop of lush landscaping, overhanging lights and vintage photographs - and best of all, it's located right across the street from the HELEN MILLS venue! Insider tip: mention that you are a guest of HELEN MILLS and receive 10% off their Bar & Grill downstairs for lunch or dinner!

Rare View Rooftop

Rare View Rooftop

 Image courtesy of eventup.com


2.      Barcade (148 W 24th Street)

Looking to let out your inner child after a formal press event, perhaps? Then Barcade is the place to go! Known as “the original arcade” bar, grab a beer on tap and let that competitive streak loose with arcade games such as Asteroids, Frogger and Super Mario Brothers (and those are just to name a few).



Image courtesy of Gothamist.com


3.      Sid’s Gold Request (165 W 26th Street)

What better way to extend the HELEN MILLS party than to let loose at this contemporary piano bar? Divided into two rooms, patrons can enjoy the marble topped bar up front surrounded by cocktail memorabilia or sing along at the Baldwin piano bar in the back. With music leaning more toward pop, rock, soul and even punk, your evening at HELEN MILLS is sure to end on a “spirited” note upon entering this fine establishment just a few doors away.

Sid’s Gold Request

Sid’s Gold Request

 Image courtesy of sidgolds.com


HELEN MILLS Event Space & Theater is proud to be apart of the beautiful Chelsea neighborhood since opening our venue doors in 2005. From the beautiful architecture, scenic walks, and endless dining options - we assure you there is never a dull moment!

Want even more recommendations for our neighborhood? See links below for more pre- and post-event inspiration:

·       Black Door

·       Mulberry & Vine

·       Rizzoli Bookstore

·       Project No. 8

·   Bazar Tapas Bar


Written and researched by Katie Hands and Jessica Stucke

4 Essential Event Planning Tips

4 Essential Event Planning Tips

Whether you’re looking to host your corporate launch party or throw the Bar/Bat Mitzvah party of your child's wildest dreams... your event isn’t just going to come together all by itself! We’ve compiled a list of our 4 top event planning tips (plus our own insider tips) to help make sure your event is a complete success!

1. Plan Ahead

The success of your event is determined long before the event day arrives. To put on a successful event, you need to plan it out well in advance. If you’re holding a large event with a lot of attendees, you’ll want to start brainstorming months beforehand. Depending on what kind of event you’re putting on, you’ll most importantly want to book your venue ahead of time to give you enough breathing room to put everything else together.

HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: We are busiest in the spring and fall months - grab your ideal dates as early as possible or consider switching to either an afternoon event (for more availability) or a summertime event (for more affordability)!

2. Organization

You’re going to need a way to let everyone know about your event - or else you might be the only one enjoying your own party! A great way to invite guests, keep track of RSVPs, and provide your guests with all the necessary information and updates about the event is registering it with an online event management tool. This allows you to keep everything nicely organized online and easily share your information via email and social media.

HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: Make sure you set a clear RSVP date for your guests. We recommend 2 weeks before your event since final headcounts are typically due 1 week before the event - this gives you an extra week of wiggle room to hunt down anyone who is being lazy about RSVPing!

3. Food, Drink, and Supplies

When you book your venue, make sure there’s someone accessible who can help you plan out your event in the months leading up. You’ll want a reliable contact making sure all food, drinks, and supplies are taken care of. Some events will provide catering packages and some will require you to coordinate out your own food and drink situation. You’ll also want to know what’s included with your booking in terms of supplies like tablecloths, plates, silverware, balloons, and other decorations. Make sure you take all of these things into consideration from the very beginning since they can quickly add up to a surprising additional cost!

HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: We have a supportive venue team that you can reach out to anytime during your planning process with questions! If you choose to utilize our in-house services, we even include all our food/beverage menus & pricing in the initial contract so there are no surprises later. Oh, and did we mention that our in-house AV specs and furniture are included too?

4. Entertainment

It might just be co-worker karaoke (believe me, that’s very entertaining), but odds are you’ll want to have some kind of entertainment at your event. Whether it’s a guest speaker, musician, or private film screening, there’s going to be a fair amount of preparation required. If you’re having a speaker come in, you’ll need to coordinate details such as if there’s a stage or where they’ll be speaking from, the microphone, sound system, and lighting. Even if you are just having a little office karaoke party, you’ll still need to ensure your venue has the appropriate accommodations or at least has the option to add them later.

