Looking for Valentine's date ideas in NYC? The natural glamor of New York City lends itself to romance. We've got a bunch of great ideas, including Valentine's concerts, restaurants, and off-beat suggestions.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Love in Times Square
Photo: Amy Hart for Times Square Alliance.
This Valentine’s Day, the Times Square Alliance will host a celebration of love and romance at a large vow renewal ceremony on the iconic Red Steps in Times Square. The ceremony is free and open to people of all ages, genders, religions, races, and backgrounds. (Not hitched yet? You can also apply to be part of the surprise proposal program; it's also a thrill to watch somebody pull out a ring in the middle of Times Square. For the full-on New York marital experience, the Alliance is also hosting Weddings in the Square.
Rendition via the Times Square Alliance.
Also in Times Square, for the entire month of February, you and your date can get some great photo ops at Love's h|Edge. Brooklyn-based design practice Almost Studio created this winner of the 15th Annual Times Square Love & Design Competition. Four heart-shaped hedge rows encourage discovery and reflection. Hold hands as you explore hidden pathways, rose-filled trellises, and heart-shaped interiors. Like Times Square itself, Love’s h|Edge is a dynamic space and will evolve over the course of the month. Each day at 1pm, Times Square Arts and Almost Studio will stage a dedication of freshly cut roses, and visitors will be invited to “Fill Up the Heart” by adding flowers to the trellises. Love’s h|Edge is also programmed with illuminations and soundscapes.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: View for Two
Blending elements of art, technology, architecture, and thrill, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt takes the concept of an “observation deck” to new heights through three floors of multi-sensory interactions. This Valentine's Day they're offering a Romance Package. There's a limited number available to keep the feel intimate. Guests will enjoy a live performance from the High Line String Quartet while surrounded by special pink heart “Affinity” balloons and heart projections glittering around on the Unity Screen. Packages also come with two complimentary drinks, a digital photo book, and flexible entry times.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Live Jazz
Jazz at Lincoln Center sets the tone for the most romantic day of the year with live music at two iconic venues. In the Rose Theater, NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves (Friday, February 10th and Saturday, February 11th) will return to the House of Swing for her traditional Valentine’s shows, Love Is in the Air. One of the world’s top jazz vocalists, Reeves has been hailed as “the most admired jazz diva since the heyday of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.” She'll be accompanied by piano, bass, and drum.
On Valentine's Day itself, singer and songwriter Morgan James brings her imaginative storytelling and soulful vocals to Dizzy’s Club for an intimate performance for friends and lovers alike. Alongside guitarist and songwriter Doug Wamble, she’ll share acoustic interpretations of iconic artists like Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, and Otis Redding.
Valentine’s Sweethearts Bazaar
Every Sunday on the Upper West Side you can check out Grand Bazaar NYC, the city’s largest curated market—and most distinctive. This Sunday, February 12th, you’ll also find a special Valentine’s pop up. Take a date to explore more than 120 independent local vendors with artisanal sweets, hand-drawn cards, unique artworks, one-of-a-kind jewelry, hand-made romantic candles, rare vintage finds, and much more. The market takes place both indoors and out, 10am-5pm. It’s all for a good cause, too, as the bazaar’s profits go to support local schools.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Soul Sounds
Vocalist Lezlie Harrison puts her distinctive stamp on a range of music, from jazz to blues to gospel, soul, original compositions, and the American Song Form. She'll be performing live at Smoke Jazz Club on the Upper West Side on Valentine's Day and Wednesday, February 15th as well.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Beatles Brunch
Strawberry Fields is the closest you can get to seeing the Beatles perform live—close your eyes and you won't believe your ears! These four acclaimed musicians deliver a unique theatrical experience, leading audiences on a chronological journey through the Beatles' timeless catalog. Costumes and vintage instruments and amps make for a truly authentic experience. Ticket includes unlimited breakfast buffet, coffee, tea, and juice. Children under 12 have free entry with brunch available for purchase. Strawberry Fields takes place every Sunday at City Winery; Sunday, February 12th will be a special Strawberry Fields: Ultimate Beatles Love, Love, Love Valentines Brunch.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Restaurants
Filet mignon at Benjamin.
Fine food and sophistication aplenty make it easy to have a special night out in NYC. From beautifully marbled cuts of dry-aged beef and succulent seafood to refined service and charm, Benjamin Prime in midtown is perfect for an intimate lunch or dinner. Their Valentine’s prix fixe includes a champagne toast and an elaborate surf ‘n’ turf with USDA Prime filet mignon, lobster, shrimp, and king crab. Sibling spot Benjamin Steakhouse also has a holiday prix fixe, with rib eye, rack of lamb, and Chilean sea bass among the options. Also part of the Benjamin family is The Sea Fire Grill, serving succulent seafood options in a three-course prix fixe plus a vegetable side.
Havana Central goes upbeat in an atmosphere of classic Havana, with dishes like ropa vieja to match. For steaks and chops (Porterhouse, bone-in NY strip, filet mignon) and fresh seafood, Prime Catch NYC is your pick. A Restaurant Row fave, Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine provides an escape from the city with savory dishes and fruit-filled cocktails.
