a burlesque dancer in all pink
Photograph: Courtesy of Thirsty Girl Productions

The best things to do for Valentine’s Day in NYC

Drink, dance and fall in love at these incredible Valentine's Day events in NYC.

Rossilynne Skena CulganChristina Izzo

Don't leave Valentine's Day up to fate. NYC has awesome amorous events, from concerts to dance classes and more, to attend with your date, your friends or even solo. Whether you love or hate Cupid's holiday, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do on Valentine’s day, including romantic restaurants, decadent chocolate shops and the most romantic things to do to get you in the mood—or not! 

Without further ado, our list of Valentine's things to do, presented in chronological order so you can keep the fun going all month long.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Valentine’s Day in NYC
RECOMMENDED: The most romantic hotels to book in NYC

Best things to do for Valentine’s Day in NYC

1. Valentine's Day Cruises with City Cruises

City Cruises New York invites lovebirds to celebrate their love on one of its Valentine's Day cruises with several dates in February.

With various packages and upgrades to choose from, sweethearts can expect a delightful plated or buffet-style meal along with onboard entertainment, champagne, and roses.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Just as is the case every year, the Times Square Alliance is inviting all couples to either renew their vows, get engaged or actually tie the knot in Times Square on Valentine's Day.

If you're signing up for a surprise proposal, which you can do right here and will take place on one of the neighborhood's iconic screens, be prepared to answer questions about your relationship, why you want to get married and why proposing in Times Square would make the life event even more special. Those are all topics explored in the official application.

Prospective vow renewal candidates, on the other hand, can register for the happening right here. Finally, folks looking to get married at the Crossroads of the World should sign up right here

  • Things to do
  • Quirky events

If you're looking for a thrilling event, the annual Cupid's Undie Run will surely deliver.

Dashing through the streets in your skivvies is not only a rowdy, raucous sprint, it also raises tons of money for the Children's Tumor Foundation. 

The shenanigans begin at The DL (95 Delancey St.) in the Lower East Side, where participants meet before the one-mile race. This year's event is on Saturday, February 10. Registration for Cupid’s Undie Run only sets you back $45! Register here.

  • LGBTQ+

Lady Gaga’s family restaurant, Joanne Trattoria (a name made famous by the artist’s eponymous album), is bringing in sensational drag queens for free, “speakeasy” drag shows every Wednesday, starting on Valentine’s Day.

“Drag Me To Joanne’s,” which is hosted by Jupiter Genesis, features special guests. Coming up, you’ll see Mariyea and Angel Au on February 14; Vidana and Lana Ja’Rae on February 21; and Paloma and Blair Bitch on February 28. Of course, because it’s all set at Joanne’s, there will “be ample Lady Gaga action,” organizers say.

Drag Me To Joanne’s’ has been a staple here at Joanne Trattoria over the last few months and we’re beyond thrilled to not only make it a weekly show, but a free show,” said Joe Germanotta, Lady Gaga’s (Stephanie Germanotta’)s father. “Where else in this city can you enjoy a terrific free drag show and authentic Italian food?”

Produced exclusively by Jessee O of G L I T A NYC and co-produced by Jupiter Genesis, the show starts at 7pm. Joanne Trattoria’s full Italian menu will be available during performances. Additional tickets for the show aren’t needed, you just need or order a meal.

  • Movies
  • Movies

Nostalgia and romance often go hand-in-hand, and if you’re a big fan of yearning, there might be no better place to spend this Valentine’s than at the top of the Empire State Building watching teen flicks and romcoms.

This year, the Empire State Building is offering exclusive movie screenings on its 80th Floor to celebrate Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day. On February 13 at 6pm, the building will screen “Clueless,” a  movie about mean girl who is trying to become a better person and find love. Then, on February 14 at 6pm, they’ll screen “Sleepless in Seattle,” a 90s rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, about a widowed father who reluctantly finds love in an unconventional way.

Tickets to the screenings cost $135 and you can get them here.

  • Theater & Performance

If you want something unconventional to do leading up to Valentine’s Day and you’ve always dreamt of being in a game show, then look no further than “The Love Lab,” an experience that draws inspiration from classics like “The Dating Game” and “Love Connection” for an IRL experience. 

Complete with theme songs, lively hosts and trivia, “The Love Lab,” will involve a romantic competition and drunken karaoke with the opportunity to win prizes and love potion shots. The best part is that you could come with your significant other or to meet a potential one ahead of Valentine’s Day, since the experience is now open and continues until February 28. 

