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Edge City Climb
Photograph: Courtesy of Edge

Fun date ideas in NYC

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

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Doing the same things over and over again can get boring in a relationship. If you and your partner need to throw some fun dates into the mix here in NYC, there are plenty of options to get your smile on together. Instead of just heading to a dine-in movie theater, a romantic restaurant or romantic bar,  try these super-fun date ideas! Sure, there are plenty 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.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to date ideas in NYC

Fun date ideas in NYC

  • Museums
  • Science and technology
  • Midtown West

Live out your James Bond dreams at SPYSCAPE—part museum, part spy training ground, that offers aspiring intelligence agents the opportunity to test their mettle. You'll first read up on real-life spies like Alan Turing, the mathematician who cracked the Enigma code, and Virginia Hall, the one-legged operative who helped escaped POWs travel to safety during World War II. But then you two will be put to the test: After you sneak through a hallway peppered with laser beams, submit to a lie detector test and test all kinds of other Bond-style skills, the museum uses a profiling system developed by a former British Intelligence officer to grade your performance. 

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Chelsea

Together, use all your senses except one—sight—to sculpt your own bust out of clay at Unarthodox. You'll be blindfolded at the start of this out-of-the-box sculpt and sip class (yes, there's wine) and asked to sculpt that way. Staff uses swelling music, scents and other senses to inspire you while you create. Unarthodox offers other experiences, too, including one where groups create their own VR short using props, paint and cardboard. “Picture This” is a word guessing game show that combines elements of Pictionary, Charades, Wheel of Fortune and Clue. “IntuitiveArt” immerses guests in a 270-degree projection of two different films and asks that they paint according to the moods and emotions they evoke.

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  • Things to do
  • Concerts
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

Challenge each other to a rousing game of bowling at this bowling alley and live-music venue that sells beer by local spots, Sixpoint, Kelso and the Brooklyn Brewery. Tackle a pitcher and the stoner-food menu from the Blue Ribbon team (delicious fatty brisket, Old Bay–fried chicken) between frames and then catch a live show right behind the lanes.

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops

More often than not, date night involves food. With so many amazing restaurants in NYC (not to mention romantic restaurants), it’s not hard to find a new spot to take your main squeeze for a meal. But maybe you want to do something more interactive and challenging together! 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. Whatever the focus of the class, you’ll learn something new and taste something delicious. Plus, you’ll have the skills you need to cook a fabulous meal for a stay-at-home date night.

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

If you're thrillseekers, Edge has a fun experience that lets you scale the side of its Hudson Yards' building and lean over the edge. City Climb is the highest external building climb in the world tethers you to a secure trolly along the outside of the building and open, edged platforms and stairways. Two cables will keep you on a path that leads up 32 steps to "The Cliff," an outlook 1,190 feet in the sky and to "The Stair," which consists of 151 steps on a 45-degree incline. Finally, climbers will reach "The Apex," where they can lean out and hang over the platform at 1,271 feet. It's not for everyone, but for those who like to get their heart beating, it's fun!

  • Restaurants

Why not take dinner on the go if there are beautiful views to take in? Even the best restaurants in NYC can’t compare to the experience of eating out on the water, and most of these dinner cruises offer prix-fixe menus or buffet meals on enormous three-level ships, sailing taverns and ritzy yachts. Whichever you choose, the ambiance just can’t be beaten. Bon voyage – and bon appetit, too!

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Fly—indoors!
Photograph: Courtesy Long Island Skydiving Center

8. Fly—indoors!

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!

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  • Things to do

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).

  • Music
  • Music venues
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

When you’re searching for a date-night bar that offers more than, well, booze, hunker down underground and bring your sweetie to Cellar Dog. You can kill many an hour at this cheap, scruffy and jovial spot playing pool, Ping-Pong and shuffleboard ($8-9 per person, per hour), and board games ($2 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!

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  • Museums
  • Special interest
  • Flatiron

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 “Super Funland” 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.

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  • Bars
  • Sports Bars
  • Gowanus
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.

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