20+ Date Ideas in NYC (That You'll Actually Want to Do)

Our guide to date ideas in NYC that won't break the bank (or bore you to tears)!

Let’s be real for a sec, here. Finding date ideas in NYC is pretty easy. After all, this is the city that never sleeps! The bad news? Finding good date ideas in NYC is going to be a lot harder. 

If you really want to impress that special someone, you’ve gotta get a little creative, think outside of the box. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with dinner or a movie, but if you want to smash this date outta the park (and hey, why did you ask them out if you don’t want to do that?) you’ll need some cute, fun and romantic date ideas in NYC that you haven’t tried before.


So whether it’s money, a lack of creativity or something else that’s stopping you from having incredible dates in New York, keep reading to find 20+ date ideas in NYC that won’t remind you of your ex (or break the bank). 

Read on to find out the best date ideas in NYC, as chosen by us!

And just so you know - we’re not paid by anybody to include these on our list. They’re just places we’ve been or experiences we’ve loved that you can use for great date ideas in New York.

The Best Date Ideas NYC

Of course you’re in a hurry, this is New York! Here are our best date ideas in NYC to get you started…

Go On A Romantic Scavenger Hunt Through NYC


Whether you and your future (or current) soulmate are born and bred New Yorkers or you’re just visiting the city, we can guarantee you that you’ve never tried anything like this before.

You and your date will receive clues, puzzles and riddles to your phone that you need to work out together to take you on a romantic adventure through the city. 

Don’t worry - there’s no goofy or cringe stops included. Just a whole lot of interesting places, an opportunity for teamwork and to get to know each other doing a fun but cute activity that will ignite a romantic spark between you…

BONUS: These scavenger hunts come with cafe and bar recommendations included, so you can suggest taking a cute recess somewhere cozy without any research!

Watch an Indie Movie at MoMA


Yeah, you read the title correctly.

Did you know that one of New York’s most iconic museums houses three in-house theaters? As you might expect, this isn’t the place to go see the latest Marvel movie or even anything you’ve seen the shorts for online. 

This is where to go if you know your date is into Indie documentaries, foreign language movies or niche subjects like obscure 20th century cartoons. The awesome thing about this is that showings are limited and the range is phenomenal, so you’re sure to find something interesting to see together!

Visit The Last Place on Earth


Somehow, apocalypse movies always seem to involve romance, but lucky for you, this NYC date idea has nothing to do with impending doom (despite its title).

The Last Place on Earth is actually an awesome board game cafe located in Greenpoint, on Graham Avenue that gives you and your SO a chance to battle-it-out in a cozy, adorable environment.

Whether you’re both gamers or total noobs, this is a cute place to get to know each other if this is your first date, or a place to remind your partner why you always play player 1! 

PSST: This place also has an incredible variety of teas (we’re talking 27 if you include the iced teas!).

Solve a Murder Mystery in Manhattan


Sure, this idea is a little out of the box…but you wanna impress your date, right?

Instead of becoming partners in crime, become partners in solving crime. 

Ideal for true crime lovers and players of Among Us, The Devil in Chelsea provides a head-scratching mystery that will bring the pair of you closer together as you try to solve a mystery in real time, right on the banks of the Hudson.

Combine your powers of deduction with your partner’s eagle-eye for detail (or vice versa) and get solving today! This murder mystery-style game also comes with optional embedded breaks at cafes and bars, so there’s plenty of time to stare lovingly into your sweetheart’s eyes while showing them how great you are at problem-solving…

Take a Picnic to Central or Columbus Park


You don’t have to be a New Yorker to know that during most hours of the day, Central Park is full of couples. It's one of the most iconic places in the city, which in New York is really saying something.

But if you want to mix it up by exploring one of New York’s lesser-known green spaces, I'd personally recommend Columbus Park as one of the best candidates. 

First, it’s a peaceful (well, as peaceful as New York gets) oasis that has plenty of outdoor seating to accommodate you and your partner. Secondly, Columbus park is popular with the Asian-American community (it's right next-door to Chinatown), many of whom enjoy a game of Mahjong - you don’t have to join in but if you think your partner’s up to a match, give it a try! 

Try an Outdoor Escape Room Together

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You probably don’t need me to remind you that locking someone up with you on a first date is creepy, but just in case, consider this a warning. Especially if you’re looking for first date ideas in NYC.

Instead, invite your date along to play an outdoor escape room together through an NY neighborhood of your choice! This keeps the atmosphere light and friendly, you’ll never be stuck for conversation topics and there’s nothing like a little learning together to get closer to your date…

Bring Your Pups to Walt Whitman Park

- B McEwan

What could be more romantic than a stroll around a park dedicated to a poet?

