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Offbeat Valentine's Day Ideas in NYC

This Valentine’s Day, get daring with your date. We’ve assembled 11 options—ranging from the sporty to the nerdy to the chocolatey—for fun-loving Valentines, Galentines, and those who might’ve forgotten to plan something (don’t worry, there’s still time!). Here’s to love, from the opera to the cheese shop, this February in New York City. 

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: One World Observatory

one dine one world observatory

Take in a romantic sunset view at One Dine, the restaurant inside One World Trade Center. Located inside one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, this restaurant serves New American plates like free range chicken with yams and brussels sprouts. Also on site is the bar One Mix, serving cocktails and food with the same jaw-dropping view. 117 West St., 212-602-4000,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: The Metropolitan Opera

porgy bess met opera

Photo by Tristram Kenton

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to dress up and expand your cultural horizons. At the world-renowned Met Opera, see Mozart’s romantic comedy La Nozze di Figaro (“The Marriage of Figaro”) on the 14th or the Met’s acclaimed take on the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess the evening of the 15th. 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212-362-6000,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Max Brenner

If your V-Day is all about chocolate, (a) no judgment, and (b) go to Max Brenner at Union Square. This chocolate emporium serves almost every dish you can think of in your favorite flavor: pizza, fondue, sundaes, tiramisu, and more. There’s even the tongue-twisting Churro-Taco Waffle for the ultimate indulgence. 841 Broadway, 646-467-8803,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Gotham Comedy Club

Chris Millhouse comedian

Bring your loved one to laugh—and maybe get roasted by a comic—at Chelsea’s Gotham Comedy Club. This essential destination will be hosting a ComedyJuice-produced set from local comedian Chris Millhouse at 9pm on Valentine’s Day. That evening, there will also be two shows featuring Gotham’s All-Stars at 8pm and 10pm. No matter which you choose, you’re guaranteed laughs from the pros. 208 W. 23rd St., 212-367-9000,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Peter Noone at The Iridium

peter noone

The lead singer of Herman’s Hermits will perform and share stories at The Iridium on February 13 and 14. Come hear “I’m Into Something Good” and other hits at these four acoustic performances. The Iridium is located in the Theater District and serves a full dinner menu along with rock, blues, and jazz music every week. 1650 Broadway, 212-582-2121,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Royal Palms


Royal Palms in Gowanus, Brooklyn, is the spot for some fun competition with your boo. Come for a throwback game in a snazzy cabana setting, complete with tropical drinks. And if you’ve never played shuffleboard before, worry not: a pro will be on hand to give you a lesson on biscuits, tangs, and other relevant lingo. 514 Union St., 347-223-4410,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: The Most Decadent Valentines Ever! at Murray’s Cheese Shop

We know a thing or two about the best wine classes in town (cue more date ideas), but we’ll go ahead and point out that Murray’s Cheese Shop is offering The Most Decadent Valentines Ever! at its beloved cheese shop on Bleecker Street. This is top-notch snacking: you’ll enjoy high quality cheeses, actual Champagne, truffles, foie gras, and caviar for your February 14 feast. Tickets at Eventbrite. 254 Bleecker St., 888-692-4339,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain

brooklyn farmacy

Go retro at an apothecary-turned-ice cream parlor in Carroll Gardens. Brooklyn Farmacy serves old-timey desserts like malts and egg creams, plus winning sundaes like the Sir Twix-a-Lot. Grab two spoons, and you’ve got yourself a very sweet V-Day. 513 Henry St., 718-522-6260,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Casablanca at The Metrograph

You’ll always have Paris if you catch a showing of Casablanca. Come to the Lower East Side’s old Hollywood-style theater for this 1942 classic, and enjoy squash blossoms and steak frites with a glass of bubbly before or after the show at the commissary. Other films screening February 14 include the Bogey/Bacall classic To Have and Have Not and the body-swap anime film Your Name. 7 Ludlow St., 212-660-0312,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: The Office Trivia 

Bring your Michael, Jim, Pam, Holly, or Creed (okay, maybe Creed stays home) to Stone Creek Bar and Lounge in Kips Bay. The evening of February 14, fans of the NBC sitcom The Office will answer questions about the show and maybe even win yogurt-lid medals! Register at EventBrite for this event, run by Trivia, AD. 140 E. 27th St.,

Offbeat Valentine’s Day NYC: Sea Glass Carousel

seaglass carousel battery

If you’re celebrating the holiday throughout the weekend, take your date to the magical SeaGlass Carousel in Battery Park. Open Saturday and Sunday during the winter, this whimsical, nautical ride invites you to sit in a fiberglass fish and spin around an illuminated undersea chamber. Plus, tickets are just $5. Entrance across from 17 State St., 212-344-3491,

About the Author

Merrill Lee Girardeau lives and writes in Brooklyn.

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