Grabbing drinks and dinner is a fine date idea, but sometimes you want to spice things up a little bit. We all know that spending the afternoon in Central Park is an amazing date idea, but there are so many things to do and places to see in NYC that make memorable and romantic dates. Here is a list of places to take a date in NYC, whether it’s for your anniversary or your first Tinder date. Plus, all of these places and activities are less than $20 dollars per person.
1. Spend an afternoon at The Met
The Met is always a great place to bring a date because there’s so much to see, and features new exhibitions often. New York State residents can get in for free (read: suggested donation) and if you’re a student, the ticket is only 12 dollars.
2. Bring a picnic to Thompkins’s Square Park
Thompkins’s Square Park is located in the East Village and is great for a mid-day picnic, especially with all the amazing restaurants that are nearby. The park also has basketball courts, chess tables, ping pong tables and a dog park.
3. Go everywhere!
You can rent a Citi Bike for 24 hours for only $12 dollars. Bike along the Hudson River Greenway or the East River Greenway for beautiful views of the water, or head across the bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park for breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. And this way, you don’t have to choose just one of the places to take a date in NYC–you can have them all!
4. Watch the boats at Seaport
Seaport district is just about the farthest downtown you can get in Manhattan. On South Street there is a beautiful two-level structure with seating on both levels and grass on the second. It’s a beautiful place to sit at night and watch the ferries go by.
5. Ride Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo
Jane’s Carousel is in the Brooklyn Bridge Park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, which has the perfect waterfront view. Tickets to ride the carousel are only 2 dollars, and Dumbo has plenty of attractions to see afterward. You can also check out the Brooklyn Flea on Sundays, or just walk the rest of the park and take the ferry back to Manhattan.
6. Take the Staten Island Ferry at sunset
The Staten Island Ferry is free to ride and leaves around every half hour. If you time it right with the sunset, you can get a gorgeous view of the Statue of Liberty. Feel free to bring food and drinks, or stop at the Dairy Queen in the port before heading back.
7. Laugh together at a comedy show
UCB Theatre has two locations in New York, one in Hell’s Kitchen and the other in the East Village. They have a huge range and variety of comedy shows every night, with tickets from free to $12.
8. Get away from the city at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
This century-old Kings County garden is a romantic getaway from the bustling city. You’ll find rose gardens, a fragrance garden and an indoor conservatory with multiple rooms of plants from different climates. Going in the spring time is beautiful since the weather isn’t too hot and there are 50 acres of blooming cherry blossoms to walk through.
9. Hold hands on the High Line
The High Line is an elevated park that was built on a historic freight train line. It runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, and often has popsicle and art vendors along the trail. It’s a gorgeous park, with plenty of places to sit or take pictures from above. There are also a bunch of great restaurants and bars nearby, if you need to use a second one of the places to take a date in NYC for the same day. That is, if it goes well…
10. Attend a Sofar Sounds gig
Sofar Sounds concerts are one of a kind, and there’s one almost every night. To go to one, you’ll need to plan ahead since the guest list is decided by a lottery. Basically, you choose the date you want to go to a concert and you find out the venue and the details about the show the day of – so it’s a mystery every time. The venues are intimate, the shows are super fun and tickets are only $15.
What are your favorite places to take a date in NYC? Did we miss any? Let us know below in the comments!
Isabelle is a journalism major and English and media studies minor at Northeastern University. She is a writer, editorial intern and social media enthusiast with a passion for the digital universe. At the moment, you can find Isabelle living and working in New York City for SWAAY Media, Society19 and Flocabulary, focusing on writing, editing and digital content creation.