If you have a dog or know your lover is crazy about canines, consider a trip to Walt Whitman Park in Brooklyn. You probably remember Whitman from your high school years - if you don’t, no biggie, Google will “refresh” your memory - and there’s nothing like poetry to get your heart thumping a little faster.

This park is super popular with New York dog walkers, so it’s the perfect place to bring your four-legged friends if you have any. If you don’t, you can always enjoy a walk around the fountain and read the poetry laid out in front of you anyways.

Scope Out The Sunset at Little Bay Bridge Pier


Ok, let’s get this out of the way early: sunset is a big deal in New York City, date or not. 

Whether you’re in a skyscraper or on the ground, you’ll quickly realize this is prime date time and because of this, everywhere gets pretty crowded. 

Little Bay Bridge Pier is a little out of the city (Queens) and requires a bumpy walk to get there, but it’s worth the effort once the sun comes down. Expect gorgeous views and a nice, wholesome place to enjoy nature’s beauty together. 

PSST: This is New York, so there’s a small possibility that you might stumble upon a rat or two here. You also have to walk across uneven rocks to reach the end of the pier, so tell your date to wear comfortable shoes (heels are an absolute no-go). 

Fun Date Ideas in NYC

Loosen up and have a ball - here are some fun date ideas in NYC that don’t involve boring, awkward pauses…

Experience Drunk Shakespeare

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore didn’t you suggest Drunk Shakespeare for our date?

If you’re looking for date ideas in NYC that show your romantic and humorous side, opt for Drunk Shakespeare. What is it? A professional actor gets loaded up with five whiskey shots before trying to recite lines from a Shakespeare play. In other words, it’s awesome.

Go on A Self-Guided NYC Walking Tour

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Walking tours are awesome for opening your eyes to the history and culture of a place, but it can be a little awkward to persuade someone you barely know to join a bunch of strangers for the adventure.

Luckily, you don’t have to. Self-guided walking tours like these have no guide and allow you and your date to explore at your own pace. If you’re a competitive pair, race against the clock to top the NYC leaderboard. Otherwise, take your time exploring the city, learning together, and enjoying a romantic stroll through historic streets…

Live, Laugh, Love at Broadway Comedy Club


For date ideas in NYC that take the pressure off, give Broadway Comedy Club a try. 

What better way to learn about your date than finding out what makes them laugh? Allow comedians to do the hard work for you as you enjoy a night of comedy in Midtown Manhattan! 

This venue has a minimum two drink per person order (standard for New York comedy clubs) but drink prices aren’t extortionate (a Long Island iced tea is a mere 10 bucks!).

Snap Up Some Bargains at a Flea Market


New York isn’t the cheapest city in the world to try to win over a date, but difficult-to-find isn’t the same as impossible…

Challenge your date to a flea market bargain hunt at one of New York’s many flea markets. Shop around to find one that your date will like - some have cool antique photos, others specialize in furniture or jewelry, etc - and set a budget you both have to stick to.

When you’re done, head to a cozy cafe and talk over your finds! There’s no shortage of weird memorabilia in the city and you’re sure to leave the date with at least one funny story…

Play Mini Golf at Pier 25


When you’re stuck for date ideas in NYC, you can always rely on a classic.

An ideal choice for first date ideas in NYC or a relaxed activity for couples who’ve been together a long time, mini golf is the perfect way to lose a few hours to some innocent fun.

Hudson River Park in Tribeca is home to an incredible 18-hole miniature golf course that has gorgeous views of the city skyline (we won’t judge you for taking a cute couple selfie here). 

Sip Some Drinks at Rooftop Reds


If your partner isn’t a New Yorker or you’re both visiting The Big Apple together for the first time, head to Rooftop Reds.

Although it looks like any old rooftop bar, Rooftop Reds is actually a winery with a “world-first” attached to it. Opened in 2016, Rooftop Reds became the global first commercially-viable rooftop vineyard. 

Since then, wine-lovers have been sipping on their favorite adult grape juice with impeccable views of the city, surrounded by the wonders and curiosities that only Brooklyn can provide…

Play a Game of Shuffleboard at Royal Palms


Never played a game of shuffleboard before? Prepare to find your next obsession.

Playing shuffleboard at Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn stands out as a unique and memorable NYC date idea, thanks to the novelty of the game in New York City. 

If you’re useless at sports, don’t worry: it's an easy-to-learn activity, making it accessible and enjoyable even for beginners like me! The venue also offers an array of drinks and there are numerous food trucks selling incredible food, so there are plenty of options if you want to indulge in tasty treats and cocktails as you play. 