The Drunken Laboratory is located in Bed-Stuy just outside the Kosciuszko St J train. The Love Lab experience will take place in and is 21+ and they’ll also be offering $40 Singles Night every Thursday in February. You can get tickets on its website

  • Theater & Performance

"Hey sister, go sister, soul sister, go sister," there's a spicy new Moulin Rouge pop-up that's definitely worth going to. 

Moulin Rouge! The Musical has taken over the rooftop at M Social Hotel in Times Square with a Broadway karaoke experience this winter. Decked out in red decor and lit with chandeliers, this pop-up promises to heat up the colder days and makes an especially fun night out for Valentine's dates. Find the venue at 51st and Broadway, with the pop-up available through at least February 2024. 

If you need a little liquid courage, there’s a themed drink menu from M Social’s food and beverage partners, Tanduay Rum and Smoke Lab Vodka. Cocktails include The Rouge, Baby!, a twist on a rum punch, and The Sparkling Diamond, a take on a French martini.

Be sure to make a reservation to attend. Reservations can be made for an hour and 15 minutes, bookable on OpenTable. Tickets cost $50/person and include one complimentary themed cocktail.

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Pink Pier is back at Pier 15 with over-the-top decor, photo opps, and themed food—all perfectly pink. Watermark, the 10,000-square-foot outdoor bar and restaurant along the East River, has been transformed into this pink paradise. 

Whether you're celebrating the season with a Valentine, a gal-entine, a pal-entine, or just your fabulous self, Pink Pier makes for a fun spot to go out. Tickets are on sale here.

The experience promises a romantic dining destination. You’ll enter through a floral hallway that sets the stage for what’s ahead. Pink and red flowers abound, twinkly lights illuminate the space, and heart installations make for excellent photo backdrops. Ribbons, bows, and garlands fill every spare space for the ultimate coquette aesthetic. 

  • Drinking

Season after season, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge sprinkles its special blend of hospitality pixie dust to transform its venue into an immersive spectacle. This winter is no different as the Garment District bar presents the saccharine Pink Winter Lodge: Neon Frost Edition.

Expect pink decor everywhere, plus a themed menu with pink drinks and pink sweet treats. Make a reservation here; walk-ins are welcome as well. Here’s what else to experience at this winter pop-up atop Moxy Hotel Times Square (7th Avenue and West 36th Street).

Stroll through a neon pink winter wonderland featuring metallic pink fringe, neon walls, and pink trees. The venue's iconic carousel is decked out in metallic pink, offering a unique dining experience. On the East Terrace, an interactive custom snow globe makes for a very Instagrammable experience.

  • Art
  • Art

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a pastel pink pop-up is taking over Color Factory in Soho. The "Colors in Bloom" experience opens on February 8 and promises to take flowery themes to immersive new levels. 

At this all-ages venue dedicated to the art and science of color, visitors can stroll through a variety of different rooms, all decked out for spring. For example, there's the Central Park Confetti Room, complete with larger-than-life pink cherry blossoms inspired by the city's first sign of spring.

Tickets start at $38/person for the experience, which runs through mid-May. 

  • Circuses & magic
  • Midtown EastOpen run

For a truly magical date night, book tickets for Chamber Magic. Steve Cohen, billed as the Millionaires’ Magician, conjures high-class parlor magic in the marble-columned Madison Room at the swank Lotte New York Palace. Audiences must dress to be impressed (cocktail attire is required); tickets start at $125.

But if you've come to see a classic-style magic act, you get what you pay for. Sporting a tuxedo and bright rust hair, the magician delivers routines that he has buffed to a patent-leather gleam: In addition to his signature act—"Think-a-Drink," involving a kettle that pours liquids by request—highlights include a lulu of levitation trick and a card-trick finale that leaves you feeling like, well, a million bucks.

  • Things to do
  • Soho

For a truly sweet date night, Museum of Ice Cream is the place. Ice cream is at the center of this 20,000-square-foot museum that'll make the cold treat even more fun (who knew it'd even be possible?). Across 13 multi-sensory installations, visitors to the museum will be able to interact with fun elements like a three-story indoor slide, the all-pink Celestial Subway, and a new add-on where guests can build their own edible slime.

Even better: The sweet treats along the way. Yes, we're talking about unlimited ice cream throughout the museum. For adults, check out some fun themed cocktails as well.

Looking to plan a Valentine’s Day date?

    You may also like
    You may also like