By Charlotte Dow & Jessie Festa
Looking for winter date ideas in NYC?
Chilly months have officially arrived and many may be looking for someone to brave the cold with.
That’s right — cuffing season is in full swing.
While Netflix marathons with your new (or long-term) boo are a perfectly acceptable way to stay warm, there may come a day when you’ll want to venture out of the hotel or house for a romantic night on the town.
Luckily, New York City is had plenty of great places for winter dates.
From gallery hopping to new takes on “dinner and a movie,” New York City has something for every couple.
If you’re looking to learn something new with your honey or simply crave a fresh watering hole, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s our round-up of the best winter date night ideas in NYC.
Psst, don’t forget to pin this post for later!
Unique Dates Around NYC (All Boroughs)
1. Take an NYC Photo Journey
Want to see the sights — while getting your photo taken by a professional photographer?
Our private NYC Photo Journey is part tour, part photoshoot, and your licensed New York City tour guide is also a skilled photographer.
You’ll get unlimited shots of you and your sweetheart having fun in places like Times Square, Central Park, the Upper East Side, SoHo, Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, Williamsburg and more!
Interested more in the photos than the tour aspect?
Check out our private NYC Influencer Shoots, also great for couples wanting a professional shoot with as many pictures as possible.Check out these romantic #NYCWinter date ideas! #NewYorkCityRomance
2. Sip the NYC’s best hot chocolate
We don’t mean the powder packet kind, but a steaming cup of liquified artisan chocolate.
City Bakery in Union Square hosts an annual Hot Chocolate Festival, where each day in February brings a new flavor.
Just a few of their many varieties include Ginger, Salted Caramel, Coconut Chai, Banana Peel, and Lemon Pepper. Yum!
In Bryant Park during their yearly Winter Village event you can visit No Chewing Allowed, where they transform their melt-in-your-mouth French truffles into liquid happiness.
In Brooklyn, visit Fine & Raw in Bushwick to try their thick and delicious raw hot chocolate. It’s a great beverage for tasting the natural flavors of the drink.
These are just a few of many spots in New York City to warm up with a hot beverage!
Looking for something more interactive?
3. Stay warm at unique NYC museums
New York City is home to renowned museums like the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (The Whitney) — all of which are worth a visit, particularly in winter when you and your partner may want to escape the cold.
That being said, there are a number of lesser-known museums that should also be on your itinerary when visiting New York in winter.
A few of these include:
- The Met Cloisters. This branch of The Met, which is rightfully listed in many NYC itineraries, is located in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan and transports you to medieval Europe through art and architecture. After exploring the museum, head out for a walk in the neighboring Inwood Hill Park, home to Manhattan’s last remaining Forever Wild forest.
- The Tenement Museum. This living history museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side allows you to enter a former tenement home for a look at what it was really like to be an immigrant in NYC from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s.
- Museum of the Moving Image. Explore the captivating world of moving-image arts in Queens. The Jim Henson Exhibition is a must-see. Bonus: The museum shows hundreds of contemporary films each year, making this a great date spot in NYC.
For something quirky, head to The City Reliquary.
This is one of our favorite cheap things to do in NYC. Here you’ll step back in time to learn about New York City history through truly unique items, from rotting birthday cakes to rat bones.
They also showcase rotating exhibits on local topics like pizza, public school artifacts, and more.
4. Warm up with some wine
New York City is home to a number of romantic wineries, some of which include Brooklyn Winery, City Winery, Red Hook Winery, and Rooftop Reds — which, by the way, is the world’s first commercially-viable rooftop winery.
If you and your boo would like to get a bit more exploratory, there are also a number of tasting and tour experiences related to wine, like the West Village Wine Tasting & Walking Tour and the Lower East Side Walking Wine Tasting Tour.
By the way, if you’re taking your own photos as you explore check out our friends over at Hue & Hatchet. They’re giving away a free Lightroom preset pack with code “T8VYJQ4N” (limit one per person).
5. Spend time in seasonal outdoor spots
Keep in mind that New York City is home to over 1,700 parks, so you’ll have no shortage of options.
These greenspaces are stunning year-round, though are especially gorgeous with a fresh blanket of fallen snow on which to walk hand-in-hand with your love.
