romance in NYC

73 Unique Ways To Enjoy Romance In NYC (Beyond Central Park)

Jessica FestaBronx, Discover NYC, Explore Brooklyn, Food & Drink, Manhattan, Outdoors, Queens, Romance, Staten Island Leave a Comment

By Jessie Festa. This guide to romantic New York contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Opportunities for romance in NYC go beyond stealing a kiss atop the Empire State Building (though of course, this is whimsical experience, as well!).

Whether you’re looking for an ambient meal, want to spend time outdoors or are eager to explore the city’s most hidden places, we’ve got you covered with 73 experiences across all five boroughs — and even a bit of Long Island!

Read on to plan your perfect outing for you and your sweetheart.

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

Table of Contents

Is New York Romantic?

Absolutely! Blending historic charm with modern aesthetics — not to mention over 1700 parks, miles of waterfront, and myriad opportunities to explore local creativity — it’s easy to immerse yourself in romantic New York City.

Plus, the city is home to an endless amount of world class restaurants, spas, bars, and attractions, meaning you’ll never run out of fun couple things to do in NYC.

And if you’re looking to a spend a romantic weekend in NYC, there are plenty of opulent hotels that cater to lovebirds, like these accommodation options.

Romance In NYC In Multiple Boroughs

1. Enjoy romance in New York on a private photo tour

You know when you ask a stranger to take a photo of you and your love, but your heads are chopped off, or everything is blurry?

Say goodbye to bad photos on our Private NYC Photo Journey. Part tour, part photo shoot, the itinerary is based on your interests.

Your licensed New York City sightseeing guide is also a photographer, and you’ll leave with professional shots of you and your significant other to keep.


This podcast episode shares tips for being on camera and feeling confident.

romance in nyc
Guests stealing a gaze at sunset in front of the Williamsburg Bridge on a Private Photo Journey.

2. Book a romantic photoshoot

Along with private photo tours, NYC Photo Journeys also offers professional photoshoots that can be customized for romance, as well as engagement photoshoots.

These come with even more photos, looks, and poses than the tours.

Additionally, your booking includes a planning call to go over exactly what you hope to get out of the shoot, whether you’re looking to visit iconic locations, secret romantic places in NYC, or something else.

There are two packages to help fit different budgets, too!

If you’re looking for unique date or anniversary ideas in NYC, this is a great option.

Click here for full details.

couple on a private photoshoot in NYC
Couple on a private photoshoot with NYC Photo Journeys

3. Get tipsy while painting

Who doesn’t love a good couple’s paint night in NYC?

The Painting Lounge offers BYOB paint classes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Because it’s a step-by-step course, you’ll actually leave with something worth framing.

Pro tip: this spot is also a top pick for celebrating a birthday in New York!

4. Learn the art of trapeze

As you can see, couples’ classes in NYC abound, and this one is quirky.

At Trapeze School New York, you and your love can learn the art of this circus act, with classes focusing on everything from silks to static trapeze and beyond.

Take a class at their year-round Brooklyn location or their outdoor warm-weather location in Manhattan.

5. Volunteer together

One way to get closer to your love is to give back. There are many ways to volunteer in New York City, which you can find through the Deed app.

You’ll be given a list of opportunities with dates, times, and available slots. With one click, you can sign up to help.

Another option:

New York Cares, which offers thousands of opportunities across limitless issues, from helping adults with special needs to volunteering with animals to tutoring children after school and beyond.

6. Attend a secret concert

Sofar Sounds puts on pop-up concerts in secret locations around the city.

While the concert address won’t be given until you book, you’ll be provided some information to get a sense of the scene, such as that it’s a Bob Marley tribute concert in someone’s East Village living room, or that it’s an accessible-friendly public venue hidden from the main streets.

This is also a fun idea if you’re looking for things to do in NYC on a rainy day!

barcade nyc
Many of the drinks are on tap at Barcade. Photo via Barcade

7. Battle each other on retro video games

Barcade — which has locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan — is one of the best places for dates in NYC, particularly of the casual sort.

