No matter how romantic, creative or fun you are, everyone sometimes needs help with coming up with great date ideas. Grabbing a drink might be fine for a first date, but your next date calls for more unique ideas. Fortunately, New York City is filled with fun and romantic things to do. We’ve put together a list of your best options.
1. Picnic in the Central Park
Central Park may be the most romantic place in New York City. There are many quiet spots inside the park where you can enjoy a picnic with your loved one. It stretches on over 800 acres in Uptown Manhattan.
However, if you don’t like picnics as much, there are a number of other things you can do here. You can take a carriage ride, visit Belvedere Castle and the Conservatory Garden, or take a boat ride below the Bow Bridge. It is often featured in romantic movies such as Autumn in New York, and the sight of it will probably inspire a romantic encounter. Central Park is also home to a zoo, skating rink, theatre, fountains, and a carousel.
Central Park Tours
|Private Carriage Ride in Central Park
Want to make a grand impression on a first date? There is no better way than with a relaxing carriage ride in Central Park.
|Ultimate Central Park Picnic Experience
Celebrate a special occasion in an exciting new way with the ultimate picnic experience. It is a unique, leisurely adventure prepared especially for two.
|Central Park Carriage Ride Romance Package
Experience a private, 45-minute carriage ride through picturesque Central Park. Enhance this romantic evening with a dozen red roses and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
2. Catch a Jazz Show
Harlem used to be a scary neighbourhood, but it faced cultural revolution. Today it has countless clubs where you can catch a live jazz show. Every year tourists come to Harlem seeking to experience this soulful music.
Check out famous nightclubs and choose one where you can make a romantic evening with dinner, wine and a show. Enjoy the sounds and rhythms of Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis. You can end your night with a stroll along Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.
3. Visit the Hayden Planetarium
Escape the everyday stress and head out under the stars in the Hyden Planetarium for a perfect romantic night. This planetarium shows impressive visuals of space, using high-resolution video projection in its Star Theater. The star show displays are based on the latest cosmic discovery and made in collaboration with top scientists from around the world.
If you want to spend a quiet evening under the stars with your significant one, this is the perfect place. While astrophysicist’s Neil deGrasse voice guides you during the show, you can gaze at the unfolding cosmos and at each other.
4. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
If you think there is nothing romantic in crossing a bridge, you couldn’t be more wrong. Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic New York landmark, and one of the oldest bridges in the USA. Take a 30-minute walk across this Gothic-style bridge, with spectacular Lower Manhattan views from the wooden pedestrian walkway. Enjoy as the city lights switch on at dusk.
If this isn’t romantic enough, stroll along the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park. This park with stunning Manhattan and Brooklyn views and unique attractions such as Jane’s Carousel, nearly 100-year old hand-painted attraction will definitely cheer you up.
5. Enjoy in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you want to feel like you’re in paradise, you don’t have to travel far. Just head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, located in the Prospect Park neighbourhood. Here you’ll find over 50 acres of cherry blossoms, rose gardens and various plant collections.
If you are coming in spring, walk along the Cherry Esplanade and enjoy these trees blooming. Equally impressive are Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first Japanese-inspired garden in the U.S., as well as the Shakespeare Garden with more than 80 plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s poems and plays. You can see beautiful plant life, no matter the season, so make sure to visit this place.
6. Visit Niagara Falls
It’s never a bad time to escape on a romantic Niagara Falls day trip. Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls located on the border between the state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario. This natural wonderland is known for a mighty roar of thousands of cubic metres of water descending per second over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls, the Bridal Veli Falls and the American falls.
Snuggle in close while you take in breathtaking views. There are numerous activities you can do there. You can go behind the falls, soar in the views from the Observation Deck, visit Niagara Falls State Park or just walk along the falls wiping the falls spray from one another’s faces.
Niagara Falls Tours
|Niagara Falls in One Day from New York City
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the most important and impressive natural wonders of the world! Experience the Falls from different angles on this 19-hours tour.
|Niagara Falls Fireworks Cruise
Experience the thrill and spectacle of Niagara Falls fireworks with this extraordinary, 40-minute evening cruise. This intimate boat tour gets as close as possible to the powerful flow of the Falls.
|Private Tour – Niagara Falls Day Trip from New York City
Meet one of the wonders of the world up close and personal. Witness the morning mist rainbows and hear the falls’ magnificent roars.
7. Enjoy a Show on Broadway
If you are into arts, you can impress your love with tickets to a Broadway show. The Broadway theatre attracts millions of visitors annually. No matter what type of theatre you like, you’ll have the opportunity to see the performance of some of the best actors in the world.
Choose some of the shows that appeal to a wide range of romantic tastes like the Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, or the West Side Story. Book in advance, since the most popular shows sell out quickly.
8. Visit the Diamond District
If you believe you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, there is nothing more romantic than making a marriage proposal in the Diamond District. After popping the question, you can pick out the engagement ring together.
This district, located on 47th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, is home to around 2,600 independent jewellers. They can offer you a great variety of diamonds, and industry expertise. Come prepared, and always look for the Buyer’s Bill of Rights displayed in a storefront window.
9. Take a ferry to Staten Island
Take advantage of the Manhattan’s waterfront and catch a Staten Island Ferry at sunset to enjoy the beautiful views of the harbour, Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. It’s a real treat for couples on a budget.
