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.
See More Of Our Curated Dates This Week
Join one-of-a-kind performance, Unsilent Night—a holiday sound tour through Greenwich Village. After, head to speakeasy Angel's Share for a nightcap.
Start the night at new Chinatown restaurant BRIGITTE before heading to drinks at Forgtmenot.
Escape the winter cold over homey seafood favorites at sand-strewn Tiki restaurant Surf Bar, then have the perfect Caribbean cocktail at chic and tropical bar Clyde’s.
Wind down over some of the best comfort food around at local burger joint Dirty Pierre’s, then keep the casual vibes going over craft beers and great American whiskeys at local bar Station House.
Explore your inner artists with Artsclub's Rothko Painting Party, and then have a night cap at Bushwick staple, The Narrows.
Experience Handel's Gospel Messiah in the classic Washington Heights style, and then indulge in the industry's best craft beers at Bar 180.
Fine dine at old-world Italian restaurant Lusardi’s, then fine wine at Bar Felice, where urban creativity goes Tuscan for a variety of high-end bottles and wine-infused cocktails.
Treat your tastebuds to authentic South-Asian street food at The MasalaWala, then checkout the decidedly anti-holiday pop-up "Helliday Inn" at The Skinny.
Dine alone (but also together) over noodles at Ichiran in Koreatown, then enjoy some stylishly-dressed craft drinks at The Vine.
Start the night at the new, fashion-centric restaurant and lounge Nittis followed by drinks at the city’s highest rooftop lounge, Sky Room.
Start off your night in one of East Harlem's newer restaurants, Tapas Taco Mix, and then indulge in some quality craft beer at The Rochard.
Keep off the cold and indulge in some hearty, aromatic, modern Italian eats at Nino’s 46, then do the sweet side of winter under snow shows, warm fur, and delicious holiday cocktails at Haven Ski Chalet at Haven Rooftop.
Start the night at the newly opened cocktail bar and restaurant Valerie by Bryant Park, followed by a nightcap and hookah at Iron Bar & Lounge.
Do the holidays in New York justice by seeing It's A Wonderful Life at the IFC Center, then cuddling up over Belgian drafts at Vol de Nuit.
Go crazy for an all-you-can-eat Korean buffet at IchiUmi followed by artistically-crafted desserts from Besfren in Koreatown.
Start date night with a guided meditation from idk & Serene Spaces at 38 Parlor, then follow that up with dinner and drinks at the Cuban-Chinese Calle Dao.
Start date night with some delicious ramen in a hip spot in Morningside Heights, then head down the block for drinks at the quirky Toast Uptown.
Spice things up over dinner at The Gumbo Bros in Cobble Hill, then get your craft drink on at the relaxing two8two Bar & Burger.
Get the evening started over Mediterranean cuisine at Shoo Shoo in Nolita, then sweeten things up at the Milk & Cream Cereal Bar for dessert.
Eating and drinking at the bar of a NYC restaurant is a date night classic. We've rounded up our favorite spots to eat and drink up at the bar.