Offering a variety of craft beers as well as an impressive array of old school video games, it’s the perfect place to go back in time while getting buzzed.

Galaga, anyone?

8. Combine bridges and trams

Nothing says romance in New York City quite like a kiss in front of a movie-famous bridge or skyline.

For an afternoon stroll full of views, walk over the Queensborough Bridge from Long Island City in Queens to the Upper East Side in Manhattan.

From there, head to 59th Street and 2nd Avenue to swipe your Metrocard and gain access to the Roosevelt Island Tram.

The short ride offers some of the best views in NYC of the East River, One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building.

Once on Roosevelt Island, wander around to take in vistas of the Queens and Manhattan skylines.

Want a closer look at NYC’s iconic buildings? Opt for a New York City architectural tour, which is especially romantic if you book a boat or yacht excursion (like this one).

9. Explore authentic cultures in local kitchens

If you’re looking for a couple’s cooking class in NYC, here is a unique idea:

League of Kitchens gives you access to local immigrant homes, where you support them by paying for a cooking class and cultural lesson.

Bring containers, as you’ll likely have leftovers from your enlightening feast.

Romance In Manhattan

Pod39 rooftop nyc
Delicious snacks and drinks in Manhattan. Photo via Pod39

10. Hit the rooftop of a pod hotel

This is one of the most Instagrammable places in New York City and one of the best places to take pictures in NYC!

Sprawling vines up brick walls and terracotta columns give the rooftop at Pod 39 Hotel a European feel, though the taco cart and margaritas will transport you to Mexico.

Take in views of the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Chrysler Building, and the East River.

If you’re looking for amazing views in NYC at night, this hotel is the perfect spot.

Another unique way to see the city’s top attractions? Book one of these luxury limo tours in NYC!

11. Take a free salsa class 

If you’re an NYC romantic looking to plan a fun date night, head to Iguana at 6pm on Wednesdays, when the restaurant and bar hosts complimentary salsa and bachata lessons.

Bonus: there are happy hour drinks, too!

Choose from one of their 28 flavors of margaritas or mojitos. Just be aware these cocktails are quite strong.

Along with being fun, this is one of the best double date spots in NYC.

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

12. Explore road trip ideas from NYC

One of the most romantic ways to experience New York?

Get out of the city!

We love driving from Manhattan to the stunning 1000 Islands, full of great things to do for couples and adventures along the way.

Socarrat nyc
Photo via Socarrat

13. Pair dinner with free flamenco

If you’re looking for cheap dates in NYC, you can’t get more affordable than this.

Head to Socarrat Paella Bar in Nolita on a Tuesday night for a free flamenco show from 7pm-10pm.

To up the romance, we suggest ordering a glass of their tasty sangria, too!

14. Chill out in a friendly New York wine bar

Lois in the Lower East Side is probably NYC’s most chill wine bar. Along with having wine on tap, there’s a no-tipping policy.

To up the romance, Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar in Midtown and the West Village is known for their chocolate, cheese, and wine pairings.

15. See a burlesque show

Located in the Lower East Side, the Slipper Room is an intimate burlesque club that has been putting on steamy variety shows since 1999.

It’s the perfect option for a romantic night in NYC, especially if you pair it with a drink at nearby Nurse Bettie, a cocktail bar with a 1950s pinup theme that also hosts burlesque shows.

food pairing for couples at The Kitano Hotel NYC
Photo via The Kitano Hotel New York

16. Travel To Japan (Without Leaving NYC)

Located within The Kitano Hotel New York is Hakubai, an authentic Kaiseki restaurant serving up dishes like Miyazaki A5-grade Wagyu beef, Komochi Kombu (herring roe with kelp), and Ika Ichiya Boshi (grilled lightly-dried squid).

This is all served at carefully timed intervals on an exquisite array of porcelain, pottery, and lacquer dishware.

To up the NYC romance factor, slip off your shoes and dine in a private Tatami room on rice straw mats.

17. Steal a kiss at the top of Belvedere Castle

Built in 1869, this Central Park attraction offers sweeping views over the Great Lawn and The Ramble.

