anniversary in NYC

Anniversary In NYC: 35+ Romantic Ways To Celebrate (From A Local!)

Dale P.Discover NYC, Romance Leave a Comment

By Dale P. This guide to planning an anniversary celebration in New York City contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Looking for the best ways to celebrate your anniversary in NYC?

Then you’re in the right place!

There are so many romantic things to do in New York City for couples. Whether you’ve been dating for one year or married for 10, these are the perfect ideas for a memorable anniversary.

Going beyond typical anniversary plans, this list will show you the most unique ways to celebrate an anniversary in NYC — with a few traditional options mixed in for fun, as well!

Keep reading to discover truly unforgettable options for commemorating your love this year!

Want beautiful photos taken of you for your anniversary? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Citywide Ideas For An Anniversary In NYC

1. Book a romantic NYC photoshoot

Want to go beyond NYC anniversary restaurants to do something really memorable? Book a couples photoshoot in NYC!

Your photoshoot comes with a pre-shoot call to go over exactly what you hope to get out of the experience. You’re also welcome to supply your photographer with example photos that can help bring your vision to life.

To see recent photo examples, you can visit us on Instagram (@NYCPhotoTour).

Note: We also do NYC engagement shoots if you’re getting married soon!

2. Book a private NYC photo tour

Visiting NYC for your anniversary? A private NYC Photo Journey is the perfect way to see the city while having professional photos snapped of you and your love.

Choose one of our suggested itineraries, or have our team customize something for you.

To see recent photo examples, you can visit us on Instagram (@NYCPhotoTour).

anniversary in NYC photoshoot
Couple on a photoshoot with NYC Photo Journeys. Click here to view photoshoot packages.

3. Sign up for a unique class

If you’re looking for something unique to do for your anniversary in NYC, consider signing you and your beau up for a class to learn a skill or simply try something new. A few recommendations include:

  • EatWith for unique culinary classes, food tours, and in-home meals
  • League of Kitchens to cook in the homes of grandmas from around the world
  • Trapeze School New York to learn the aerial arts
  • Eat Village Hats to master hatmaking
  • Painting Lounge for BYOB paint classes

You can also peruse the catalogs of schools that offer an array of class types, like 92Y and Brooklyn Brainery, that offer fun anniversary ideas for curious couples.

Anniversary Ideas In Manhattan

4. Picnic in Central Park

One of the most romantic anniversary ideas in NYC is having a picnic in Central Park.

Sheep Meadow or the Great Lawn are two grassy areas popular with picnickers, or you can find a more secluded and romantic spot near Belvedere Castle.

If you’d rather go somewhere else, check out these other underrated picnic spots in NYC. Keep in mind, there are over 1700 parks in New York City, so you’re certainly not limited in options!

5. Take in an epic view from an NYC observation deck

Nothing screams romance in NYC like taking in an incredible view. Luckily, there are many places to do this in New York — like the observation decks. These include:

While each of the above offers a memorable experience and fun date ideas, our personal favorite observation deck is SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, which offers three floors of fun!

Along with absolutely epic views of the cityscape — including closeups of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building — there are interactive art experiences and a cute cafe serving light bites and cocktails at the top.

Definitely allot an extra hour to sit here to savor the view over some food and drink!

romantic NYC view from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
View of the Empire State Building from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Phot via Jessie Festa.

6. Go on a dinner cruise

If you’re looking for unique anniversary dinner ideas in NYC, why not consider a dinner cruise?

This dinner cruise allows you to sail around Manhattan by night and admire the city lights and skyline while enjoying a three-course dinner and live jazz entertainment.

It offers one of the best Manhattan skyline tours you can book and is sure to be a memorable and romantic experience.

7. Go to a jazz club

If you’re looking for romantic things to do in New York City for your anniversary, spend an evening at an intimate jazz club.

This is one of the most romantic things to do in Manhattan as you enjoy live jazz over candlelight with your significant other. Some of the best jazz clubs in the city can be found in Greenwich Village and Harlem, like:

  • Smalls Jazz Club (183 W 10th St)
  • Village Vanguard (178 7th Ave S)
  • Ginny’s Supper Club (310 Malcolm X Blvd)

8. Helicopter tour over Manhattan

A helicopter tour over Manhattan is one of the most unique NYC anniversary ideas.

