Saturday, October 18, 2014

42 Great Date Ideas- Thrillist

SOME of these actually sound pretty good

42 actually great New York date ideas 


Look, we don't know your life. Maybe you're a novice who's never planned a date past a dinner reservation and a clean shirt, or maybe you're a dating Grandmaster who hires hot-air balloons the way other dudes hire Ubers. Regardless of how your dating expertise stacks up, you know that the city offers more date-ventures than dinner and drinks, drinks and dinner, and more dinner and more drinks.
So, to help you mix it up, we culled a list of the 42 awesomest dates you could possibly take someone on in NYC, and sorted them all by which date (first? third??) you should use them on.

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Get your shuffleboard on at The Royal Palms

A worthwhile date in Gowanus used to be practically impossible (a canal full of dead dolphins will do that), but that was before The Royal Palms showed up. Enjoy the cocktails on tap and try your hand at a game and you’ll understand why your Grandma and every hipster in Brooklyn loves it so much.

Head to Spirited Brooklyn for dessert and booze

Prospect Heights
Drinks and dessert are always a great first date combo, but booze-filled baked goods at a "dessert speakeasy?" Yeah. Check out the chocolate-whiskey pecan pie -- it tastes exactly as awesome as you’d think.

Hit up feeding time at the Central Park Zoo

Lenox Hill
The California sea lions balance balls, catch fish, and interact with their trainers in the cutest ways possible, and their glass-walled enclosure gives visitors a great view of all the action. Go for a walk in the park after, or stick around the zoo and check out the red pandas because, well, they're adorable.

Slurp down cheap oysters at a low-key happy hour

Swing by The Saint Austere for dollar oysters any Monday through Saturday from 6-8pm when you can get a mix of East and West Coast specimens. Also, the short-term nature of a happy hour gives either of you an out if a better Tinder match comes up.

Meet for a DUMBO date at Jane’s Carousel

That refurbished carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park is kind of endlessly romantic, plus there are a bunch of great dinner options within an easy walking distance: the delicious tequila cocktails at Gran Electrica are just around the corner and don’t require a Grimaldian wait.

Take in the view at the Met’s Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar

Upper East Side
With one of the lushest lawns in the city, the Met’s roof garden is a perfect little oasis in the center of the crowd.

Scope out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Crown Heights
This place may actually be better to visit during the winter than the summer -- especially the hothouses, which are kind of like taking a (sadly overdressed) trip to Costa Rica. Oh, and make sure to tell your date about how the Japanese garden contains a hidden temple dedicated to the wolf spirits.
Manhattan by Sail

Sneak into the swimming pool at a hotel

Midtown East
Sneaking into an indoor pool is a great, slightly illicit date for all seasons, and it’s surprising just how many pools you can access in New York. The One UN is a cakewalk, though: just stroll with purpose to the elevator in the East Tower, pop up to the 27th floor, and glide right into the locker room, which is the pool’s access point. Worst case scenario: pretend you’re confused representatives from Estonia. Nobody will be the wiser.

Sample craft beer on a sailboat

White Hall
Unlike the first date, you should be reasonably sure you want to spend some time together, so sign up for Manhattan By Sail, which'll include a couple of hours sipping ales, nibbling charcuterie, and taking in the skyline views.

Explore Brooklyn Flea with a Sofia Mini wine in a can

Fort Greene
The plan for a perfect lazy Saturday: check out the wares of 100+ vendors while (very discretely) sipping a sparkling wine that comes in a cannister that looks as innocuous as an energy drink -- it's a great way to day drink in style. Oh, and don’t throw out the little straws -- Francis Ford slapped them on when he heard that drinking sparkling wine through a straw makes you get tipsier faster.

Try your hand at the sketchiest golf in Brooklyn at the Bushwick Country Club

Hit up the only mini-golf course in town that comes with pickleback shots, and don’t forget to pack your own clubs for this misadventure.