In our opinion, Belvedere Castle is one of the most romantic places in Central Park as well as one of the best places in Central Park for pictures.

18. Sing your heart out over dueling pianos

Calling all lovers in New York! Every Saturday night at 10pm, you and your sweetheart can attend one of the best dating events in NYC:

The city’s biggest all-request rock-and-roll party, Shake Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos.

It’s a sing-along dance-along with talented musicians playing everything from Billy Joel to Bon Jovi to Britney Spears.

couple posing for a selfie at the romantic NYC restaurant Manhatta
Couple posing for a selfie at Manhatta, one of the most romantic restaurants in NYC. Photo via Jessie Festa.

19. See the whole city from your seat

For the ultimate fine dining experience, The View in Midtown not only serves up gourmet steaks and seafood, but revolves a full 360 degrees every hour so you’re never without, well, a view.

In Lower Manhattan, Manhatta is another top rooftop restaurant option offering vistas that seem to stretch on forever.

If you’re looking for things to do on a date in NYC, you can’t go wrong with either of the above.

And if you’re visiting from out of town, these are great additions to even a short weekend trip or longer 4-day New York itinerary.

20. Savor romance through chocolate classes in NYC

At Tache Artisan Chocolate in the Lower East Side, you and your love will learn about cacao from cultivation through tasting, even making your own treats to savor.

Think chocolate mustache lollipops, French chocolate clusters, bars, kisses, and more.


The class includes gorgeous wrapping for your creations.

21. Take a helicopter tour over the city

Steal a kiss in NYC on a Scenic Helicopter Tour.

During the experience, you’ll snuggle up with your other half for 18-20 minutes to take in sweeping aerial views of Governor’s Island, the Hudson River, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and other NYC gems.

Montauk Salt Cave NYC
Relax with your love in a salt cave. Photo via Montauk Salt Cave.

22. Chill out in a salt cave

Did you know there are salt caves in Manhattan?

At Montauk Salt Cave in the East Village, you and your partner can chill out in a relaxing Himalayan pink salt-lined room.

Not only is this a unique NYC experience, but it also has anti-inflammatory benefits and reduces stress.

Another highlight:

They offer classes like Reiki and yoga in the salt cave!

23. Have an adventurous meal

Looking to collect some crazy travel stories? Then this one is for you!

You know what they say:

The couple that eats ants together, stays together.

And hey, even if nobody ever said that, you’ll still get to enjoy one of the more weird date ideas in NYC at Black Ant in the East Village.

Here, beautifully plated food takes on a creative edge, with certain dishes — like the guacamole with black ant salt and the tacos with grasshopper-crusted shrimp — also featuring insects.

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

24. Have a meal at Max Brenner’s

Also known as Chocolate by the Bald Man NYC, this cacao-centric restaurant in Union Square serves up hearty meals, though the real highlight is the extensive dessert menu.

Order a salted caramel hot chocolate, then pair with an Oreo-laced milkshake, s’mores fondue or chocolate cheesecake crème brulée. Two spoons, please!

You can click here for the Max Brenner NYC menu PDF.

25. Dine in the dark

Looking for unique things to do in NYC for couples?

At Abigail’s Kitchen in Greenwich Village, you can attend one of their Dine in the Dark dinners, a delicious albeit completely unilluminated experience meant to heighten your senses of smell and taste.

romance in nyc red rooster harlem
Chicken & Waffles via Chris Owyoung Photography for Red Rooster Harlem.

26. Go back in time to the Harlem Renaissance

At Red Rooster Harlem, you can have an elevated soul food meal — don’t miss the hot honey chili sauce-laced chicken and waffles — before heading downstairs to take in a show at Ginny’s Supper Club (where the same menu is also served).

It’ll be one of the tastiest, liveliest, and romantic date nights you’ve had in a while.

27. Take in river views from Fort Tryon Park

Featuring 66 acres, this hilly park offers scenic paths leading to views of the Hudson River, Palisades, and the George Washington Bridge. It’s also the perfect place for a romantic picnic in New York City.