This helicopter tour will take you high above the city as you soar over famous landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty from above.

This is a truly unforgettable thing to do in NYC for couples.

couple in NYC taking in an aerial view of Manhattan and Central Park
See NYC from above on a helicopter tour. Photo via Jermaine Ee/Unsplash.

9. Bike ride in Central Park

Taking a romantic bike ride through Central Park is one of the best cute things to do in NYC for couples.

You can visit some of the top Central Park photo spots — like the Gapstow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace — while biking around this beautiful urban oasis.

Getting married soon? These places are also amazing engagement photo locations in NYC.

10. Enjoy dinner at La Grenouille

La Grenouille is one of the best anniversary restaurants in NYC if you are looking for a memorable experience.

This elegant French restaurant is located in Midtown East and offers an intimate and romantic environment, making it the perfect place to celebrate your anniversary.

The restaurant’s location also makes it a popular spot to eat an early dinner before catching a Broadway show. On many nights, there’s live music.

11. Evening at The Met

Another one of the best activities in NYC for couples is spending an evening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side.

On Friday nights from 5 PM until 9 PM, the museum has “Date Night at The Met” with drinks and live music.

Additionally, during the summer months, the museum’s rooftop bar is open.

sculptures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Spend a romantic evening at The Met. Photo via Mattieu Joannon/Unsplash.

12. Go ice skating

Ice skating is one of the best winter date ideas in NYC. This is one of the top NYC anniversary date ideas if your anniversary falls during the colder months.

Some of the best places to go ice skating in New York include Wollman Rink in Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and the Bryant Park Winter Village.

13. Have a night at the opera

For a unique and memorable anniversary celebration in NYC, get all dressed up and spend an evening at the opera.

The Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center is a renowned venue for opera and has a regular schedule of performances throughout the year.

14. Sup drinks at a rooftop bar

For a romantic night in NYC, check out one of Manhattan’s many rooftop bars. This is a great way to spend the evening of your anniversary.

You can take in the city lights and NYC skyline while you toast to another anniversary.

A few top picks include:

  • Manhatta (28 Liberty St)
  • The Skylark (200 W. 39th St)
  • FREEHOLD Rooftop (145 E. 39th St)
  • Upstairs at the Kimberly (145 E 50th St)
  • Castell Rooftop Lounge (260 W 40th St)

Want beautiful photos taken of you for your anniversary? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

15. Rent rowboats in Central Park

There are so many things to do in Central Park for couples, and renting rowboats from the Loeb Boathouse is one of the best romantic things to do in NYC.

You can row around The Lake in Central Park with your sweetheart and take in iconic sights like Bow Bridge and the Manhattan skyline surrounding the park.

couple rowing boats in Central Park during an anniversary in NYC
Rowboats in Central Park are a romantic way to spend your anniversary. Photo via Harry Gillen/Unsplash.

16. Check out the Cloisters

The Met Cloisters is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Located in the far reaches of Upper Manhattan, the Cloisters is a museum dedicated to medieval art, and it will make you feel like you’ve stepped into an ancient European monastery.

After visiting the museum, don’t miss strolling around scenic Fort Tryon Park, which is home to some of the best trails in Manhattan.

Visiting both of these attractions makes for the perfect romantic day in New York!

17. See a ballet performance

If you’re looking for fun things to do in NYC for couples, spend the evening at a ballet performance at Lincoln Center. This is one of the most romantic things to do in NYC for an anniversary and an elegant night out.

The New York City Ballet has regular productions throughout the year, and during December you can catch a performance of the holiday classic The Nutcracker.

18. Have a boozy brunch

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your anniversary that isn’t going out for dinner, why not consider doing a boozy brunch instead?

For something worthy of an anniversary celebration, a few recommendations include:

  • Milk & Roses (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)
  • Ainslie (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
  • Sotto 13 (West Village, Manhattan)

You can also check out these other top picks for bottomless brunch in NYC.

couple in NYC out on a boozy brunch date
Go out for a boozy brunch to celebrate. Photo via Colin Michel/Unsplash.

19. Enjoy dinner at One If By Land, Two If By Sea

Another one of the best NYC anniversary restaurants is One If By Land, Two If By Sea, a top pick on any list of most romantic places.

This unique restaurant is located downtown in Greenwich Village in a historic carriage house, which lends to its intimate and romantic atmosphere.