It’s worth checking out the park calendars, too, as there is always something interesting going on.
For instance, during winter you can do a Great Lawn Tree Walk in Central Park, wander the Holiday Village and learn to juggle in Bryant Park, and see New Year’s Eve fireworks in Prospect Park.
All three of these parks also offer winter ice skating.
The local parks are great for NYC winter photography and are some of the best places to take pictures in NYC.
Best Date Spots in Manhattan
6. Learn to cook authentic Italian cuisine at one of NYC’s food Meccas
Featuring expertise from Chef Lidia Bastianich, La Scuola at Eataly offers some of the best couples cooking classes in NYC.
Their catalog of classes, covering Italian favorites from gnocchi to tiramisu, make for great date night ideas for married couples, particularly newlyweds.
7. Pair jazz with soju in the West Village
Looking for fun things to do in the West Village?
This neighborhood is home to one of the best double date spots in NYC at Fat Cat, where jazz, pool, and soju cocktails combine for an incredible time.
Challenge your couple friends to a game of doubles ping pong or play a game of Scrabble at one of the bars cozy booths.
Whatever kind of gamer you are, you’re sure to find something to love at this high-energy joint.
8. Take in some cutting-edge art for free at the many galleries in Chelsea
You’ll find some of the latest and greatest names in the art world on display in the 20s between 10th and 11th Avenues that are generally free to enter.
Do a little research before you go to see if any of the galleries are hosting openings, which usually feature free wine and snacks.
9. Snap some colorful Instagram-worthy photos together
Color Factory is a 20,000 square foot indoor playground that has become one of the best places for dates in NYC since it opened in 2018.
Diving into a bright ball pit and playing with colorful confetti are scientifically proven methods of driving the winter blues away.
This is truly one of the most Instagrammable places in New York!
10. Sip the holidays at a festive cocktail bar
Unique craft cocktails and classics alike line the menu of Holiday Cocktail Lounge, a hip East Village dive.
Cozy up at the end of the bar for a great view of the mixologists at work.What are your favorite #NYCDateIdeas in winter? Here are 25! #NewYorkCityInWinter
11. Take in a truly quirky performance
When you attend Drunk Shakespeare, you have the chance to watch an actor perform one of The Bard’s classics…
This long-running Off-Broadway show is exactly what it sounds like:
Each night, a rotating member of the cast takes five shots of whiskey and proceeds to perform a major role in one of Shakespeare’s plays.
The result is something everyone will enjoy, regardless of their theatre knowledge.
12. Split a pupu platter and a classic tiki drink
Mother of Pearl is a truly special date spot in New York City.
If the dreary winter weather has you yearning for a tropical getaway, head to the East Village for an evening of fruity drinks and island-inspired bites.
Just don’t forget your coat before you leave; you’re still in NYC, after all.
On that note, you can still dress stylishly even when it’s snowing out, as you’ll see in this guide on what to wear in NYC in winter.
13. Share a round of fresh oysters
The Mermaid Inn is a truly romantic gem!
Seafood lovers and cocktail snobs alike will enjoy this cozy spot in the East Village.
And their great daily happy hour specials make it one of the best inexpensive romantic restaurants in NYC.
14. Go on an indoor scavenger hunt
Gulliver’s Gate in Times Square is an interactive museum featuring the entire world created in 3D-printed miniatures.
Couples can see the Taj Mahal, view the Northern Lights, and visit the Syndey Opera House — without ever leaving New York.
When you arrive you’ll also get a key to unlock certain exhibits to make them move.
Also, ask for a scavenger hunt at the front desk to gamify your visit.
Prefer to be outdoors?
Let’s Roam offers fun scavenger hunts that also teach you about the destination. They have a number of options for NYC, from a Greenwich Ghost Scavenger Hunt to Midtown Park Hopper and beyond.
Great Date Spots in Brooklyn
15. Experience a new, adults-only version of The Nutcracker in the heart of Brooklyn
Home to what the company dubs “Baroque Burlesque,” Company XIV presents opulent productions that reimagine classic tales like Alice in Wonderland, Ferdinand the Bull, and The Nutcracker.
