If you’ve done a lot of traveling, you know that many of the so-called “most romantic destinations” on the planet can be sadly underwhelming in person. The Eiffel Tower, for example, is small by modern standards and surrounded by vocal souvenir vendors. Central Park is crowded and frequented by noisy, colorful characters. For a person looking for last-minute date ideas in NYC, the fear of boring one’s date with a succession of tourist traps and overworked hotspots is therefore very real. How do you choose an activity that will not only impress a first date, but also show them a unique view of this famous city?
If you find yourself grasping at straws while looking for fun first date ideas, why not try one of the five unique first date ideas below? These fascinating, lesser-known attractions are sure to create romantic memories that last a lifetime:
1) The High Line Park
The High Line Park was only recently developed, so it remains one of NYC’s true hidden gems—and one of the most unique date ideas you could ever hope to find. The High Line is nothing like your average city park. Instead of being a plain patch of trees, grass, and benches, the High Line is built entirely on top of an old above-ground railway line. According to the Culture Cheat Sheet, “There’s a lot to love about the High Line, but most fascinating of all is the perspective this park offers as you navigate the “wilderness” of downtown Manhattan. The High Line combines historical architecture and rugged natural beauty with a view of the steady commuter traffic below, creating a surreal — and totally incomparable — urban landscape.”
2) Jet ski Tours
Though jet skiing is often associated with rural settings, you can actually do it right here in NYC thanks to SeaTheCity jet ski tours. What better romantic getaway is there for the active couple than an exciting, adrenaline-pumping ride through NYC’s iconic waterways? There’s no easier way to see the city—and experience exhilarating freedom away from the crowds—than a jet ski tour. When it comes to awesome date ideas in NYC, this one’s got some serious horsepower behind it.
3) The Dream House
If you’re looking for creative date ideas that don’t involve art museums or concert halls—most of which your artistically-inclined date has probably visited before—check out the Dream House on Tribeca’s Church Street. Created in 1993 by married couple La Monte Young (a composer) and his visual artist wife Marian Zazeela, the Dream House represents the zenith of their 40 years of creative collaboration. In the Dream House, as Zazeela explains, “Together, the sound and light can be experienced as a new form or new media: the sound and light environment. The experience of the two mediums together as one requires a new, or at least different, mode of attention.” To produce this effect, every move a visitor makes in the Dream House creates a different array of sounds. Meanwhile, surreal pink lighting guides them through their journey.
4) The Cloisters
This often-overlooked branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in northern Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park, is replete with lush gardens and medieval art and architecture. If you’re looking for memorable date ideas, the authentic historic pillars (many of which have been imported from Europe) and over 2000 works of art in the Cloisters are sure to please.
5) Greenacre Park
If you have ever wished you could sit next to a stunning waterfall with your date, but you assumed such an experience was impossible in the middle of NYC, let Greenacre Park expand your horizons. Located in the heart of midtown Manhattan on 51st street, this “pocket park” (at just 1/4 of an acre) boasts a 25-foot waterfall, tranquil greenery, and ornate benches and patio tables. There is no finer urban oasis in which to impress a first date.
Just as we often find love unexpectedly, many of NYC’s most romantic locations are also among its most hidden. Don’t be afraid to look beyond this list when planning your second, third, and fourth dates—there are many more quietly charming locales left to be found in the Big Apple.
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