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The best Valentine’s Day date ideas in NYC

Make bae feel extra special by trying one of our amazing and foolproof Valentine’s Day date ideas in NYC

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Written by
Will Gleason
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Valentine’s Day in NYC look a lot different this year, but there are still plenty of actually-cool date ideas to make your night extra special. From dining out in private yurts to catching an outdoor film or ordering in from some of the best restaurants in NYC, treat your S.O. to a day to remember for Cupid's holiday. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Valentine’s Day in NYC

Best Valentine’s Day date ideas in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

In normal times, you’d probably plan a romantic night out to a bar or restaurant for Valentine’s Day—but this year, not all of us are quite ready to eat out in person again, even with indoor dining returning at 25 percent capacity. If you’d rather stay at home this Valentine’s Day, but are still looking to create a fun, romantic night, consider ordering in some expertly made cocktails from the new delivery-only cocktail bar, Ghost Bar.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

There are glass cabins, tents, yurts and every other type of outdoor dining structure you can imagine all over the city at the moment, but not many can boast the jaw-dropping views that you can get from the William Vale’s rooftop. Consider renting one of their private rinkside rooftop chalets this Valentine’s Day today and cuddle up under a blanket while you split a bubbling vat of fondue. (The on-site Winter Spa at the hotel also has couple’s packages!)

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Looking for a spellbinding last-minute activity this Valentine’s Day weekend? The magic-themed bar, The Cauldron, is offering a special experience just for the holiday weekend that’s sure to cast a spell on your special someone. You can stop by the bar today and tomorrow for a fun and romantic potion making experience which includes a welcome drink and a captivating “Red Ruby Slippers” love potion to-go with vanilla vodka, raspberries and red wine. (So you can take a little bit of the magic home). Along with your potions, you’ll get an entrée made in collaboration with The Migrant Kitchen which will donate two meals for people in need for every entrée ordered at The Cauldron this weekend. Now that’s some good magic!

  • Restaurants

New York has had quite an on-again/off-again relationship with indoor dining over the last year, but come February 14 it is officially “on-again.” Indoor dining will once again be returning to the city at 25 percent capacity and many restaurants are once again opening their doors to welcome guests to dine inside. (If you don’t quite feel up to dining inside yet, pretty much all of these spots also have fantastic outdoor dining set-ups, just be sure to call ahead first.) These are our favorite romantic restaurants in the city now.

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  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Speaking of outdoor dining, if you’re looking to reserve a spot to eat outside on this very unique V Day, we can probably guess what you’re looking for—something private, intimate, warm, fun and special. Well, here are a few excellent options that definitely check all of those boxes—from cozy forests to an outdoor kotatsu dining table and enchanting backyard with outdoor space heaters.

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

If you’re looking to order dinner on Valentine’s Day, you might as well take advantage of New York’s first-ever Restaurant Week To-Go! Dinner, from restos like Gramercy Tavern, RedFarm and Bar Boulud will set you back a mere $20.21. (You can spend all the money you’re saving on dinner on a surprise flower delivery instead.) The special Restaurant Week was set to end at the end of last month but was extended through the end of February.

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  • Restaurants

Do you want to do something extra special this Valentine’s Day? Maybe something you couldn’t do any other night of the year? Then you’ll want to check out this list of one-off, Valentine’s Day specials from some of the city’s best restaurants. You can grab a Pizza Love Fest Kit from Fornino, a special Valentine’s Day Bento Box from Bentos, a holiday tasting from Schaller & Weber and more!

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

Want to make Valentine's Day unforgettable this year? Consider making a reservation at Peak, the restaurant and bar on the 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yards. The modern American eatery sits just one floor above Edge with incredible 360-degree views of NYC. After Governor Cuomo's announcement that NYC restaurants can resume indoor dining at 25 percent, Peak is now taking reservations for its opening day on its website.

Looking for other fun things to do on Valentine's Day?

If you're looking for a fun Valentine's Day activity for the whole family (or just you and your significant other if you're both really hungry), then try the Valentine Family Dinner Kit from Citarella! You'll get two heart-shaped pizzas topped with a chef-prepared sauce, hand-grated mozerella and pepperoni. While the pizza's cooking you can get handsy with some Valentine cookies and edible markers. Then, you'll have fresh fruit and delicious chocolate fondue for dessert.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Gowanus

Enjoy a movie and a meal at Parklife's Outdoor Cinema on Saturday, February 13. Moonstruck, starring Cher, will be playing and the menu includes tacos and cocktails. For Outdoor Cinema reservation requests, please email hey@parklifebk.com. There's onlya limited number of reservation requests, so we may not be able to accommodate all requests.

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  • Things to do
  • Weird & Wonderful

Nothing expresses how you feel like a massive Madagascar hissing cockroach. The Bronx Zoo is once again offering its Name-a-Roach program, where smitten folks can symbolically name a giant Madagascar hissing roach for their loved one (or after an ex if you're so inclined). For a $15 donation, your valentine will receive a printable certificate featuring the name chosen for the roach named in their honor. How romantic! 

 

Park Slope is getting in the mood with "A Love Greens" Valentine’s Market by Closiist, featuring sustainable, eco-friendly products including items like a smudging and clearing kit, chocolate roses infused with cardamom, fine solid cologne, tie bars and earrings made from recycled circuit boards, gift sets, organic rose and coconut milk vegan bath soaks, wall mounted stem vases, wooden eyewear, magnetic expressions in recycled bottle caps, mismatched alligator and flamingo earrings, fire hose bracelets, soap, and more. The market will be at Winemak'Her Bar (492 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn) on Saturday and Sunday, January 16 and 17, from 11am to 9pm, and every weekend until Valentine's Day.

 

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Get pictures with your boo (or your besties) in Astoria (3613 36th Ave.) during this mini photoshoot by Robert Middleton. Time slots are in 20 min increments from 1 to 6:40pm. You'll get three high-quality edited photos delivered to your email inbox (additional edits $15 per picture). You can email middletonrobert99@gmail.com to schedule a time.

  • Things to do
  • Quirky events
  • Vinegar Hill

Beat The Bomb in DUMBO is the perfect Valentine's Day outing for first dates, couples in long-term relationships or even groups of friends. It's an hour-long experience where teams of 2-6 players must conquer a series of games to earn time on their "clock" for the final challenge: a giant paint bomb! Hazmat suits and masks provide protection from both the paint bomb and Covid, but even if you do Beat The Bomb, many teams ask to get blasted anyway, for the fun and for the pics. 

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