Romance is in the New York City air, especially come Valentine's Day. We've got the best things to do for couples, from date nights at rinks, restaurants, and on a city cruise. Read on for 17 Valentine's Day ideas in New York City.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Heart-Shaped Pizza
Share a heart-shaped pizza at Motorino, 510 Columbus Ave. and 349 E. 12th St. At lunch this sets you back $15 and comes with salad; at dinner it’s $18.50. Wine and beer are available at Manhattan locations, 130 Broadway in Brooklyn has a full bar.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Steak and a "Hibiscus Kiss"
Strip House brings soaring steak to a bi-level space near Bryant Park. The interior is siren-red and accented with vintage black and white photography, but the star of the show is steak. On Valentine's Day this year, look for a "pastrami" dry-aged T-bone served with a rye bread crisp and "deli" mustard butter; it's just one of several holiday specials that also include a skate wing "schnitzel," butter-poached Maine lobster with capellini, and from the raw bar, a Pacific hamachi crudo with Asian pear, charred avocado, radish, caviar, and a yuzu kosho vinaigrette. Dessert is a red velvet lava cake with a cream cheese gelato. Don't miss the perfect Valentine's cocktail: the "hibiscus kiss" shown above. (There's a second Strip House location near Union Square.) Strip House Midtown, 212-336-5454, striphouse.com/venues/midtown; Strip House Downtown, 212-328-0000, striphouse.com/venues/downtown
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Cooking Class
Attend a cooking class with your special person. At My Cooking Party at several cozy loft locations in Manhattan you will make and eat a full dinner with appetizers when you show up, a filet mignon or fish entrée, and a decadent dessert of chocolate cake stuffed with peanut butter topped with raspberry coulis. It’s a party where you will drink, snack, mingle, chop, sear, and flambé for $159 per couple. To reserve, call 212-686-2433 or email email@example.com.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Affordable Jewelry
16" White Baroque Freshwater Pearl Necklace. $75. Kenneth Jay Lane.
There’s plenty of spectacular bling at Gale Grant, 818 Lexington Ave., but these baubles are fashion, not real, so they have megawatts of glamour at lower prices. A platinum eternity band studded with “diamonds” is $115, the micro pave ring is $75 and a set of four stacked wavy bands with cubic Zirconia each set in a different metal: silver, gunmetal, gold and rose gold is $100. Many ultra fashionable women swear by this "no one knows the difference” jewelry. galegrant.com
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Movie Night
Make movie night super special at the Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St. Unlike other movie houses, this one shows archival quality 35mm and of the moment digital video and has a restaurant, balcony lounge, bookstore, and candy store. Metrograph serves food so you can include dinner and make a night of it. Check listings for what’s playing and to make a reservation to dine on the likes of steak tartare, spaghetti, or steak frites. metrograph.com/film
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Times Square/Vow Renewals
Photo: Amy Hart for Times Square Alliance.
Times Square is so 2019 but on Valentine’s Day there is a vow renewal ceremony at 6pm (if you sign up online, there’s a special reason to brave the trip). The Times Square Alliance is hosting a large vow renewal ceremony at 6pm for those who sign up here. The focal point will be Heart Squared, which uses 125 mirrors to transform Times Square into a kaleidoscope of people and color. MODU and Eric Forman Studio created the sculpture, which is the winner of the 12th annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Cruise NYC
Take a dinner cruise on the Spirit line enjoying a table with splendiferous views of the NY skyline, a delicious buffet, and champagne toast and dancing with a DJ spinning romantic songs. Cruises leave from 61 Chelsea Piers and last about three hours. Prices start $125. spiritcruises.com/new-york-metro/cruises/holiday/valentines-day-cruises
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Skate NYC
Photo: The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Go ice skating while the weather is cold enough to make ice. There are rinks all over the city including those at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Wollman Rink and Brookfield Place. Prices vary but Bryant Park is free with a skate rental fee. If you prefer to skate indoors, go to Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers where a solo ticket is $14 with additional fees to rent skates and helmets.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: A Rooftop Date
The Love Loft at B On Top, the new year-round rooftop space at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC (18 Ninth Ave.), will stay open until March 1, decked to the nines in roses and red and pink velvet. Grab a seat by the fire to enjoy a Valentine’s Day Chocolate Menu, a luxe tasting menu with Black Diamond Caviar or oysters, and the featured Pretty in Pink cocktail, with Tito’s, Aperol, fresh strawberries with rosemary, and Champagne.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: The Ballet
See one of the most romantic ballets ever—Swan Lake at the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center. Tickets starting at $35 are available for the top tier only but even so you will thrill to the music of Tchaikovsky, the costumes, scenery, and fantastic dancers.
