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20 Fun First Date Ideas: New York City
A first date should be a memorable experience. It is a starting point, a jump off into eternity, and a day that might just determine your destiny. A first date can lead to fifty years of bliss, or it can end after five hours of togetherness. Either way, a first date is your chance to show her what you're made of. If you're fortunate enough to live in or near New York City, consider yourself lucky. Manhattan has something for everyone, and is literally bursting with possibilities. Of course, it goes without saying that nothing beats a genuine personality, self confidence, and courtesy, but the right blend of romance in a fun or unusual location can be the extra icing on the cake of deliciousness that is YOU.
1.) Pack a picnic basket with sandwiches and a thermos of wine, grab a blanket and enjoy lunch on the beautifully manicured lawns of Central Park.
2.) The zoo at Central Park is open every day from 10:00am-5:00pm. Take a walk through the habitats of monkeys, polar bears, parrots, pandas and more.
3.) From April through November, rowboats can be rented at the Central Park Lake for as low as $10 for the first hour. If you don't feel like rowing, glide lazily through this idyllic sanctuary on a gondola ride, available during the summer for $30 per half hour. When you're done, check out the Boathouse Restaurant for a romantic dinner on the lake.
4.) Want something sportier? If neither of you are afraid of heights, try wall climbing, held at the North Meadow Recreation Center every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year. Cost is $7 per person for a one day pass.
5.) Summerstage holds afternoon and evening concerts in the park (some of which are free!) Located at Rumsey Playfield, 70th St. at mid park. Finish out the night with dinner at the world famous restaurant Tavern on the Green.
6.) Ripley's Believe It or Not! in Times Square has a collection of over 500 strange and unusual artifacts from around the world. Open every day from 9:00am to 1:00am, and not for the faint of heart.
7.) Madame Tussaud's wax museum, also in Times Square, has wax replicas of famous celebrities. Get your pictures taken with A-list celebrities, interact with the singing, dancing and talking statue of Jennifer Lopez, or audition for "American Idol" in front of Simon Cowell.
8.) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) features over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, books, photographs and films. You'll spend hours navigating your way through several floors of modern art and design.
9.) The American Museum of Natural History is four floors of mammals, lizards, birds, prehistoric peoples and dinosaurs. The IMAX theater presents large-scale presentations like "Dinosaurs Alive!" and the Hayden Planetarium is currently featuring a digitally animated alternative music escapade called SonicVision.
10.) If you're willing to trek across the river into New Jersey, the Liberty Science Center has the largest IMAX theater in the nation and a plethora of hands-on, please-touch exhibits enjoyable for all ages.
11.) Jekyll & Hyde in Greenwich Village offers an unusual dining experience with bizarre characters and special effects. Great live music, but don't be surprised when the characters lined against the walls start coming to life.
12.) Hard Rock Cafe, which also features live music and AMAZING food, has walls lined with memorabilia from decades of musical accomplishments. The waitresses wear outfits straight out of 50's diners, and if you can pry your eyes away from your date, you'll always have something interesting to look at!
13.) Mars 2112, located in the heart of Times Square is an intergalactic bar and restaurant that serves Martian cuisine. Crystal Crater contains a three-story tree complete with 300-square foot "Window to Mars" offering views of the restaurant below.
14.) Biny is a stylish Japanese restaurant with state-of-the-art, fully computerized private karaoke bars. Their advanced sound system will make even the worst crooners sound American Idol-worthy; just be sure to make your reservations ahead of time.
15.) Caroline's on Broadwayis a popular comedy nightclub. They book comedians for every night of the week and during the afternoons on Sundays. Tickets start around $16.00.
16.) Check out Chelsea Piers along the Hudson river for a bowling experience like no other. Looking more like a high class VIP lounge than a bowling alley, 300 New York has a restaurant, billiards and in-the-dark bowling to set the mood. $8.75 per person, per game.
17.) Dave & Buster's in Times Square is the perfect place to eat, drink and be merry on a first date. Once you've digested, you can head over to the games section to play skee-ball, drive a racecar or pilot an airplane in one of the many simulators. Test your compatibility by pairing up to compete against six other people in a trivia competition.
18.) Catch the subway into Brooklyn to visit one of the happiest (and oldest) places on earth: Coney Island. Whether you feel like traversing the boardwalk, taking a ride on the infamous Cyclone rollercoaster, or visiting the Coney Island aquarium, you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself at this staple of New York culture. During the summer months, catch a burlesque show on the beach or fireworks on Fridays.
19.) Take in a Broadway show. The bigger shows like "Legally Blonde", "Wicked" or "The Lion King" require tickets to be purchased in advance, but tickets for off-Broadway shows like "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" can be bought with just a few days notice.
20.) End the night on a high note with a visit to Rockefeller Center's "Top of the Rock". The pre-show area on the mezzanine level offers a theater exhibit detailing the history of the Rockefeller legacy, but you'll be more interested in holding hands on the rooftop, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of New York City lit up at night.