Grab a handful of quarters and challenge your date to pinball

Stuyvesant Town
It may look like a skate shop from the outside (and from the inside, mostly because... it’s a skate shop), but Reciprocal on 11th Street is also a pinball arcade.

Check out some standup comedy at The Slipper Room

Lower East Side
On Tuesday nights, burlesque venue The Slipper Room turns into a comedy show hosted by Seth Herzog, usually accompanied by his completely awesome -- and deeply hilarious -- Mom. Don’t let your date know in advance, but there’s a fairly high chance that a celebrity or two might show up.

Meet for a lunch date by a waterfall

Enjoy the unusual sensation of eating lunch beside a relaxing waterfall in the center of Midtown Manhattan, just one of the many secret spots in the city you can introduce your date to.

Take in a seriously good jazz show at Shrine

Head uptown for some of the best jazz in town at a little venue called Shrine. This place (which looks kind of like a bodega on the outside) offers outstanding shows pretty much every night of the week.
Mehanta Bulgarian Bar

Head uptown for some low-cost deliciousness

East Harlem
Start off at Taco Mix, a standing room-only joint with the best -- and some of the cheapest -- tacos in the entire city (we defy you to spend more than $10 in this place), then mosey over to Amor Cubano for mojitos and desserts.

Go rock climbing in the middle of the city

Upper East Side
Head over to Steep Rock Bouldering to try it out together. They don’t take reservations, but someone is always around to give you a quick tour before setting you loose to figure out how to climb walls. Surprising bonus: they’re open 'til 11pm on weekdays.

Get your culture going at Moma PS1 Sunday Sessions

Hunters Point
On Sundays, the museum offers up a live presentation, which may be anything from dance exhibitions to short films to musical collaborations. These performances are recent works by contemporary artists, dusting some of the must off a typical museum date.

Ride the Staten Island Ferry

Financial District
Okay, there may not be a whole lot you want to do once you land in Staten Island (unless you both love pizza), but the boat ride itself -- and view of Lady Liberty -- is well worth the trip. Plus, there's a bar on it.

Get Balkan at the Bulgarian disco

Lower East Side
Mehanata is some strange magic: this place combines Slavic music, a dance floor, and an ice cage. You and your date can shrug on gigantic overcoats (provided), and enter a freezing room made of ice for two minutes' worth of unlimited shots.

Dinner and a movie redux

The most classic date of all can be a little too obvious. Mix it up a bit with Nitehawk's Live Sound Cinema, wherein a live band plays against a silent film.

Stop by UCB’s Asssscat 3000

The 9:30pm Sunday night show is free, but be sure to swing by in advance (around 8:15pm) to snag tickets, as they tend to run out. The performances at this long-form improv show feature some of the funniest people in comedy, frequently including writers from SNL and The Colbert Report.

Get a picnic packed by Pappardella and enjoy it at The Cloisters

Washington Heights
Surprise your date with your knowledge of the gorgeous views Uptown, and with a well-appointed picnic.

Flickr/Toni Protto (Edited)

Go on a tour of Brooklyn Brewery

The brewery offers free, regularly-scheduled tours every Saturday (and they’re only $10 on weekdays). Your opening material is running thin at this point, and this'll fill any silences nicely. So will the beer.

Take in a Friday night burlesque show

Lower East Side
You’ve already been to the dance parties at Hotel Chantelle, but you may not have checked out their awesome ground-floor burlesque show.

Take a stroll on the High Line

Pop in for a drink at Terroir, where you can share your knowledge of how people are often caught having sex in windows of The Standard.

Head out to Brighton Beach for Russian cuisine

Brighton Beach
Known as “Little Odessa", Brighton Beach has maybe the best Russian food in the Western hemisphere. Snack on some of the ever-present traditional baked goods (available on basically every street corner), then settle in for a proper meal at Café Restaurant Volna.

Hit up Local 138 for drinks and dancing

Lower East Side
This dive offers a great craft beer selection, an awesome happy hour special, and an unusually quiet back room to chat with a date on a weekday.

