Casual date ideas for when you’re not sure if it’s a date

Sometimes you just don’t know if your crush is crushin’ back. Use these casual date ideas to plan an outing and find out if your romantic feelings are mutual.

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Photograph: Michael Kirby

5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center

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Photograph: Anna Simonak

Murray's Cheese

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SoulCycle

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Picasa

Central Park

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Have you been exchanging flirty texts with someone but you’re still not sure if they like you or not? Gauge how they really feel by asking them out: These casual date ideas are perfect if you’re just hanging out, but activities like spinning at SoulCycle or bird-watching in Central Park could potentially lead to something more.

RECOMMENDED: More great dates in NYC 2013

Gawk at street art at 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center

Critics' pick

Rumors swirl that the massive graffiti complex will be torn down this summer; if you haven’t seen it yet, bring along the object of your affection to check it out. The colorful murals and plethora of people-watching opportunities provide conversational fodder, without making things too cutesy or datelike. Impress your crush with this bit of knowledge: Pieces on the building rotate out seasonally, but there are a few permanent fixtures—the oldest dates to 2000.

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Long Island City Free

Bond over cheese appreciation at Murray’s Cheese

Critics' pick

You and your crush might share a deep, abiding love of cheese, but is there heat beyond that? Find out during a class at this learning center from the folks behind the famed fromage emporium—sessions take place almost every day of the week and are a low-pressure alternative to an across-the-table conversation. Try Cheese 101 ($60; visit murrayscheese.com for times), featuring seven varieties, accompanied by wine tastings. (And you can make all the cheesy jokes you want, but staffers swear the classes have led to a few long-term pairings.)

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Greenwich Village

Go for a ride at SoulCycle

Sometimes, the best way to gauge a potential partner’s interest is to let them see you sweat. Suggest a Saturday morning SoulCycle class: The indoor-cycling sessions are tough, but you’ll have plenty to talk about afterward—like how much your legs hurt. (Plus, SoulCycle employees assure us that love connections have occurred between riders—so hey, you never know what might happen.) Visit soulcycle.com. $34.

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Take an ornithological trek in Central Park

Critics' pick

While it sounds like the setting for a fifth-grade field trip, bird-watching is surprisingly calming and—dare we say it?—romantic. (Jonathan Franzen’s a fan—maybe this will be the next twee hobby to make it big among the intellectual set.) Tour guide Dr. Bob leads scouting sessions every Sunday morning; groups leave from the Boathouse and wander through the Ramble, listening carefully for the hooting of a barred owl. Afterward, compare notes and see if the shared sense of adventure brought you any closer. birdingbob.com. $10.

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Central Park Free

Search for hidden treasures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Critics' pick

While we love the Met as a date spot, one thing’s for certain: It can be an overwhelming experience, whether you’re partnered up or going solo. To make the museum-going experience more manageable—and to add a fun but not-totally-datelike twist—sign up for Watson Adventures’ Murder at the Met Scavenger Hunt. The interactive tour requires each team to work together to solve a mystery—giving you an opportunity to figure out if you work well with your love interest. Call 866-811-4111 or visit watsonadventures.com. Times vary; $44.50.

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Upper East Side

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