Nearby you can visit the Met Cloisters, a scenic branch of the Met Museum focused on the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.

north river lobster co new york city
Photo via North River Lobster Co

28. Take a budget-friendly seafood cruise

During the warmer months, you’ll pay just $10 to take a spin on the North River Lobster Co boat, which leaves from Pier 81.

It’s one of the most scenic and cheap romantic things to do in NYC.

If you’re hungry, lobster rolls, crab-topped salads and other seafood delights — along with booze — can be purchased on board.

Want to surprise your sweetheart by hosting their birthday party on a boat in NYC? If you have enough people, they’ll reserve an entire floor of the ship for you!

This is one of many ways to get on the water. Click here for a full list of romantic NYC boat tours and excursions.

29. Have an immersive rooftop experience

Forget dinner theater; at the Gallow Green rooftop cocktail bar, you’ll be served in a whimsical garden by cast members of Sleep No More, the immersive show where you follow characters through macabre scenes based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

In need of fun winter date ideas in NYC? The equally romantic Lodge — a rustic space with covering — serves hot boozy drinks.

30. See a Broadway show (on a budget)

There’s no denying there are some great shows to be seen on Broadway; though often the pricing can be out of your budget.

Search the TodayTix app for discounts, or wait in line at one of the TKTS Booths in NYC for up to 50% off same-day shows.

Then use the money you saved for a nice dinner nearby. We love the New American menu at BEA.

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

31. Pair Master Sommelier-sourced wines with unique bites

At the chill yet classy Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in Midtown, the sommeliers really know their stuff.

During this memorable wine pairing dinner in NYC, your vino is paired with one-of-a-kind plates like chicken salt-seasoned cauliflower, foie gras lollipops and warm goat cheese potato parfait on arugula.

romance in nyc kimpton ink 48 penthouse
Heaven Over Hell Penthouse Suite. Photo via Kimpton Ink 48 Hotel.

32. Splurge on a heavenly penthouse suite overlooking Hell’s Kitchen

At Kimpton Ink 48 Hotel’s two-storey Heaven over Hell Penthouse Suite, highlights include a king bed-equipped bedroom, an oversized bathroom with a double vanity, shower and soaking tub, a separate dining room and sitting area, a private rooftop terrace and, the main attraction, panoramic views of the city skyline and Hudson River through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Note, though, that this is a true splurge at $3000 per night.

33. Learn how to give each other great massages

Don’t the best date night activities in NYC include massages?

At the Love Institute in Midtown West, you can opt for a group massage or private massage class.

By the end of the session, you’ll forever have a way to make your partner feel special after a long day.

romance in nyc pastry class at the Institute of Culinary Education
Photo via the Institute of Culinary Education

34. Learn to cook with (and for) your love

The Institute of Culinary Education offers recreational classes that allow you and your sweetheart to gain a new skill you can also use to up the romance later.

In terms of date night classes in NYC, they offer a Couples Cooking series focused on Tuscan meals, Thai favorites, Sushi and Sake, and more.

35. Spark the magic (literally) 

Tannen’s Magic Store in Midtown West is not only NYC’s oldest magic shop since 1925, but is staffed with magicians who will happily perform tricks to show off their cool products.

36. Check out a sensual exhibit

The Museum of Sex is an educational experience for couples and singles alike, and they always have interesting rotating exhibits like “Female Gaze” and “Universe Of Desire: Why We Like What We Like.”

Inside, there is also Super Funland, which showcases four floors of erotic carnival games and amusements.

Click here to grab your tickets.

romantic NYC view from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
View of the Empire State Building from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

37. SUMMIT a skyscraper

At SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, you’ll explore three floors of experiences.

Hold hands as you take in amazing views of NYC landmarks like the Chrysler Building as well as immerse yourself in interactive art experiences.

If you’re looking for romantic places in NYC at night, this attraction is known for its stunning sunset views.

Additionally, at the top there is a cute cafe and bar at the top with a prime view of the Empire State Building!

Speaking of, NYC Photo Journeys offers Empire State Building Photoshoots, as well as shoots at other iconic attractions that capture the spirit of a New York romance.

