Make Cuffing Season A Year-Round Affair With These Date Ideas in NYC

Because the best love language is quality time.

Lawn Club in The Seaport
Lawn Club in The Seaport | Photo courtesy of Lawn Club
Lawn Club in The Seaport | Photo courtesy of Lawn Club

Cuffing season is a year-round affair in NYC. The promise of love (or at least “like”) is in the city air. Whether you have a side piece or a permanent plus, it’s never a bad time to hit the town for long soaks in soothing waters, competitive rounds of everything from bocce to mini golf, or conversation-starting strolls through sex-themed exhibits. The hunt for your newest aphrodisiac is on. Here’s how to have a sexy and fun date in NYC.

Lanterne Candle Lab in Chinatown
Lanterne Candle Lab in Chinatown | Photo courtesy of Lanterne Candle Lab

Arts and Crafts Date Ideas in NYC

Lower East Side
Ever since Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore demonstrated in their infamous and ultra-sultry wheel-throwing scene in Ghost, we are all aware that pottery can be a turn on. While we don’t suggest hopping behind your partner and molding clay half-dressed in public, we do propose flirting over one of Mellow’s hand-building clay workshops. Held several times a month, the two-hour classes include a short intro plus demonstration followed by free time to create whatever you wish with a 7”x7” portion of clay. Each piece will be glazed in white or clear, fired, and ready for pick-up six weeks later.

Red Hook
Whether they’re just ornamental or put to use on the daily, coasters are one of those adult home accessories that are easy to deem necessary. To stand out from the pack in this arena, create your own set at Shiny Sparkle Labs. In the three-hour Fuze and Booze workshops, participants learn how to cut, bend, and sift pieces of glass to create their own coasters. Other iterations of the classes include building charcuterie trays, plates, and bowls. Complimentary sips from local Brooklyn purveyors are provided during your time slot as well.

If being attracted to someone’s pheromones signals there’s a connection, what does liking someone's candle creation mean? In our opinion, all things point to heart eyes—but maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Nevertheless, an evening spent concocting the perfect scent with your date is just plain cute. Double down on the cuteness by designing candles that remind you of each other, and then exchange them. Bring your own libations, and make plans for a stroll or quick meal in the neighborhood while your candles cool and set.

QC Spa on Governor's Island
QC Spa on Governor's Island | Photo courtesy of QC Spa

Wellness Date Ideas in NYC

A detox can be good for the soul. Bathhouse’s new Flatiron location transformed an underground parking garage into an expansive wellness destination. Book a day pass to soak up five thermal pools, a banya, dry sauna, infrared sauna, and steam room. Alternatively, couples can purchase massages and full-body scrubs, which include free access to the aforementioned amenities and access to a bonus salt pool.

Upper East Side
When you’re stressed, so is your partner. Shake off a week’s worth of tension with one of the many mental fitness classes at the Upper East Side’s Sage and Sound wellness center. With two classes per evening six days a week—all held within The Study, a dedicated wellness education space at Sage and Sound—choose from a variety of meditation and experiential sessions that utilize breathwork and are centered around themes like love, emotions, and calm. Before your class, reserve appointments for non-toxic manicures, massages, or facials, then snag veggie-forward plates and beverages from the on-site cafe, Isle of Us.

Governors Island
Just an eight-minute ferry ride away from Lower Manhattan, QC Spa is a couples getaway sans extensive travel. The island’s spa boasts 20 different wellness experiences including saunas, infrared beds, reflection rooms, and foot baths. After a few indoor treatments, head outside to enjoy one of the two heated, outdoor pools, which have panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline, underwater music, and massaging hydroseats. Psst! A couples massage before you head back to reality is a sure bet that everyone leaves feeling refreshed and lovey dovey.

Ripped Bodice bookstore in Park Slope
Ripped Bodice bookstore in Park Slope | Photo by Megan Kantor

Literary Date Ideas in NYC

Park Slope
A spark of passion can be ignited as easily as the shared intellectual growth—in this case, through the tandem reading of a smutty romance novel. If you’re not sure where to start on the path to finding a perfectly stirring read, Park Slope’s Ripped Bodice is a one-stop shop. The romance-only bookstore specializes in a range of hot and heavy novels separated into sub-genres like contemporary, LGBTQ+, science fiction, historical, and erotica.

Swingers mini golf in NYC
Swingers mini golf in NYC | Photo courtesy of Swingers

Sports and Gaming Date Ideas in NYC

Various locations
Competition makes the heart grow fonder—well, that’s our stance at least. Opt out of the usual dinner date with a trip to one of the two Spin locations in the city (Midtown and Flatiron) for a few rounds of ping pong. At both outposts, players will find an expanse of Ping-Pong tables, full-service bar, DJs bumping music, and plenty of photo opps like a bathtub filled with ping pong balls. A private room with its own tables is also ideal for setting up a birthday party, group hang, or extra special “just because” date night with your sweetie.

The Seaport
No prior yard games knowledge is required to have fun at The Seaport’s Lawn Club. Fashioned in an aesthetic akin to an upscale backyard, Lawn Club sports a variety of courts for playing everything from bocce and cornhole to croquet and shuffleboard. If date night is taking on a more adventurous tone, branch out from the classic games with a few rounds of putting pool (think billiards melded with mini golf) or Kan Jam (which is, simply put, trying to throw a frisbee into a trash can). All games can be explained and aided by the helpful staff, who are dressed in green tracksuits that eerily resemble Squid Games ‘fits.

Putt-Putt is high on the list of quintessential date ideas. Swingers is like mini golf with a facelift. With three, elaborate courses (The Waterwheel, The Clocktower, and The Windmill), six cocktail bars, and four food vendors, this 1920s English golf clubhouse-esque space is a verifiable adult playground.

Hall des Lumières in Lower Manhattan
Hall des Lumières | Photo courtesy of Hall des Lumières

Museum and Immersive Experience Date Ideas in NYC

Heading into the clouds is a classic recipe for a dreamy date. A reliable spot for just this is SUMMIT One Vanderbilt’s observation deck and immersive experience. Complete with glass elevators that provide unparalleled views of the city, a multi-sensory walk-through art exhibit (Air), sky boxes, and an observation terrace, this experience will transport you physically and mentally above the hustle and bustle of NYC. There’s also an inside and outside bar to snag a cocktail at during your explorations.

Lower Manhattan
A dream come true for a couple of art lovers lies across the first floor and subterranean vault level of the historic Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank building on Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan. Now focusing more on events and temporary art shows, guests of Hall des Lumières can still expect 30-foot projections accompanied by video and playlists. Also, if you are dropping by for an exhibit, it’s good to know that each show only lasts about 20 minutes, which leaves plenty of time for packing in more activities in the area on the date itinerary.

Through a rotating display of provocative installations, the cheeky Museum of Sex advocates for intentional lack of censorship and inclusive discourses on sex and sexuality. Explore unexplored avenues with your date through rotating exhibits like Porno Chic to Sex Positivity: Erotic Content & The Mainstream, 1960 Til Today, which explores the influence of porn on society over the past six decades. Continue to lean into the experience with a trip to the on-site bar.

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Izzy Baskette is the New York City Staff Writer for Thrillist. Talk to her at or find her on Instagram.