Head to Low Brow Artique for an art opening

Graffiti shop by day, gallery by... well, also day, but also the occasional evening. Come out for an art opening and introduce your date to the awesome street art, PBR, and creative vibe.

Drink cheap beer and play board games at Boobie Trap

Get competitive over Candyland in this fun, totally lady-friendly (and woman-owned) jugs-themed bar. Everything in the small space is covered in boobs, boobs, and more boobs, but the atmosphere is playful, really! Try coloring in mildly dirty cartoon pictures with crayons while you wait for a plate of their extra-delicious barbecue.

Take a bartending class at Apotheke

If you’re into learning and drinking (remember college?), then you may want to spend a Saturday making and sipping high-quality drinks from the pros. The courses at Apotheke vary from classic cocktails, to the garden-to-glass variety, to absinthe-bases.

Pet a penguin at the Long Island Aquarium

Okay, it’s kind of a hike, so you have to be comfortable enough with each other already to train it, but if getting up close and personal with a penguin sounds like your idea of a good time (and your basic humanity should be questioned if it doesn’t), then consider this a good time.

All-you-can-drink brunch at Amity Hall

West Village
This one doubles as a great, immediate follow-up date to a really successful third date. Amity Hall provides one of the best all-you-can-drink brunch deals in the whole city.
Sleep No More NYC

Tour the city by helicopter

Financial District
So this may be a little pricey, but this is "are we in a relationship or what?" territory, so splurge. It’s the only way you’re ever going to see the city in that epic 365-degree view the way you do in movies, and it makes for one adrenaline rush of a date.

Take the standard dinner date to a new level 

Little Italy
Miette Culinary Studio offers one-off cooking classes: try out the butchering demo and masterclass, where you learn to prepare things like "a whole grilled grass-fed lamb", or try out one of their delicious -- but less intense -- Italian, Spanish, Indian, or French cooking courses.

Wake up early to go clubbing

Yeah, you read that right: go on one memorable pre-work date at Daybreaker, the rave that starts at 7am. Throw back some espresso shots and get down on the most unlikely dance floor in the city during the time you’d normally be hitting the gym -- stay tuned for their next party.

Get some fun sex tips at Babeland brunch

Lower East Side
Not for the faint of heart, Babeland offers intriguing ideas (and an array of fun toys) for getting frisky, from oral sex tips to spanking, in a regularly scheduled brunch-time lesson (comes with free muffins!).

Snack on guinea pigs in Queens

Yeah, yeah, they’re really cute, but they’re also high in protein, low-fat, and totally tasty. Get adventurous and try out this staple of Peruvian cuisine at El Dorado Café.

Go on the "Satan’s Seat" walking tour

Learn all about the culture in New York during the Roaring Twenties, and stop by some of the country’s most notorious speakeasies. Tours with The Big Onion tend to sell out in advance, so book this one about a week out. Packing a flask, while not encouraged, is simply in keeping with the theme.

Squeeze a Realdoll at the Museum of Sex

MoSex is often funny, sometimes clinical, always fascinating, and kind of less erotic than you might expect. But it’ll definitely open up more intriguing conversations between you and your date, and after a tour, you can share an aphrodisiac drink and the self-proclaimed best sticky bun in New York in the café.

Hit up KGB Bar for some beer and poetry

East Village
This Village staple offers readings nightly, but the Monday Night Poetry series stands out. The venue has a full bar, so even if you’re not in love with the poet at hand, you can enjoy a good whiskey, then discuss the details with your date after.

Strap on some masks and take in Sleep No More

Look, if you do Sleep No More together on your fifth date, the immersive strangeness of the experience is going to mean that you’re either dating or you’re about to stop seeing each other. If you’re okay with that gamble, then go forth.

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Jess Novak is a Thrillist contributor who divides her time equally between drinking Scotch and exploring New York. She'd love nothing more than for you to stalk her on Twitter and Instagram.

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