1. The Artsy Date: artisan craft fair
We spend the day strolling through booths of beautifully crafted jewelry and artfully hand-lettered posters, eating our way through samples of homemade jams, cheeses, and momofuku cookies. Purchases of baby onesies for coworkers, and handmade barrettes for little sisters, are entirely possible. There’s usually no charge for entry, so if you don’t buy anything it’s a pretty cheap date.
2. The We Can Be Sporty Date: Cyclones baseball game
Who needs the Yankees or the Mets, anyway? Brooklyn “boasts” its very own minor, minor, minor league baseball team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. Tickets are less than $20, and usually include a cheap beer and a Nathan’s hot dog. As an added cutesy bonus, each game features an adorable and cheesy theme like Elvis night, Stars Wars night, or even Nickelodeon Slime Night. With free fireworks every Saturday, and views of the ocean and historic Coney Island from any seat, the Cyclones make even the most-jaded, non-sporty person a baseball fan for the evening.
3. The Good, Old-Fashioned Date: Coney Island
Nothing screams romantic more than creaky carnival rides, circus sideshow freaks, and polyester-stuffed animals that can be won by throwing baseballs at old-school milk bottles. Walking the boardwalk, we are transported to an older, slightly goofier New York City. In June, there is the fun, fanciful, and risqué Mermaid Parade, and July 4th weekend hosts the “World Famous Nathan’s International Hot-Dog Eating Contest.” Watching grown men (and women) eat 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes may kill the mood a bit, but it’s sure to be memorable!
4. The Romantic Date for Folks on a Budget: picnic in Prospect Park
Brooklynites tend to always feel poor. After all, we do live in Brooklyn. Eventually, we all convince ourselves that it will be cheaper to go to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket to buy ingredients for brunch than it will be to go out for brunch. And it will be, until we buy two types of artisinal bread, six gourmet cheeses, a fancy Long Island wine, and enough thinly sliced meats to fill our entire fridge. Eating in Prospect Park really is lovely though — until a kid’s soccer ball knocks over your wine, or a bird poops on your boyfriend’s sweater.
5. The Throwback Date: reliving childhood at “Mortified” and Barcade
The date begins with a trip to the monthly live show, “Mortified,” where people share their most embarrassing adolescent artifacts (i.e. diaries) publicly for all to hear. Follow this up with a throwback trip to Barcade, where we play some of our favorite old-school gaming machines for only 50 cents a pop, while enjoying Brooklyn’s finest brews. This place takes its gaming so seriously that if one of us is on pace to get a high score (which they proudly display on the wall), they will stay open! It’s probably best to do all of this on a Thursday so you can Instagram it correctly.
6. The Quintessential Brooklyn Date: a rooftop
Nothing says “Brooklyn” quite like rooftops. And finding a semi-secret, yet still crowded-enough-to-be-considered-trendy rooftop bar, is the pinnacle of Brooklyn dates. Drink wine, smoke cigarettes, and make small talk while overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Extra points if someone takes a “candid” photo of the two of you laughing with the buildings lit up behind you, for all of Facebook to be jealous of.
7. The Hipster’s Night Out
For real Hipsters, fake hipsters, and wannabe hipsters alike, eventually all Brooklynites will end up on a date that the majority of society would consider…well…“hipster.” Perhaps it’s a trip to the City Reliquary, where you can discover some of New York’s weirdest artifacts (subway dust anyone?) or maybe it’s a tour of the small Brooklyn chocolate shop owned by two very-bearded men, Mast Brothers. Either way, living in Brooklyn gives you access to funky, fun, and downright strange events, so why not choose to enjoy them?
8. The Chill Date: small music venue
On Saturday evenings, live music can be heard from every tiny bar and beer hall in Brooklyn. Stay at Pete’s Candy Store for music and trivia, or music hop around the numerous venues in Williamsburg. Live music gives you a nice little backdrop to get to know someone, and it certainly makes for a great night.
9. The Scholarly Date: taking a class
You can take a class on anything in Brooklyn. Anything. Perfect your charcoal-drawing skills or refine your wonton-making abilities at the Brooklyn Brainery. Learn to rock climb at Brooklyn Boulder, or practice French at Idlewild Bookstore in Williamsburg. The couple that learns together stays together! At least that’s what they tell me.
10. The Let’s Stay In Date: pizza & craft beer
Why go out when you can stay in? Rest assured that if all else fails, your Brooklyn apartment has got you covered. If there are two things Brooklyn really knows how to do right, it’s a damn good pizza and craft beer while having a cuddle on your second-hand couch.