Everyone has been in this situation before- you meet someone you really like, you want to ask them out, you work finally to get the courage to do it, but then you realize: where are you going to take them?
In a major metro area like New York City, you would think that dozens of first date ideas would pop into your head. Unfortunately, it’s easy to panic because you want to get it just right.
Making a great first impression is key to starting off what could possibly be a very wonderful relationship.
But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves- you want something that says “I want to show you a good time,” not “I want to discuss how you feel about having children.”
Finding the perfect first date spot can be tough- but don’t fear, we have them all listed here for you.
Let’s talk about that.
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Parks and Recreation
New York City has some of the most beautiful parks to walk around in. In the summer, they can be full of greenery and life. In the winter, they are still and peaceful.
Here is your minimap to the major parks in the NYC area.
Central Park is a park that spans about 50 blocks in the heart of Manhattan. It features several lawns, a carousel, and even a lake with boats for rent.
It’s a great place to walk around and people watch, as well as play with the hundreds of friendly dogs that frequent the park. There are food vendors, and endless space to explore, which leaves room for conversation.
Washington Square Park is located near West 4th street and is at the hub of downtown nightlife (more on that later). There are fields to sit in, walking areas, and tons of nearby restaurants and coffee shops.
There are also a lot of small parks throughout the city that has benches and sometimes even live bands. Just check around to see if any cool events are happening outdoors.
There’s always something to do outside in New York City.
Nightlife and the Downtown Scene
Around the downtown area, from Chelsea to the Meatpacking District, there is always something to do at night.
Around West 4th street (told you we would get back to it), there are bars, comedy clubs, jazz clubs, and even tattoo shops if that’s your thing.
There are nightclubs all over the place with all varieties of music ranging from dancehall to house music.
If you like a quiet place to hold a conversation, Cafe Reggio is a wonderful place to sit and have a coffee either outside or indoors. Afterward, you can walk around Washington Square Park and grab some ice cream from the famous NYC ice cream trucks that are always around.
If someone stops you on the street and asks if you want to see a comedy show, West 4th is the place to do it.
If you can get in (there is usually a line), the comedy cellar is a famous club where some big comedians like Chris Rock and Louis C.K. got their start. They’re even known to stop in and do an impromptu set from time to time.
No matter what you’re into, downtown Manhattan has all the nightlife activities you can dream of.
Daytime First Date Ideas
If you prefer to go out in the afternoon and want more than a cup of coffee, you can check out one of New York City’s many movie theaters. There are even movie theaters that have full menus and waiter service so you can have a full date experience while watching a film together.
If you’d rather stare at your date than a screen, NYC also has a bunch of museums. For those of you who are a little more frisky, The Museum of Sex is a fun place to learn about the history of sex and maybe set you up for some fun conversations.
If taking it slow is more your speed, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a great place to explore all sorts of art, from sculptures to oil paintings, and even a full armory.
For a more abstract experience, The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, as it is commonly referred to, is a great place to discover the stranger side of art. The pieces displayed are a great icebreaker as you both try to debate what the art actually is.
If art isn’t your speed, there are also a bunch of cool neighborhood events. If you look up events happening in New York City on any given day, there will be about three book signings, at least one convention of some sort, and a throwback karaoke event.
Seriously, you can find anything that fits your flavor here.
Adventuring Around the City
No matter what spot you choose for your special time with a special person, you can’t go wrong with a good attitude and an open mind.
New York City has everything from a special board game shop that you can play in (Uncommon Ground), to an Ethiopian restaurant with coffee ceremonies (Cafe Bunna). There is truly something for everyone here.
If you feel you are still at a loss for first date ideas, ask your date what they are into. If they are willing to go out with you, they are definitely willing to tell you what they want to do.
Remember, the whole goal is to have a good time. So no matter what happens, try to have a great time exploring a new part of the city you may have never even been to before.
Try a new place every time, and you’ll be surprised at how many new experiences you’ll have under your belt. The city is vast and full of wonders.
For more inspiration and ideas, be sure to check us out here.