42 Fun Activities In NYC For Couples (By A Local!)

Dale P.Bronx, Discover NYC, Explore Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Romance, Staten Island 2 Comments

By Jessie Festa & Charlotte Dow. This guide to fun date ideas in NYC contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Searching for fun activities in NYC for couples that go beyond drinks at your local bar?

Whether you’re searching for a unique spot for a first date or somewhere fresh to take your long-term partner for a romantic night, you’ll find plenty of options in New York City.

Actually, the city is packed to the brim with great places for dates, so much so that the number of choices can feel a little overwhelming.

Don’t fret! As local New Yorkers, we’ve put together a list of some of the best date night activities in NYC to help take the guesswork out of planning your next night (or day) out.

From early morning dance parties to photo tours to baking classes, the city has something for every kind of couple.

You’ll be sure to find an idea to give you and your partner an experience to remember, whether you’re looking for a fun date or to celebrate an anniversary in New York!

Table of Contents

Fun Activities In NYC For Couples Citywide

nyc romantic activities for couples
A couple on a private NYC Photo Journey. Click here to learn more + book!

1. Book a private NYC photo tour or photoshoot

Taking a photo tour or photoshoot is one of the best things to do in New York for couples.

On a private NYC Photo Journey, you and your sweetheart will get a two-in-one experience.

Part tour, part photo shoot, visit fascinating places in New York City with a licensed sightseeing guide who is also a professional photographer.

In each spot, you’ll get gorgeous photos taken — all of which will be sent to you via downloadable digital folder within a week of your tour.

Want to maximize the amount of photos, looks, and poses you get, and don’t necessarily care about sightseeing? Then check out our Professional NYC Photoshoots, which also come with a pre-shoot call to go over exactly what you want to get out of the session.

Getting married soon? We also do New York City Engagement Photoshoots!

You can see an example of our work above, though feel free to also follow us on Instagram @nycphototour for more.

Questions? Send an email to [email protected].

2. Get artistic and tipsy at a BYOB paint night

Looking for fun couples classes in NYC? Try a BYOB paint night!

There are a number of companies that host these nights, though one we’ve tried and loved is The Painting Lounge, which has locations in Chelsea, Midtown, Harlem, and Williamsburg.

Look at the calendar to see what is being painted on any given night, and book what speaks to you.

Then on the night of your experience, pick up your favorite bottle of vino and head to the class.

Whether you’re a natural Picasso or can barely color in the lines, the instructor will guide you and your beau in creating a masterpiece to be proud of.

If you live together, it’s a great way to create a truly meaningful piece of art for your space.

Pro tip:

This makes for an especially great unique winter date in NYC, as you can escape the cold while having a great time.

3. Dance the morning away at New York’s hottest pre-dawn party

Morning people and night owls alike love Daybreaker, a monthly early morning dance party designed to boost your mood and start your day on the right foot.

Parties are held at various locations throughout the city like the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg and the Paradise Club in Times Square, making it a great way for adventurous couples to see the city.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Manhattan Date Ideas

4. Get a taste of Havana in the heart of Greenwich Village

Aside from a full menu of Cuban, Latin and Spanish favorites, Cuba Restaurant and Rum Bar offers hand-rolled cigars and live music on weekend evenings, putting it high on our list of date night ideas in NYC. Definitely add this to your New York City itinerary.

5. Explore a colorful playground built for all ages

Color Factory’s NYC location has dominated Instagram over the last few years.

And for good reason.

With tons of colorful rooms and installations to explore, it’s the perfect place for you and your honey to reconnect with your inner children while snapping some grid-worthy pics.

This is truly one of the best Instagram spots in NYC!

fun activities in nyc for couples include kayaking
One of the best NYC experiences for couples is seeing NYC by boat – why not share one with your partner? Image via bones64.

6. See the sites of Lower Manhattan from a kayak

The Downtown Boathouse offers free (yes, free!) kayak rentals from Pier 26 at Hudson River Park from May to October.

A quick trip on the Hudson in a double kayak is a great way to see the city while bonding with your boo.


This experience also allows you to take in some of the best views in NYC for free!

Oh, and if you like adventure, there are also some great hiking trails in Manhattan as well as some scenic hikes on Long Island.

Or, if you’re looking for a weekend getaway, the vistas from atop the Mount Van Hoevenberg summit as well as Mount Marcy summit — both located in the Adirondacks — are breathtaking.

7. Satisfy your sweet tooth while learning some new baking skills

Known for their uniquely delicious cakes and cookies (Crack Cookie, anyone?), Milk Bar will show you how to build one of their iconic treats at their flagship location in NoMad.