Lastly, this is an awesome activity for group dates since it adds a social dimension - it doesn’t matter who’s good or bad at the game, just that you’re having a good time! 

Cheap But Cute Date Ideas in NYC

Wanna show your SO your cute side? Here are some cute date ideas in NYC that won’t break the bank…

Visit Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich 


Nestled in a stunning Victorian Gothic building, this historic site offers a tranquil and intimate setting, ideal for couples seeking a quiet, intellectual experience. 

The library, with its serene reading rooms and a diverse collection of books, provides a perfect backdrop for meaningful conversations and even cultural experiences. Adjacent to the library is the beautiful Jefferson Market Garden, a picturesque spot for a leisurely stroll or a relaxed chat amidst blooming flowers. 

This NYC date idea is not only culturally enriching and visually appealing but also budget-friendly, as there's no cost to visit the library. It's a unique choice that blends culture, history, and the charm of one of New York's most enchanting neighborhoods.

Get Reflective at the Nicholas Roerich Museum

Discover a hidden gem in New York City with a date at the Nicholas Roerich Museum!

Nestled in a charming Upper West Side townhouse, this intimate museum showcases the mystical art of Nicholas Roerich, offering a serene and reflective ambiance. Dive into a world of spiritual and cultural richness, free of charge, as you explore Roerich's captivating paintings and philosophies…

Afterward, extend your date with a romantic stroll through the picturesque streets or Riverside Park nearby. Perfect for art lovers and those seeking a tranquil, culturally enriching experience, this museum promises a uniquely memorable and affordable date in the heart of Manhattan.

Get Gourmet at Gottscheer Hall in Queens


Sure, most dinner date venues are fairly standard and unlikely to surprise your partner into falling head over heels with you - but I make an exception for Gottscheer Hall.

Gottscheer Hall is a hidden gem in Ridgewood, Queens. This historic beer hall, with its roots in the Gottscheer community, offers an authentic taste of Central European culture in New York City. Imagine stepping into a space that feels like a cozy, old-world tavern, where you can indulge in delicious Eastern European cuisine and a wide selection of beers. 

The warm, welcoming atmosphere, often complemented by live music or cultural events, makes it perfect for a relaxed, yet engaging date. Whether you're clinking beer steins, savoring hearty dishes, or swaying to folk tunes, Gottscheer Hall promises an experience that's not just a meal, but a delightful cultural journey. 

Bring a Pack of Cards to St Nicholas Park in Harlem


Am I seriously suggesting you bring a pack of cards with you to Harlem to impress your date? Yes I am!  

This scenic park, nestled in the heart of Harlem, offers a beautiful backdrop of lush greenery and historic city views, perfect for a laid-back, intimate outdoor date. By bringing along a pack of cards, you instantly eliminate any awkward conversation starters and you can get as creative as you like with the games (build a tower, play go fish, whatever floats your boat). 

Find a cozy spot under the trees or by the historic Hamilton Grange and let the relaxed atmosphere of the park ease you into conversation and playful competition, fostering a casual yet personal connection between you two human lovebirds. 

Get Artsy at The Met


If you’re looking for date ideas in NYC that are sophisticated, intelligent and interesting, you can’t go wrong with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York City.

This enchanting experience combines culture, history, and romance and is a great way to spend an afternoon or evening with your SO. As one of the world's largest and most diverse art museums, The Met offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore a vast array of art from various periods and cultures, making every visit a new adventure. Whether strolling hand-in-hand through ancient Egyptian artifacts, admiring Impressionist paintings, or exploring contemporary exhibits, the museum's grandeur and beauty provide a perfect backdrop for deepening connections and sparking conversations. 

After exploring the galleries, you can enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of the museum's elegant cafes, or take a romantic walk in Central Park, which is just steps away. 

Find More Things to Do in New York with CityDays

Whatever your interests are, there’s always something new for you to discover and do in New York.

In fact, you don’t have to go out of your way at all to find them - you just have to know where to look. 

Discover New York’s secret sights and noteworthy nooks by playing one of our New York urban exploration games! 

All you have to do is team up with your partner, friends, family or whoever to solve riddles, complete challenges and answer trivia to lead you on an unforgettable journey around NYC’s most intriguing streets. 

New York Empire State Building

The best part? We’ll recommend top-rated bars and cafés along the way and give your team the chance to earn rewards by competing on our leaderboard! 

CityDays gives you total freedom to start and finish whenever you like, take extra breaks if you want or need them, and it’s suitable for people of all ages. 

You’re also guaranteed your money back if you don’t have an amazing time - although our previous reviews speak for themselves: we’re rated 5/5 on TripAdvisor and 4.95/5 on Google Reviews!