25 of the best cheap romantic dates in NYC
Published: Monday, May 8, 2006
Updated: Sunday, February 15, 2009 02:02
Do you and your honey spend your Saturday nights staring at each other, bored to death? Well, no more excuses. With the warm weather approaching, it's time to go! I've done the brainstorming for you and compiled a list of the 25 best cheap date spots:
1. Rowboating in Central Park-The lake at the Loeb Boathouse is like a sanctuary in the middle of NYC. Relax while taking in the views of the park. Rentals cost $10 for the first hour. Visit www.centralpark.org.
2. Central Park Zoo-This zoo is not as large as the Bronx Zoo, and you'll have plenty of time to wander around in the park afterwards. Plus, it's home to the famous penguin exhibit. Admission is $6.
3. Shakespeare in the Park-This popular free event in Central Park features some of the biggest movie stars. Waiting hours on line for tickets will be a sure triumph the two of you will remember.
4. Picnic in the park-Whether it is Central Park or your local park, a picnic is a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Impress your date by making the food yourself and bringing a bottle of wine.
5. Movies under the stars-Bring a blanket, some candy, and create a magical experience on a warm, moonlit evening. Central Park presents its free outdoor cinema series every summer.
6. Concert in the park-The New York Philharmonic offers free performances in Central Park, as well as in local parks. Fireworks follow afterwards. Visit www.nyphil.org.
7. The Ferris wheel in the Times Square Toys 'R' Us-For $4, you can ride the amazing 60-foot tall indoor Ferris wheel which features 14 themed cars. Afterwards, why not let your honey pick out a stuffed animal? Visit www.toysrustimessquare.com.
8. The view at the top of the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center-The most romantic way to view NYC is from above. Hint: come during sunset or at night to gaze at stars. The observation deck costs $16 at the Empire State Building and $14 at Rockefeller Center. See www.esbnyc.com and www.topoftherocknyc.com.
9. TRAM ride to Roosevelt Island-Travel from busy midtown to tranquil Roosevelt Island while catching a magnificent view of the city. Roosevelt Island has five spacious parks, six historic landmarks, and a small residential community. The ride costs $2 each way. See www.rioc.com for the date of resumed service.
10. Laser tag-What better way to spend your Saturday night than to run around sweating like maniacs in a game of laser tag? At Lazer Park in Times Square, a single mission cost $9.95. Visit www.lazerpark.com.
11. Chuck E. Cheese or another arcade-Though it might sound corny, Chuck E. Cheese is tons of fun! Have fun trying to kick each other's behind playing games and trying to win prizes. The pizza is also good. Visit www.chuckecheese.com.
12. Carnival-Run around like children at a carnival. The Big "A" Fair at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Belmont Stakes Fair at the Belmont Racetrack feature over 100 rides, games and even a petting zoo. They usually begin in May and last through June, so check local newspapers.
13. In-the-dark bowling-Many bowling alleys also offer in-the dark-bowling, so check your local one. At Chelsea Piers, it costs $8.75 per person, per game and the equipment rental is $5. They also offer many other sports activities, such as the next:
14. Roller skating-Roller-skating in the park is good exercise, plus it'll give you a chance to catch your honey when they fall. Or, head on over to a roller skating rink. At the one in Chelsea Piers, it costs $8 if you bring your own equipment. Visit www.chelseapiers.com
15. Go-karts-Feel the need for speed? The Slick Track at Coney Island offers the fastest karts in NYC. A mere $6 will get you in on weekends. Coney Island offers tons of activities, which leads to the next idea:
16. Coney Island-This may just be the happiest place in NYC. Its list of activities includes The New York Aquarium, two amusement parks, beach, the original Nathan's Famous, Keyspan Park and burlesque shows. Visit www.coneyisland.com.
17. ESPN Zone-Finally, guys can have fun on a date! At the ESPN Zone, you can chow down while watching the big game on more than 150 monitors. There are also tons of interactive games, like Formula 1 race cars. Visit www.espnzone.com.
18. Circus-The Big Apple Circus is coming to Queens and Long Island in May and June, respectively. The cheapest tickets are $14 and $20. Visit www.bigapplecircus.org.
19. Botanical garden-Walk arm in arm under gorgeous cherry blossoms. Botanical gardens are free or offer student discounts. Visit www.nycgovparks.org.
20. Get sweets with your sweetheart-Share a steaming cup of cappuccino and nibble on cannolis at your local bakery. Or, head over to your favorite ice cream store for a cheap sweet treat.
21. Hershey Store in Times Square-Can't make it to Hershey Park in PA? Come here instead. You can take pictures with the Hershey mascots, fill your own bag of candy with a big chocolate machine, or personalize your own giant Hershey's Kisses. Visit www.hersheys.com/discover/timessquare.asp.
22. Visit a museum-Challenge each other intellectually discussing works of art. Your student ID gets you a discounted suggested donation. Some even have free days. Visit www.nyc.gov.
23. Watch a show-Certain Broadway shows and plays offer student, rush, or standing room only tickets. See the Office of Student Life in the Vertical Campus or visit each show's website. You can also get student tickets for select performances at Carnegie Hall ($10) and Lincoln Center ($20). Visit www.carnegiehall.org and www.lincolncenter.org.
24. The beach-Get tanned together, and then take a walk along the shore while looking for seashells. How about having a midnight picnic at the beach (or a lake)? See www.nycgovparks.org.
25. Tour of your old neighborhood-This is the best way to get to know a person's childhood. Walk around and show your honey your old house, school, church, park, favorite restaurants, etc.