By: Sophia Marina
New York’s famed and glittering nightlife is no secret to any of us, but upscale clubs and bars just aren’t for us all. Delve into the flipside of the city’s claim on nightlife with our guide to New York’s most exciting and enriching after-dark content to freshen up the fun with your love. From serenity sessions to star-gazing, we’ve rounded up a variety of activities and events that will make for an intimately invigorating night out (or in!) with your person.
Read on for our top date-worthy events in NYC after dark.
The Best 'Not-Your-Usual' After Dark Events In New York City
It may seem obvious, but this is just a reminder that New York boasts some of the world’s best museums, and there’s nothing better than walking on marbled floors and considering great works of art with your partner. Several city museums offer reduced or free pricing at night — the Rubin’s K2 Friday nights, which feature a renowned music series and guided tours and discussions, or Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum, with access to their permanent collection as well as changing exhibitions. Other options include weekend nights at the Whitney, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and the MoMA.
The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York holds public observing sessions in and around New York throughout the year, with binoculars and telescopes set up on clear nights in cool city spots ranging from the Highline to Evergreens cemetery. Set out to observe the heavens on a sweet night with your love, or if you’re really into it, drop in on one of their lectures together.
This old-fashioned date night is considered classic for a reason. At Lola’s Dreamland Roller Disco, enjoy vibrant themed skate parties, dance contests, burlesque, and carnival arts performances—and if you think you might one day want to win one of those dance contests—roller skating lessons. For a more casual experience, trying laughing, falling and stumbling to broad and beautiful waterfront views in Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 2 Roller Rink. It’s getting cold out, which of course means holding each other tight while gliding over ice at classic rinks like Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center or try out new views this winter at LeFrak Center at Lakeside or Aviator Sports and Events Center at Floyd Bennet Field.
There’s something sexy and engaging about speaking another language, so why not do it with each other? Not only do you get to set vacation goals anywhere you want in the world, but you also enjoy a drawn-out, intimate experience with your significant other by acquiring a whole new lexicon of words and sounds to understand each other in. Most language-learning institutes offer night sessions, so give it a shot and start making plans for that dream vacation. Click here for Spanish, German, Russian, French, or Asian languages like Japanese, Korean and Thai.
268 East 10th Street, Manhattan
Open since 1892, this facility offers special treatments like deep-tissue massages and dead sea salt scrubs in additions to numerous saunas and steam rooms. After a bit of relaxation and cleansing, make sure to check out their roof deck and restaurant. Make it a point to unwind with each other one of these nights — the baths are open till’ 10pm.
NYC is the best and brightest literary hub in the country, which means there are endless opportunities for you and your love to sit back and enjoy a reading or discussion. Try some contemporary poetry at the Segue Reading Series, or make it out to spoken word at the renowned Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Gain some new conversation topics with talks on famed authors like John Updike, Philip Roth and Virginia Woolf at the Unterberg Poetry Center, or check out any of these fabulous NYC bookstores for their ever-revolving calendar of events: the Strand, McNally Jackson, Bookculture, Ugly Duckling Presse or Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop.
Cut the stress and sweat of city life by attending a soothing meditation session with your love. Whether you’re familiar with the practice or not, most spaces are all-inclusive and welcome people and couples at any level. If you’re all about ambiance, go for Inscape, where you’ll meditate in a cozy dome under calming pink and purple light. For a more down to earth experience, Kadampa Meditation Center, which offers flexible lunchtime, after work and drop-in sessions, is mellowly infused with the Buddha’s teachings. We also love Serene Spaces, a company we recently partnered with!
Nai Tapas: 85 2nd Avenue, corner of 5th Street and 2nd Avenue | Flamenco Latino: 244 West 54th Street
As New Yorkers, we’re no strangers to top of the line shows and entertainment, but flamenco doesn’t get as much talk as it deserves. The sexy, heated atmosphere of swirling red skirts and sensuous Spanish guitar isn’t just thrilling to watch, but great to pick up with your number one. For the viewers’ experience, try a night out at Nai Tapas, a rustic spot where, on Thursday and Saturday nights, you can order a spread of sizzling tapas and watch live Flamenco. If you’re both in the mood to spice it up, sign up for some lessons (or even just a walk in sesh!) at Flamenco Latino, where not only dance but also guitar instruction is offered.
Pier 40, 353 West Street, Manhattan | October 31st | Board - 6AM
This early morning dance movement spans 25 cities—so far— and is quickly gaining popularity as a way of experiencing healthy, drug-free raves to start your morning with gusto and activity. The dance parties, which usually kick off at 6 am, start with one hour yoga and are followed by a quick fitness session, supplemented by free iced matcha lattes and kombucha to keep your energy up as you and your boo dance till’ dawn. Daybreaker next visits New York on Halloween and is hosting their sober morning rave on the water. That’s right— watch the sunrise and start your day refreshed by yoga, exercise, dancing, the NYC skyline at dawn and our favorite, iced matcha lattes.
