You don’t need tons of cash to plan a great date in NYC. Try any of these free date ideas!
Sorry, everywhere else – New York City is one of the most romantic places in the world. Not only do we have When Harry Met Sally, Serendipity, 13 Going on 30, and plenty of other rom-coms to prove it, but we have some of the best date spots on the planet, many of which happen to be free. Don’t believe us? Take your significant other on any of these free dates in NYC.
People watch at Smorgasburg.
What better excuse to hop on the train and explore a new neighborhood? Pick a spot on the grass where you can watch the crowd (inclusive of both hipsters and tourists) hustle from one booth to the next. There’s also a small beach with a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline, which is perfect for romantic gazing.
Attend a free movie screening.
You’d be surprised how many films screen for free in New York City! During the summer, the Central Park Conservancy, Bryant Park, and Coney Island Beach host outdoor screenings of Oscar winners and cult classics. Take in the New York night sky while watching a flick with your better half.
Walk tip-to-tip in Manhattan.
Looking to get active? Grab your sneakers, pack some snacks, and ride the A train to the northern tip of Manhattan. Get off the subway and start moving south. The 13-mile walk will take up most of your day, but getting to view attractions such as the High Line, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Central Park, and other major landmarks in less than 24 hours feels like quite the adventure.
Tour graffiti art in Bushwick.
Explore the remaining warehouses in Brooklyn (that haven’t yet been converted into apartments) and see some amazing Bushwick art along the way. Morgan Avenue and Moore Street are great places to start. You may not find the next Banksy, but be sure to bring your camera! The art you’ll find could be your next perfect Instagram shot.
Get lost in The Strand Bookstore.
Forget 13 miles of walking – how about 8 miles of books? The Strand happens to be one of our preferred ideas for a free date in New York because it offers great deals on both bestsellers and childhood favorites. Plus, the works on display in store’s rare book room equal what you’d find in the Met.
Play hide and seek in the Times Square Forever 21.
Yes, the four levels of clothes might be for “shopping,” but with hours of operation that last until 2 a.m. and a prime location in the heart of Manhattan, it’s a great way to celebrate the kid within. There’s no need to feel embarrassed when playing – odds are, the employees have thought of doing the same.
Take a free tour of the New York Public Library.
Want to impress a first date? Both the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture offer free tours throughout the week. The lineup includes access to exhibitions, which range from art to history to classic literature. Check the NYPL website for details.
What ideas do you have for free dates in NYC?
Also, 62 free things to do in the city – whether you’re alone or with a friend.