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Spa Excursion
Oasis Day Spa is dark, hushed, and serene. With 19 treatment rooms, men’s and women’s changing areas, and a relaxation room outfitted with lemon-infused water, teas, and light snacks, you will leave blissful. Choose from the vast menu of offerings including aroma therapy message; Signature Facial; Oasis Purity Wrap with detoxifying seaweeds and kelp, or special spa packages. Pay a visit between now and February 16th and get 15% off Spa Dollar Gift Cards of $300 or more! Just use the code VDAY15. 1 Park Ave., 212-254-7722 or 914-409-1900, oasisdayspanyc.com
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Singles Mixer
Calling all the single ladies—and men. Celebrate Valentine's Day at an elegant singles mixer being held atop Hotel Hugo in SoHo. The posh rooftop here is a great destination for mingling, sipping cocktails, and taking in lofty views. Singles are invited to bring along some friends or brave it and go solo. Enjoy an extended happy hour from 5 to 9pm along with drink specials, which will be offered all night long. Perched 20 stories above the streets of downtown the venue boasts floor-to-ceiling windows spanning views of the Hudson River, One World Trade, and the Statue of Liberty. For group reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 525 Greenwich St., 212-608-4848, barhugorooftop.com
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Galentine’s Day
February 13th marks Galentine’s Day at Ophelia—the rooftop cocktail lounge atop Beekman Tower. Gather up the girl squad and head over to celebrate your best gal pals. The Galentine’s Day festivities kick off at 6pm and include nail art by Art Nail NYC, tunes by DJ Rubie Lee, and love life predictions from Ophelia’s in-house tarot card reader. While there, indulge in the Decadence—a three-layer cookie cake topped with cream cheese frosting and fun sprinkles. Also order the Valencia—a shareable cocktail made with Pierre Ferrand 1840, Cointreau, Cocchi Torino, prosecco, and orange juice. 3 Mitchell Pl., 212- 980-4796, opheliany.com
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Prix Fixe
The Wilson offers a fetching $65, 3-course prix fixe menu, which includes a celebratory glass of red, white, or sparkling wine for revelers who are 21 and over. Guests who bring their furry friends along for the wine and dine will receive a special complimentary treat. For reservations, email email@example.com. 132 W. 27th St., thewilsonnyc.com
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Zumba
Dancing and Valentine’s Day go together naturally enough, but you can shake your booty at the famous Ailey Studios and choose to attend a Zumba class at 6pm (tickets $25) jumping and grooving to love-themed songs or salsa your soles off with Baila Society instructors from 6:30-8pm. No partner required -- meet new people while exploring passionate Latin rhythms. Single ticket $18; two for $35. aileyextension.com/workshops/valentines-zumba or aileyextension.com/workshops/valentines-salsa
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Hotel Romance
For an upscale romantic adventure, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York offers three different ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. To enjoy a lounge interlude, don't miss the Sweethearts’ Tea in Two E, from 1 to 8pm (after 6pm you'll be able to toast with Cupid-inspired cocktails). The private dining space at The Pierre (above) will be the site of a Rotunda Rendez-Vous, a sumptuous five-course dinner with wine pairings and a live instrumental duo. The house's French-American restaurant hosts Valentine's Day at Perrine, with a decadent three-course menu and Cupid-inspired cocktails. 2 E. 61st St., 212-940-8113, thepierreny.com
Valentine's Ideas in New York: Helicopter
See the city from above on one of New York City's spectacular Helicopter Flight Services tours. Helicopter Flight Services offers tours that include views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, the Chrysler Building, Central Park, Columbia University, the George Washington Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and the Financial Center. They also offer customized tours of the city as well as night tours. Some popular Helicopter Flight Services tours include The New Yorker Tour (a 15-minute tour around Manhattan), The Ultimate Tour (a 20-minute tour that includes an extended harbor excursion in addition to Manhattan), The Deluxe Tour (a 30-minute tour that goes around and above New York City landmarks), and The Air & Sea Tour (a two-part tour that includes a cruise and nighttime helicopter tour of the island). For an engagement splurge, arrange a private tour to pop the big question through earphones.
New York. It truly is a lovers' paradise!
—Additional reporting by Regina Molaro.
Looking for more love in New York City on Valentine's Day? Check out a full day of wedding ceremonies and surprise proposals right in the heart of Times Square.