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The best date ideas in NYC

These amazing date ideas in NYC are a surefire way to woo your latest crush

Adam Goldman
Shaye Weaver
Written by
Adam Goldman
&
Shaye Weaver
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With so many things to do in New York, you’d be hard-pressed to come up empty handed when devising date plans. On the other hand, too many choices can be overwhelming. We’re here to help with the best date ideas in NYC, options that are sure to woo your current crush or rekindle the flames with your longtime love.

Among the best restaurants in New York, several are exceptionally romantic, and always a good choice. Taking a stroll around any of these romantic spots in New York is a great way to get things started. After that, try one of these date-worthy itineraries and watch the sparks fly. If you’re watching your wallet, we can also recommend these cheap date ideas in NYC, and if you’re looking for something really different, these unique date ideas will ensure your next rendezvous is anything but ordinary..

RECOMMENDED: The most romantic getaways in New York

Best date ideas in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Greenwich Village
  • price 3 of 4

A West Village institution with classy decor, Minetta Tavern serves up that famous burger that’s on your bucket list. After your splurge, turn things up a notch at Marie’s Crisis Café, the iconic piano bar down the street. You can listen to some show tunes and join in the singing once you’ve got a few drinks in you. Who knows, maybe you and your date will harmonize!

  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife
  • Lower East Side

Drop your inhibitions at this seductive, throwback lounge. Cheeky performers will leave you and your date laughing, curious and maybe a bit aroused. From your table by the stage (the space is small enough that there’s not really a bad seat in the house) expect the unexpected as aerial performers, singers, comedians, dancers and sexily clad lads and laddies perform circus and sideshow tricks. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything like it in the Lower East Side—or anywhere else.

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  • Things to do
  • Flatiron

The Museum of Sex always has something exciting going on behind closed doors. "Super Funland: Journey into the Erotic Carnival" is back and better than ever with its 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, the Love & Lust Deity Derby game, an erotic fortune-telling machine (modeled as RuPaul), a kissing booth, the Glory Stall game, an immersive "Stardust Lane - the Erogenous Kaleidoscope," an erotic mechanical bull and a lit-up climbing structure, "The Climbx," and more. Then when it's time to take the edge off, visitors can slide down a spiral slide into the Museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge, for cocktails. 

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  • Things to do
  • Games and hobbies

Get to know your date by performing a bank heist, a science experiment gone wrong or escaping from an ancient Egyptian tomb—that is, by solving an escape room! Since most escape rooms are blessedly climate controlled, these games are also an excellent thing to do on a rainy day. Take a look at best puzzle games and escape rooms in NYC below and get ready to put your wits to the test. 

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  • Attractions
  • Arcades and amusements
  • Midtown East

New York is brimming with unique, exciting activities. But if you’re pining for something truly cutting-edge, explore another city—or another planet, for that matter—by bringing your date to VR World, a theme park that proffers 50 mind-bending interactive experiences.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Brooklyn Heights

Versatility is a key quality in a date spot: somewhere you want to stay but can still bolt if need be. If that’s what you’re seeking, get thee to Jared Braithwaite’s bar Pips, which sports an impressive wine selection alongside small plates inspired by coastal Italian cuisine. Plus, it’s right on Atlantic Avenue, so your subway escape-route options are plentiful. 

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops

From basic culinary skills to cooking with wine to rolling sushi, these couples cooking classes aim to entertain and educate. You’re sure to grow closer as you mix ingredients with your special someone. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a kitchen competition — these classes contain knives!

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens

The New York Botanical Garden is one of the best New York attractions for a reason—it has a 50-acre forest, a palace modeled after Spain’s Alhambra, a rose garden, an observatory and plenty of spots to hideaway from it all. Plus, it hosts plenty of beloved events like winter's Holiday Train Show and the Orchid Show. During the fall, its collection of pumpkins is epic. This kind of date is for those who want to escape from the city without actually leaving.

  • Movie theaters
  • Independent
  • Williamsburg

Why bother going to two separate places when you can combine this classic date at one fantastic eat-in cinema? Grab one of the luxurious, big comfy chairs and take advantage of the table with the seats. Chow down on tacos, burgers, charcuterie or small plates as you take in buzzworthy indie films and retro re-releases. And be sure to take advantage of the sweet cocktail and beer menu. 

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  • Things to do

Stop and smell the roses (or the tulips) with your date at one of these incredible gardens inside NYC parks like Central Park or visit New York's various conservatories (like the one at the New York Botanical Garden), or at secret gardens in NYC that provide rare moments of solitude in a city packed with eight million people. Note that most of the stunning botanical gardens are requiring pre-reserved tickets at this time, so check their websites before heading out.

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  • Things to do
  • Downtown Brooklyn

The seasonal Dreamland Roller Disco in Prospect Park provides a modern twist on a retro date. Besides, isn’t there something cute about falling on your butts together? What makes Dreamland special are its themed nights. From Gaga vs Madonna to Soul Train to Y2K Disco, you're bound to find the perfect theme that will get you going regardless of your skating skills.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Coby Club is a subterranean lounge on Seventh Ave that’s inspired by 1960s San Francisco nightlife. The lush space pays homage to San Francisco Chinatown nightlife in the 1960s and one woman in particular who was at the heart of it: Miss Coby Yee, the glamorous dancer and owner of the iconic club Forbidden City. With black velvet banquettes and red, silk-shaded lighting, this is the spot to kindle romance.

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