Are you tired of doing the same date-night routine with your significant other? If you and your partner want to mix things up in New York City, there are plenty of exciting and unique date ideas you can do together to spend quality time and enjoy each other’s company.
Whether you’re going on a first date or looking for a romantic getaway with your long-time partner, NYC has it all. We’ve compiled 25 fun things to do in NYC as a couple, from a trip to a speakeasy to a dinner cruise to strolling along the Brooklyn Bridge and more.
- If you are looking for inspiration for a fun date idea with your significant other, we’ve compiled a list of 25 romantic things you can enjoy with them.
1. Stroll Around Central Park
Central Park is a masterpiece of landscape architecture and a must-see attraction in NYC. With over 840 acres of greenery and iconic landmarks, the park strikes a perfect balance between city sightseeing and nature.
We recommend starting from the lower east corner near The Plaza hotel and working your way up through Sheep Meadow to Bow Bridge. Be sure to check out Belvedere Castle, The Lake, and the Great Lawn along the way.
For a more active date, rent a bike or take a yoga class in the park. You can also rent a rowboat from Loeb Boathouse or join the Gondola tour to enjoy the views of The Lake. To add more entertainment to the date, you can ride the Central Park Carousel or ice skate at Wollman Rink in the winter.
2. Attend a Day Party
If you’re looking for a fun day party or staycation to attend with your partner, there are plenty of options.
One popular spot is The Beach at Dream Downtown, a rooftop oasis in the heart of the Meatpacking District. It’s a beach-themed rooftop bar and lounge featuring sand, cabanas, and a pool, making you feel like you’ve escaped the city for a tropical getaway. With a day pass, you get your own lounge chair and an extensive list of cocktails, wines, beers, and food to choose from. Note that it will reopen in the Summer of 2023.
Another option is Daybreaker, a global morning dance party that occurs at various locations throughout the city. The idea behind Daybreaker is to start your day on a positive note with an early morning workout and dance party. The event usually starts at around 6 am and goes until 9 am, so you can start your day feeling energized and ready to take on whatever comes your way.
3. Tour Catacombs by Candlelight
Located at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, Catacombs by Candlelight is a guided tour that will take you deep into the underground passages of the historic cathedral. You’ll learn about the church’s fascinating history and the people buried there. As you make your way through the cathedral, your guide will tell you stories about the cathedral’s past, its architecture, and the grand pipe organ it houses. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the significance of this historical site.
4. Take a Swing at Swingers Crazy Golf
Swingers is an entertainment complex featuring three nine-hole golf courses spanning over 23,000 square feet. But this is not your typical mini-golf experience. Swingers offers “crazy golf,” a British spin on the classic game designed for a 21+ audience.
As you golf through the courses, you can enjoy stunning cocktails, street food, and even live music venue DJs. The whimsical courses are filled with obstacles, such as loop-de-loops, ramps, and moving parts, making the experience even more exciting. And the retro décor, complete with vintage furniture and neon lights, adds to the overall fun atmosphere.
5. Go to a Speakeasy
If you’re looking for a romantic night out with a twist, why not step back in time and experience a speakeasy like the ones from the Prohibition era? Speakeasies are hidden bars that were popular during the 1920s when alcohol was illegal. Nowadays, they offer a fun, secretive atmosphere that’s perfect for a date.
Here are a couple of speakeasies to check out on your next date night in NYC:
- The Back Room: This Lower East Side speakeasy is one of the last prohibition-era speakeasies in the city. To enter, you have to find the secret door disguised as an old toy store. Once inside, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1920s, with dim lighting, vintage décor, and drinks served in teacups.
- Angel’s Share: This East Village bar is a bit more upscale than some other speakeasies, but it’s still worth a visit for a special date night. Hidden inside Hotel Eventi, the bar has a romantic atmosphere with candlelit tables and a live jazz band on some nights. Be sure to try one of their expertly crafted cocktails, like the “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” made with mezcal and grapefruit.
6. Play and Dance at Brooklyn Bowl
If you and your significant other are looking for a fun and lively date night, Brooklyn Bowl is definitely worth considering. This venue offers a unique combination of bowling, delicious food and drinks, and live music.
While Brooklyn Bowl is primarily known for its bowling alley, the venue also features live music performances from a range of local and touring acts, making it an exciting spot to catch a show while enjoying some great food and drinks. Of course, the bowling itself is also a big draw at Brooklyn Bowl. Challenge your partner to a game and see who can come out on top. While you’re bowling, indulge in the mouth-watering menu, which includes everything from brisket to fried chicken. And with a selection of local beers on tap, you’ll have plenty of options for washing it all down.
