Our list of 16 fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC will change your perspective on planning dates other than having a reservation in a fine restaurant.
Different things come to mind for people when they think of a great date. For me, I love a nice candlelit dinner in a fine restaurant. It’s very romantic. You can also always be creative and fun and there’s no need to spend a lot of money on it. I remember my first date with my husband. We were with a friend and we ate a meal and took a nice stroll. It wasn’t anything too terribly special. I had known my husband since I was a child, but we hadn’t seen each other since 2006 until we reconnected on social media. After that point, our courtship began. A super fancy date wasn’t really necessary for us. We now have a son and daughter together.
Aside from social media, online dating sites are quite popular. It’s like an instant, virtual date where people get to know each other based on a profile and a few messages exchanged. It can be dangerous though, and you may fall victim to people with hidden agendas, so be careful.
There are a lot of options for fun, cheap, and unique first dates in NYC, since this beautiful city has tons of nice restaurants, parks, museums, and attractions. To compile this list, I took into consideration the cost and recommendations from Yelp, which is a great source to find reviews. New York has so much variety that it’s hard to go wrong picking any recommendation.
If you’re interested in other dates with your partner, check out our list of 10 Romantic Winter Date Ideas in New York City.
Here’s our list of 16 fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC:
16. Museum of Modern Art
The MoMA is located on 53rd St between 5th and 6th Avenues, and it costs as little as $25. There’s a lot of great modern and contemporary art to enjoy with your date.
15. The High Line
The High Line has the perfect ambiance for relaxing, and it’s an escape from the city within the city. It’s an elevated park built on the West Side Line, a disguised railroad in NYC. There are free public tours scheduled almost every day.
14. Union Square
There are so many options to choose from here. You could go shopping, eat at one of the many restaurants, or wander an event at the park.
13. 9/11 Memorial and Museum
This is a bit pricier than the others on the list, and it may not be an ideal date for everyone, but for $109 you can see some poignant city history and a beautiful memorial.
12. New York Transit Museum
If you and your date are interested in vintage train cars and buses, head to 99 Schermerhorn St in Brooklyn, spend $10, and explore the museum together.
11. Washington Square Park
This park is perfect for romantic walks under the arch. It’s located in a great area with plenty of places to grab a bite to eat when you’re done exploring.
10. Ellis Island Immigration Museum
The best part about this as a date is the ferry ride to get there. Once you get there you’ll find a beautiful view and learn a bit about the history of immigrants.
9. Brooklyn Bridge
Everyone has to walk the Brooklyn Bridge at least once in their life. Bring a padlock and look for the large collection of “love locks.” You and your date can leave a padlock on the bridge and throw the keys to the water as a sign of everlasting love. Sounds good enough to be on our list of fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC, right? Of course, not on your first date, but later on. If you fall in love eventually, it would be even more romantic to get back to where your first date was, and then leave a padlock symbolizing your affection for each other.
8. Coney Island Circus Sideshow
The next on the list of fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC is a visit to a circus sideshow. Book a ticket for $10 and witness the crazy live acts of the performers. There’s a lot of other fun activities at Coney Island as well.
7. Governors Island National Monument
You only have to pay for the ferry ride to Governors Island National Monument to get to enjoy a picnic at the picnic point. You can also rent a bicycle and go on a bicycle ride with your date. You will also love the hammock grove where you and your date would fit perfectly in one hammock.
6. Central Park
A stroll in Central Park, is next in line of our fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC. You can do it for free, but you can also avail their iconic tours for $15.
5. Mystery Room NYC
You’ll be able to check your teamwork at Mystery Room if you could both escape a zombie for $28 each person.
4. New York Adventure Club
Watch out for their events for a one of a kind experience. There’s always something new to do for not a lot of money.
3. Lower East Side Tenement Museum
This museum is like immigrant time capsules from different time periods. It’s a on our list of fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC becuase not only can you see the apartments of the past residents but their businesses on these exhibits. It’s a fun take on a typical museum outing.
2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden
A bouquet of flowers for your date is a sweet act, but picking flowers here at Brooklyn Botanic Garden is not allowed. This is a sweet escape from the busy city life, and you get to enjoy the beauty of different types of florals in NYC.
1. Museum Hack
Go scavenger hunting with your date. It’s a creative and fun way in getting to know each other and that’s why this tops our list of 16 fun cheap and unique first date ideas in NYC.