HELEN MILLS INSIDER TIP: Is the entertainment a main focus of your event? Consider renting our intimate theater, located right downstairs from our main event space, for an easy transition from cocktails to showtime.


Don’t underestimate it - there’s a lot that goes into putting on an event! Who’s invited, how they’re being invited, if you’re having food and drinks, where you’re having the event in the first place… the list goes on! Make sure you’re as prepared as possible by having a strong reliable connection with someone who works at the venue you’re booking (like us!), and doing so plenty of time in advance to be ready for whatever hiccups you may or may not encounter.

Cheers to planning your next great event and many more! - The Helen Mills Team

Planning an Event? Contact Us to learn more about events at HELEN MILLS, or check out more recent events here.

Cha Cha's Bat Mitzvah

Friends, let us tell you about this bat mitzvah. Our venue is known for hosting great parties, and this celebration was no exception. From the pops of hot pink to the Chanel logos, Cha Cha and her team of vendors worked tirelessly to transform our event space into a chic and glamorous night club fit for a diva.

Scroll down for more photos captured by the fabulous Jennifer Weisbord.

Cha Cha's Bat Mitzvah Ceremony

The evening kicked off with an intimate ceremony in our theater. Hot pink uplighting and twinkle lights gave guests a taste of the glamour to come in the reception.

Event Decorations
Hot Pink Lighting

Certé kept hungry guests happy and fed all night long.

Event Entertainment

EK Productions kept the energy alive all night with dancing, singing, and plenty of fist pumping.


Thank you for letting us be a part of your special day, Cha Cha!

Event Planning by Deena Parnass Kleinman
Photography by Jennifer Weisbord
Catering by Certé
Entertainment by EK Productions

Planning an Event? Contact Us to learn more about events at HELEN MILLS, or check out more recent events here.

HELEN MILLS Picks: Fall Cocktails

With the weather in NYC slowly cooling off, we're daydreaming about all things fall; changing leaves, plaid shirts, college football, the excitement of Halloween and Thanksgiving, and so much more.

PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) aren't the only fall drinks to look forward to either! This week, the HELEN MILLS team brings you recommendations for cocktails to not only create at home, but to feature at your events. Rename them to fit the theme of your party or reception, and offer guests an unexpected treat.

Emily's Pick

Photo courtesy of  Liquor.com

Photo courtesy of Liquor.com

From Emily: I don't know if you can label White Russians as a strictly "fall" cocktail, since I tend to drink them year-round, but there is something about the mixture of Kahlua and heavy cream that makes me want to cozy up by a fire.

White Russians are made by mixing vodka, Kahlua, and heavy cream. Serve in a lowball glass over ice and enjoy!

Helen's Pick

Photo courtesy of  PunchDrink.com

Photo courtesy of PunchDrink.com

From Helen: Harking back to my Kentucky roots, I suggest a Mint Julep. It is really good with homegrown mint that you can grow on your window sill.

Make your julep in a signature julep cup (pictured above) by combining muddled mint, simple syrup, crushed ice,  and your favorite Kentucky Bourbon. Stir well and enjoy in the city or country, any time of year.

Melissa's Pick

Photo courtesy of  Town and Country

Photo courtesy of Town and Country

From Melissa: Apple cider is one of my favorite beverages during the fall season... so crisp and refreshing! Apple cider and champagne makes the best combination for a seasonal twist on the mimosa!

To make an Apple Cider Mimosa, fill your glass 1/4 full with fresh apple cider, then top off with a crisp champagne for a drink that tastes like that perfect autumn morning. Rim the glass with brown sugar and garnish with an apple slice.

Diana's Pick

Photo courtesy of  Epicurious

Photo courtesy of Epicurious

From Diana: I like a hot toddy for the fall and winter months. It's warm, strong, and wakes you up. A touch of cinnamon makes it fall-friendly.

To make a Honey Bourbon Hot Toddy, you first need Apple Bourbon! Make this by combining Bourbon, 4 cored, sliced apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover and chill for 3 days, and then strain. Stir honey and water together until the honey dissolves. Add your Apple Bourbon and divide between Toddy glasses. Add lemon, stir with a cinnamon stick, and serve.