38. Gameify your date with a scavenger hunt

One way to guarantee a romantic experience is to infuse fun into your date. And what better way to do this than through a scavenger hunt?

The Romantic New York City Exploration Game is one option, taking couples to local highlights like Bethesda Fountain, The Dakota, and Shakespeare & Co — along with other lesser-known and non-touristy places in NYC.

As you move around the city, you’ll solve challenges to unlock directions that take you to the next place.

The entire game is woven together through storytelling, as you follow a woman as she tries to save her late father’s legacy.

Keep in mind, this isn’t your only option. A few other scavenger hunt ideas include:

Romance In Brooklyn

Fine & Raw Chocolate in Bushwick
Sample delicious raw chocolate in Bushwick. Photo via Fine & Raw Chocolate

39. Savor the natural flavors of raw chocolate

Did you know that most mainstream chocolate is roasted at such high temperatures, they need to add loads of sugar and milk to add flavor back?

Not at Fine & Raw Chocolate Factory, where quality cacao beans are roasted at under 140 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve their natural characteristics.

Free samples are available (try the lucuma & vanilla!) and an open factory allows you to see exactly how it’s made.

Visiting the factory is one of the top things to do in Bushwick!

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

40. Stroll diverse and beautiful flora

While brainstorming romantic date ideas in NYC, it’s likely your mind will wander at some point to flowers and gardens.

And while the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is worth a visit year-round, it’s especially exciting in winter.


Well, this is when you can attend the spicy Chili Pepper Fiesta, a wonderland of free samples of sauces, kimchees, chutneys, and spicy chocolate.

No matter what time of year you go, the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is a highlight for romance.

41. Learn the art of ax throwing

What’s more romantic than trying something new?

At Kick Axe in Gowanus, you and your special someone can grab a beer — and an ax — and try to hit the target in one of 10 throwing ranges.

The Confetti Project in Bushwick
Celebrate love with confetti. Photo via The Confetti Project

42. Have your photo taken with confetti

Our friend Jelena is the creator of The Confetti Project, and you and your partner can visit her Bushwick studio to play in confetti while taking photos that tell the story of your love.

You’ll even get a profile made on her website (if you’d like).

43. Make your own momentos

Talk about fun dates places in NYC!

At Brooklyn Glass, also in Gowanus, they offer day-long glassblowing workshops.

You’ll leave with your own one-of-a-kind piece, from swizzle sticks to glass flowers and beyond.

a romantic NYC skyline view from Westlight in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
View from Westlight. Photo via Jessie Festa.

44. Have a craft cocktail at Westlight

On the 22nd floor of the William Vale Hotel sits Westlight, a gorgeous cocktail bar and restaurant offering true 360-degree views from floor-to-ceiling glass windows, as well as from their outdoor terrace (open year-round).

Because it’s in Brooklyn across the East River, you also see the full Manhattan skyline.

45. Clink glasses at the world’s first commercially viable rooftop winery

Rooftop Reds — located within the Brooklyn Navy Yard — holds this impressive title.

During warmer months, you can visit their aerial spaces for wonderful views and equally wonderful glasses of Bordeaux.

jane's carousel brooklyn bridge park
A romantic evening at NYC’s most famous carousel. Photo via Jane’s Carousel.

46. Ride the carousel

One of the most famous carousels in NYC — Jane’s Carousel — resides in Brooklyn Bridge Park, within the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn.

You and your beau can hold hands and be kids again while riding a (carved wooden) horse-drawn carriage. With the right timing, you can also capture beautiful Brooklyn Bridge photos from here.

Hey, there is a reason this is one of our favorite NYC engagement photo locations.

Boost the romance factor by adding a walk over the Manhattan Bridge and/or Brooklyn Bridge, both of which are nearby.

Hint: The Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO are both popular location options on our NYC photo tours, professional photoshoots, and influencer shoots. You’ll also find many of the best Brooklyn walking tours focus on these spots.

47. Go the indie route

At Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, they play indie films paired with tasty dishes (hello truffle popcorn!) and craft cocktails so good you’ll be shocked you’re in a movie theater.

