Nerd Nite Le Poisson Rouge; 7pm; $10–$22
This merry night of dorky drinking features boozy TED-inspired talks on a range of topics. Check out lectures on the KGB, ancient graffiti and what to do about excess adipose tissue (a.k.a. fat). For those seeking a little romance, grab a ticket to the round of hetero speed dating happening an hour before the lectures begin.
Love at the Tenement The Tenement Museum; 6pm; $30
Discover the affairs of the heart that played out among New York’s optimistic working-class immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries on this guided tour. You’ll be able to ease your real-estate anxiety on a stroll through Orchard Street the old-school lover’s lane of the LES: Orchard Street. View richly re-created apartments from the era, indulge in sweet treats, and hear the most salacious and sweet tales of late-night fire escape rendezvous, renter-boarder romance and neighborhood scandal since Sex and the City.
Sex Party: A Feminist Sex-Tech Market and Party Brooklyn Bazaar; 7pm; free
This rad convention features more than 20 female-founded NYC start-ups in the tech and sex worlds. Grab a cocktail from the bazaar bar and check out toys, gifts and lifestyle items with a feminist bent. If you need a break from shopping, join a wild dance party, try your voice at karaoke, play minigolf and volunteer for a free temporary tattoo from a female artist.
The Viennese Opera Ball Waldorf Astoria New York; 8pm; $100–$1,000
In a city known for opulent extravaganzas, this Cinderella-level ball may take the cake. Now in its 62nd year, the Austrian fete boasts horse-drawn carriages, performances by ballet dancers and opera stars like Stephen Costello and Kristin Lewis, a Viennese orchestra and a legendary dinner. Better get your gown ready.
BOOKForum Presents: False Starts New Museum of Contemporary Art
Enjoy subversive readings about Valentine’s Day by William Finnegan, Marlon James, Ed Park, Lynne Tillman and Joy Williams. R.S.V.P. required: email@example.com.
Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park; 3pm; free
After it was canceled because of high winds last year, the Ice Festival returns with ice-carving artists from Astoria-based Okamoto Studio, who transform 6,000 pounds of the cold stuff into replicas of statues in New York’s backyard. No big deal, right? The real party starts after, though. A free silent disco (with live DJs) lets you choose between ’80s, ’90s and Top 40 hits so you can dance the night away.
Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Piers 92/94; various times; $15–$100
As fun as they are, puppy cams and viral videos can’t compare with real-life specimens as a cuteness delivery system. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at the 141th annual caninefest, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). If you can’t score a ticket, you can still get your fix via online streaming during the day and TV coverage of the evening competitions.
Blunderland Variety Show House of Yes; 7pm; $15
Eric Schmalenberger presents another edition of his evening dedicated to the city's underground nightlife and performance scenes. Gracing the stage are performance artist Claywoman, Sequinette, Vagina West, Ambros Martos and more. Show up for an evening of intrepid entertainment that is as risky as it is risqué.
Disney Valentine’s Ball Highline Ballroom; 8pm; $20–$35
Some of the greatest love stories of all time were created by Disney, so why not celebrate “true love’s kiss” and all that with New York’s very own Disney rock cover band The Little Mermen? This all-night rager and sing-along will have you crooning the hits from your favorite childhood films such as Aladdin, Pocahontas and The Little Mermaid. And if the date goes well, you might be lucky enough to “Kiss the Girl” (or guy!) by the end of the night.
Broad City Trivia Stone Creek Bar and Lounge; 5pm; free with R.S.V.P.
Think you’re a resident of Broad City? Grab a ferry from North Brother Island, study up on those Kirk Steele videos, and prove it at this intense trivia night dedicated to NYC’s baddest kweens. Reserve a spot for a team of up to four frands, and get there early: This showdown will be more packed than a rat party at Ilana and Jaime’s apartment.
Lunar New Year at Brookfield Place; 1:30pm; free
Ring in the year of the Rooster at Brookfield Place in partnership with the New York Chinese Culture Center. Get ready for energetic dance and music performances, as well as demonstrations of Chinese customs such as a martial arts demo and theatrical players in full traditional makeup-up and regalia. Guests of all ages should show up early: there will be a dynamic, colorful Lion Parade led by lion dances throughout the space before the show begins.
The 70s Soul Jam Valentine’s Concert Beacon Theatre; 3pm, 8pm; $49–$79
Ready for a little heart and soul? Take your date to this 70’s night comprising musical performances by R&B/soul stars The Stylistics, The Dramatics, The Delfonics, The Manhattans and Blue Magic.
Harlem Fashion Week Museum of the City of New York; 7pm; $30–$100
If you want to avoid the madness at NYFW’s home base—Skylight at Moynihan Station—head uptown for Harlem Fashion Week! The four-day celebration takes over restaurants and cultural centers in the area, but the main draw is the runway event at the Museum of the City of New York. You’ll catch brands such as Simply Ma’am, Next Level World and D Mochelle Fashions as well as a showcase by designers Jamia Jordan and Daniel Mozzes. Proceeds go to the Junior Scholars Program at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
Mama’s Bazaar House of Yes; 11am; free
For its monthly bazaar, House of Yes outfits you with everything you need to feel like a sexy stuntman or fearless aerialist worthy of its stage. Buy vintage clothes, costumes and festival wear for men and women, jewelry, textiles and sex toys, all while DJs and masseuses keep you in a good mood, and a stacked brunch menu will fuel you for more shopping.
Love Hurts Valentine’s Day Pop-up Dusty Rose Vintage; noon; free
Do soppy declarations of love make you want to cringe (or vomit)? Practice some self-love instead by nabbing wonderful gifts for yourself at Dusty Rose. The vintage treasure trove holds a special pop-up with comped mimosas and great merch ranging from heart-shape cacti from Brooklyn Plant Studio to pins and totes designed by Tea Leigh.