Romantic Things to Do in New York City – Valentine’s Day

With the sheer number of romantic comedies that have been set in here, it’s hard to imagine a more romantic city than New York.

From the world’s most unique museum dates to some classic options like ice-skating in Rockefeller Plaza, views from above, and picnics in Central Park, you’ll never run out of ideas.

So while you’re planning Valentine’s Day in NYC this year, check out of a few of our favorite romantic things to do in New York City for some ideas.

Many of these great activities are included on the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Choose as you go from dozens of top New York attractions and save up to 50% off combined admission vs paying at the gate. Or, build your own pass and save up to 25% off.

See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more.

Explore the Art World

LOVE Robert Indiana

Christmas Card, “LOVE,” Robert Indiana, 1964. Image credit: MoMA.

Mankind has been turning to art to show their love for centuries. So with that in mind, we’re sure a visit to the many amazing art museums of New York City this Valentine’s Day weekend is sure to nourish your lover’s soul.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) offers a unique perspective on love, as seen through paintings like the iconic “LOVE” pop art piece by Robert Indiana (above).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also features a number of romantic pieces, showcasing the art of love from Ancient Egypt to the modern day.

See the City from Above

Empire-state-building-heartThe Empire State Building has a reputation as one of the most romantic buildings in the world – in no small part due to its history of having served as the location for any number of romantic films, lovers’ rendezvous, and even proposals.

Take a ride to the top, day or night, and enjoy that soaring feeling of being on top of the world.

Re-enact “An Affair to Remember” and meet exactly at 7:01 pm. Then, you can enjoy a fun and flirty meal at some of the nearby restaurants (although we do recommend heading away from Times Square to avoid crowds).

Don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the special lighting effects in honor of Valentine’s Day – the top of the spire will be lit with alternating red and pink sparkles.

Roam the Great Outdoors

Image credit:

Image credit:

Now we all know that February isn’t the ideal time of year to be outside in the Northeast, but you can’t cross a romantic stroll off your list of things to do in New York City on Valentine’s Day.

Walk through some of the city’s best parks, like Central Park or Prospect Park, and enjoy the beautiful snow-covered landscape.

Or, if you’d prefer the romance of nature without the reality of the weather, try a visit to the New York Botanical Garden or the Brooklyn Museum & Botanic Garden.

Ice Skate at Rockefeller Center

rockefeller centerIf you’re hardy enough to brave the outdoors, then why not try out one of the most romantic wintertime traditions in the city – ice skating?

Watch the ice-skaters at the Rockefeller Center rink, or tie on a pair of skates yourself, as long as you don’t mind being out-skated by some locals. Besides, there’s nothing as sweet as a bit of rink time with your love – remember Serendipity?

Rockefeller Center simply too touristy for your taste? Then head to the Bryant Park’s Winter Village for other skating options.

Embark on a Romantic Journey to the Stars

Image credit: American Museum of Natural History Facebook page.

Image credit: American Museum of Natural History Facebook page.

As part of their wildly popular After Hours programming, this year the American Museum of Natural History is offering a special Valentine’s edition of their fun adults-only event, entitled, “Romance Under the Stars.”

So head to the Hayden Planetarium with your date to enjoy a cocktail hour under the stars, special musical performances, plus delicious hors d’oeurves. What’s not to love?

Play up Your Sensual Side

Image credit: Museum of Sex.

Image credit: Museum of Sex.

What’s Valentine’s Day without a little sensuality? Some of the most romantic things to do in New York City for this lovers’ holiday are about a celebration of the human body, in all its glory.

Try a visit to the one-of-a-kind Museum of Sex, a truly educational and enlightening tour of humanity’s relationship with sex. You’ll see art and artifacts spanning the aesthetics of black and white photography to comic books and pop art.

It’s not all about art, either – you’ll find some of the most important and compelling conversations about human sexuality in the world represented in the programming and exhibits at this museum.

Hop Aboard a Romantic Cruise

nyc-twilight-sightseeing-cruiseWhile you may find your cruise options limited in February (unless a ride aboard the Staten Island Ferry is your idea of romantic, in which case, more power to you), if you’re planning a romantic date the rest of the year a cruise is a fabulous idea.

One of our favorite options is the romantic Twilight Cruise, which showcases New York in its most flattering light, with all the glitter of the city on display against a beautiful sunset.

If you’re in the city primarily to sightsee, however, something like the Landmark Cruise would also be a good option – and they do run in the wintertime!

Enjoy a Romantic Meal

Valentine DinnerThere’s arguably no better place in the entire country to go for a good meal.

Whether you’re interested in the high-class romance of a steak-and-seafood restaurant or you’re really just looking for an amazing vegan burrito, NYC has that perfect dining destination to satisfy your cravings.

If you’re looking to explore new areas for dining options – and we honestly do recommend branching out from Times Square for the really good stuff – try scoping out places like Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, the West Village, and NoMad.

Brooklyn also has some great fare if you’re willing to venture on the subway (we promise it’s fine!).

Take in a Show

Take in a Broadway ShowThe home of Broadway and everything inspired by the art and music industry, New York City offers some of the best theatre in the world just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Whether you want to go all-out with a romantic evening performance of the hottest new show, or you want to try something new at a comedy club or a small indie theatre in the Bronx, there is something to suit every taste.

Be sure to purchase tickets in advance, as a show in NYC is an incredibly popular Valentine’s idea among locals in the Tri-State area.

Save on Admission

Whether you’re a more conventional flower-and-dinner kind of couple, or you prefer something more off the beaten path, there are plenty of romantic New York attractions for you to choose from.

See what you two are most interested in, and then consider a New York Explorer Pass® to cover admission of some of your favorites!

New York City Explorer Pass

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