With brick walls, glowing chandeliers, and an upscale American menu, this is a great spot for an anniversary dinner.

Anniversary Ideas In Brooklyn

20. Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge

When it comes to romantic activities, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic sights in New York City, and walking across it is a fun thing to do as a couple.

Strolling across the 1.1-mile-long Brooklyn Bridge provides some of the best views in NYC for free. It’s also a great way to capture beautiful Brooklyn Bridge photography up close.

Start in Manhattan and finish in Brooklyn, where you can then head over to nearby DUMBO and get something to eat at Time Out Market — which also has a rooftop — or just admire the waterfront views.

By the way, the Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO are popular options for a New York City photoshoot!

21. Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Another one of the best places for couples to go in NYC is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

It’s an activity you can do year-round, enjoying colorful blooms in the spring and summer, vibrant foliage in the fall, and holiday light displays in the winter.

They also host an array of fun annual events, like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Chile Pepper Festival, which allows you to sample a wide array of spicy delights — from spicy pickles to habanero chocolate and beyond.

spring blooms in New York City
Visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a romantic activity. Photo via Qihai Weng/Unsplash.

22. Enjoy dinner and a movie

A great way to spend your anniversary in Brooklyn is to enjoy dinner and a movie at Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn. There are two locations, one in Williamsburg and one in Prospect Park.

You can order dinner and drinks and have them delivered directly to your ultra-plush theater seats while you enjoy a movie.

Nitehawk Cinema is an independent theater that mainly shows foreign films, award winners, cult classics, and art films. You can also choose your flick by series, whether you’re interested in music-driven movies, low-budget yet resourceful films, or even a pick from their “Anniversary” series.

23. Spend a day at Coney Island

If you’re looking for fun and unique anniversary activities in NYC, spend the day at Coney Island.

This is one of the best summer date ideas in New York and is perfect if your anniversary falls during the warmer months.

Ride the Ferris wheel and other amusement park rides at Luna Park, lay out on the beach, stroll along the Riegelmann Boardwalk, and get a hot dog from the original Nathan’s Famous.

Coney Island is also home to some of New York City’s best pizza joints, like Totonno’s and Di Farina Pizzeria.

24. Go for a romantic wander

There are many great places to walk in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Heights is a particularly romantic neighborhood and you can enjoy a scenic waterfront stroll along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Or take a walk in Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, which is the perfect place for a romantic stroll with your sweetheart.

Love architecture? Don’t miss walking hand in hand through one of Brooklyn’s many historic districts — like the Cobble Hill Historic District featuring hundreds of Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne style row houses from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Keep in mind, there are also some excellent New York City architectural tours if you’d like a guide!

25. Have dinner at River Cafe

One of the best restaurants for an anniversary in NYC is River Cafe, which is located on the waterfront in Brooklyn.

This romantic restaurant has incredible views over the East River toward the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline.

The menu at River Cafe is New American. The restaurant also has a great ambiance, making it perfect for an unforgettable anniversary dinner. It’s truly one of the most romantic places you can pick for a fantastic meal with your special someone.

Want beautiful photos taken of you for your anniversary? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Anniversary Ideas In Queens

26. Check out the MoMA PS1

One of the best things to do for couples in Queens is to visit MoMA PS1.

MoMA PS1 is part of the Museum of Modern Art, showcasing some of the world’s most impressive contemporary pieces.

Located in an old school building in Long Island City, this museum is a great place to go for an art-filled afternoon date. Make sure to also check their event calendar to see what they have going on.

27. Spend an evening at JFK

Going to the airport may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “romantic anniversary in NYC”; however, spending time at the TWA Hotel is one of the most unique things to do for an anniversary.

Located at John F. Kennedy International Airport, this hotel — along with its restaurant and bar — is themed to the glamorous Mad Men era of the 1960s in New York.

Dress up in your most dapper attire and enjoy some dinner, drinks, and maybe even a stay in one of their themed rooms. They also have a rooftop pool!

common spaces within the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport
Step back in time at the TWA Hotel. Photo via Max Harlynking/Unsplash.

28. Go rock climbing

Another one of the best things to do for couples in NYC is to go rock climbing. This is a great way to challenge yourselves and have fun trying a new activity.

The Cliffs at LIC is the largest indoor rock climbing gym in New York City and is a fun place to go on a unique anniversary date with your significant other. Don’t worry if you’re new to the sport, as they offer instruction.