Their Birthday Cake Class has quickly become one of the most popular couples cooking classes in NYC.

8. Chat over a bowl of ratatouille after an evening of French cinema

Some of the most fun things for couples to do in NYC involve entertainment, and this pick is no different.

The Metrograph hosts a wide array of movie screenings, from new releases to international classics, complemented by a chic restaurant and bar inspired by the studio commissaries of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

A rom-com and a cocktail or two will definitely have you feeling the romance in NYC.

fun activities in nyc for couples include acro-yoga
Love will really lift you up at an Om Factory class. Photo courtesy of Om Factory. Models: @theacroflyer and @tinymetalfire

9. Partner up and join the (very zen) circus in an AcroYoga class

Acroyoga is one of the best indoor activities in NYC for couples.

This style of fitness class offered at Om Factory in Union Square blends acrobatics and yoga poses to help you and your partner feel invigorated and connected in a new way.

It’s the perfect date idea for active couples looking for new ways to move, unique yoga and wellness retreats, fun wellness travel experiences, or just to learn a few fun tricks to show off at a party.

You can also take what you learn and then create your own DIY yoga retreat at home!

10. Spin some vinyl at one of the best secret romantic places in NYC

Modeled after Japan’s record bars, Tokyo Record Bar is an underground listening room and restaurant where music fans can listen to their favorite tracks on a vinyl jukebox over a specially paired menu of izakaya snacks.

Be sure to make a reservation, as this 18-seat restaurant only offers a few seatings a night. It’s also a popular spot to celebrate a birthday in NYC.

11. See a Broadway Show

When it comes to fun things to do in NYC as a couple, you really can’t beat seeing a Broadway show. And whether you’re planning a 4-day NYC itinerary or just a day trip or afternoon, it’s an absolute must-do.

The Theater District in Times Square is home to 39 Broadway theaters, all of which put on top-notch performances, from musicals to comedy shows to dramas and beyond.

If you want to snag discount tickets for your romantic night out, visit a TKTS Booth to score deals on unsold seats for the day. Just arrive early to the booth, as the line gets long!

Looking for a fun spin on this classic New York date idea? Opt for one of these Broadway-themed walking tours, some of which take you behind the curtain to explore famous theaters.

governors island nyc
Taking in a gorgeous view of Manhattan from Governors Island with my love. Photo via NYC Photo Journey’s founder Jessie Festa.

12. Cuddle in a hammock on an island just minutes from Lower Manhattan

One of the top NYC photo spots, Governors Island, has been a favorite of New Yorkers and tourists alike since it opened to the public in the early 2000s.

Today, it boasts a 30-acre park for all ages to enjoy.

A highlight of the park is the Hammock Grove, the perfect place to curl up with your date after a long day of exploring the island. It’s one of the best picnic spots in NYC, as is Picnic Point, another location on Governors Island with incredible views of the Statue of Liberty.

13. Explore the art of the Himalayan regions in the heart of the Meatpacking District

The Rubin Museum is home to incredible works from Himalayan artists and experts to enlighten you on the history of the region.

For one of the best cheap dates in NYC, head to The Rubin on a Friday night after 6 PM for free admission.

This is truly one of the best budget-friendly experiences in New York City.

14. Rent a row boat in Central Park

One of the most fun things to do in New York for couples is renting a row boat in Central Park. Row boats are available for rent by the hour from the Central Park Boathouse.

This is a fun and romantic activity that will allow you to see this iconic park from a different perspective as you row your way across The Lake and take in beautiful views of the skyline and Bow Bridge.

15. Channel characters from Mad Men over elegant, mid-century-inspired cocktails

Once the private office and reception hall of financier John William Campbell, The Campbell Bar now serves classic cocktails in a beautiful lounge tucked away in Grand Central Terminal.

The low lighting and plush seats perfectly set the mood for romance in NYC.

Pro tip: Pair your Old Fashioned with a Secrets Of Grand Central tour!

16. Treat your partner to a little chill time in SoHo

Chillhouse, a millennial-friendly day spa and self-care haven, offers massages for two at their SoHo flagship location.

Their double rooms are even equipped with their own tea stations for an extra indulgent experience.

This is one of the top things to do in SoHo!

17. Split a bottle of wine and some traditional Italian eats in the West Village

Aria Wine Bar’s cozy atmosphere and extensive wine list make it the perfect place to get to know a first date or linger with a long-term partner.

Plus, with dishes averaging at about $12 each, it’s one of the most inexpensive romantic restaurants in NYC.

By the way, this is only one of many fun things to do in the West Village. We recommend spending a full day in this neighborhood, if possible.

fun activities in NYC for couples at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Cocktail with a view at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. Photo via Jessie Festa.

