New York City has inspired some of the most famous romantic comedies of all time, from When Harry Met Sally to Serendipity… So why is it that all too often, we fall back on the less-than-novel dinner-and-drinks date? Sure, we New Yorkers have some of the best culinary experiences at our fingertips, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't shake up our date-night plans every now and again.
Whether you're about to embark on a first date with someone special or are planning something fun for your 10-year anniversary, there's never any harm in trying something new. In a new relationship, it may help you get to know your date on a deeper level, and in an established relationship, it might help you avoid falling into a routine. No matter how long you've been dating, these are the best date ideas in New York City—they just might make you fall in love with the city all over again, too.
If It's a First Date
Take a Walk in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden: A fantastic alternative to the classic weeknight drink, a walk through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden will give you time to actually get to know each other sans alcohol.
Try a Cocktail-Making Class at Liquor Lab: If you do want some liquid courage, take a cocktail-making class at Liquor Lab, which specializes in anything from tequilas and tacos to iconic NYC cocktails.
Spin Vinyl at Tokyo Record Bar: Grab a drink and a bite to eat at Tokyo Record Bar, an izakaya and vinyl bar where you help make the playlist for the night—so you'll get to know (read: judge) your date's musical taste.
If You've Been Dating a Week
See a Concert at Carnegie Hall: Dinner and drinks are nice when you're on your second or third date, but a concert at Carnegie Hall is unexpected and something you frankly probably never do as a New Yorker. It's a surefire way to impress your date.
Explore a New Neighborhood: Trying something new is one of the best ways to form a deeper connection with someone, so pick a neighborhood you've never been to, and go for an adventure. May we suggest Red Hook?
Get Your Game On at Royal Palms: Skip the local sports bar's beer pool table and try playing shuffleboard instead. Royal Palms in Brooklyn is a guaranteed good time—and it's way more fun than the bowling alleys at Chelsea Piers.
If You've Been Dating a Month
See a Comedy Show: Sure, comedy shows are a lbit of a NYC cliché, but they're also really fun. And while it can be awkward on a first date to get grilled by the comedian onstage at the Comedy Cellar, it's just fun and games when you're a month into the relationship.
Try a New Fitness Class: The one-month mark in a relationship is a great time to get active with your new flame without worrying about getting ridiculously flushed or sweaty. Try Brrrn, Flatiron's new cold-room workout, to mitigate the sweatiness. You can even try the infrared sauna together afterward.
Take a Cooking Class at Eataly: Cooking together is a great way to deepen a connection with someone new, but in tiny NYC apartments, it can be quite challenging. Why not take a cooking class instead? Eataly offers a great selection, from pasta-making to pizza workshops.
If You've Been Dating a Year
Go Glamping on Governors Island: Collective Retreats is finally arriving in NYC. Take a ferry to Governor's Island, and spend a night glamping under the stars overlooking the Manhattan skyline. It's a fantastic way to celebrate the one-year mark.
Take a Pottery Class in Brooklyn: If you've fallen into a routine of going to the same restaurants or watching the same TV series each Monday night, switch it up with a pottery-making class at Choplet in Brooklyn. You'll channel your inner Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.
Tour the Galleries in Chelsea: Chelsea is filled with incredible art galleries, but be honest: When was the last time you actually visited them? Walk around the various gallery spaces with your S.O. and pick imaginary art for your future home together.
If You've Been Dating 10 Years
See a Movie at the Brooklyn Bridge Park: Going to the movies is great, but in the summer, it's a little uninspiring. Instead, head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park to a Movies With a View night, and watch your favorite flick overlooking the city skyline.
Treat Yourself at Ancient Aire Baths: If you're feeling a little exhausted from a long day at work or have young children at home, treat yourself to a day at Ancient Aires Baths, where you get to just relax in a romantic candlelit environment.
Book a Private Karaoke Room: Most New Yorkers love to karaoke, but when was the last time you actually went? Book a room at Sing Sing Karaoke in the East Village and let loose with your S.O. It's always a good idea to switch it up.
Next up: 7 date-night ideas for married couples that you told us about.