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10 Special Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in New York City (2024)

Brookfield Place Ice Rink, couple ice skating in NYC, romantic things to do in New York City

Embrace the romance of Valentine’s Day in the heart of the Big Apple. From leisurely strolls through iconic parks to candle-lit dinners in world-class restaurants, New York City offers a plethora of enchanting activities to make your Valentine’s celebration unforgettable.

Here’s a quick round-up of the best things to do for Valentine’s Day in NYC!

Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (10 Best Neighborhoods +3 to Avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.

Best Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC

Table of Contents: Top Valentine’s Day Activities in New York City

One World Trade Center, Freedom Tower

Visit Love on Top at One World Observatory

Website: Love on Top | One World Observatory
Neighborhood: Financial District
Location: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007

Hosting one of the best Valentine’s Day events in NYC, the 102nd-floor event space offers a five-course meal, open bar, live band, and breathtaking views of Lower Manhattan. Starting at 7 PM, the dinner coincides with the city’s dazzling evening lights. Secure your spot by booking ahead on the One World Observatory’s website—reservations are going fast, but there’s a chance on the wait-list if they sell out!

John Lennon monument in Central Park NYC, fall foliage nyc

Take a Romantic Stroll Through Central Park

Walking hand in hand across Central Park with your significant other is arguably the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day in New York City. It’s an iconic and timeless activity. Discovering the park’s charm with through its scenic pathways, charming bridges, and intimate corners, provides a serene escape in the midst of the city’s energy.

If at all helpful, we created a complete guide on the Best Things to Do in Central Park in an effort to save you the headache.

Aire Ancient Baths NYC
Image Courtesy Vogue

Treat Your Partner to a Spa Day at Aire Ancient Baths

Website: Aire Ancient Baths
Neighborhood: Tribeca
Location: 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013

Savor a day of relaxation at Aire Ancient Baths with thermal baths and rejuvenating massages. Elevate your Valentine’s Day experience by choosing the “Love Constellations” package, which includes a couples massage with basalt stones, a choice of oil, and a soothing thermal bath.

The couples package is ideal for a serene Valentine’s Day in NYC, but if you’re lacking a Valentine — no worries. Opt for the solo “Love Myself” package with the same rejuvenating treatments. These Valentine’s Day specials run from February 14 to 19th, providing a romantic retreat throughout the weekend and beyond.

Greek statue inside the MET, Best things to see at the Met

Enjoy Date Night at the Met

Website: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Location: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY
Must-See at The Met: 20 Epic Things to See at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Founded in 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (known as The Met) is a world-renowned museum and an ideal spot for a romantic Valentine’s Day in NYC. With over 2 million art pieces spanning 5,000+ years, it’s the country’s largest museum and the world’s fifth largest. Located conveniently within Central Park, it’s the perfect choice for a museum visit on Valentine’s Day.

This year the holiday falls on a Wednesday, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every Friday and Saturday the museum hosts Date Night at the Met from 5PM to 9PM. Featuring live music and light fare (included with standard admission), it’s an excellent way to celebrate a belated Valentine’s Day in NYC.

manhatta bar views, scotch whisky nyc, nyc whisky bars, skyline views of Manhattan
Manhatta Bar

Imbibe in Cocktails at Manhatta

Website: Manahatta
Neighborhood: Financial District
Location: 28 Liberty St 60th floor, New York, NY 10005
Good to Know: Good selection, upscale vibes, amazing views

They say you can only have two: good views, good quality, or good prices – at Manhatta, you can have it all. Perhaps the most romantic setting for a Valentine’s Day date night in New York City is the spectacular panoramic views of Manhattan from Manhatta, which is located on the 60th floor.

The restaurant is best described as casual-upscale, where dressing up is encouraged but you can ditch the sports coat at home. The menu is full of innovative and modern flavors, mostly revolving around American staples. And here’s a little bonus tip, if you can’t get reservations, arrive early to try to snag a seat at the bar. Manhatta’s bar opens an hour before the restaurant, making this a great spot to start your Valentine’s night in NYC.

Take a Cooking Class Together (at Pier 57)

Website: Platform by James Beard Foundation
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Location: 25 11th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Opened in 2023, Pier 57 is fairly new (some locals don’t know about it yet!). Neighborhing Little Island and the Chelsea Market, this indoor food-hall is a great reprieve from the crowds. The downstairs area is full of great restaurants and large seating/work spaces, but the rooftop terrace is where it’s at (the views are striking!).

One of my favorite things about Pier 57 is a venue called the Platform by the James Beard Foundation. The James Beard Foundation is like the Oscars of cooking, so it’s a huge deal when a restaurant or chef earns one of these prestigious awards. 

The best part? The Platform hosts events and classes with award-winning chefs that are guaranteed to impress. Sign up for a meal from a famous chef, or taking a cooking class if that’s more your speed. This is a great date idea for Valentine’s Day in New York City! If helpful, you can check the current lineup of classes here.

Or Attend a Chocolate Workshop at Raaka

Website: Raaka Chocolate
Neighborhood: Red Hook, Brooklyn
Location: 58 Seabring St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

This Valentine’s Day, elevate your NYC experience with a visit to Raaka, an innovative chocolate maker in Brooklyn. Explore the world of “virgin chocolate” crafted from unroasted cacao beans, and indulge in creative flavor combinations. Whether you’re attending a workshop or browsing their ethically sourced treats, Raaka adds a sweet touch to your romantic day in the heart of the city.

