There’s no doubt New York City is a magical playground of entertainment with attractions and activities around every corner, but it’s easy to get into a rut when it comes to date ideas in the city. Maybe your tried-and-true first-date spot has lost its charm, or you and your partner have grown bored of your go-to date ideas. But whatever it is, don’t get discouraged—there are so many cool date spots you’ve yet to explore!
Wondering where to go on a date in NYC? We’ve got you covered as we’ve rounded up our favorite fun dates in NYC. Follow our list of 14 ideas to get inspired for your next first (or second or third!) date in the Big Apple.
So, what is a good first date in NYC? We’re glad you asked! From playing vintage arcade games to strolling through urban botanic gardens, we’ve gathered some of the best date ideas in NYC that are sure to help you score a second date.
- Stargaze at the High Line
For an out-of-this-world date, head to High Line at Little West 12th Street for some stargazing. Every Tuesday at dusk, the Amateur Astronomers Association sets up high-powered telescopes for visitors to view the sky. There’s something so romantic about a cozy evening stroll in the park followed by a front-row view of the celestials!
- Hit the Climbing Gym
Take date night to new heights with a visit to one of the city’s many climbing gyms. This cute date activity in NYC encourages you to get outside your comfort zones, challenge yourselves, and maybe even find a new favorite hobby along the way. From the Cliffs at Dumbo and MetroRock to GP81 and Brooklyn Boulders, you’re certain to find a climbing gym in your neck of the woods.
- Go on a Sunset Harbor Cruise
Why not admire the stunning city skyline from a different vantage point? For this romantic date idea, climb aboard an evening harbor cruise and watch the city sparkle from the water as the sun sets in the background. To make it even more magical, consider booking a yacht with live jazz music or a Champagne and cheese pairing as you cruise around the harbor.
- Go for a Spin at the Roller Rink
You’ve heard of the iconic Wollman ice rink at Central Park (which also makes a great date spot) but what about some good old-fashioned roller skating? RollerJam USA on Staten Island is an indoor skating rink hosting adult-only nights with DJs and disco lights. Not only will you have a blast cruising around on the rink together, but it’s also the perfect excuse to hold hands for the first time.
- Travel the World
The beauty of NYC is that you can feel like you’ve traveled to another country without even leaving the boroughs. For this date idea, take a world tour as you visit Little Greece, Chinatown, Little Italy, Koreatown, and even Little India and beyond. While you’re exploring each area, dine on some authentic cuisine, check out the markets, and visit the local museums to learn more about the vibrant cultures that make this city so special.
- Play at the Arcade
A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? See if your date is up for the challenge when you plan a night out at Barcade—a 21+ arcade-themed bar and restaurant. Spend your date night sipping cocktails and beating each other’s high scores on the old-school pinball machines and vintage video games. And if your date takes the leaderboard, you have the perfect excuse to plan a follow-up date for a rematch.
- Explore Different Exhibits
Everyone’s heard of the Met and MoMA, so why not surprise your date with tickets to one of the city’s lesser-known—yet equally fascinating—museums? If you’re both into music, check out the National Jazz Museum or the Louis Armstrong Home Museum. If art’s more up your alley, don’t miss El Museo del Barrio, which showcases Latin American and Caribbean artwork. With so many options, you could even go with something a little more off-beat, like the New York Transit Museum or the National Museum of Mathematics.
- Go Indoor Skydiving
If you’re looking for an NYC day date idea with a side of adventure, spread your wings and take flight at iFLY. Located in neighboring Yonkers, this indoor skydiving simulator invites you to take the leap of faith (without the whole jumping out of an airplane part). Who knows? Afterward, you and your date just might be ready for the real thing next time!
- Tap into Your Inner Child at Coney Island
Instead of planning a stuffy date night at an overpriced restaurant in the Upper East Side, go wild at Coney Island! Perhaps one of the most fun date ideas in NYC, this one involves riding one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, noshing on Nathan’s famous hot dogs, and taking a peek at the oddities at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Between playing the carnival games and strolling along the beach, this will be one date you won’t soon forget.
- Sip Cocktails at a Themed Bar
This date night, skip the swanky cocktail bars and dingy dives for a themed bar instead. Between the tiki lounges and monastery-themed bars, you have your fair share of quirky spots to raise a glass. Enter the secret password at an old phone booth to venture into Please Don’t Tell, one of the hottest speakeasies in town, or celebrate all things spooky at Beetle House, where every day is Halloween.
- Take Them Out to the Ball Game
Knock date night out of the park with tickets to see one of the city’s minor league baseball teams play. Sure, they might not be the Yankees or the Mets, but the Brooklyn Cyclones are just as fun to watch! During baseball season, grab tickets for a home game at Maimonides Park, stock up on some Cracker Jacks, and get ready to root for the home team with your date by your side.
- Go Putt-Putting Along the River
A round of putt-putt at Hudson River Park is another cute date activity in NYC that lets you show off your golf skills while getting to know your date. Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 Mini Golf Course features 18 professional holes and serves up some legendary views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the distance. After playing a round, the loser can pick up the tab at the adaptly-named Sweet Love Snack Bar, where you can grab some treats to enjoy while walking along the pier.
- Brave the Skydeck at The Edge
The Edge provides another epic, out-of-the-box date idea, which dares you and your date to venture out onto the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. This architectural wonder juts out 1,100 feet in the air, giving you sweeping views of the cityscape. But if you’re really looking to test the limits, book the City Climb excursion to scale the outside of the building—the world’s highest open-air building ascent! Let’s just say this would be one date for the books.
- Take a Stroll Through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
When it comes to the best date ideas in NYC, sometimes less is more. Rather than going over the top, treat your date to a casual afternoon at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. This peaceful date spot lets you trade the concrete jungle for a tranquil blooming garden, where you can meander through 52 acres of nature while learning more about each other.
Whether you prefer a low-key meet-up or an exhilarating activity, choose one of these fun date ideas in NYC, and you’ll be well on your way to having a successful first date.