Love is in the air! Whether it’s with friends, a lover, a random person you just met, or just by yourself, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate that joyous feeling that makes life worthwhile. You might already have a yearly tradition, or you might do what you always do and just ignore it- but why not shake things up a bit? Ditch the fancy dinner for something more unique! New York is always offering plenty of fun and activity, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to one.
1. Take A Class
New York is full of all sorts of professionals ready to teach you their techniques. Use Valentine’s Day as a time for you and your partner or you and your friends to learn a new skill! Learn about the preparation of bonbons and macaroons from the experts at Valrhona. Skip buying a fancy dinner and learn how to make one on your own with cheese-making classes at Murray’s Cheese or a hands-on pizza workshop at Pizza a Casa. Looking to learn, but no interest in cooking? Get your hands dirty at a BYOB Pottery Class and learn how to spin the potter’s wheel with a little refreshment on the side. Why not be a little bold and learn the art of graffiti on the streets of New York? Or, look to connect with your inner wisdom and learn the basics of Tarot 101. Whatever your interest, you can be sure there’s some place in New York ready to assist.
2. Join A Tour
Eat some delicious treats and donate to a good cause with NYT1 and the Sweets and Hearts tour. Indulge in history, romance and a whole bunch of goodies as you are guided through the streets of SoHo, NoLIta, Little Italy and Chinatown. Special for the week of Valentine’s Day, this tour will only be available for a limited time- so make sure to grab your spot! Some highlights of the tour include Alleva (America’s first cheese store), Ferrara Bakery, Ellen’s Special Cheesecake and dumplings from the heart of Chinatown. Along the way you will hear stories of these neighborhoods and the romantic culture of New York. As an added bonus, proceeds from the tour will go to Bideawee, one of America’s first no-kill shelters! Spread the love to the animals who need it most and enjoy an afternoon at some of New York’s most delicious spots.
Why not take time to let off some steam this Valentine’s Day? Forget about getting all dressed up and trying to book a reservation. Instead, try winding down and using the day to love yourself! Book a spa day for singles or for couples at The Sisley Paris Spa, located inside The Carlyle Hotel. Choose from a dozen different package options for what suits you best. Willing to splurge a bit? Book yourself a ticket on a Valentine’s Day Cruise. Both Bateaux New York and Spirit of New York feature a Fireworks Dinner Cruise which includes a three-course meal, live music & dancing, unlimited coffee & tea and an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline and fireworks display. Your cruise will depart from Chelsea Piers and pass by the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and all of downtown Manhattan. It’s the perfect night to throw your cares away!
4. Make Some Friends
Instead of spending yet another Valentine’s Day doing nothing, head out on the town and make some new friends! Even if just for one night, hanging out and interacting with new people is refreshing now and again. Grab tickets for the American Museum of Natural History’s Romance Under the Stars. You’ll start with a cocktail hour, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and chocolates, while a jazz quartet sets the mood. Then head to the Hayden Planetarium for an amazing view of the night sky and tales from an astronomer based on the mythology of the cosmos. Head to Times Square to watch as couples showcase their love on the great red steps of Duffy Square. Surprise proposals, weddings, vow renewals…there’s no telling what you will see, but it’s always fun to bask in the love while surrounded by others.
5. Stray from the Beaten Path
If you’re looking to do something a little more “out there” this year, you’re in luck, because NYC is definitely the place to be for the wild and crazy Valentine’s Day shenanigans. For those who want to spice things up a bit, pay a visit to the infamous Museum of Sex, with special February 14th ticketing packages. Or head to Duane Park for one of the most highly rated Burlesque shows in the city. Sign up for a couple’s glow in the dark body painting workshop at DenArt and learn how to create vibrant designs all over your partner’s face, hands, arms, legs, etc. Grab some friends and head to the Blood Manor haunted house for Bloody Valentine Weekend. Switch the love notes and chocolates for bloody chainsaws and hatchets. No matter what you decide, it’ll definitely be a holiday you won’t soon forget.