Theater District landmark (it was Frank Sinatra’s favorite!) Patsy’s Italian Restaurant has been family-run since 1944. For a romantic night out, Executive Chef and Co-Owner Sal Scognamillo will serve up timeless Italian favorites. “A farmhouse in the middle of Manhattan,” La Masseria presents classic dishes from the Puglia region of Italy, utilizing the freshest natural ingredients. (Sibling spot Masseria Dei Vini offers a similar mix of warmth and classic cuisine.) Famous for USDA prime-aged beef, fresh seafood, fine wine, and elegant desserts, Morton’s is an ideal place for a memorable dinner. From Friday through Valentine's Day look for a three-course dinner highlighted by a Chateaubriand for Two, complemented by lobster pastas, salad or lobster bisque to start, and a choice of decadent desserts. Cucina 8½ offers an elevated experience of rustic Italian in midtown. The menu is inspired by New York and Italian culinary traditions, with many tableside presentations.
Check out our extended list of great Valentine's Day dinners here.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Broadway
Moulin Rouge. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
For Valentine’s on the Great White Way, here are our picks for romantic musicals: The Phantom of the Opera. Mystery and seduction around every gloriously gothic corner. Add in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic “Music of the Night” and it’s no surprise this winner of 1988’s Best Musical Tony is still with us—although just for a few more weeks. Hadestown. Two haunting love stories from Greek myth intertwine: young lovers Orpheus and Eurydice plus Hades, king of the Underworld and his earth-hungry queen, Persephone. Set in New Orleans and Hades’ realm, color this one rapturous. Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Can-can dancers are out in full force for this brilliant stage adaptation of the Baz Lurhman/Nicole Kidman/Ewan McGregor film. An unforgettable jukebox score slides silkily into the show’s passionate love story. —Griffin Miller
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Look Your Best!
Where else can you get a Full Face makeover and a glass of champagne for $70? Blushington’s New York studio leans into female-founded beauty brands like Jouer and Danessa Myricks, and their makeup artists will treat you to the ideal look for any occasion. New hair service B Jeweled by Blushington adds glamor to any updo (above). Get Valentine's Day ready with expert blowouts, makeup, and skincare; from pure and natural to classic Hollywood glamour, Blushington's artists will create the perfect look for that candlelight dinner for two.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Dinner Cruises
Valentine's is better on the water. For an unforgettable New York experience, join City Cruises for a holiday dinner cruise on the East and Hudson Rivers. From Saturday, February 11th through Valentine’s Day itself on Tuesday a range of packages is available, making it easy to customize the perfect outing with your sweetheart. Stunning views await from the glass-enclosed deck of the European-inspired Bateaux. You’ll be served a plated meal in a festive atmosphere. Valentine's Bateaux New York Premier Plus Dinner Cruise will have you taking in the sights on the Hudson and East Rivers for three hours. Dinner cruises include cocktails, live entertainment, and plated 3-course meals with freshly prepared salads, entrees, and desserts. Another possibility for great dining and views to match is on Spirit of New York. The Valentine's New York Signature Dinner Cruise brings together signature buffets, delicious cocktails, dancing, and New Jersey and New York's most stunning views. Toast to the most romantic day of the year with City Cruises!
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Blue Man Group for Two
No plot, dialogue, or ripped from headlines drama, just a romp and a half orchestrated by the three blue-hued alien dudes of Blue Man Group. This long-running Off-Broadway show and international sensation combines music, paint drums, snacks, high-tech hijinks, and unpredictable physical comedy. Get two tickets for $99 on select performances through the end of March.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Dave & Buster's
Dave & Buster’s in Times Square is a casual, super-fun destination for American fare, signature drinks, and all kinds of video and interactive games—from old-time classics to the action-packed latest. This Valentine's Day, join them for dinner, games, and drinks. A Valentine's Special comes with salmon or manchego chicken, a glass of champagne, and a $50 game card ($75 for the package). Or opt for a steak package, with a rib-eye, champagne, and the $50 game card ($85).
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: An Evening with Isaac Mizrahi
Isaac Mizrahi returns to Café Carlyle with his all-new show, The Marvelous Mr. Mizrahi, for a two-week residency that begins on Valentine's Day. Accompanied by his band of jazz musicians led by Ben Waltzer, Mizrahi will perform tunes that range from Arthur Freed to Grace Jones. As the Times puts it, Mizrahi “qualifies as a founding father of a genre that fuses performance art, music and stand-up comedy.” He'll bring his experiences as a performer, host, writer, fashion designer, and producer through February 25th (shows Tuesdays through Saturdays.) Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, on the Upper East Side.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Pink Pier
Massive Pier 15 outdoor bar and restaurant Watermark is popping up with Pink Pier. This over-the-top dining destination is dripping in pink and red flowers, heart installations, and twinkly lights. Enjoy an ultimate Instagrammable experience with panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge and skyline, open through March 31st. In addition to pink outdoor heated glasshouses, there's a floral hallway and themed brunch and dinner offerings. On Valentine's Day, Watermark opens at 2pm, serving a glass of bubbly on arrival.
Valentine's Date Ideas NYC: Walking Tour
Central Park is one of the city's most romantic stretches. Friday the 10th, Saturday the 11th, Sunday the 12th, and Valentine's Day itself get the most out of it with the "Sweetheart Stroll Tour." Along the way there will be opportunities to enjoy a hot drink and grab a souvenir photo.