Mark's Pick

Photo courtesy of  The Spruce

Photo courtesy of The Spruce

From Mark: If I drank, I'd try the Pumpkin Fever Cocktail. Sounds yummy and seasonal.

To make a Pumpkin Fever cocktail, combine 2 parts Bols Pumpkin Smash, 1 part spiced rum, and 1/4 part cream in a martini shaker filled with ice. Strain into a sugar-rimmed, chilled martini glass. Sprinkle with freshly-ground cinnamon and enjoy!

Brittany's Pick

Photo courtesy of  Kitchen Treaty

Photo courtesy of Kitchen Treaty

From Brittany: I like to ease into fall with this ginger pear white sangria, which puts an autumnal twist on a summer favorite. It's a blend of both seasons; light, bright, and spiced. The perfect cure for those end-of-summer blues!

To make Ginger Pear White Sangria, add pears and ginger to a large pitcher. Pour in wine, rum, and brandy, seal tightly and refrigerate. Rim your glasses with a mixture of sugar and ginger. Strain the sangria and add pear and lemon slices. Add a few slices of pears to each glass, then fill halfway with your sangria mixture. Fill the rest of the way with ginger beer and serve.


Host Your Holiday Party With Us!

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HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater wants to make your holiday party a memorable one!

HELEN MILLS 2017 Holiday Party Package includes:

8 Hour Venue Rental: 3-hour set up, 4-hour event, 1-hour breakdown/load out
Catering + Beverage Packages
Complimentary Furniture
In-House A/V
Venue Event Staff
Venue Cleaning
Event Security

Curious how your party will look? Our photo gallery is full of inspiration!

Please contact us at info@helenmills.com or 212.243.6200 to book your holiday party!

Alumni Events at HELEN MILLS

Alumni events are wonderful occasions where former classmates get together to relive the glory of college, network, and form new relationships.

Whether you are looking to plan a formal presentation, or throw a casual mixer, The HELEN MILLS Event Space and Theater is a versatile, all-inclusive, and convenient location for your next alumni get together.

Alumni event group photo
Alumni event mingling
Alumni event seating

Our 4,000 sq. ft. event space offers state-of-the-art sound and digital-video projection systems, as well as high-speed, wireless Internet.

Alumni event custom signage

Our street-level entrance offers fun and unexpected branding options, so your guests immediately feel school spirit before ever entering the event!

one hundred forty seat theater available for alumni events

Connected to the Event Space is our intimate 140-seat Theater, including a large stage and green room. The theater is equipped with surround sound, HD projection, theatrical lighting, and more to create the perfect space for your next presentation, panel, and more.

Event bar area set up

At HELEN MILLS, we can take care of your catering, beverage, furniture, audio visual needs, and more!

Contact Us to learn more about hosting your alumni events at HELEN MILLS, or check out more recent events here.

Mitzvah Series #1: Basic Mitzvah Terminology

Are you an event planner diving into the world of Mitzvahs?  Will you be attending the Mitzvah of a friend or family member, and are curious about what to expect?  The HELEN MILLS team has hosted many Mitzvahs in the past, and we'd like to compile some helpful information for planning your next Mitzvah.  In the first of our Mitzvah Series, we'll explore some of the basic terminology associated with Mitzvahs to help you better familiarize yourself with this memorable celebration.

  • Bar Mitzvah: Male celebration, from the Hebrew word "bar" meaning "son", and "mitzvah" meaning "celebration"
  • Bat Mitzvah: Female celebration, from the Hebrew word "bat" meaning "daughter", and "mitzvah" meaning "celebration"
  • Tallit: Fringed garment made of wool or linen, typically worn over outer clothes during prayer
  • Tefillin: Black leather boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah
  • Motzi: Traditional prayer/blessing
  • Hora: Circle dance in which the celebrator is raised in the air on a chair and guests dance around them
  • Cubbies: Small cubes typically brought in by the entertainment company. Cubbies are convenient for the kids to put their belongings or for the client to put favors in the cubbies for each specific child.
  • Mazel Tov!: Phrase used to express congratulations for a happy and significant occasion or event
  • Motivators: Dancers brought in by entertainment company to get the children to dance and have fun
  • Montage video: Short video with music played on a screen of photos from birth until present of the celebrator

In our Mitzvah Series #2, we'll detail the basic run of show for mitzvahs.  Stay tuned!