7. Relax at Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is an iconic park situated in the heart of Greenwich Village. As soon as you step into the park, you’ll be struck by its beauty and tranquility. Take a leisurely stroll around the winding paths, or simply find a bench to sit on and watch the world go by. The central fountain and the grand marble arch are also stunning architectural features, making for great photo opportunities.
One of the best things about Washington Square Park is the eclectic mix of people you’ll encounter here. From business professionals to college students to tourists from all over the world, this park attracts a diverse crowd. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a performance by one of the talented street musicians who often set up here.
Visiting the park in the spring is particularly delightful. After a long, cold winter, the park comes alive with a cheery buzz as locals and tourists alike eagerly flock outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. And if you’re in the mood for a bite to eat, there are plenty of food vendors around the park, offering everything from hot dogs to ice cream.
8. Visit the One World Observatory
Located at the top of the One World Trade Center, the One World Observatory offers unparalleled 360-degree views of the city. The high-speed elevator ride to the top of the building takes less than a minute, and the views from the observation deck are breathtaking. From the top of the tower, you can see all the way to the horizon, taking in iconic sights like the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building.
There is also a range of interactive exhibits and multimedia displays. Learn about the history and culture of New York City, see a virtual time-lapse of the city’s development, and even step out onto a glass Sky Portal that gives you a bird’s-eye view of the streets far below.
9. Go to a Roller Rink
Strap on your skates and take a spin around the rink with your partner. Roller skating is a classic activity that never goes out of style. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, you’ll definitely have a blast as you glide around the rink, showing off your moves and grooving to the music.
Roller skating is a great workout and a fun way to get your heart rate up. For a romantic twist on the classic roller rink experience, consider going during a themed skate night or a special event. From disco-themed nights to blacklight parties, there are plenty of fun and creative ways to make your roller rink date night one to remember.
10. Visit the Hayden Planetarium
The Hayden Planetarium is an iconic planetarium that has been wowing visitors for decades with its stunning displays of planets and stars. It is a must-visit destination for any astronomy lover.
Located within the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium offers visitors a chance to explore the mysteries of the universe through various immersive exhibits, shows, programs, and events. From the awe-inspiring “Dark Universe” show to the interactive “Planetary Interactive Globe,” there’s something for everyone.
11. Take a Stroll at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Taking a stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of the most serene and romantic activities you can do in the city. With over 52 acres of beautifully manicured gardens, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some peace and quiet with your partner.
As you walk through the gardens, you’ll be surrounded by a wide range of plant life, from tropical plants to cacti to cherry trees. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the spring, you’ll be treated to the beautiful sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom, one of the garden’s most popular attractions.
The garden is also home to several specialty gardens. The Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, with its Shinto shrine and wooden bridges, is a particular highlight. The Cranford Rose Garden, Native Flora Garden, and Water Garden are also worth exploring.
12. Watch a Sports Game
If football isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other sports to catch in NYC. The Yankees, Mets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, and Islanders are all professional teams in NYC. It’s a fun opportunity to grab some tasty stadium food and drinks while enjoying the game.
For a unique sports experience, consider attending a live boxing match at Madison Square Garden or a tennis match at the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows. Both events offer an exciting atmosphere that’s hard to match.
No matter what sport you choose, attending a game is a great way to bond with your partner over a shared love for sports, cheer on your favorite team, and create lasting memories.
13. Visit the Empire State Building
If you want an open-air view of Manhattan, visit the observation decks at the Empire State Building. Regular tickets give you access to the observatories on the 80th and 86th floors, where you’ll get panoramic views of Manhattan, The East, the Hudson Rivers, and more. For an additional fee, check out the 102nd-floor observatory, which is 1,250 feet high with floor-to-ceiling windows that give you 360° views.
After enjoying the breathtaking views from the Empire State Building observatories, end your evening with a romantic dinner at the top of the iconic skyscraper. The Empire State Building has several dining options available, with romantic restaurants like the State Grill and Bar on the 33rd floor.
The State Grill and Bar offers a sophisticated vibe and an extensive menu that features fresh seafood, prime meats, and seasonal specialties. The restaurant also has an impressive wine list and creative cocktails that perfectly complement the delicious food.
For an even more romantic evening, consider booking a table during sunset, when the sky is painted with hues of orange, pink, and purple. And if you’re looking for something extra special, you can even arrange a private proposal or anniversary celebration at the restaurant.