Don’t miss their themed series, like Film Feasts (movies paired with relevant bites); Spoons, Tunes & Booze (all-you-can-eat cereal, cartoons and drinks); and Love (romance films and kinky flicks shown at midnight on weekends).

It’s definitely one of the more fun things to do in Williamsburg.

48. Do an eight-course pasta tasting

At Faro, they pay homage to Italy’s favorite carb.

Making over 100 types of pasta using organic semolina wheat milled daily onsite, their Friday / Saturday Chef’s Tasting allows you to try five of them (plus two starters and dessert).

Fingers crossed that the delicious saffron-infused Corzetti — with scallops, pine nuts and pimentos — is on the menu.

This is a truly unique NYC tasting experience you won’t want to miss!

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

49. Dress each other in body paint

At Den Art Body Painting Studio in Greenpoint, you and your honey can learn to paint each other with glow-in-the-dark UV paint.

Both private and public classes offered.


They donate a portion of profits to International Justice Mission to fight against human trafficking.

50. Visit Industry City for artisan wares & pétanque

Located on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Industry City is a historic industrial complex that has been transformed into creative hub. Here you can see the wares and sample the treats of artisan vendors making everything from innovative coffees to ginger liqueur to handmade jewelry and beyond.

One not-to-miss vendor is Li-Lac Chocolates, Manhattan’s oldest chocolate company who decorate their treats by hand (a la Lucy-and-Ethel style).

You should also grab a drink at Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur, who make craft cocktails infused with a spirit made with real ginger.

After sampling some goodies, head to Carreau Club to sip on craft beers while challenging each other to a game a pétanque, a French boules game similar to bocce.

romance in NYC at the Bushwick Collective mural gallery
One of the many murals in the Bushwick Collective. Photo via Jessie Festa.

51. Walk the Williamsburg Bridge into Williamsburg & Bushwick

If you’re looking for fun things to do in NYC for couples, here is a romantic itinerary that will take a few hours.

Start your day by walking the Williamsburg Bridge. There are many romantic things to do in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — like taking in waterfront views, dining at one of the many hip eateries, having a glass of vino at Brooklyn Winery, or perusing artisan wares at Artists & Fleas.

During the warmer months, Willliamsburg also hosts a weekend food market called Smorgasburg, and is a popular location for annual and pop up events.

After Williamsburg, take the L-train a few stops to Jefferson Street, where you want wander the many murals of the Bushwick Collective, an enormous outdoor street art gallery.

52. Ride the Ferris Wheel (and the Cyclone)

Is there anything that screams “fun dates in New York” like Coney Island?

We think not.

During warmer months, visiting Coney Island is a must for couples.

Hop around Luna Park for a thrill and to win a stuffed animal or two, then grab a hot dog (either from Nathan’s Famous or Feltman’s of Coney Island, the real inventor of the hot dog) before hitting the boardwalk and beach.

Romance In Queens

53. Mix comedy and cocktails

At Q.E.D. in Astoria, you’ll typically pay $15 or less to be entertained by local standup comedians. As they also host open mic nights, you might even surprise your beau by working on an act and hopping on stage.

As the space is also a bar, you can pair your entertainment with beer, wine, and even a make-your-own cocktail menu where you choose two shots of vodka, rum, or tequila as well as your mixers.

This is a great pick if you’re looking for casual date ideas in NYC.

romantic NYC restaurant BLVD in Queens
Having a delicious dinner with a view at BLVD. Photo via Jessie Festa.

54. Pair wine with live music on the water

At the waterfront BLVD Wine Bar in Long Island City, you’ll savor delicious dishes like lobster mac and cheese, squid ink risotto and mussels with drinkable broth paired with a budget-friendly bottle of wine.

While dinner is exquisite, their weekend brunches add live music to the mix on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-3pm.

Plus, you’ll have prime views of the Manhattan skyline from Queens.

55. See a show at Forrest Hills Stadium

They’ve always got diverse musical acts, not to mention big names, at this al fresco stadium, which has a surprisingly intimate feel.

