There are few cooler date spots than this most storied venue, which is anything but fusty. Expect to be wowed while you woo at the Hayden Planetarium Space Show; from there, marvel at Teddy Roosevelt’s majestic dioramas, get romanced in the Butterfly Conservatory (check for seasonal openings), and snooze off the excitement with a regular ol’ nature movie in the museum’s cinema. Want more talk time? Go stroll around the park and hop in at the Central Park Zoo. Tell the penguins we sent you. Central Park West, Upper West Side (212-769-5100, amnh.org)
With 15 Olympic-grade Ping-Pong tables, this sprawling club is one helluva place to grip a paddle—and, fingers crossed, your potential sweetie. Co-owner Susan Sarandon realized the same thing we all did in college: Table tennis and alcohol are a match made in heaven. Sup on the diverse selection of domestic and imported craft brews ($8–$12) as you fool around at the table and show your silly side. Walk-in rates for an hour of table time start at $30 before 6pm on weekdays, and increase in the evening and on weekends. 48 E 23rd St between Madison and Park Aves (212-982-8802, spinyc.com)
8. Fire up your imagination at the Moth StorySLAM!You get to laugh and drink at storytellers’ fantastical tales, and then hang out Brooklyn’s Bell House afterward. Why is this is a fail-safe first-date option? Seeing a show together automatically gives you conversation material for afterward. Various venues, visit themoth.org/events for details
10. Get off the beaten track on an Elastic City Walk
If you're up for an adventurous first date that's off the beaten path (and guaranteed chat fodder for afterward), sign up for an Elastic City walk. The organization offers conceptual, participatory art walks that might have you exploring a neighborhood with your eyes closed or making poems with your body. Check out the site for a full range of walks (some free, some not), and get ready for a first date you won't soon forget. Even if things don't work out between the two of you, you'll never forget the guy or gal you made your first sound poem with. Aww. elastic-city.org
Joy of joy, wonder of wonders: The object of your affection said yes to a date! But now the tricky part: where to go on that all-important first rendezvous. We've put together our top 10 first-date ideas for New Yorkers, and we're confident that whatever kind of hangout you're looking for, we've got just the place for you. From romantic strolls to arty movie nights, storytelling events and honest-to-goodness cool stuff to do at a museum, your perfect date is here. Hungry for more but want to go easy on the cash? Check out our cheap date ideas. Oh, and if you're feeling less than choosy, head right on over to the 10 best hookup bars in NYC.