Tired of doing the same-old, same-old with a new love interest? Try something different this summer to get the sparks flying.
Be kids again in DUMBO
Feeling nostalgic for your childhood? There’s no better place to indulge in simple pleasures than Brooklyn Bridge Park. A mere $2 ticket will get you a ride on DUMBO’s 1920s-era merry-go-round, Jane’s Carousel. Stroll along the winding paths and waterfront for incredible photo ops of Manhattan, if you brought bathings suits the free Pop-Up Pool is still open, then grab some locally made treats at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
Explore Governors Island by bike
Strap on a helmet and take to two wheels for a casual outdoor date on Governors Island, where you’ll never run out of things to do. Rent a Citibike ($12 for the day) at Soissons Landing in Manhattan or Yankee Pier in Brooklyn, then hop on the ferry to Governors Island for $2 (round trip) for a car-free afternoon. Hop on and off between the islands dozens of free things to do, from art exhibits to mini golf and hammocks, or come for a special weekend like a step back into the funky ‘70s during the NYC Volkswagen Traffic Jam, featuring vintage VWs, on Aug. 20. govisland.com
Sail away from the city
It doesn’t get much cheaper to get on the water than the new NYC Ferry service, but are you really going to feel romantic on a commuter route? That’s what we thought. Leave the commuting and sightseeing behind and get on the water with a 45-minute cruise on the North River Lobster Co. boat. Alas, the three-story floating lobster shack is no longer free to sail ($10 per person), but it’s still a bargain compared to other Hudson cruises, plus you’ve got a full bar of $7-14 to enjoy on their open-air rooftop. Try the Nautical Margarita with tequila, triple sec in your choice of flavors. Pier 81 at West 41st St.
‘High’ on sweets and culture
Have you really done summer in the city without a stroll of the High Line? Enjoy frozen treats from the People’s Pops ($3.50 each at W. 15th St.) in funky flavors like spiced pear and apple rosewater. This is another good-times-all-the-time destination, whether you want to relax in the sun or get your culture on with regular musical performances and outdoor art exhibits, like Sheila Hicks' art exhibit “Hop, Skip, Jump, and Fly: Escape From Gravity” through March 2018 at the Western Rail Yards. thehighline.org
Get active in Hudson River Park
With more than 4 miles of green space and waterfront fun, there’s more to do than there’s summer for at Hudson River Park. Cash-strapped daters who enjoy the outdoors can enjoy a round of mini golf on New York City’s only 18-hole course for just $6 per person or join a game of beach volleyball (Pier 25), among free skate parks, kayaking and more. hudsonriverpark.org
Chow down at Oyster Happy Hour
Get to know your date while getting a break on a summer essential: oysters. Happy hours are scattered all over the city, but we love the ambiance at Atrium in DUMBO, which has $1 oysters at the bar Mon-Fri from 5:30-7 p.m. Cull & Pistol in Chelsea Market offers $1 oysters Mon-Fri from 4-6 p.m. And swing by the world’s best bar The Dead Rabbit for $1 Blue Point oysters Mon-Fri from 5-7 p.m.