A few acts that have graced the stage since its heyday in 60s and 70s include The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and Mumford & Sons.

couple having a beer at Rockaway Brewing for a fun date in NYC
Exploring the breweries in Queens is a fun date idea in NYC. Photo via Jessie Festa.

56. Do a beer crawl of Long Island City

Looking for fun things to do in Long Island City?

If brews are your thing, you and your partner will love the beer scene in this neighborhood.

Breweries abound, a few of which include LIC Beer Project, Fifth Hammer Brewing or, our favorite for their quirky options, Big aLICe.

You can book a local brewery tour here.

57. Have a beach day

If you’re looking for fun summer date ideas in NYC, then you’ll definitely want to add this one to your list.

Queens is home to one of NYC’s most popular swim spots:

The Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, with lots of sand, shops, and parties during the warmer months.

Sip a beer and listen to summer tunes on the Rockaway Beach Bus, which picks up from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Looking for love and adventure in New York?

You and your sweetheart have the option to rent jet skis, which you can do here.

Additionally, between 67-69 Street and 87-92 Street resides NYC’s only legal surfing beach. If you need some practice, you can take a lesson with New York Surf School.

Eddie's Sweet Shop
Photo via Eddie’s Sweet Shop

58. Get nostalgic at an old-fashioned soda shop

In Forest Hills, you’ll find Eddie’s Sweet Shop.

Dedicated to old timey ice cream, the soda shop has been open since 1909.

Expect a mix of classic and modern treats like rum raisin ice cream, banana splits, and cookies and cream pie in a retro space.

59. Have a retro Greek meal

Speaking of nostalgia, the 24-hour Bel Aire Diner in Astoria has been open since 1965, paying homage to the neighborhood’s history and rich Greek culture (though you’ll also find American, Italian and Mexican favorites, too).

60. Mix al fresco art with views

At Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, you can stroll through multi-media installations while taking in East River views. There’s also plenty of green space for a romantic picnic.

Prefer street art? The adjacent neighborhoods or Astoria and Long Island City are full of inspiring murals.

For instance, you can visit the Welling Court Mural Project, which paints new large-scale murals year after year.

Romance In The Bronx

61. Eat your way through the real Little Italy

While Manhattan’s Little Italy is on the brink of extinction, Arthur Avenue in The Bronx is rich with Italian culture.

On an Arthur Avenue Food Tour, you’ll learn about the history of the thoroughfare while savoring locally-made pastries, cheese, bread and more.

62. Take in a waterfall

At Bronx Park, steal a kiss while walking along the well-forested Bronx River. The river runs through a deep gorge, and you’ll even see the 13-foot-high Bronx River Waterfall near the Bronx Zoo entrance.

It’s a beautiful spot to curl up and read some humorous travel stories or even a collection of short travel love stories.

romance in nyc charlie's bar
Photo via Charlie’s Bar & Kitchen

63. Savor a romantic meal at unpretentious NYC restaurants

Whether you’re sampling the fried chicken benny at brunch (with $18 free-flowing alcohol add-on) or the pan-seared salmon at dinner, Charlie’s Bar & Kitchen offers a delicious experience in an ambient space.

While the yummy local beers and wine are worth a taste, the cocktails are the true star.


The spicy “Manson” featuring tequila, lime juice, chili-laced agave, and cucumber.

64. Get lost in an urban oasis

The 250-acre New York Botanical Garden in The Bronx is absolutely stunning, a National Historic Landmark founded in 1891 and featuring walking paths lined with dozens of plant collections, lakes, waterfalls, birdlife and more.

65. Have a zip-line adventure

Trying new things is a great way to grow your relationship.

At Bronx Zoo Treetop Adventure, managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, you can choose between riding dual zip lines through the trees and/or climbing obstacle courses.

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

Romance In Staten Island

66. Take the Staten Island Ferry

On a budget? The 30-minute ride on the Staten Island Ferry is a completely free afternoon date idea in NYC.

It includes gorgeous views of the Statue of Liberty, too.


