Here Are Some Unusual Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day in NYC

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Although NYC is home to hundreds of superb restaurants, don’t wine and dine your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. That’s so played out and you can do that any other date night. Instead, surprise them with one of these unusual ways to spend Valentine’s Day in NYC.

Take a romantic ferry “cruise”

I know taking a ferry in February sounds like a surefire way to get frostbite, but before you dismiss the idea, hear me out: it’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get the best views of New York City. Sure, you can ride inside the boat, but nothing beats the view from the upper deck. It’ll obviously be cold, so bring a thick blanket that you and your date can snuggle in. If a public ferry’s not your thing, book a luxe dinner cruise. City Cruises and Skyline Cruises are offering romantic dinner packages this year.

Stroll through a botanic garden

I swear I’m not trying to give you pneumonia this Valentine’s Day with all these off-season, outdoors activities. There is something special about going to the botanic garden –Brooklyn’s, Queens’, or the Bronx’s, take your pick– in the dead of winter. There are no crowds and not as many lush plants, but the landscape is beautiful nonetheless. (Don’t believe me? Check out this post I wrote about visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the middle of the winter.) Don’t forget to spend time in the greenhouse while you’re there. It’ll be the highlight of your date. That, and the fact that winter prices at NYC botanical gardens are next to nothing.

Name a roach after your valentine (or your ex)

I am just as shocked as you are that this is a real thing that has been hosted by the Bronx Zoo for over a decade. It’s even more shocking that they bill this as a romantic activity rather than market it to people going through a bad breakup. Really, what’s more therapeutic than naming a Madagascar hissing cockroach after your dirty, lowlife ex? The Bronx Zoo even gives you a digital certificate, a roach beanie, and a virtual session with your roach and a surprise guest, depending on which package you purchase.

If dropping $15 -$75 on a roach isn’t your thing, but you still like the idea of naming a roach after your ex (or loved one), might I suggest finding your own roach, giving it a name, and then squashing it because ew. 🤢 

I, DavidShankbone, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spice things up at the Museum of Sex

You and me, baby, ain’t nothing but mammals, so let’s look at exhibits that explore the evolution of human sexuality. That wasn’t as catchy as Bad Touch, but the point still stands: The Museum of Sex has fun, thought-provoking ways to talk about sex without coming off as a creep. Check out their Love Lockdown Valentine’s Day special, where you’ll get a Love Infusion IV cocktail and UberLube along with admission to Super Funland, the museum’s erotic carnival exhibit.

Concoct a love potion at The Cauldron NYC

After a night at The Cauldron NYC, your valentine is sure to fall under your spell. For Valentine’s Day, the magic-themed bar is offering a class on making love potions, where they’ll show you the actual science and technology that goes into concocting “potions.” Even if you don’t get into the potions class (space is limited), down some potions at the bar and play around with the magic wand. Sparks are certain to fly.

Do you have any other unusual NYC Valentine’s Day ideas? Share them in the comment section.

Before you go, if you like what I do here at Shiloh in the City and want to continue getting to know New York’s history, culture, and things to do with me, sign up for my email list and follow me on social media. Thanks for reading!

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