28 West 27th Street, Manhattan
If you and your love are absolute bookworms, try going beyond the text and into the production process at The Center for Book Arts. Focused on treating books as objects of art, the Center offers a variety of workshops and courses on making chapbooks, binding hardcovers, gold tooling, and hand typesetting. Some of the sessions are weekend intensives, but they also offer extended night courses that span a few weeks. Sign up without further ado to get interesting, unique and artistic with your love.
If you’ve ever had an itch to create, you’re in the right place. Nothing beats getting craftsy and cute with your number one, and NYC’s vibrant art community makes it easy for just about anyone to tap into its resources— it’s just a matter of signing up. Try anatomical drawing, animation art, or drawing from life at one of the myriad courses or workshops offered by the Art Students League of New York, where registration is rolling by calendar month. If you just don’t have the time to commit to something weekly, sign up for something shorter like Sculpture Without Sight, Intro to Mold Making, or beginner’s Sculpture.
230 Thompson Street, Manhattan
Turns out board games are actually way more fun as an adult. Get competitive with your love over some coffee (or even craft beer!) at Uncommons, Manhattan’s first board game cafe, boasting the largest selection of games on the East Coast. It’s open till’ 11 pm, so whether you want to keep it classic with Scrabble or try something quirky and new, this is your spot.
Modrn Sanctuary: 12 West 27th Street, Manhattan | NKD NYC: 200 West 57th Street
That New Yorkers are among the most strung out people is no surprise, but having someone to tough it out with makes city-living worth it. Going out and going wild is one way letting loose, but for those who prefer something a little more soothing, NYC offers an array of luxury wellness centers perfect for bonding and unwinding with the one you love. At Modrn Sanctuary, services include acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, massage, and a Himalayan Salt Room. Alternatively, try cryotherapy, light therapy or vitamin therapy at NKD NYC. Lay back, relax and enjoy some serenity together.
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Put together a glorious, gorgeous floral arrangement at an expert Floral Design Workshop, then indulge in simple and delectable Roman fare at bougie restaurant Lupa.
Satiate your deepest Italian food cravings at Giano, then make the most of a two-for-one happy hour special at lowkey, chic wine bar Ten Degrees.
Grab a burger and some beers at Irish pub La Cheile, and then take a sunset stroll through Washington Heights’ beautiful Fort Tryon Park.
Fuel up with creative sandwiches and burgers at Gnarly Eats, in South Slope, and snack on free candy and laughs at Ed Sullivan on Acid.
Watch the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones at Indian restaurant Junoon, then head over to Sir Henri Rooftop Bar for your nightcap.
Keep it classic with date night in Astoria, starting with family-oriented Greek food at Stamatis and finishing on a sweet note at Gelato & Co.
Achieve your fried chicken dreams at Bonchon, in Midtown, and laugh like an ally at the hilarious YAS! Showcase at The Tank.
Start off with a savory, aromatic feast at staple Indian eatery Mughlai, then double down on some one-of-a-kind cocktails at unique drinks outpost Subject.
Celebrate the carnivore in you at Brooklyn steakery Chadwick’s, and then cozy up and lounge over drinks at neighborhood gem Delia’s.
Cook your own steak at Japanese fast-casual chain Pepper Lunch, then grab a pint and a game at The Three Monkeys in Midtown.
Choose from a variety of burgers and dogs at New Amsterdam Burger bar, then get frosty with a frozen margarita at Blockheads on the Upper West Side.
Get cozy with a taco at the rustic spot, The Alcove, in Queens, then head over to The Globe Tavern for a nightcap and a game.
Dine on grilled meatballs café style at Kofte Piyaz in Sunset Park, then get some sage advice in liquor form at chic bar & lounge L’Wren.
Scoop up custom ice cream flavors inspired by pop culture icons at Mikey Likes It, then stroll over to Zadie's Oyster Room wine and fresh oyster specials.
Get a taste of the Carribean at Malecon, then wander over to Forever Coffee and Art Bar for a creative, caffeinated fix at their BYOB Drink and Draw series.
Settle into an intimate dinner at the rustic chic Café Zona Sur in Sunset Park followed by no-frills, vintage bowling at Melody Lanes.
Fill up on French food in the West Village at Le Gigot, then enjoy your nightcap with some live music from local talent at The Red Lion.