New York

NYC Date Ideas For Winter You'll Both Actually Enjoy

This Valentine's Day, share heart-shaped pizzas or elope in a hotel room.

Photo courtesy of Related-Oxford
Photo courtesy of Related-Oxford
Photo courtesy of Related-Oxford

Quarantining with our sweethearts and significant others since the start of the pandemic has taught us that keeping the love alive through date nights-and pretty much date mornings, date afternoons, and date weekends-is really important. For New Yorkers, the good news is that Governor Cuomo announced the return of indoor dining slating to begin again on Valentine’s Day. But if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected than just your standard prix-fixe, we’ve got you covered for that, too. 
 
From a romantic night spent stargazing to a luxe staycation with a twist, our list of date ideas for February and beyond has something for every type of couple; even the ones who just broke up. Read on for our list of 12 date ideas to spark romance, and as always, please wear a mask and social distance responsibly.

Photo courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream
Photo courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream

Experience “Date Night” at The Museum of Ice Cream

Throughout February
SoHo
The Museum of Ice Cream is a spectacular idea any time of the year, but just in time for Valentine’s Day, they’re rolling out a special experience named “Date Nights.” In collaboration with the card game We’re Not Really Strangers, the museum will be adding special attractions during these nights to make the shortest month of the year extra sweet. Expect dance classes, sundae making, and even a special installation making visitors stars in a game show. Of course, the museum’s 13 exhibition spaces will also be available to explore, including the ever-popular Rainbow Tunnel, Celestial Subway, and the Sprinkle Pool.
Cost: $49 per person

Photo courtesy of bakery by abc restaurants
Photo courtesy of bakery by abc restaurants
Photo courtesy of bakery by abc restaurants

Indulge in a V-Day cookie box from a stellar new bakery

February 8 – 14
Flatiron
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s trio of abc restaurants-Kitchen, Cucina, and V-are some of the city’s most beloved destinations for good reason: the food is fantastic and the ambience even better. The group’s latest venture, bakery by abc restaurants, focuses on the sweet side of things and launched in January. For Valentine’s Day, the bakery is offering a special cookie box with raspberry dusted almond chocolate cookies, malted milk ganache filled chocolate shortbread, passion fruit caramel swirl brownies, and dark chocolate dulcey chip cookies for pick up or delivery via tock 2/8 – 2/14
Cost: $48

Eat a “pizza” your heart in The Bronx

Throughout February
Bronx Little Italy
Is a heart-shaped pizza cheesy? Well, literally, yes. Figuratively, though, isn’t that the kind of adorable pick-me-up we all need right now? At Ivana’s Pizzeria in the Bronx, they’ll be serving the specially shaped pie for the entire month of February, with the option of classic cheese or pepperoni toppings. Even cuter? The shop was founded by married couple Antonio and Ivana Ferri, who moved from Italy to America in 1975. Today, Ivana’s is operated by their two sons, Frankie and Corrado.
Cost: From $20 a pie

Photo by Angelito Jusay
Photo by Angelito Jusay
Photo by Angelito Jusay

Bundle up for a night on the ice

Ongoing
Bryant Park and Industry City
COVID-19 has sadly put the brakes on many of NYC’s greatest date nights: live theater, live concerts, crowded drinks at a bar… you know the drill. But one of the city’s most romantic activities is still going strong: ice skating for two. At Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, they’ve actually extended their season through March 28 this year. Their rink is the only admission-free rink in NYC, simply make a reservation and rent skates online in advance. Across the river, Industry City’s Ice Rink Powered by Volvo Car USA has an outdoor heating system to keep you nice and toasty (not to mention 20-plus food vendors for after you work up an appetite).
Cost: Free at Winter Village; $12 per person at Industry City

Photo courtesy of The Mark Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Mark Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Mark Hotel

Elope from the comfort of your hotel room

Until February 14
Upper East Side
It’s impossible to say how many weddings have been postponed, reconfigured, or just plain canceled this past year. But if you and your beloved are looking to just forgo all the hassle, we have a solution for you: book a staycation at The Mark Hotel over V-Day and throw a quickie ceremony right in your room. The hotel’s “Foolproof Valentine’s Day Menu” boasts a lot of goodies-roses with a handwritten card, in-suite couples’ massages-but nothing as fun as hiring the hotel’s wedding officiant for an intimate ceremony for two. Just don’t forget to Zoom in the family.
Cost: $2,000 for the officiant, rooms from $665

