Central Park in fall is one of the top photo spots in NYC

40 Unique Winter Date Ideas In NYC + Romantic Hotel Suggestions

Charlotte Dow Bronx, Discover NYC, Explore Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Romance, Staten Island 2 Comments

By Charlotte Dow & Jessie Festa. This guide to winter dates in New York City contains affiliate links to trusted partners.

Looking for the best 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 home to 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 unique and fun romantic things to do in NYC this winter.

Psst, don’t forget to pin this post for later!

Fun Winter Date Ideas In NYC: All Boroughs

nyc winter date ideas on a NYC Photo Journey
Couples enjoying the sights on a private NYC Photo Journey. Click here to learn more!

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 and Professional NYC Photoshoots, both of which also come with more looks and poses as well as a pre-shoot planning call.

These experiences offer some of the most memorable winter dates ideas in NYC!

2. Sip the NYC’s best hot chocolate

We don’t mean the powder packet kind, but a steaming cup of liquified artisan chocolate.

In Union Square, you can visit Max Brenner, one of the top winter date spots in Manhattan. Here, everything on the menu is infused with chocolate, from the pizza to the waffles to the cocktails. Of course, this also includes a delicious selection of hot chocolate in flavors like Oreo, Hazelnut, and Peanut Butter.

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 Bushwick, Brooklyn, visit Fine & Raw 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!

the city reliqary is a quirky winter date spot in nyc
The City Reliquary. Photo via Jessie Festa.

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 one of Manhattan’s last remaining Forever Wild forests.

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, and Red Hook Winery — which, by the way, boasts incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline across the East River.

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 Lower East Side Walking Wine Tasting Tour, where you’ll to sip and explore with a trained sommelier guide!

visiting nyc in winter
Central Park is stunning all-year-round, even in winter. Photo taken on a private NYC Photo Journey. Click here to book yours!

5. Spend time in seasonal outdoor spots

Romantic things to do in NYC in winter abound, especially when you head out hand-in-hand to explore the local parks.

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 (and are great places to have picnics in NYC), though are especially gorgeous with a fresh blanket of fallen snow on which to walk 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 wander the Holiday Village and learn to juggle in Bryant Park, see New Year’s Eve fireworks in Prospect Park, and do a Great Lawn Tree Walk in Central Park — one of many romantic Central Park experiences and one of the top spots for a Central Park photoshoot.

All three of these parks also offer winter ice skating.

Pro tip:

The local parks are great for NYC winter photography and are some of the best places to take pictures in NYC.

6. Stroll hand-in-hand through a holiday market.

During the holiday season, tons of delightful markets pop up throughout the five boroughs offering gifts from local artisans and delicious treats to keep you warm.

The Union Square Holiday Market is always a favorite, featuring tons of shops and delicious eats.

In Brooklyn, check out The Makers Show at City Point, a weekend market featuring unique finds from vendors all over the city.

Fun Winter Dates Ideas In Manhattan

7. Learn to cook authentic Italian cuisine at one of NYC’s food Meccas

Looking for NYC winter date ideas that are also tasty? Then you’ll love this one!

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.

8. 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 Cellar Dog, 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.

9. Take in some cutting-edge art for free at the many galleries in Chelsea

If you’re searching for creative NYC date ideas in winter, 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.

When in doubt, you can always walk the High Line, which features rotating public sculptures, gardens, and incredible views — even in winter. The benefit of enjoying this NYC date idea during winter is it’s much less crowded than the warmer seasons.

Bonus: You can also book a tour of the High Line to learn its fascinating history.

10. 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.

And if you enjoy taking photos, this is also one of the most Instagrammable places in New York!

11. Set the mood with a burlesque show at The Slipper Room

Hailed as the “birthplace of neo-burlesque,” The Slipper Room is a small but sexy theater on the Lower East Side and is a fun place to catch some of New York’s best burlesque acts.

You can see so much more than a strip tease here, as shows at The Slipper Room range from magic to sideshows to aerial acts, perfect for a unique winter night out in NYC.

Be sure to check the theater’s website to see what’s on and book your tickets, as shows can sell out quickly.

12. Sip the holidays at a festive cocktail bar

Looking for ideas for boozy NYC winter dates? 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.

Need help capturing the best of NYC — with you in the photos? 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.

13. 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…

While inebriated.

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.

14. Split a pupu platter and a classic tiki drink

Tiki Chick 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 Upper West Side for an evening of island-inspired bites and fruity drinks — in uber cool glassware, of course.

Recommendation: a “Shark Snacks” featuring El Dorado 3-Year Rum, Espolon Blanco Tequila, apricot, coconut, grapefruit, and lime served in a bloody shark head glass.

Pair your unique drink with a “Stiki Tiki” made with buttermilk fried chicken, shaved Spam, grilled pineapple, tiki sauce, and pickle chips. Yum!

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.

15. Share a round of fresh oysters

The Mermaid Inn in the East Village s a truly romantic gem if you’re looking for ideas for winter dates in NYC!

Seafood lovers and cocktail snobs alike will enjoy this cozy spot, and their great daily happy hour specials make it one of the best inexpensive romantic restaurants in NYC.