The ferry operates 24 hours a day, every day of the week. Have in mind that the ferry is designed for commuters, so you’ll have to be quick if you want a bench seat along the boat’s border. You’ll spend about an hour driving back and forth. Make sure to keep your partner warm, because a jacket is recommended even on a warm day.
10. Enjoy the View from the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building offers spectacular indoor and outdoor 360-degree views from the heart of the Manhattan. If you want to impress your date with an amazing view of the city, then this is the right place.
The best time for visiting is in the late afternoon. That way you’ll get the best of both worlds: see the layout of the city in greater detail and gaze at the glowing city below at nighttime. Consider the weather, because the views are best on clear days. Don’t miss the 102nd-floor Observatory. Although, it isn’t open air the way the 86th floor is, being higher makes everything more exciting.
11. Scenic Helicopter Tour
Treat a loved one on a special occasion with this spectacular tour. It might be pricey, but it will definitely amaze your date. Admire this dazzling city and take in New York’s skyline. You’ll experience the entire city in a way that’s impossible from the ground.
Get a close-up of the Statue of Liberty, soar over Central Park, New York Harbour and Yankees Stadium. You’ll see Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island and Governors Island, Hudson River, and NYC skyscrapers like the Chrysler and the Woolworth Buildings. The aerial views of the famous attractions are something you will not forget.
NYC Helicopter Tours
|New York Manhattan Scenic Helicopter Tour
Soar through the sky and experience a bird’s eye view of Manhattan’s world-famous landmarks.
|New York City Private Helicopter Aerial Experience
Enjoy sweeping views of Brooklyn, New York City and New Jersey skylines as you soar past some of the most iconic landmarks on a more personalized experience.
|NYC Helicopter Flight and Statue of Liberty Cruise
Get unbeatable views of Manhattan from the sky and water on this exclusive VIP tour in New York City!
12. Go Ice Skating
Spend some time twirling on the ice, holding your date’s hand. It’s one of the best romantic dates you can have during winter time. You have a multitude of options, whether you want to skate indoors or outdoors.
Ice skating at Rockefeller Center is an experience many NYC visitors desire, so don’t let the crowds diminish the romance. On the other hand, the scenic Wollman Rink in the Central Park has been featured in various romantic movies. Ice skating might be a good way to break the ice on your first date.
13. Go Wine Tasting
Going wine tasting is a perfect experience for couples. Head to the Hudson Valley, one of the most spectacular regions for wine, as well as scenery. Each winery has its own story and atmosphere.
Sample finest wines of the region paired with local food and cheeses. Learn about the winemaking process and experience old wine cellars. While you are driving to the wineries and vineyards of your choice, you can both enjoy the unforgettable views and gorgeous landscapes of the Hudson Valley.
14. Head to the Hamptons
What could be more romantic than a date in the Hamptons? The Hamptons has been a popular weekend and summer retreat for busy New Yorkers. It comprises a group of villages and hamlets in the towns of Southampton and East Hampton.
There are numerous fun and romantic activities you can participate in. Go to the Shelter Island and take a paddle boarding lesson, enjoy a refreshing swim in the ocean or a nice romantic walk on the beach. Going for a bike ride can also be a good idea, as well as finding a perfect spot for a romantic picnic date.
15. Party at a Silent Disco
If you are afraid to participate in small talk with your date, strap on a set of headphones. You can get to know each other on a dance floor. There are many silent discos in New York, even in the museums like the Guggenheim Museum and at the cemeteries. Find your preferred location and take your partner on a unique date.
These parties do involve great music, except that you get to listen to it through noise-cancelling headphones. Depending on the selected music genre, each headphone shines in a different colour.
16. Dine and dance on a cruise
Grab your special someone and take in the iconic Manhattan skyline on a dinner cruise. Savour gourmet cuisine and enjoy the music while soaking up the breathtaking views of the New York City’s major sights including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Treat yourself and your loved one to a private window table that guarantees unobstructed views of the dazzling city. Enjoy dancing with the music or head to the outdoor viewing decks as the magnificent skyline spreads before you.
New York Dinner Cruise Tours
|Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise
Savour gourmet cuisine and enjoy live jazz entertainment while soaking up breathtaking views of the Manhattan, New Jersey and Brooklyn skylines.
|Hudson’s by World Yacht New York Dinner Cruise
Take in the views from a 3-level dinner cruise on Hudson’s as you indulge in a delicious four-course dinner.
|New York City Lights Dinner Cruise with Optional Window Seat Upgrade
Take in the iconic Manhattan skyline on a 3-hour dinner cruise. Begin with an elegant 3-course meal, sip cocktails and enjoy after-dinner dancing.
17. Walk the Hudson River Park
The Hudson River Park, the second largest park in NYC, offers a variety of unique activities you can do, other than a romantic picnic or a walk along the park. There is plenty of recreational sites including the famed Chelsea Piers.
If you want to feel an adrenaline rush, take a flying trapeze class and experience the exhilaration of this circus act. You can also try sailing, rowing or rock climbing. Learn more about the historic vessels currently located here, or go bowling. There are many ways you can have fun and do something together.
If you want to skip that boring dinner and a movie routine some of these activities might be perfect for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a way to help you conquer first-date jitters or just want to try something unique and fun with your loved one.