Learn how to grow your own blooms for next year’s bouquet

Wednesday, February 10, 6 pm – 8:30 pm
Virtual
Does anything bring a couple closer together than growing your own veggies and flowers while in quarantine? Find out by signing up for Seed Starting 101, a virtual class run by Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Urban farmer and educator Molly Culver will lead students in how to grow seeds indoors for annual crops; covering topics like what containers to use and how to take care of your baby plants. Who knows, maybe you’ll harvest your own Valentine’s Day bouquet for next year.
Cost: $55 per person

Ditch your devices for a night of NYC stargazing

Saturday, February 13, 6 pm – 7 pm
Van Cortlandt Park
New York City might not be dark sky territory, exactly, but if you know where to look, stargazing is all around us. In this class held at Van Cortlandt Nature Center in the Bronx, Urban Park Rangers will teach students the history, science, and folklore of the great night sky above us. Using both telescopes and binoculars, the Rangers will also guide attendees in spotting astronomical events that are visible even from the city. Talk about star struck lovers.
Cost: Free

Celebrate your relationship’s end with a broken-hearts special

February 14
Hell’s Kitchen
The pandemic certainly tested all relationships, so it should be no surprise that not all of us made it through. For that tiny percentage that called it quits, but maybe wants to celebrate with one last meal, there’s even a date idea for you. Casa Del Toro, a Oaxacan-style taqueria, is offering a Valentine’s Day special of tlayuda divorciados: an open-faced tortilla broken in half, with roja and verde sauces. On a happier note, they’ve also got holiday cocktails, including the pink-hued strawberry-hibiscus mezcal margarita.
Cost: Tacos from $4

Photo courtesy of The Standard, High Line
Photo courtesy of The Standard, High Line
Photo courtesy of The Standard, High Line

Drink bubbles while you’re in a bubble bath

Ongoing
Meatpacking District
If you’re not quite ready to tie the knot, The Standard, High Line has a staycation package that’s equally romantic without as much commitment. The hotel’s “Go Big for Bubbles” package includes a deluxe room with a bathtub, plus a bottle of Moet to sip while you double bubble. Also included is a $30 credit for food or drink to use at any of the hotel’s venues, like their seasonal pop-up The Forest at the Standard Grill.
Cost: From $409 a night

Skip dinner for a famed pastry chef’s spectacular treats

February 11 – 14
SoHo
If there were ever a year when it was acceptable to just eat sweets for dinner, it’s now. And no one does it more beautifully (or tastily) than chef Dominique Ansel at Dominique Ansel Bakery. As is tradition, the spot will feature pink-hued desserts from February 11 – 14, in addition to some ‘Gram worthy treats. The most interactive is certainly the snickerdoodle and strawberry milk cookie shot set: two cookies shaped into shot glasses that you can fill with the bakery’s delectable house-made strawberry milk.
Cost: Pastries from $4

Photo courtesy of Related-Oxford
Photo courtesy of Related-Oxford
Photo courtesy of Related-Oxford

Take in the views from the highest outdoor deck in the Western Hemisphere

Ongoing
Hudson Yards
If you need another reason to fall in love with NYC, see it from above with 360-degree views at 1,131 feet up. And to make someone fall in love with you, show them the skyline at sunrise. In addition to The Edge‘s general programming, for a special Valentine’s Day only experience, the city’s highest outdoor sky deck will open at 6 am, offering lucky viewers the chance to see the sun break over Manhattan. Only 50 tickets for this V-Day sunrise will be available, and go on sale at 12pm on Monday, February 8th.
Cost: $38 general admission, $100 for special sunrise ticket

Avoid scurvy with your partner during quarantine by taking a class on citrus

Sunday, February 14, 1 pm – 3pm
NoMad
Quarantine life has brought out the chef in (most of) us, but wintertime cooking can be tricky. Impress your significant other by mastering the uses of one of the season’s star ingredients: citrus. In this two-hour class held at Il Fiorista, a NoMad destination for flowers that also features a restaurant, guests will not only learn the differences between a pomelo and a blood orange, but how to coax the best flavors out of many different types of the fruit. And, to make it extra romantic, there will also be oysters and champagne on hand.
Cost: $85 per person

Juliet Izon is a Thrillist contributor.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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