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Fun date ideas in NYC

Ditch your typical date-night routine for some exciting and fun date ideas—NYC has endless possibilities!

Museum of Sex
Photograph: Igor Khodzinskiy
By Time Out New York contributors |

If you and your significant other are in desperate need of switching up your trite dinner and a movie routine at one of the best dine-in movie theaters in the city, try these super-fun date ideas! Sure, there are plenty of romantic restaurants and romantic bars that would surely impress your next Tinder date, but we’re here to offer you some variety! So whether you’re looking for quirky ways to shake off first-date jitters, or want to try something unique and exciting with your sweetheart, these activities are the essence of F-U-N.

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Fun date ideas in NYC

Brooklyn Boulders
Photograph: Courtesy Rory Moon

Make the climb

You and your boyfriend or girlfriend might need to overcome some barriers that developed since you started dating, so now’s your chance to face those walls, head-on, and make the climb with bae. Head to one of the best places to go rock climbing in NYC and watch your relationship reach new heights. Trust us, you’ll be laughing, smiling and (most likely) sweating on the way up.

Long Island Skydiving Center
Photograph: Courtesy Long Island Skydiving Center


Want to try something new and exciting with your lovah? Fly, you fools! That’s right, you can go skydiving without risking your lives at iFly—an awesome indoor skydiving activity zone. Disclaimer: iFly is technically located in Westchester, but since it’s only a 20-mile hike away from Manhattan and really, really awesome, it’s totally worth a trek. This activity will cost you, though ($89.95 for two flight per person). But it’s certainly a unique way to spend date-night!

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Hit the slick stuff

Searching for a good way to break the ice during a first date? Hit the slick stuff! NYC is chock-full of outdoor rinks where you can strap on the blades and glide on frozen H2O. We’ve ranked the top places to go, so whether you want to skate at Rockefeller Center or NYC parks like Central Park, you certainly have a multitude of options. Get ready for some major hand-holding (y’know, if your date is a first-time skater and refuses to let go).

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Fat Cat
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Music, Music venues

Play ping-pong and listen to jazz at Fat Cat

West Village

When you’re searching for a date-night bar that offers more than, well, booze, hunker down underground and bring your sweetie to Fat Cat. You can kill many an hour at this cheap, scruffy and jovial spot playing pool, Ping-Pong and shuffleboard ($6 to $7 per person, per hour), foosball ($1 per game) and chess ($1 for unlimited play). Once you've exhausted those options—and yourself—snuggle with bae on one of the comfy worn couches and nod along to that night's jazz band. If you’re feeling particularly daring, ask the lad or lady to dance!

Museum of Sex (MoSex), 101 TTD
Museums, Special interest

Jump inside a bounce house at the Museum of Sex


Pull a Marvin Gaye and prepare to get it on (or, at least, think about it) at the MoSex, which showcases tastefully erotic and downright outlandish work in a jaw-dropping (but totally cultural) context. “Jump for Joy” and get giddy inside a tantalizing and enjoyable bounce house and enter an immersive wonderland of vivid sights, sounds and sensations inside the “Splendor in The Grass” exhibit to shake (or bounce off) those date-night jitters. Before you go, make a pit stop at the spacious gift shop that’s stocked with books, sex toys and aphrodisiac elixirs to keep the fun (wink, wink) going at home.

Photograph: Courtesy NYC Parks

Kayak on the Hudson

Sure, it’s not a romantic gondola ride in Venice, but kayaking on the Hudson still sounds romantic to us. (We swoon over those skyline views!) There are plenty of boathouses and spots that offer free kayaking in NYC—Manhattan Community Boathouse, North Brooklyn Boat Club, Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, to name a few. So grab your water shoes and get ready for some fun in and sun with your S.O.!

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Royal Palms
Bars, Sports Bars

Play shuffleboard at The Royal Palms


You and your date can take a trip to Florida without leaving New York thanks to Royal Palms—a pastel-streaked, palm-covered Floridian playground located in Gowanus. The name of the game at this bar is Shuffleboard, but if even if you and bae are court virgins, the waitstaff is quick to offer tips and demonstrations.

Coney Island Cyclone
Attractions, Arcades and amusements

Ride the Cyclone at Coney Island

Coney Island

Carnival games, rollercoasters, cotton candy and a chance to strip down to your skivvies and sunbathe on the beach? You and your sweetheart are signing up for a full-day of fun when you trek to Coney Island. Word of advice: You and your date should go to Luna Park and ride the cyclone before stuffing your faces with some Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs (y’know, just in case.)

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