Joke all you want about how the seasons seem to blend together in New York City -- we’re still lucky enough to have them, and each one is romantic in its own way. And springtime is universally acknowledged as the most flirtastic time of the year.
Citywide The wind in your hair, sweeping skyline views, booze -- rooftop bars are made for romance. Take your pick from a plethora of spots, and settle in around sunset for golden hour amber hues. Sure, you’ll pay a little more for a cocktail than you would on land, but the Instagram posts will surely make your ex jealous.
Citywide Once you’ve graduated from picnicking, flaunt your grill skills on the water in Red Hook and Brooklyn Heights, in picturesque Prospect Park, near a National Historic Landmark in the Bronx, on the site of a Revolutionary War fort uptown, in the shade of the Queensboro bridge in Long Island City, and near a romantic pond in Staten Island.
Citywide Until it’s hot enough outside to get in the wateratthebeach, get near it on a 100-year-old schooner, a booze cruise, a riverside patio, and a barge.
Go camping, sort of, in the middle of Brooklyn
Cobble Hill Dirt in your hair. Bugs in your sleeping bag. Wolves circling, baring their glistening fangs as you huddle with your honey on the roof of your car. Who needs it! Instead, Go faux-glamping at Camp, a hunting lodge-themed bar in Brooklyn. Between rounds of Big Buck Hunter and cheap beers, you can roast s’mores over a mini-fire at your table and revel in the great indoors.
Citywide Netflix and chill is for porridge-hoarding, hibernating bears. This season’s screenings are all in the great outdoors (and some parking lots). Parks citywide host films all spring and summer long. Catch French flicks downtown, fish features at Rockaway Beach, and spooky favorites on a west side battleship.
Citywide Dating is expensive, but free concerts all over the city help even the cheapest of the skates court with relative ease. Plan a romantic stroll as part of the evening, pick up a bodega beer for the road, and you may be able to pull this thing off for less than a Lincoln.
Citywide Climes have got to be just right to truly enjoy our city’s outdoor food festivals. Too cold and eating outside is uncomfortable; too hot and it’s downright punishment. Take advantage of milder spring days at LIC Flea & Food in Queens and Smorgasburg in Brooklyn while you can.
Flex at trivia
Citywide Everybody loves a know-it-all, and NYC has a themed trivia night for all “well, actually” types. Have you seen every episode of The Simpsons at least twice and have sonorous opinions on its golden era? Head to The Gutter. Would your pop culture proficiency put Siri to shame? Shuffle over to Metropolitan. Are you just a general genius? Check out The Wolfhound.
Citywide You could quietly change your relationship status on social, or you could introduce your new flame to your rando old high school friends, rando influencer followers, and rando whoever’s still on Snapchat with a colorful splash. Set a date for a “candid” photo shoot at pop-ups like the ball pit at Color Factory, or, if you think this love is built to last, the permanent Decorative Arts and Period Rooms installation at the Brooklyn Museum.
Citywide Although we’re better known for our $18 cocktails, NYC still has a smattering of BYOB restaurants where you can expand your beverage selection beyond the typical merlot/cab/mystery blend menu offerings. Pick a spot from our roundup of the best BYOB spots in town, set a price point, and compete to see who can bring the better bottle. Loser picks up the (slightly less expensive because you avoided the booze markup) tab.
Learn a few new positions...
Garment District ... yoga positions, that is. Stretch, bend, and soar into partner poses during a session (or a week of sessions) of AcroYoga at the Om Factory. Single classes start at $15.
Talk about sex, baby
Flatiron Museums can be subtly sexy, with their tasteful nudes and needlessly sensual depictions of fruit. There’s nothing subtle about the Museum of Sex, where current exhibitions include a couples’ virtual reality experience focused on a pole dance in space, and a bouncy castle fashioned after breasts.
TBA location Sofar Sounds shows pop up in intimate, undisclosed locations -- someone’s apartment; the back of a retail shop; a gallery space. You’ll apply for tickets online through a lottery and receive notification 24 hours in advance if you’ve won access to a performance. Prepare to sit cross-legged on the floor and BYOB. Even if you end up with a musical dud, your date will be impressed with your insider knowledge.
Citywide If you’re fast enough, each drink can be as cheap as a bodega umbrella. Good on you if this is technically the conclusion of yesterday’s date.
Visit a monastery-turned-medieval art museum
Washington Heights Visiting the Cloisters is as close as you’ll ever get to being a Game of Thrones character. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s outdoor outpost will transport you and your dragon queen or king to a medieval wonderland reminiscent of Westeros -- hopefully sans bloodshed. Suggested admission is $25.
Take a turn on Brooklyn's finest carousel
Dumbo After brunch and day drinks in Dumbo -- Juliana’s for pizza and Gran Electrica for margaritas -- pop over to Brooklyn Bridge Park and hop on the beautifully restored Jane’s Carousel. The painted ponies will bring some whimsy to your social media posts. Tickets are $2.
The Bronx The 250-acre National Historic Landmark is open for business year-round, and the place is especially vibrant during the spring. Check out the seasonal walk, or just wander the grounds unbound. New York City residents can get in for as little as $15.
Gallery hop on the West Side
Chelsea Take your muse on a self-guided gallery tour. Most Chelsea art joints open their doors to the public on Thursdays, and some even serve free wine. Spend all that pre-gaming money you saved at one of the neighborhood’s best restaurants.
Gowanus, Brooklyn OK, the palm trees are plastic. The flamingos are fake. And the canal is toxic. But the resort vibes at the Royal Palms are the real deal. Make this your dating destination for when you want outside feels sans sunburn.
Enjoy an island getaway
Departing from lower Manhattan Break out your compass app and board the Staten Island Ferry to New York City’s westernmost borough. The free ride boasts beautiful views of the skyline and a cash bar that, while modest, gets the job done. Once you’re back on land, take a short walk to SI’s own Flagship Brewery, where you can sip local suds.
Citywide Now that dancing is finally (sort of) legal in (some) NYC bars, grab your partner and shimmy, shake, cha-cha, or merengue at some of our favorite dance spots.
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