16. Spin some tunes at Tokyo Record Bar

Hidden away in a Greenwich Village basement, Tokyo Record Bar is a unique experience perfect for date night in New York City.

Inspired by the record bars of Japan, this eatery lets guests create a custom soundtrack for every dinner seating, pairing classic vinyl records with a delicious tasting menu of iyazaka eats.

This is the perfect night out for any music nerd, vinyl collector, or fan of Japanese cuisine

17. Have a relaxing evening together at the AIRE Ancient Baths

This 19th-century industrial building in Tribeca doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside you’ll find AIRE Ancient Baths, a fabulous spa inspired by ancient Greek, Roman, and Ottoman baths.

With an Ancient Baths pass, you can enjoy 90 minutes in the various candlelit thermal pools that are sure to melt your cares away.

You can also add on services like massages, Himalayan salt rituals, scrubs, and more for extra relaxation and romance.

Swingers Crazy Golf is a fun winter date idea in NYC
Swingers offers the perfect winter date spot in NYC! Photo via Swingers Crazy Golf.

18. Challenge each other to a round at Swingers Crazy Golf

Located in NoMad, Swingers Crazy Golf is an underground space featuring three mini golf courses, cocktail bars, street food vendors, and more.

Swingers’ nine-hole courses showcase elaborate set pieces, challenging obstacles, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

Challenge each other to a round, and then enjoy some delicious cocktails in one of the venue’s lounge spaces.

Fun Winter Dates Ideas In Brooklyn

19. 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. You’ve very likely never seen such a dazzling and risqué version of this classic play!

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. Catch some of comedy’s rising stars and established names performing together

At Union Hall, a fun underground venue, almost every comedy 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.

23. Pretend you’re in Paris

How does steak au poivre at Couleur Cafe sound?

This adorable French cafe in Park Slope is one of the top winter date spots in Brooklyn, combining 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 partner.

It’s one of the best romantic restaurants in Brooklyn and should be added to any list of date night ideas in NYC for married couples and dating lovebirds, particularly those in the borough.

24. Channel your inner lumberjack at Kick Axe Throwing

Want to show off your brute strength to your date?

Head to Kick Axe Throwing in Gowanus, where you can spend the evening learning how to throw axes and hatchets from a pro and challenge each other to fun games.

The whole bar has a cool mountain lodge feel, making it the perfect spot for a winter evening out.

Once you’re done with your axe session, you can enjoy a craft beer in the lodge — winner has to pick up the tab!

The Brooklyn Museum’s exterior is particularly dazzling at night. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

25. Take in an afternoon of art at the Brooklyn Museum

Manhattan may have the Met, but the Brooklyn Museum is the perfect place to take in some art and culture on the other side of the East River.

The massive museum houses tons of art from throughout American history as well as rotating exhibits from contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, Virgil Abloh, KAWS, and more.

The museum also hosts tons of great events — like talks with artists and curators, musical performances, and salsa dancing parties. Check out their calendar to learn more!

26. Meet a (potential) new furry friend at Brooklyn Cat Cafe

Located in Brooklyn Heights, a visit to the Brooklyn Cat Cafe is probably the coziest winter date in NYC you could plan.

The cafe features tons of adorable adoptable cats you can play with, feed, and cuddle for up to two hours.

Want to make it official with one of your favorite kitties, or just learn more about fostering and the adoption process?

Volunteers and staff members are onsite to help you out.

Get into the holiday spirit with a stroll through Dyker Heights. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

27. Check out some of the best light displays in town on a Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Tour

The Dyker Heights neighborhood is famous for its elaborate holiday light displays that attract thousands of visitors from far and wide every year.

Get the scoop on all the best light shows with a guided bus tour around the neighborhood.

This 3.5-hour guided tour takes you to all the best houses and gives you some insight into what goes into creating these massive displays.

You’ll also get some sweet treats and gifts to commemorate your night out. This is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit with your boo!

28. Take in the best of film and the performing arts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

Featuring an opera house, cinemas, galleries and studio theatres, Brooklyn Academy of Music is a playground for all things arts.

There’s always something going on at BAM, from plays starring some of the top names in theater to unique dance pieces to renowned films and screenings of hidden gems.

You’ll find something interesting almost any night of the week, so go through the calendar with your date and find something new!

Fun Winter Dates Ideas In Queens

29. Knock down some pins

The Gutter LIC is a classic bowling lounge that is fun for a more active, but climate-controlled date night in NYC.

Looking for a late-night hang?

Head to The Gutter from 11pm to 2am on weeknights for two-for-one bowling. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy NYC after midnight!

30. 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. Plus, their selection of classes makes them a great choice for date night classes in NYC.

Recommendation:

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.

moma ps1 is a fun NYC winter date idea
Explore the world of contemporary art at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo by Pablo Enriquez.

31. Go beyond Van Gogh and Dali at MoMA PS1

There are so many fun things to do in Long Island City, Queens, like visiting 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.

32. 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. It’s truly one of the top winter date spots in Queens.