14. Watch a Movie at Bryant Park
Blocks away from Time Square and right outside the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is an ideal handout spot for both tourists and locals. More than 12 million people visit the park annually to enjoy the plethora of events happening year-round, including free yoga classes, live music performances, juggling lessons, and more. And if you’re a bookworm, the park has a reading room filled with books and a collection of outdoor reading rooms where you can relax and read in peace.
During the summer, Bryant Park offers free movie nights where visitors can enjoy a classic film under the stars. You can bring a picnic blanket and some snacks or purchase food and drinks from one of the many vendors located in the park. During the winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with an ice-skating rink and a holiday market.
15. Visit the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Founded in 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) is one of the most renowned museums in the world and features more than 2 million artworks spanning over 5,000+ years. Conveniently located in Central Park, the MET is the most visited museum in the city.
Guided tours are available to help couples navigate the extensive collection of artwork, and the museum hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including concerts, lectures, and screenings. There is also a café within the museum where couples can enjoy a romantic lunch or coffee break.
Some must-see pieces include Washington Crossing Delaware, The Temple of Dendur, Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait with a Straw Hat, and Monet’s Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies. However, the museum also features lesser-known but equally impressive works of art worth exploring. The Cantor Rooftop Garden is another highlight, providing panoramic views of Central Park and the surrounding cityscape.
16. Explore The Cloisters
The Cloisters, brought to you by the MET, is an excellent option for couples who want a culturally rich experience. Devoted to medieval Europe, this museum showcases over 2,000 art pieces, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and stained glass.
The Cloisters is made up of four cloisters, each featuring stunning gardens, courtyards, and architecture. The Gothic chapel and the Fuentidueña apse are two must-see exhibits, as they are both filled with incredible artwork memorializing medieval monks and saints.
The Boppard Room is another highlight, featuring exquisite stained-glass windows and intricate tapestries. However, the most famous exhibit is undoubtedly The Unicorn Tapestries, one of the most beautiful and well-preserved tapestry collections in the world.
A unique aspect of The Cloisters is that it is situated in Fort Tryon Park, a vast and beautiful park overlooking the Hudson River. Couples can spend a few hours exploring the museum and then enjoy a romantic picnic or stroll through the park. The park’s landscaped lawns, gardens, and walking paths make for a beautiful and serene outdoor date in the spring or fall.
17. Go on a Dinner Cruise Around NYC
Enjoying a delicious meal while sailing around the city and taking in the awe-inspiring views is one of the most romantic things to do in NYC.
One of the most popular dinner cruises is the Bateaux New York Dinner Cruise. This elegant yacht offers a 3-course meal, live entertainment, and stunning city skyline views. You’ll also see iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty while you dine in style. The atmosphere is sophisticated and refined, making this an ideal date night option for couples looking to dress up and enjoy a night of luxury.
For something more casual, consider the Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise. This three-level ship offers a buffet-style dinner, live entertainment, and equally amazing city skyline views. With large windows and outdoor decks, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in the sights and snap some great photos.
18. Visit the Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is one of the largest metropolitan zoos in the U.S. and one of the most famous in the world. With 265 acres of wildlife habitats, the zoo is home to 6,000+ animals representing more than 700 species from around the globe.
The exhibits span several continents, with animals like sea lions, ebony langurs, leopards, lorikeets, mongooses, lemurs, butterflies, and more. For an extra special experience, you can book a wild encounter where you can get even closer to the animals and learn about their behaviors and habitats from trained professionals. From giraffes to penguins, there are plenty of animals to choose from for your encounter.
19. Watch a Ballet Performance
Attending a ballet performance in the city is a timeless and elegant way to spend an evening with your loved one. The city is home to some of the world’s most talented ballet companies, including the American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet.
The New York City Ballet performs at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, one of the most beautiful theaters in the city. With its grand chandeliers, plush red seats, and gold accents, the theater creates an atmosphere of opulence and sophistication. The New York City Ballet performs classic ballets like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, as well as contemporary works by choreographers like Justin Peck and Christopher Wheeldon.
Watching the dancers move gracefully across the stage, accompanied by the music of Tchaikovsky or Stravinsky, is a truly magical experience. It’s a chance to escape from the chaos of the city and get transported to a world of beauty and artistry.
20. Enjoy the Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is not just a transportation hub but also a must-visit attraction. As soon as you walk in, you’ll get transported back in time to the golden age of rail travel, with its magnificent Beaux-Arts architecture, intricate astronomical ceiling, and grand chandeliers.
You can grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or food vendors in the terminal, such as the famous Oyster Bar or the City Winery. If you’re interested in history, take a guided tour of the terminal to learn about its fascinating past and present. You can also visit the Transit Museum Gallery to see exhibits showcasing the city’s rich history of public transportation. Additionally, visit the Whispering Gallery, where you and your partner can stand at opposite corners of the archway and whisper to each other and hear them perfectly, thanks to the acoustics.