18. Take in the views from an NYC observation deck

If you’re looking for cute date ideas in NYC, check out some of the observation decks offering gorgeous vistas of the city. These include:

  • The Empire State Building. If you’re looking for the best date ideas in NYC, you can’t go wrong with this classic experience, which allows you to take in gorgeous views from the 86th and 102nd floors.
  • The Edge. Located in Hudson Yards, this romantic observation deck features beautiful views stretching in front of you as well as a section of translucent flooring for views below. For an adventure, opt to add on the City Climb, where you and your sweetheart will scale a skyscraper over 1,200 feet and then lean out over the abyss.
  • One World Observatory. See NYC from a 100th-floor viewing deck and from atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

While all of the above are fun couple activities in NYC, our personal favorite pick is SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, which features three floors of fun.

Along with jaw-dropping views of New York landmarks like the Chrysler Building, there are interactive art experiences along the way — not to mention a romantic cafe and bar at the top with a prime view of the Empire State Building. Visiting this eatery is one of the most fun things to do as a couple in NYC!

19. Try your hand (or foot?) at a roller disco at Rockefeller Center

While you may know that Rockefeller Center has a seasonal ice skating rink, perfect when exploring NYC in winter, did you know that in warmer months they feature a retro roller rink?

Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace takes you back in time, and they even have a vintage skate shop if you’d like to dress up for your skating session. The Flipper’s brand actually dates back to the 1970s, and you’ll be able to purchase the classic ankle-height four-wheel “quads” skaters loved to wear at the original roller rink.

Exploring the beautiful Fort Tryon Park in NYC. Video by Jessie Festa.

20. Have a picnic in Fort Tryon Park

Located all the way uptown, Fort Tryon Park is a picturesque oasis overlooking the Hudson River. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic if you’re looking for romantic things to do in NYC.

After your picnic, head to the Met Cloisters, a museum in the park that looks like a medieval European fortress. It’s home to an amazing collection of medieval art and architecture.

21. Get a couples spa treatment at AIRE Ancient Baths

Looking for unique date ideas in NYC? Then check out the AIRE Ancient Baths in Tribeca.

Here, you and your special someone will enjoy an experience inspired by the ancient Roman, Greek, and Ottoman civilizations, with steam rooms and baths featuring a variety of water temperatures and sensation elements.

They offer a number of rituals specifically for couples, like the “Love Connection” — a 45-minute full body massage enhanced by sandalwood oil and amethyst crystals followed by time to relax in their Ancient Thermal Baths.

Talk about memorable and fun date ideas in New York City!

22. Go on a literary-inspired date

If you’re a bookworm, this is one of the best things for couples to do in New York.

Have a literary-inspired date by visiting the Morgan Library & Museum on a Friday night — it’s free from 5pm-7pm — and then head to Book Club, a cozy bookstore-slash-bar.

Or go on a book-shopping date together at one of NYC’s best bookstores, like The Strand or McNally Jackson.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Date Ideas In Brooklyn

couple partying at House of Yes in Brooklyn
Partying at House of Yes. Photo via Jessie Festa.

23. Throw on some glitter and let your freak flag fly in Bushwick

A night at House of Yes, known around the world for its boundary-pushing shows and colorful DJ nights, may seem like one of the more weird date ideas in NYC.

But if you and your partner love to dance into the wee hours of the morning and see some of the wildest outfits in the five boroughs, this is the place for you.

24. Have dinner (and catch a movie!) at Nitehawk Cinema

With two locations in Brooklyn, one in Williamsburg and the other in Prospect Park, Nitehawk Cinema is the perfect place to go for a Brooklyn date night.

This upscale movie theater allows you to order dinner and cocktails right from your seat and have them delivered by waiters before the show starts. With a yummy menu and comfortable reclining seats, this is the ultimate indulgent movie-going experience.

In addition to first-run blockbusters, Nitehawk Cinema also shows foreign films, cult classics, and special showings of award-nominated movies and shorts.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo via Jessie Festa.

25. Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Featuring 52 acres of natural beauty, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the perfect spot if you’re looking for romantic date ideas in NYC.

The attraction is home to numerous themed gardens, whether you want to stop and smell the roses in the Fragrance Garden, take a literary-themed plant walk in the Shakespeare Garden, or learn about local plants in the Native Flora Garden.

Plus, they offer one of the best walking tours of Brooklyn within the attraction.

Bonus: It’s right next to Prospect Park if you’d like to continue wandering in nature.

26. Eat your way through Smorgasburg

If you’re looking for fun (and tasty!) things to do in New York as a couple, hit up Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.

