My most memorable dates have been the ones where my dates put thought into where we were going. Instead of taking me to the usual date places, they tailored the experience to suit my interests. These dates had the “wow” factor because my dates used more ingenuity than money -to impress me.
We may be in a recession, but that is no reason why you cannot have fun on a date. Here are some ideas for inexpensive, yet impressive things to do on a date in New York City. Some ideas are more expensive than others, but you can mix and match to plan a date within your budget. For the same amount of money you would spend eating at a casual dining restaurant, you can try something different that you will remember forever. If you really have to cut corners, forfeit the meal and entertainment and go on a shared activity date. Shared activity dates are usually the most fun and memorable. With any luck, the two of you will have something to talk about for years to come.
Meal Date Ideas:
1. Go to an ethnic restaurant, such as an Indian or African Restaurant. Communal eating is a great way to build intimacy. Go to Zagat.com for restaurant locations and ratings in your area.
2. If money is tight, skip dinner and go for an indulgent dessert date. Go to La Maison du Chocolat for a decadent chocolate treat. For a little sexier vibe, splurge on an expensive dessert at a hotel bar or restaurant.Treat your date to dessert and beverages at the Gilt Bar in the New York Palace Hotel. Gossip Girl fans will recognize the New York Palace Hotel from the show.
Entertainment Date Ideas:
3. Go to an art gallery. Many New York City art galleries do not have admissions charges and are open to the public. You can find out a lot about your date by making each exhibit a Rorschach Test. Enjoy great art while analyzing your date’s mind.
4. Go to an independent movie theater, like Film Forum or the Angelika Film Center and Café. Not only will you be supporting independent filmmakers, but also this may be a different experience than you’re used to. Every time you remember the movie, you will remember your date-which may or may not be a good thing.
5. Get RUSH tickets to a Broadway show, the ballet, or the opera. You can get tickets for as little as $25 if you are willing to do your research. Go to the show’s website or call the box office to find out the requirements. Sometimes, you simply have to wait on line a few hours before the show to see if same day seats are available. If you are a student, you can get discounted tickets with your student ID.
Shared Activity/Experience Date Ideas:
6. Take the Air Tram to Roosevelt Island. For less than $5 per person round-trip, you can see the New York Skyline as you have never seen it before. It is especially romantic at night. Who needs an expensive helicopter ride? Your date will be impressed not only by the Manhattan skyline, but also by your ingenuity.
7. Take the Staten Island Ferry for a view of the Statue of Liberty. Guess what makes this such a cheap date? It’s free! That’s right…FREE! You pay nothing at all.
8. Go bowling. If bowling isn’t your thing, you can go to any one of a number of billiards bars in NYC.
9. Work up a sweat! Try rock climbing at The Field House at Chelsea Piers . Just make sure your date doesn’t mind hoisting her rump up in the air.
10. Let the seasons determine your date. In the Winter, you can go to an outdoor skating rink. Ice skating allows you to touch your date, without feeling awkward. As the Spring flowers bloom, you can get first row seats to Mother Nature’s show at the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, or Wave Hill New York Public Garden and Cultural Center. Summer months give you a chance to have a picnic in Central Park. While Autumn is the perfect opportunity to walk through Central Park to look at the fall foliage.
11. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday or Saturday evenings, after work, for some art and eating – Now, that’s a good combination!
12. Act like a tourist. Make your own New York City neighborhood walking tour. Devout your time to one neighborhood and visit the places of interest. Your tour should be leisurely and fun, so try to avoid heavy traffic areas and rush hour. On your tour, you can take pictures in front of store windows, buildings, and statues. Our city is magnificent! Just look at the architecture of New York City’s historic buildings.
13. If you are the walking type, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. This will give you plenty of time alone with your date, so make sure you have something to talk about.
14. Go to the top of Rockefeller Center or The Empire State Building. Most New Yorkers never go to these places, so a date is a great excuse to do these touristy things.
15. Take a class or workshop. If you and your date both like wine, take a wine course that offers wine tasting. The possibilities are endless. This is a great way to connect to someone and learn at the same time. Besides, if the date doesn’t work out, you may meet someone else in the class.