Not only that, but you can also take their Acro Yoga Class, which involves working with your partner to do fun and challenging poses — including flying poses!

29. Have dinner at SHI

If you’re looking for a romantic anniversary restaurant in Queens, look no further than SHI.

This upscale Asian fusion restaurant is located in a high-rise building with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline across the East River.

The restaurant has an elegant and romantic atmosphere, making it the ideal place to celebrate your anniversary and have a great meal while admiring the city lights and skyline views.

Anniversary Ideas In The Bronx

30. Catch a baseball game

Looking for fun spring date ideas in New York? One of the best couples activities in NYC is catching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium!

If your anniversary falls in the spring, break out some matching baseball caps and split a hot dog while you watch a game of America’s favorite pastime.

couple watching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium for their anniversary in NYC
Watching a Yankees game is a fun date idea. Photo via Dan Gold/Unsplash.

31. Visit Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center

Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center is a romantic NYC hidden gem located in The Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale.

This is the perfect place to go for couples who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

You can stroll through the gardens and admire the views of the Hudson River and New Jersey Palisades.

32. Visit the New York Botanical Garden

If you’re looking for things to do for couples in New York, spend an afternoon at the New York Botanical Garden for a fun and romantic experience.

This sprawling garden in The Bronx is the perfect place to go in the springtime to see the flowers in bloom, or during the autumn when the fall leaves are changing colors.

33. Enjoy lunch or dinner at Hudson Garden Grill

Having lunch or dinner at this restaurant ties in nicely with the idea above.

Hudson Garden Grill is an elegant restaurant located inside the New York Botanical Garden, and it’s a great place for an anniversary meal.

You can sit down for a late lunch or an early dinner at this American restaurant after you spend the day strolling through the beautiful gardens — the perfect way to end a romantic anniversary.

Want beautiful photos taken of you for your anniversary? Book a Private Photo Journey, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through a Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Anniversary Ideas In Staten Island

34. Visit Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

One of the best anniversary activities in NYC is visiting Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden on Staten Island.

You can reach this tranquil and scenic garden via the free Staten Island Ferry, which departs from Manhattan and offers some of the best free views in NYC.

In fact, it offers stunning views of the Statue of Liberty along the way, making it a great romantic experience in itself. You can even buy wine and beer before your board for a little DIY cruise!

35. Have dinner at Angelina’s Ristorante

If you’re looking for the best restaurant for an anniversary dinner on Staten Island, try Angelina’s Ristorante.

This upscale Italian eatery has a romantic atmosphere and is the perfect place to celebrate your special day.

The elegant restaurant is located on the Staten Island waterfront inside a historic mansion, where you can enjoy amazing views and delicious pasta dishes.

Romantic Tours In NYC

Looking for a guided tour that is geared toward couples in New York City? A few recommendations:

Click here for a full list of New York City tours.

Best Romantic Hotels in NYC

There are many great hotels for couples in NYC. A few of our favorite romantic properties include:

The William Vale Hotel (Williamsburg). If you’re searching for romantic experiences in NYC, look no further than this luxury hotel featuring contemporary decor, delicious food, beautiful views, and a gorgeous 360-degree rooftop.

The Ludlow Hotel (Lower East Side). For some romance in Manhattan, book a stay at this opulent hotel known for its modern rooms and epic views. It’s also got an amazing location within walking distance of great bars, restaurants, and music venues, making it easy to find romantic things to do in NYC nearby.

Crosby Street Hotel (SoHo). Romantic ideas in NYC abound, especially if you book this stunning hotel. Along with rooms that feature enormous windows showcasing gorgeous views over SoHo and Lower Manhattan, couples can enjoy onsite experiences like a bar and terrace, sculpture garden, rooftop kitchen garden, movie theater, and more.

Click here for a full list of romantic NYC hotels.

You can also click here or view the map below to peruse local properties and rentals. It’s set to the West Village, but you can easily change it to your preferred New York neighborhood:

New York City Travel Insurance

When visiting New York City — or anywhere else in the world — it’s wise to get travel insurance.

One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

What are your favorite ways to spend an anniversary in NYC?

About the Author

Dale P.

Dale is a native New Yorker and an NYC-based travel writer and blogger. She loves sharing insider tips about New York City travel and other destinations with others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.