You can purchase craft beers at a shop inside the terminal before boarding to enjoy on the boat.

67. Have a “nonna”-made meal

At Enoteca Maria, you and your date can savor meals cooked by grandmas from around the world.

Menus rotate, and on any given night you may savor dishes from Peru, Italy, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Bulgaria, Siberia and beyond!

bench in asian gardens at Snug Harbor Cultural Center
The perfect place for a romantic chat. Photo via Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

68. Traipse through tranquil Asian gardens

At the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden in Snug Harbor, you and your sweetheart can stroll hand-in-hand through a landscape based on the Ming Dynasty Gardens (1368-1644).

Some features include koi ponds, lovely pavilions, moon gates, waterfalls, and bamboo forests.

69. Hit the shore

At the 2.5-mile Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach, you and your date can go for a dip in the Atlantic Ocean or just enjoy facilities like a kayak launch site, sports fields, and barbecue areas.

70. Take a camping trip

You can take a $20 cab ride from the Staten Island ferry terminal to the 75-acre Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds for a fun weekend camping trip.

From the grounds, you’ll have access to numerous hiking trails, including the Staten Island Greenbelt.

Romance In Long Island

Long Island Winery Coffee Pot Cellars
One of the many wineries on Long Island. Photo via Jessie on a Journey.

71. Visit the Long Island wineries

You can DIY this trip via public transportation or book a private limo or a guided tour (recommended).

Long Island is home to over 50 wineries, not to mention whimsical farm stands, beaches, hiking trails and more, so it’s definitely worth at least a day trip, if not longer.

72. Hike with seals

When visiting Montauk State Park it’s common to see adorable harbor seals on the Seal Haul Out trail, one of the best hikes on Long Island.

You can go on a self-guided 3-mile hike, or go on one the park’s naturalist-guided weekend walks.

Prefer to head north of NYC?

Some of the best hikes in Upstate New York are in the Hudson Valley, like the Breakneck Ridge trail and the Bull Hill Full Loop, as well as in the Adirondacks.

In fact, the latter offers the chance to do the stunning Mt Van Hoevenberg trek as well as to hike the Mt Marcy trail, which takes you to the summit of the highest peak in New York!

73. Explore the Gold Coast

Along Long Island’s famed Gold Coast, you’ll find beautiful mansions and gardens to explore — like the Glen Cove Mansion, Oheka Castle, and the Old Westbury Gardens.

Fun fact:

The Gold Coast is what the Great Gatsby is based on!

Enjoy romance in NYC while capturing those special moments through photography! 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.

Romantic Tours In NYC

Along with the above-mentioned NYC couples activities, the following tours can help you explore romance in NYC:

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

Best Romantic Hotels in NYC

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

Crosby Street Hotel. This boutique SoHo hotel blends luxury with creativity. You’ll find endless opportunities to take photos in the rooms and common spaces thanks to the carefully curated art and design pieces — not to mention a sculpture garden. Plus, their onsite restaurant and bar serves beautifully-plated food and expertly crafted drinks.The High Line Hotel. This stylish landmark hotel resides on the very grounds where Clement Clark Moore wrote “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The vibe is 19th century with numerous original touches, including stunning stained-glass windows. Opt for in-room views of either the High Line or the hotel garden.The William Vale. This hip Williamsburg property features onsite Italian eatery, stunning gym, and seasonal pool. It’s also home to one of our favorite New York City rooftops, Westlight, which offers a true 360-degree view and delicious craft cocktails.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 most romantic weekend getaways in Upstate NY!

Travel Insurance For A Romantic NYC Trip

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.

How do you celebrate romance in NYC?

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About the Author

Jessica Festa


Jessie Festa is a native New Yorker who enjoys sharing the best of her home city with others. This love of NYC led to her becoming a licensed tour guide and starting NYC Photo Journeys, a photo experience company. Her byline has appeared in USA Today, CNN, Thrillist, and Time Out New York, and she has been a tour guide for BBC Travel's New York episode twice. Additionally, she runs a solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, as well as a sustainable tourism magazine called Epicure & Culture.

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