Dating in New York is a sport in itself. But a fun one nonetheless.
For me, New York is where my relationship started and I spent 10 months dating in the city and coming up with new and fun ideas to keep things exciting.
Many of the below are date day and nights that I’ve had myself, but with some I need to try out to.
I’m sending my good luck to you with your dating life in New York and I hope you have as much fun dating in this amazing city as I had.
1. Go to a sporting event
Going to a sporting event in New York is a great date idea, especially with the level of entertainment that comes with each game.
Whether it’s a basketball game, baseball, American football or ice hockey, you’re sure to be entertained whilst also getting to know the other person during the down time between plays.
2. See a Broadway show
Seeing a Broadway show is an ideal date night choice, offering world-class entertainment in a romantic and culturally enriching atmosphere. It provides a shared experience, with plenty of opportunity for post-show discussions.
The wide variety of shows allows you to cater to your and your date’s interests, and it’s a memorable occasion that supports the arts. You could also combine it with a romantic dinner, making for a well-rounded and special date night.
See a list of my favourite Broadway Shows here.
3. Go to a comedy night
Going to a comedy night in New York is a fantastic date night idea for its ability to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere through shared laughter (if you’re lucky to have the same sense of humour – could be a little awkward if not).
With a diverse range of comedic styles, it allows you to choose humour that suits you and your date’s preferences. It also serves as a great icebreaker, and is often an affordable and late-night option, making it a well-rounded and enjoyable date choice.
4. Enjoy a jazz night at Cafe Wha
Attending a jazz night in New York City is an excellent idea for a date night as it combines the charm of live music with the city’s rich musical heritage.
Jazz creates a sophisticated and romantic atmosphere, making it an ideal backdrop for a memorable date. It offers a unique cultural experience, and the city boasts numerous iconic jazz venues like Cafe Wha?, providing a wide range of jazz styles to suit different tastes.
You can see my experience at Cafe Wha? on MacDougal Street when I visited the spot for New Year’s Eve in my vlog below:
5. Have a picnic in Central Park
Having a picnic in Central Park offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle while providing a picturesque and romantic setting.
You can enjoy each other’s company amidst lush greenery, scenic landscapes, and the iconic Central Park landmarks. It’s a budget-friendly option that allows you to bring your favourite foods, creating a personalised and intimate dining experience.
The relaxed atmosphere encourages open conversation, fostering a deeper connection between you and your date. Additionally, the park offers a variety of activities like strolling, rowing, or simply people-watching, making it a versatile and memorable date option that celebrates nature and togetherness in the heart of the city.
6. Dumpling-hop in Chinatown
Exploring different dumpling spots in Chinatown is a great idea for a date in New York, providing a unique culinary adventure. It allows you to savour a variety of delicious dumpling styles while being in the vibrant and culturally rich atmosphere of Chinatown.
It’s also budget-friendly, offering a cost-effective way to enjoy a wide variety of dumplings. Additionally, you can combine the food exploration with a leisurely walk through Chinatown’s bustling streets.
7. Make the most of Restaurant Week
Dining out during Restaurant Week in New York is an excellent idea for a date because it allows you to experience the city’s diverse culinary scene at a more affordable price.
You can enjoy a high-quality meal in some of the city’s finest restaurants, often offering prix-fixe menus with multiple courses. This not only presents an opportunity to savour exquisite cuisine but also explore a new restaurant or cuisine type together.
It adds an element of sophistication to your date while maintaining a budget-friendly aspect, making it an accessible way to enjoy a fine dining experience in one of the world’s culinary capitals. Plus, the special atmosphere and menu options create a unique and memorable date night.
8. Spend a day at Coney Island
Heading to Coney Island for a date in New York is an exciting and unique choice. It offers a fun-filled day at the beach, amusement park rides, and a lively boardwalk atmosphere, making it perfect for a playful and adventurous date.
You can enjoy classic attractions like the iconic Cyclone roller coaster and the historic Wonder Wheel, followed by relaxing on the sandy beach or trying out carnival games and enjoying traditional Coney Island snacks like hot dogs.
9. Visit a museum or two
Visiting a museum in New York City is an excellent date idea as it offers a blend of culture, art, and intellectual engagement.
Museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and many others provide a captivating backdrop for meaningful conversations and shared exploration.
The art and historical artefacts spark discussion, reflection, and the opportunity to learn more about each other’s interests. It’s a versatile option, allowing you to choose a museum that aligns with your date’s preferences, whether it’s art, history, science, or any other field.
10. Take in the view and sunset from a rooftop bar
Visiting a rooftop bar in New York City is an excellent date idea for its blend of ambiance and stunning skyline views.
It provides a chic and intimate setting where you can enjoy cocktails or a glass of wine while taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The elevated atmosphere, often with cozy seating and soft lighting, creates a sophisticated and romantic ambiance, making it perfect for a memorable date night.
It encourages relaxed conversation and allows you to enjoy the city’s iconic skyline, offering a unique perspective on the metropolis that can be a captivating backdrop for your date.
Here is a list of my favourite rooftop bars in New York to enjoy the sunset.
11. Spend a day at Governor’s Island
Exploring Governor’s Island is a wonderful date idea in New York due to its serene and scenic ambiance. It offers a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, with lush green spaces, historical sites, and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
You can take a leisurely bike ride or walk through the island, visit art installations, enjoy a picnic, or take part in various recreational activities like mini-golf or hammock lounging. This peaceful, yet vibrant setting provides a charming backdrop for quality time together.
