There’s nothing wrong with going to a local dive bar or for a walk in the park, but sometimes, you need to shake up your dating game and try something new. A date is no time to be bored, and New York City has plenty of exciting, fun things on offer for you to choose from that’ll ensure the both of you have a good time. Whether you’re in a relationship or looking to really impress your Tinder date, here are six unique ideas for your next date in NYC.
1. Try an escape room.
What better way to test your compatibility than by locking yourselves in a room for an hour? Escape The Room offers six different rooms, ranging from a city riddled with cloned dinosaurs to a nuclear power plant. You and your date will have to put your heads together to make sense of clues and get out in a race against the clock. Prices depend on the room you book, but they’re usually around $20-$40. There’s a chance that other people may be locked in with you since each room allows up to a certain number of people, but in addition to seeing how compatible you two are, you’ll get to see how well your date works with others.
Where: 8th Floor, 24 W 25th St, New York, NY 10010
2. Visit a brewery.
Instead of going to a bar for your date, change it up and go to an actual brewery. New York’s no stranger to the brewing scene, and there are a ton of breweries that offer tours that provide insight into the craft. We recommend Brooklyn Brewery. From Monday to Friday, there are small group tours for $18 during which visitors can learn about the brewery’s history, tour the facilities, and taste four of Brooklyn Brewery’s beers. On Saturdays and Sundays, there are free tours offered; however, there are 40 tour tickets available every half hour, so it won’t be as intimate of an experience. Whether you reserve your weekday tickets in advance or show up on the day or on a weekend, just make sure to bring ID.
Where: 79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
3. Immerse yourself in theater.
If the idea of sitting unmoving in a chair for two hours or more doesn’t amuse you, then becoming part of the show yourself definitely will. Sleep No More is an immersive theater experience based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth but adapted to a 1930s setting in the McKittrick Hotel. The action happens throughout the hotel simultaneously, and guests can wander in and out of rooms, viewing different scenes. All guests are required to wear masks once the experience begins, and they’re encouraged to interact with the actors.
Where: 530 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
4. Hop on a ferry to New York’s most overlooked borough.
Just by getting out of Manhattan and crossing over into Staten Island, you’ve already taken your first steps toward having an interesting date. To get there, you’ll have to make use of the free Staten Island Ferry, which provides incredible views of the NYC skyline. The city backdrop adds a magical touch to any outing, but you’ll want to head over to Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden afterward. There are several art galleries within the center and nine beautiful sprawling gardens all around it. The most popular one is the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, which is based on gardens from the Ming Dynasty with eight pavilions, a bamboo forest, waterfalls, a Koi pond, and rock formations. Depending on where you go, there’ll be a small admission fee.
Where: 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301
5. Embrace your inner artist.
Committing a rebellious act and getting that adrenaline running is one way to bring two people closer together, and with a graffiti workshop, you can get that exhilarating rush and learn something new — without breaking the law. A street artist working with Graff Tours help participants learn about the art of graffiti and create a street art project of their very own. The workshop is offered at First Street Green Cultural Park in Manhattan and at their locations in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s $40 per person for a small group lesson and $150 total if you want a private one.
Where: Manhattan and Brooklyn
6. Combine dinner and a movie.
Dinner and a movie is a tried-and-true date idea, but combining the two could make for an extra special experience, and the Alamo Drafthouse lets patrons do just that. While it does have typical movie theater fare like popcorn, nachos, and candy, the dine-in theater also serves up food such as avocado toast, salads, flatbread sandwiches, tacos, and burgers. The Alamo has an extensive drink list, including cocktails, spirits, wine, and beer. And if you’re worried about making a fool of yourself in front of your date by balancing all that on your lap, don’t be; between every two seats is a table where you can cozy up and make yourself at home.
Where: Various locations around NYC