Split a delicious cheese plate with your date for the full Mosaic experience.

33. Learn the rules of the range at Queens Archery

Located in Flushing, this indoor archery range is the perfect place to spend an NYC winter afternoon and learn something new with your boo.

Queens Archery offers lessons Tuesday through Sunday covering the basics that will get you up and shooting targets within just a few minutes.

Whether you’ve shot a bow and arrow before or just want to learn a new skill, you’re sure to come away from your lesson feeling powerful.

34. Stroll among giant sculptures at the Noguchi Museum

Founded by artist Isamu Noguchi in 1985, the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City was the first in the country established by a living artist to display their own work.

Today, the museum houses the world’s largest collection of Noguchi’s works, from giant sculptures to light installations and more.

The museum also features works by contemporary artists and architects inspired by Noguchi’s works.

35. Travel back to the Swingin’ 60s together at the TWA Hotel

Located at John F. Kennedy Airport, the TWA Hotel turns the historic TWA terminal into a mid-century modern-style hotel, complete with fun restaurants, a rooftop pool, and an original TWA plane turned cocktail bar.

You don’t need a reservation at the hotel to enjoy all it has to offer, either!

The hotel also has tons of great NYC winter offerings like the “Runway Chalet,” a ski lodge-themed bar located next to the heated “pool-cuzzi” open year round.

Need help capturing the best of NYC — with you in the photos? 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.

Fun Winter Dates Ideas In The Bronx

pignoli cookies on athur avenue in the bronx
Enjoying fresh-made Italian pignoli cookies on Arthur Avenue, a fun date spot in NYC. Photo via Jessie Festa.

36. Eat your way through authentic Italian restaurants

Often, the most fun date ideas in NYC in winter involve food. And 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.

You’ll have no shortage of delicious winter date spots in The Bronx to choose from, though if you’re not quite sure where to start, book an Arthur Avenue food tour for the full experience.

37. Take in the dazzling holiday lights at the New York Botanical Garden

NYBG GLOW, a recently-introduced holiday light show at the New York Botanical Garden, has quickly become a favorite of New York couples.

The outdoor display features acres of gorgeous lights that set the famous gardens aglow and make for a magical NYC date night in winter.

GLOW also features a special pop-up food fair from The Bronx Night Market as well as awesome live ice-carving demonstrations from talented artists.

Fun Winter Dates Ideas On Staten Island

gullivers gate nyc is a great winter date spot
Gulliver’s Gate in NYC — a great winter date spot! Photo via Jessie Festa.

38. Go on an indoor scavenger hunt

Gulliver’s Gate on Staten Island 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?

There are loads of fun scavenger hunts in NYC that also teach you about the destination. A few fun options include:

As these are all under $20, they’re some of the best date night deals in NYC.

39. Have a delicious meal cooked by grandma

Nobody cooks like grandma, so why not impress your sweetheart by planning a unique night out at Enoteca Maria — one of the top winter date spots on Staten Island!

This Italian wine bar in Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood has a delicious program called “Nonnas of the World” where they invite grandmas from around the globe to make their favorite recipes for patrons.

Check their calendar to choose your date based on your favorite cuisine, whether you’re craving Peruvian, Sri Lanken, Argentinian, Palestinian, Italian, or something else!

40. Relax together with a singing bowl meditation at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

If you’re seeking winter in NYC date ideas with a cultural twist, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art is one of Staten Island’s true hidden gems, tucked away among the trees of High Rock Park.

Featuring an extensive collection of Tibetan art, the museum is dedicated to celebrating the culture of Tibet, Mongolia, and Northern China.

The museum also offers regular classes in Tibetan yoga and Tai Chi, as well as singing bowl meditation sessions.

Held in a spacious room filled with traditional art, you’ll spend your session raising your vibrations and healing while listening to the gorgeous sounds of gongs, singing bowls, and bells.

Who says you can’t destress in the city that never sleeps?

westlight nyc is a great winter date spot in nyc
Stealing at winter kiss at the top of the William Vale Hotel in Brooklyn. Click here to book!

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 some of the most romantic weekend getaways in Upstate NY!

Need help capturing the best of NYC — with you in the photos? 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.

What are your favorite winter date ideas in NYC?

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Charlotte Dow

Comments 2

  1. Hi Charlotte Dow!

    I’m Kristina and I’m a part of a new startup called Amiccio that focuses on social / dating events in NYC, and helping our audience grow their social circle. We host various types of events like speed dating / singles events, parties, beginners dance classes, geared towards those who are new to the city, recently graduated, or wish to meet new friends / romantic partners.

    We saw your blog about dating hacks in NYC, and are currently looking for journalists / bloggers with existing pages / articles related to the topic of dating or social events, to see if you can add our website link to your article page. You can include a short blurb, section, or new article – up to you. We just would like the link for SEO purposes.

    You are also welcome to come to one of our events for free if interested, and we can pay you $100 for including the link in your article. We are open to negotiating and sorting out different types of partnerships – let us know if you are interested!

    Best,
    Kristina

    https://www.amiccio.com/Events/

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