Video games and cheesy biscuits
Times Square may be one big fanny pack, but it’s worth navigating the throngs of people for a chance to kick ass at Dance Dance Revolution. School your date at Dave & Buster’s (234 W 42nd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 646-495-2015, daveandbusters.com), which also has Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man and plenty of other video games to fuel the competitive spirit. (Flirty smack-talking is definitely encouraged.) If this relationship is going to last, might as well air your dirty secrets now: Bring him/her to Red Lobster (Seventh Ave at 41st St; 212-730-6706, redlobster.com) to experience the chain restaurant’s bottomless basket of cheesy Cheddar Bay Biscuits, which have a cultlike following (white-trash icon Megan Fox is a fan). If somehow this perfect date isn’t working, throw in a few libido-stimulating oysters (half dozen $10.50, dozen $15.50).
The Circus and scones
Catch a matinee showing of the Big Apple Circus (Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park, Amsterdam Ave at 62nd St; 800-922-3772, bigapplecircus.org; $28--$89; through Jan 18); this year’s edition is nonironically cool. Giggle at the goofy antics of clowns Bello Nock and Grandma, and grab your date’s knee watching the daredevilish performers, like the Aniskin Troupe (which does a jaw-droppingly precise trapeze act) and freaky contortionists the Long Twins. When the show is over, snuggle in a booth at whimsical Alice’s Tea Cup (102 W 73rd St at Columbus Ave; 212-799-3006, alicesteacup.com) and split the “Mad Hatter” special ($37), which comes with scones, sandwiches and dessert for two.
Laser tag and burgers
On the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, suit-wearing cad Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) is obsessed with laser tag—and still manages to get laid. Frequently. Take your chances at NYC Paintball (47-11 Van Dam St between 47th and 48th Aves, Long Island City, Queens; 718-361-8337, newyorkcitypaintball.com; 90 minutes for $25), one of the city’s two laser tag venues. Here’s hoping that your date finds running around and shooting at people sexy. Sate your post-tagging hunger with a juicy double (burger, you perv!) at Petey’s Burger (30-17 30th Ave between 30th and 31st Sts, Astoria, Queens; 718-267-6300, peteysburger.com), where you can fill up for cheap: A double cheeseburger, fries and soda cost but $9.29.
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