And speaking of workshops, Raaka has two distinct Valentine’s Day events that you’re going to want to hear about. On the Saturday before Valentine’s Day they’re hosting a Boozy Truffle & Chocolate Covered Strawberry class, and on Valentine’s Day itself there will be a Hand-Rolled Truffle Making & Champagne Pairing. Both workshops cost $90 and are expected to last around two hours.

Village Vanguard in the Rain NYC, outside shot of the famous jazz club Village Vanguard

Enjoy Live Music at a Jazz Club

Website: Village Vanguard
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Location: 178 7th Ave S, New York
Good to Know: There is a cover and minimum, historical significance, you don’t have to order alcohol

Village Vanguard is an intimate West Village jazz club that has been serenading New Yorkers since 1935. Renowned as one of NYC’s premier jazz venues, it has become a cherished spot for generations of enthusiasts. With a rich history featuring legendary performers like Miles Davis, Village Vanguard continues to attract elite talents in the present day.

For a memorable Valentine’s Day in NYC, consider adding this iconic jazz club to your list of things to do. Immerse yourself in the soulful melodies of the present-day performers while enjoying the classic ambiance. Keep in mind that Village Vanguard adheres to the standard jazz club etiquette with a cover charge and a one-drink minimum per person, but the upside is their variety of beverage options, including non-alcoholic choices.

bryant park christmas, winter in nyc, ice skating in Bryant Park

Go Ice Skating!

With more than 10 wonderful rinks to choose from, options are not limited when it comes to ice skating in New York City. If you’re after a quintessential NYC experience surrounded by skyscrapers, consider choosing Wollman Rink in Central Park, Bryant Park or Rockefeller Center.

Skating for the first time? Embrace the moment, even if you stick close to the railing, it’s one of the most romantic Valentine’s Day activities in NYC. All rinks offer skate rentals, and after your skate, enjoy a warm cup of cocoa while people-watching. At Bryant Park, add extra fun to your day with bumper car rides on the ice skating rink—another unique Valentine’s Day activity in the city.

Exterior of the Belasco Theater, best shows on Broadway, Good Night Oscar

Enjoy a Broadway Show

While Broadway shows can be pricey, the romantic and unforgettable experience is worth budgeting for to impress your date. A tip worth knowing is that certain shows have a lottery system for discounted tickets, offering a chance for a great evening—a friend of mine was able to win tickets to Hamilton for $10 a pop!

For an early Valentine’s celebration in NYC, seize the opportunity during Broadway Week. Running from January 16th to February 4th, this festival offers an unbeatable two-for-one deal on Broadway tickets, making it a must-do in February.

Need help deciding which show to see? We have you covered. We created a complete guide of the best shows and helpful tips to help you secure tickets to a show.

Not a Fan of the Holiday? Name a Hissing Cockroach After Your Ex at the Bronx Zoo

Website: Name a Roach Program
Neighborhood: The Bronx
Location: 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx

The Name a Roach program at the Bronx Zoo provides a great way to get even with your ex on Valentine’s Day in NYC without landing you in jail for the night.

For only $15 you can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after your ex (or Valentine) and get a certificate to remember the day. Some folks have made the NYC Valentine’s Day event a tradition, and the trend has spread to zoos across the country.

The Bronx Zoo also offers a Roach Romance package if you’re looking for an extra-memorable way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC. With the package you and your valentine will get to enjoy an after-hours experience learning about the role insects play in making chocolate. Afterwards you’ll get to sample sustainably made chocolates as well as drink a glass of wine.

NYC Valentine’s Day (Post Summary)

  • Enjoy a Broadway Show
  • Go ice skating under the city’s skyline
  • Serenade your special someone with live music at a jazz club
  • Take a cooking class together
  • Have drinks overlooking the Manhattan skyline
  • Peruse Date Night at the Met
  • Treat your partner to a spa day
  • Stroll through Central Park
  • Visit Love on Top at One World Observatory
  • Name a roach after your ex

Frequently asked questions: Celebrating Valentine’s Day in NYC
Is it worth going to New York in February?

Absolutely! Visiting New York City in February, while it may not be the most ideal weather, the off-season brings the best prices. Typically airfare and hotels will be cheaper during February in NYC.

What to do on Valentine’s Day in NYC?

Enjoy a Broadway Show
Go ice skating under the city’s skyline
Serenade your special someone with live music at a jazz club
Take a cooking class together
Have drinks overlooking the Manhattan skyline
Peruse Date Night at the Met
Treat your partner to a spa day
Stroll through Central Park
Visit Love on Top at One World Observatory
Name a roach after your ex

Does New York City celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Yes, New York City is a big fan of any major holiday. The key to being prepared is making all of your reservations in advance so you’re not left scrambling last minute.

More Romantic Things to Do in New York City

Romantic Things to Do: 19 (Non-Cheesy) Romantic Things to Do in New York City
Unique Things to Do: 25 Unique (Non-Touristy) Things to Do in New York City
Free Things to Do: 20 Unique Free Things to Do in New York City to Keep Your Wallet Happy!
Things to Do at Night: 15 Things to Do in New York City at Night
Best Things to Do in NYC: 30 Best Things to Do in New York City

Where to Eat on Valentine’s Day in New York City

Affordable Michelin Star Restaurants: 10 Amazingly (Affordable) Michelin Star Restaurants in NYC (Worth The Price!)
Iconic Restaurants in NYC: 10 Iconic New York City Restaurants Every Local Needs to Try
Restaurants Near Central Park: The 20 Best Restaurants Near Central Park
Best Weather Appropriate Restaurants: 15 Cozy Restaurants with Heated Outdoor Dining in New York City (For Even the Coldest of Days!)

Valentine’s Day New York City (Map)

And there you have it, the best ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC.

Hope you enjoy yourself, cheers!