This outdoor food festival takes place on Saturdays in Williamsburg and Sundays in Prospect Park every weekend from April through October.

With more than 100 food vendors to choose from, this is the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon together. Skip breakfast and come hungry!

having drinks at Westlight is one of the most fun activities in NYC for couples
Taking in the view from Westlight – a fun date idea for couples in NYC! Photo via Jessie Festa.

27. Take in a Manhattan skyline view from Westlight

Located in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, Westlight is a beautiful cocktail bar showcasing even more beautiful views that is perfect for couples looking for a fun date night in NYC.

This year-round lounge has a wrap-around deck offering 360-degree views of New York City. In the warmer months, you can sit outside, while in cooler months you can put on a coat to go out and take in the views or simply gaze out through the bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

Drink recommendation:

The “Amber Glow” featuring El Silencio Mezcal, Grand Marnier, Aperol, orange, and Thai chili. Yum!

28. Kick your average pizza night up a notch in Greenpoint

Featuring a mouthwatering selection of pies and plenty of vegan options, Paulie Gee’s is the perfect place to enjoy a few slices with your sweetie.

The cozy ambiance also makes it one of the best romantic restaurants in Brooklyn, and eating here is one of the most delicious NYC activities for couples.

beach on the beach with amusement park rides behind them at Coney Island, Brooklyn, NYC
Coney Island. Photo: Manon via Pexels.

29. Feel like a kid again at Coney Island

Coney Island is a seaside neighborhood in Brooklyn. Its beach has long been a summer getaway spot for New Yorkers. There’s something very nostalgic about the old-school beach boardwalk and the amusement park with rollercoasters, a Ferris Wheel, an arcade, and more.

Another thing that Coney Island is famous for is hosting the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest every Fourth of July, which is a lot of fun to attend in person!

Coney Island is a fun date spot for couples. Nothing says “I love you” like winning a giant stuffed teddy bear from the arcade to give to your date. If you want to make a whole day of it, pack some towels and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the beach.

30. Get your bowl on at Brooklyn Bowl

Bowling might not sound like the most exciting date night, but there’s nothing boring about Brooklyn Bowl. This energetic venue is a great spot to go on a date.

Not only is it a bowling alley, it’s also a bar, live music venue, and dance club. In addition to bowling, they host concerts, themed dance parties, karaoke nights, and other fun events.

And here’s a tip:

After you’ve had your fill of bowling and fun, head around the corner to Westlight, the trendy cocktail bar atop the William Vale Hotel mentioned earlier as another great date night spot. Or, if you’re craving more of a party atmosphere but still want great views, head to Berry Park.

Seeing the Nutcracker Rouge at Théâtre XIV in Brooklyn. Video by Jessie Festa.

31. Catch a cabaret show

If you’re looking for a unique date night idea in Brooklyn, why not catch a lively cabaret show? Théâtre XIV is known for putting on some of the best burlesque cabaret shows in New York City.

Located in Bushwick, this theater company performs spectacular shows that dazzle with a stunning combination of talent, costumes, and staging. This is a great spot to go with a date if you want to be entertained throughout the whole evening.

They’re also known for their cocktails, with drinks paired to match their shows.

32. Go on a romantic bike ride

One of the most unique things for couples to do in NYC is cycling along one of Brooklyn’s many bike paths. If you’re looking for an active date idea, this is the perfect choice!

There are bike lanes across the Brooklyn Bridge, along the 18-mile Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, and in Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s tranquil answer to Central Park.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Date Ideas In Queens

33. Eat your way through the Queens Night Market

Do you and your date love to eat? Foodie couples will have the best time exploring the Queens Night Market and eating their way through all the delicacies offered there.

This outdoor market in Flushing, Queens occurs on Saturday nights from 5 PM until midnight. You can find over 100 vendors selling food that celebrates the diversity of Queens, from mouth-watering jerk chicken to piping-hot dumplings to decadent chimney cakes and more.

In addition to food, the night market has an Artist’s Row with vendors selling art, crafts, and handmade goods as well as live entertainment, giving it a vibrant atmosphere.

fun activities in nyc for couples include climbing
Take your relationship to new heights at Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus. Photo c/o Brooklyn Boulders.

34. Climb an (artificial) mountain together in Long Island City

One of the fun things to do in NYC for couples is climbing an “artificial” mountain together.

Hit the rocks and learn the ropes at Brooklyn Boulders, a 25,000-square-foot climbing gym where you and your partner can learn the basics of bouldering and how to belay for each other in roped climbing.

With intro sessions almost every night, this gym is one of the best spots for date night classes in NYC.

