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The best date ideas in NYC

Woo your crush by embarking on one of these amazing date ideas in NYC, which range from classic to quirky

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Photograph: Joseph O. Holmes Brooklyn Botanic Garden
By Tolly Wright and Adam Goldman |
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Let’s face it: No matter how creative or fun you are, you could probably use a little help finding great date ideas in NYC. And if so, you're in luck! Check out the list below for some fantastic date options. We've also rounded up our favorite romantic restaurants, romantic bars and romantic spots—all of which are sure to wow that special someone. 

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Best date ideas in NYC

1
Marie's Crisis
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, French

Feast at Minetta Tavern, then drink and sing at Marie’s Crisis Café

Greenwich Village

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!

2
Photograph: Francine Daveta
Nightlife, Nightlife

See a burlesque show at the Slipper Room

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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3
Dreamland Roller Disco
Photograph: Courtesy Dreamland Roller Disco
Things to do

Couple skate during Dreamland Roller Disco

Downtown Brooklyn

Dreamland Roller Disco 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. February is chock-full of romantic rendezvous, such as the upcoming disco party I Feel Love on Valentine’s Day. 

City Point BKLYN, Downton Brooklyn (dreamlandrollerrink.com). $20–$26 (includes skate rental).

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5
Porcelain
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber
Restaurants, Austrian

Get cozy on the cheap at Porcelain

Ridgewood

The Austrian-inspired cuisine and lived-in but chic aesthetic make Porcelain a charming first-date option. The prices are refreshingly low, too, with plates in the $10 range. Grab a couple of big, plush chairs, then split brunch and a pastry or three. If that’s not as sweet as can be, we don’t know what is. 

6
Kick Axe Throwing
Photograph: Courtesy Kick Axe Throwing
News, Drinking

Sharpen your skills at Kick Axe Throwing

Craving an out-of-the-ordinary daytime date that doesn’t involve drinking the afternoon away? Kick Axe Throwing, in Gowanus is an urban adventure that's bound to make you look like a badass—plus, it opens at 11am during the week. Before chucking those hatchets, peruse the Runner & Stone café a few blocks away for a caffeine or pastry fix.

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7
Photograph: Courtesy VR World
Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Trip out at VR World NYC

Midtown

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.

8
Photograph: Courtesy Pips / Liz Clayman
Restaurants, Italian

Stay for a while (or just a minute) at Pips

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. 

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9
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Photograph: Shutterstock
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Bask in the beauty of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Prospect Park

You and your special someone don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re in an idyllic pastoral paradise with this century-old Kings County NYC park. Nestled away by Prospect Park, you’ll find over 50 acres of cherry blossoms, rose gardens and the bright flora of the tropics in the balmy conservatory. No matter the season, you’ll be sure to see beautiful plant life.

10
Nitehawk Cinema
Photograph: Gabi Porter
Movie theaters, Independent

Feast and catch a flick at Nitehawk Cinema

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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11
Millenium Knightsbridge
Restaurants, Chinese

Have a great date in Times Square (really) at Bugis Street Brasserie

Midtown West

No one foresees anything good (with the possible exception of a Broadway show) to come out of Times Square. But consider Bugis Street Brasserie’s laksa: Comprising rice vermicelli, shrimp, chicken, fish cake and bean sprouts, this super-spicy noodle soup is sure to heat up your night. Your date might give you some side-eye as they’re guided into a hotel lobby packed with tourists, but sometimes great things emerge from unexpected places.

12
St. Luke in the Fields Gardens
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
News, City Life

Hold hands in St. Luke in the Fields Gardens

Broke, huh? Well, it sounds like you’re craving a space so bucolic, you love birds will forget it’s free of charge! Everyone appreciates a hidden urban oasis, and the St. Luke in the Fields Gardens—just off Hudson Street, between Barrow and Christopher Streets in the West Village—are up there with the best of them.

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