21. Coney Island
Coney Island is one of the most iconic places to visit in New York City, especially during the summer months. With its old-fashioned amusement park rides, colorful boardwalk, and sandy beaches, it’s a perfect place to spend a day with your partner.
Luna Park is the most popular attraction at Coney Island and features classic amusement park rides such as the Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel, and many others. You can also stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Coney Island also has a rich history, dating back to the early 1900s, so if you and your date are history buffs, you may want to check out the Coney Island Museum. It houses a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history and culture of the area.
Be sure to stop by Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs for a quick bite. This iconic eatery has been serving hot dogs since 1916 and is a staple of Coney Island.
22. Walk or Bike Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do, especially at sunset. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and provides pedestrians with incredible views of the East River. Underneath the bridge is Brooklyn Bridge Park, a waterfront park with various food stands, great viewpoints, and plenty of greenery for a lazy afternoon or picnic.
Make sure to check out the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. This walkway runs alongside the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, providing stunning views of the bridge, New York Harbor, and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Another option to explore the area is to join a 2.5-hour guided walking tour that takes you across the Brooklyn Bridge and through the charming DUMBO neighborhood. The tour offers plenty of opportunities to capture photos of DUMBO’s picturesque cobblestone streets, old trolley tracks, and historic architecture. Alternatively, for a more active experience, consider renting a bike to ride across the bridge. With dedicated bike lanes on both sides, this is a fantastic way to discover the city while enjoying an easy ride.
23. Walk the High Line
The High Line is a one-of-a-kind park that spans from the Meatpacking District to Harlem and is free for all to enjoy. It was built on abandoned freight train tracks that were transformed into a park and elevated walkway. Since its opening in 2009, the High Line has become a top attraction, with an average of 8 million visitors annually.
As you stroll along the High Line, you’ll see stunning views of the West Side, the Hudson River, and some of the most beautiful architecture in the area. There are also plenty of lookout points where you can stop and take in the sights.
One of the highlights of the High Line is The Vessel, an impressive observatory made of undulating staircases that offers different views of the city from its various platforms. If you’d like to experience The Vessel, reserve a free ticket beforehand.
If you’re willing to spend a little money, consider taking a walking tour through the High Line and Chelsea Market. This two-hour tour will take you through the food stalls of Chelsea Market and along the High Line while providing insights into the park and the surrounding neighborhood.
24. Lounge at a Rooftop Bar
Lounging at a rooftop bar in New York City is a quintessential date idea, the perfect place to take in incredible views while enjoying delicious food and drinks.
One of the best rooftop bars in NYC is Castell Rooftop Lounge, which offers views of the city lights, great photo ops, and a variety of tapas to try. 230 Fifth is another popular spot with one of the largest outdoor event spaces in the city, a live DJ, and an igloo bar. Mr. Purple at Hotel Indigo on the Lower East Side is another fantastic option with stellar skyline views, a rooftop pool, and a fresh menu featuring local products and craft cocktails. Nearby, JIMMY at Modernhaus SoHo is an intimate rooftop bar with excellent cocktails, trending music, and rooftop views.
You can also visit the Time Out Market in DUMBO, which houses some of the city’s best cult restaurants and food stores. On the top floor, you’ll find the rooftop bar with views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline.
25. See a Broadway Show
Seeing a Broadway Show is one of the top things to do in the Big Apple! The experience of being immersed in a live performance is unforgettable, and the energy and excitement of the Broadway Theatre District are contagious.
Whether you’re a fan of musicals, plays, or other types of performances, there’s something for everyone on Broadway. Some of the most popular shows on Broadway include Hamilton, Wicked, The Lion King, Dear Evan Hansen, and Moulin Rouge.
For a more romantic option, some great choices include The Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, and The Music Man. The historic theaters themselves are also worth admiring, with ornate architecture and stunning details that transport you to another era.
Book your tickets in advance to make the most of your Broadway experience. You can find tickets through the official Broadway websites or third-party sellers, but check reviews and ratings before making a purchase.
If you’re on a tight budget, there are also ways to save on Broadway tickets. The TKTS booth in Times Square offers same-day discounted tickets for select shows, and some theaters offer rush or lottery tickets for a chance to see a show at a lower cost.
The Bottom Line
Whether you decide to take a stroll along Central Park or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, watch a Broadway show, go on a sunset cruise, or enjoy a romantic dinner with your partner, there are plenty of fun date ideas to do in NYC for couples.