Plus, it’s not your only option for local indoor climbing as The Cliffs Climbing + Fitness is also in the neighborhood.

35. Take a trip back to the sixties right outside JFK

The TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is steeped in mid-century modern style, from the Sunken Lounge in the lobby to a rooftop pool overlooking the runway.

Stop by for a few drinks and dinner at the Paris Cafe, or check-in for the full experience.

36. Enjoy some of New York’s best steak frites right in Long Island City

Foodies and writers alike have raved about the fare at Tournesol, one of the few French bistros in Queens.

Its authentic setting and delectable dishes make it one of the best places for dates in NYC.

Honestly, it’s a must-experience addition to any Long Island City itinerary.

37. Enjoy some of the finest beaches the city has to offer

A day trip to the Rockaways is one of the top ways to escape the hustle of New York without leaving the city.

And with plenty of trains, ferries, buses, and private shuttle companies to take you there, it makes for one of the best cheap dates in NYC.

Pro tip:

The Rockaways feature several connected beaches with different vibes. Our personal favorite is Jacob Riis Park, a beloved gay beach with a lively party vibe and inviting waters. For something quieter, opt for a stretch of sand between Beach 117 to Beach 149.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Date Ideas In The Bronx

bronx brewery is a fun spot for couples in nyc
Share a brew or two with your boo at Bronx Brewery. Photo by Mattan Segev from Pexels.

38. Head north for some of the city’s best local brews

If you’re searching for fun activities for couples in NYC with a laid-back vibe, this one is for you.

Bronx Brewery offers a wide variety of craft beers and their large taproom is one of the best places to try them.

Head to their backyard in the warmer months with some friends for one of the best double date spots in NYC.

39. Explore the wonders of nature year-round

New York Botanical Garden has something for you and your partner to enjoy every season, from the Conifer Arboretum in the winter to colorful blooms in the spring and summer.

One not-to-miss feature of this beautiful NYC attraction is a gushing waterfall along the Bronx River in the Thain Forest, an old-growth forest full of quiet paths that allow you and your beau to connect with nature and each other.

Want beautiful photos taken of you in scenic New York spots? Book one of our Private Photo Journeys, a walking tour that includes photos of your group to keep. Or get a styled, custom shoot that tells your unique story through an NYC Influencer Shoot or Professional New York City Shoot. Email [email protected] with inquiries.

Date Ideas In Staten Island

40. Enjoy a romantic dinner by the water at Clove Lakes Park

Looking for fun summer date ideas in NYC?

The Stone House at Clove Lakes offers a menu full of elegant eats and an incredible view of the park that makes it a popular destination for weddings.

Take a rowboat out on the water before your meal for the full Stone House experience.

41. Learn about history at the home of one of its earliest practitioners

The Alice Austen House is home to early photographs depicting life in New York at the turn of the century, with the attractions regularly hosting exhibitions of contemporary works.

Their events and photography workshops are some of the best date night ideas for married couples looking to hone new skills.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center is a great date spot for couples
Take a stroll through the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Photo via Lance Reha/Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

42. Take in the history and horticulture of Staten Island in Randall Manor

The Snug Harbor Cultural Center is home to brilliant botanical gardens inspired by the cultures of the world, events showcasing local artists, and so much more.

And with free admission, it’s one of the best cheap date ideas in NYC.

Best Romantic Hotels In NYC

Looking for a romantic hotel to pair with the above fun couple things to do in NYC? Some of our top picks include:

Click here for a full list of romantic NYC hotels.

Or, if you’d like to get out of the city, here are some of the best romantic getaways in Upstate New York! While enjoying your getaway, make sure to explore nature through gorgeous trails like the Overlook Mountain hike (perfect when visiting the Catskills in winter), Giant Ledge Catskills hike, and the Mount Marcy hike.

Frequently Asked Questions About New York For Couples

Now that we’ve gone over some NYC couples activities, let’s answer some frequently asked questions:

Q) Is New York good for couples?

Yes, New York is one of the most romantic cities in the US. It’s usually followed by Los Angeles and San Francisco!

Q) What is a good first date in NYC?

Some first date ideas in NYC are visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, enjoying a romantic dinner by the water at Clove Lakes Park, or dancing the morning away at Daybreaker.

Q) Where can I take my boyfriend or girlfriend on a date in NYC?

There are many fantastic places to take your boo on a date in NYC. For example, you can see a Broadway show, take in a Manhattan skyline view from Westlight, or get a couples spa treatment at AIRE Ancient Baths.

What are your favorite fun activities in NYC for couples?

*Featured image taken on a private NYC Photo Journey.

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