12. Show off your ice skating skills
Ice skating in New York City is a delightful and romantic date idea, particularly during the winter season.
The city’s iconic ice skating rinks like Rockefeller Center and Central Park provide a picturesque and festive atmosphere, with the city’s dazzling holiday lights as a backdrop.
It’s an active and enjoyable way to spend quality time together, and can make for a funny time if neither of you are very good.
Ice skating is suitable for all skill levels, making it accessible and fun for couples of various backgrounds. The charming setting and the opportunity to warm up with hot cocoa or a meal afterward make it a quintessential and memorable winter date in the heart of the city.
13. Browse a Christmas market
Visiting a Christmas market in New York is a fantastic date idea, especially during the holiday season. These markets, such as the one in Union Square or Bryant Park, offer a magical, festive ambiance with twinkling lights, holiday decorations, and the scent of seasonal treats in the air.
You can stroll hand in hand, browse unique handmade gifts and crafts, and indulge in delicious holiday treats like hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies. It’s a heartwarming experience, making it a perfect choice for a special, holiday-themed date night in the heart of the city.
14. Compete at Chelsea Piers
Exploring Chelsea Piers is a great date idea in New York because it offers a mix of recreational activities and beautiful waterfront views.
The location provides opportunities for activities like ice skating, rock climbing, golf, and bowling, making it a versatile choice for active or adventurous couples. The scenic backdrop of the Hudson River and the city skyline adds a romantic touch, and you can easily combine your visit with a meal or a leisurely walk along the Hudson River Park.
Chelsea Piers offers a blend of fun and relaxation, making it an engaging and picturesque date option in the city.
15. Stroll around the Bronx Botanical Gardens
Visiting the Bronx Botanical Gardens is an excellent date idea in New York for its enchanting blend of natural beauty, an escape from the concrete jungle.
It provides a serene and picturesque setting for a peaceful and romantic date. Strolling hand in hand through the gardens, including the stunning Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. The variety of plant collections and seasonal exhibitions offers diverse experiences throughout the year.
The gardens also host events, workshops, and exhibitions, so make sure to check the calendar for something that may make your visit even more special. Overall, the Bronx Botanical Gardens offer a charming, educational, and tranquil atmosphere, making it an ideal date location in the heart of New York.
Just check if your date has any pollen allergies or hayfever before you go.
16. Kayak along the Hudson River
Kayaking on the Hudson River is a perfect date idea in New York in the summer as it combines adventure with breathtaking waterfront views.
It offers a unique and active experience that can strengthen the connection between you and your date. Paddling along the river while taking in the city’s iconic skyline is both exhilarating and serene, providing a memorable backdrop for your date.
Additionally, many kayaking facilities offer this activity for free or at a low cost, making it an accessible and budget-friendly option for an enjoyable and refreshing date.
17. Eat your way around Arthur Avenue, the real Little Italy
Exploring Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is an excellent date idea in New York due to its authentic and rich Italian culture.
Often referred to as the “real Little Italy,” Arthur Avenue offers a delightful and unique culinary and cultural experience. You can visit traditional Italian bakeries, markets, and family-owned restaurants, savouring authentic Italian cuisine like fresh pasta, cannoli, and artisanal cheeses.
The ambiance is welcoming and charming, creating a relaxed atmosphere for a meaningful date. The opportunity to stroll through the vibrant neighbourhood and enjoy the rich flavours, aromas, and heritage of Italian cuisine makes Arthur Avenue a memorable and culturally enriching date choice in the heart of the Bronx.
Not ideal if your date is lactose or gluten intolerant.
18. Row across Central Park Lake
Rowing on Central Park Lake is a wonderful date idea in New York, offering a blend of outdoor adventure and romantic tranquility.
It allows you to take in the natural beauty of Central Park while working together in a shared physical activity (make sure your date does the heavy lifting while you take in the scenery), enhancing the connection between you and your date.
The serene setting, with the iconic Bow Bridge and cityscape as a backdrop, adds to the romantic atmosphere. It’s a unique and leisurely way to enjoy the city’s green oasis while creating lasting memories on the water.
19. Take a cooking class together
Taking a cooking class as a date offers a blend of learning, creativity, and shared experiences. It encourages collaboration as you work together to prepare a meal, fostering a sense of partnership and communication.
The hands-on nature of the class allows you to explore your culinary skills while under the guidance of an expert, making it an engaging and educational activity. Plus, you get to enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor, creating a rewarding and memorable meal together.
Cooking classes are often available in a variety of cuisines, allowing you to tailor the experience to your and your date’s tastes, and they provide a fun and interactive way to connect and create a lasting shared memory.
20. Enjoy a sunset cruise along the Hudson River
Taking a sunset cruise is a perfect date idea in New York as it combines romance, relaxation, and stunning views.
With the city’s iconic skyline as a backdrop, it’s easy to have a picturesque and romantic experience. Watching the sun set over the water is a breathtaking sight, creating a memorable and intimate atmosphere for your date.
It’s a leisurely way to unwind, enjoy each other’s company, and bask in the beauty of the city, making it an ideal choice for a memorable and romantic date night.
Hopefully you’ll find something suitable in this list for your date day or night in New York City, and if you have any more suggestions that I may have missed – feel free to add to the comments below!