Nutcracker Rouge, the company’s holiday show, runs through January and should definitely be on your list of weird date ideas in NYC.Quirky performances, romantic eateries, raw hot chocolate, and unique pairings are just a few reasons to check out our list of unique #WinterDateIdeas in #NYC!
16. Head back to the sixties for some retro-inspired shuffleboard
Decked out with all the trappings of a resort in Palm Springs, the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club has become one of the most popular fun couples things to do in NYC.
If you’ve never played shuffleboard before, don’t worry:
A pro will set you up with a five-minute lesson before your session.
17. Have dinner and a movie all in one spot
With locations in Williamsburg and Prospect Park, Nitehawk Cinema offers screenings of first-run films and classics with their very own food and beverage pairings.
Check out the theater’s special series like “Spoons, Toons & Booze,” a Saturday morning screening of classic cartoons featuring an all-you-can-eat cereal bar.
18. Catch some of comedy’s rising stars and established names performing together
At Union Hall, a fun underground venue, almost every show costs around $10, making them some of the best cheap dates in NYC.
After the show, head upstairs for a beer and a game of bocce ball in the cozy library-style bar.
19. Pretend you’re in Paris
How does steak au poivre at Couleur Cafe sound?
This adorable French cafe in Park Slope combines a friendly neighborhood vibe with a romantic ambiance that will make you want to linger for a few hours over a bottle of wine with your date.
It’s one of the best romantic restaurants in Brooklyn and should be added to any list of date night ideas for married couples and dating lovebirds, particularly those in the borough.
Great Date Spots in Queens
20. Knock down some pins
The Gutter LIC is a classic bowling lounge is perfect for a more active, but climate-controlled date night.
Looking for a late-night hang?
Head to The Gutter from 11pm to 2am on weeknights for two-for-one bowling.
21. Learn something new together
Astoria’s Q.E.D. describes itself as an “after-school space for grown-ups” and offers a huge slate of events every day from gardening workshops to poetry slams, and their selection of classes makes them a great choice for date night classes in NYC.
Head to one of their “Drink and Draw” events to get a little creative with your honey over a beer or two — no artistic experience necessary.
22. Go beyond Van Gogh and Dali at MoMA PS1
This Long Island City extension of the iconic Midtown museum houses works from up-and-comers in the art world and has become a hub for performance art and avant-garde events.
Head to PS1 on a Sunday to check out new works under the outdoor VW Dome.
23. Sip on stylish cocktails at Mosaic in Astoria
This glamorous yet cozy bar, complete with chandeliers and an extensive cocktail menu, is a fantastic spot if you’re looking for a little romance in NYC.
Split a delicious cheese plate with your date for the full Mosaic experience.
Great Date Spots in The Bronx
24. Eat your way through authentic Italian restaurants
Arthur Avenue, home to what many locals call the “Real Little Italy,” is where you’ll find the perfect slice.
While this stretch of road in the Belmont section of the Bronx isn’t huge, there are tons of delis, eateries, cheese shops, bakeries, and pizza joints to choose from.
If you’re not quite sure where to start, book an Arthur Avenue food tour for the full experience.Discover romance in all 5 boroughs this #WinterInNYC! Check out these 25 #DateIdeas in New York City. 🙂
Great Date Spots in Staten Island
25. Team up to solve a murder
The St. George Theatre is a historic Staten Island space that hosts weekly Murder Mystery Dinner Shows.
These are perfect for a unique night out.
Your ticket includes a buffet-style dinner, open bar, and the show itself, making it one of the best date night deals in the five boroughs.
Best Romantic Hotels in NYC
There are many great hotels for couples in NYC.
A few of our favorite romantic properties include:
- The NoMad Hotel. This luxury hotel in midtown combines stylish design with a welcoming feeling; a sumptuous property with a boutique flair inside of a gorgeous Beaux-Arts building. Their dining and drinking spaces are particularly noteworthy, each with it’s its own unique aesthetic, from the airy atrium to the peaceful library.
- 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. It’s one of the best places to take in the New York skyline at night or during the day!
Or, if you’d like to get out of the city, here some of the most romantic weekend getaways in Upstate NY!
What are your favorite winter date ideas in NYC?
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