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Romantic Things to Do in New York City

romantic things to do in New York City
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The Best Romantic Things to Do in New York City

New York is a magical place to spend time with a loved one. As a native New Yorker, I’m excited to share my favorite romantic things to do in New York City. They’re all practical and easy.

Maybe you’re going on a date with someone you recently met. Or, perhaps you’re planning to surprise your lifelong partner with a memorable excursion. Without a doubt, these tips will certainly offer an experience to remember.

Romantic things to do in New York City

My below list of romantic things to do in New York City are not your typical tourist options. I’ve lived in this city for nearly a decade, so every suggestion is based on my own experiences.

Romantic Things to Do in New York During the Day

Enjoying the great outdoors can easily be just as romantic as a candle-lit dinner. Here are some of the best activities for spending the day out and about in wonderful New York.

Explore the New York Botanical Gardens

A slow-paced and beautiful escape, the New York Botanical Gardens tops my list of romantic spots. Explore eye-catching blooms and exotic tropical fauna. Some of these you’d never expect to encounter in the northeastern United States

The Lily Pads were my absolute favorite!

romantic date during the day

There are so many tranquil ponds, lush enclaves of cedar trees, and romantic pathways to stroll hand-in-hand with your other half. Additionally, The NY Botanical Gardens located in the Bronx, are a great socially-distanced activity during our current Covid-conscious era.

If you’re driving, it’s easy to park in the New York Botanical Gardens lot. The fee is $15, payable by cash or card. You can also get there via public transit. From central Manhattan, you can take the D subway train to the Fordham Road Grand Concourse stop. 

New York Botanical Gardens

After, I recommend you grab a quick Uber ride to the entrance of the gardens. Alternatively, you can transfer to the BX 12 city bus and go one stop. I do not recommend walking from the subway to the garden. In my honest opinion, this particular area of town won’t feel so romantic!

Relax in Sheep's Meadow, Central Park

Next is Sheep’s Meadow, a New York local favorite. A few hours in one of Central Park’s most popular fields can be a hassle-free date spot. Surrounding trees offer the option of cooling shade if you prefer to avoid the vast expanse of the open fields.

central park romantic area

Sheep’s Meadow is LGBT-friendly and offers a carefree, relaxed ambiance. If you love lounging in the outdoors, then this spot is certainly a top contender of all the possible romantic things to do in New York City.

Pack some food for a snack, a comfortable lawn towel, and get cozy with your loved one under some blue skies.

Eat With A View Of The Brooklyn Bridge

A huge stretch of the Brooklyn Bridge waterfront area has been reconstructed and a bunch of high-end restaurants have moved in. It’s all in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood.

One of the most stylish is the world-class Cecconi’s Restaurant, where you can dine indoors or out here in their Dumbo location. You’ll also get a direct view of the Brooklyn Bridge near a window or out on the terrace.

lunch entree at Brooklyn bridge restaurant

Of all the romantic New York City experiences, eating at a restaurant like Cecconi’s will easily top your list of memorable moments. This area of Brooklyn is much tamer than the frenetic restaurants of midtown. It has such a pleasant vibe.

Plus, you can stroll the gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge Park before or after your meal.

Take in Impressive Skyline Views

The Empire State Building is out and Edge New York is in! Located in the sparkling Hudson Yards neighborhood, Edge New York is the highest observation deck in the western hemisphere.

These 360-degree views of the city are unbeatable. Since there is an outdoor observation deck as well as an indoor area, getting tickets to Edge New York is one of the best romantic things to new in New York during winter.

New York City romantic things to do in winter

Typically, Edge observation deck reservations are needed quite far in advance since they tend to fill up. Trust me, you won’t want to miss the glass floor!

Evening New York City Romantic Date Ideas

Impress your partner with a chic night out, or plan the perfect evening date. Here are some local New Yorker’s favorites for romantic evening activities.

Rooftop Cocktail Lounges

What’s more idyllic than enjoying a few cocktails as the sun sets over the New York City skyline? We all enjoy a nice view, so dress your best for an evening to remember.

Evening romantic things to do in New York City

You’ve got a lot of options here, too. Enjoy an up-close view of the Freedom Tower and Hudson River at the Arlo SoHo Hotel Rooftop, with ample seating both bar-height tables and cozy sofas.

It’s also a great spot for a double date with another couple. Just make a reservation for one of their lounge areas. Maybe even go one step further and book a room at the Arlo SoHo.

At the Standard High Line Hotel Le Bain Rooftop Terrace, expect some of the best views in Manhattan. They also have a space called the Boom Boom Room.

romantic things to do in New York City at night

Other noteworthy options are Mr. Purple down on the Lower East Side which offers more of a dim, cozy feel, or the iconic luxury rooftop of The Press Lounge. Make sure to check their dress code policy. This place is one of the nicest rooftops around!

My favorite time to go to rooftop bars and lounges is just before sunset. Don’t forget a stylish pair of Aviators or polarized Rayban sunglasses.

Get Broadway Tickets (But Not Just Any Show!)

There’s nothing more romantic than holding your partner’s hand as the lights dim down and the stage lights up. Grab Broadway tickets for a show in New York and enjoy an impressive performance.

broadway show new york romantic idea couples

Some Broadway shows in New York largely attract tourists, many with children and school groups. However, there are plenty of performances at which you’ll find a much calmer, polite crowd that will perfectly complement your romantic evening. 

In my opinion, you should opt for shows like Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen, or Come From Away. But if you have kids, I understand if you choose to see shows like Aladdin or The Lion King.

Lesser-Known Romantic New York City Activities

Maybe you’re not looking for mainstream or traditional romantic things to do. If that’s music to your ears, then you’ll love these off-the-beaten-path ideas.

Shop Brooklyn Flea Markets

Spend some time with your partner or loved one seeing what they think are the coolest antique items at the Brooklyn Flea.

It’s a fun way to get to know each other a little better if you’re newly dating. For the lifelong partners, it’ll be a cool quest for some housewares with some character while enjoying quality time.

lesser known romantic things to do in New York

There are a bunch of different flea markets in Brooklyn, so if Brooklyn Flea is a little too large for your taste, then I’d suggest trying the Fort Greene Artisan Market. This area of Brooklyn is an authentic, vibrant and safe place to spend an afternoon exploring.

Edgy Nightlife Experiences

House of Yes brands itself as a “temple of expression,” and you’ll certainly enjoy a richly stimulating experience. They offer such an awesome New York experience, attracting an eclectic crowd.

romantic date night at club

All types of people attend their events including the LGBTQ community as well as those who simply love dance. If you want more of an edgier romantic activity, come over to Bushwick for a thrill.

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Visiting New York with your other half? Don’t let the city stress you out! Here are some easy ways to avoid fighting with your partner on vacation.

Need ideas for new travel destinations? Browse wolfyy’s full collection of gay travel guides.

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