With so much stuff to do in NYC, from amazing new restaurants to lovely parks to world-renowned museums, there’s no excuse to get stuck when it comes to impressing a date. Checking out local attractions, grabbing a drink, or going out to eat are obvious choices, but when things become a bit more serious, and you need to crank on the charm, create an impression with an unusual activity. It’s time to wear your thinking cap and explore these dating secrets – things to do in NYC.
Our handpicked selection of unique and cool date ideas includes cultural activities, romantic activities, outdoor pursuits, indoor activities, and even some cheap date alternatives if you’re on a budget. Try any of these things, from a thrilling city tour to an intimate concert to artistic endeavors like body painting or pottery, and you’re sure to see sparks fly. Your date will quickly realize that you are not your average suitor.
Luckily, your following date will be a romantic trip, so venture out and try something new.
Go to the New York Aquarium
As you go through the New York Aquarium together, marvel at the beautiful aquatic life and learn some intriguing marine biology facts. There are many compelling topics to discuss, and it’s a fantastic spot to start a conversation.
Pro tip: After 3:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, entrance is free! All you have to do is reserve a ticket ahead of time.
Helicopter Ride Over the City
Helicopter trips aren’t cheap, but they’ll knock your partner’s socks off. Take off after dark for a magnificent aerial perspective of the city lights. Before landing, you’ll fly over the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Talk about breathtaking.
Live the Good Life at the Russian Tea Room
The Russian Tea Room, founded by Russian ex-pats, was a high society hotspot for much of the 20th century. The dazzling gilded décor hasn’t altered since the 20s, so dining there seems like stepping back in time. Sit down for a three-course meal of chicken kiev, borscht, and other favorites for the whole experience.
Glow in the Dark at a Body Painting Workshop
In this sensual lesson at DenArt, a blacklight body painting facility in Brooklyn, your body becomes the canvas. Create glowing designs across your partner’s face, legs, arms, and hands with UV body paint and brushes.
DenArt permits you to go topless, but there’s no need to undress. Still, it’s generally best to postpone the body painting date until you’re both at ease with each other.
Check the Snug Harbor Cultural Center
This regional arts facility, located just across the bay on Staten Island, was formerly a retirement home for sailors. The 83-acre property is home to numerous sprawling gardens and contemporary art galleries. Wander around the popular Chinese Scholar’s Garden, which features flowing waterfalls, a koi pond, and eight magnificent pavilions.
Learn to Cook at Eataly
As if Eataly wasn’t already the shrine of all things Italian and delectable, the Flatiron site also offers cooking classes for pizza, pasta, and more. Bring someone precious for a hands-on Italian cooking session. A resident chef will show you how to cook dishes, and a sommelier will guide you through the wine pairings.
Visit the Harlem Jazz Parlor
Every first Thursday of the month, head up to Harlem for an evening of wine, live jazz, and hors d’oeuvres in a beautiful brownstone. The celebration rotates from house to house and features different bands each time, making each event unique. You’ll feel like the refined ladies and gentlemen you are.
Embark on a Harbor Cruise
Everyone get on board! Why should a romantic night in New York be limited to sticking on dry land? Even the best restaurants in New York City cannot compete with the pleasure of dining on the sea.
On large sailing taverns, three-level ships, and luxurious yachts, date night dinner excursions in the port offer prix-fixe menus or buffet lunches. Whatever you select, the atmosphere is unrivaled. Best wishes!
Play Ping Pong at SPiN
The SPiN team, including co-owner Susan Sarandon, understands that the only thing more entertaining than ping pong is intoxicated ping pong. This bar features Olympic-sized tables and a wide variety of imported and domestic beers. It has all the ingredients for a guaranteed good time, whether you’re skilled at the sport or not.
Get Dirty in a BYOB Pottery Class
Instead of the usual paint-and-sip lessons, discover how to spin a potter’s wheel at Choplet Ceramic Studio. You are welcome to bring a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine to share with your sweetheart, but this class does not have the same pressure as a sit-down drinks date. There’s also something romantic about making something together.
Join in the Fun at Marie’s Crisis Cafe
Marie’s isn’t your average dive bar. This West Village staple revolves around a pianist playing show hits, and singing along isn’t just encouraged—almost it’s mandatory. Don’t even think of requesting Taylor Swift—this isn’t your typical karaoke night. You’ll see aspiring Broadway stars, locals, and individuals from all walks of life singing out classics like “All That Jazz” and “Memory.”
Whiskey Tasting at Kings County Distillery
For a first date, meeting for happy hour at the local watering hole is acceptable. Still, overachievers who aren’t satisfied with being just acceptable might want to go for a more adventurous drinks date, such as sipping craft whiskey directly from the source. For the price of one fashionable cocktail, you can learn how whiskey is manufactured, tour Kings County Distillery, and sample three locally produced spirits.
Try Your Hand at Stargazing From the High Line
For a fresh date night idea, head to the High Line on Tuesday evenings between April to October for stargazing. Following a romantic sunset stroll, you and your date will be able to peep through the high-powered telescopes supplied to observe rare celestial spectacles and get a closer look at the planets and moon, and discover if your love is written in the stars.
Enjoy a Movie Under the Stars
Bryant Park hosts a free outdoor movie night every Monday from June to August, replete with wine and food stalls. This is a one-of-a-kind way to spend a romantic evening in NYC while taking advantage of the city’s stunning summer nights.
Locals and visitors alike may organize their next date around some or all of these romantic activities to do in NYC – and they might fall in love, not just with their companion but also with the city.