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Movie & TV Inspired Date Ideas in New York City

A curated list of date ideas inspired by movies and TV shows filmed or set in New York City. 

Click here for a guide on magical places, unusual things to do, rooftops, and more.

Movie-Inspired Dates

  1. 13 Going On 30: Lay on the grass at Empire Fulton Ferry Park and ride Jane's Carousel at night.

  2. Across the Universe: Watch a show at Webster Hall and get late-night sandwiches at Katz Deli.

  3. A Rainy Day in New York: Get drinks at the historic Bemelmans Bar.

  4. Begin Again: Listen to music together on the stoop at 121 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002.

  5. Confessions of a Shopaholic: Take a tour (or keep a lookout for events) of the Rockefeller Rooftop Gardens.

  6. Enchanted: Take a romantic boat ride at The Lake, Central Park.

  7. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days: Watch a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, catch an old film at Cinema Village, or take a romantic trip on the Staten Island Ferry. 

  8. It Could Happen To You: Play the lottery together and then roller skate around Bethesda Fountain.

  9. Irreplaceable You: Go on a nighttime stroll through Domino Park.

  10. In the Heights: Look out onto the river at J. Hood Wright Park before taking a dip in Highbridge Pool and walking through 191st St Station.

  11. Just My Luck: Listen to rock n roll at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.

  12. Little Manhattan: Explore the city’s “smallest park,” Septuagesimo Uno. 

  13. Nerve: Rent a moped/motorcycle and ride through the city (but probably not blindfolded).

  14. Maid in Manhattan: Take a romantic walk down the Mall in Central Park. 

  15. New Year’s Eve: Visit the Panorama of the City of New York and watch the Times Square Ball Drop.

  16. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List: Visit Belvedere Castle and picnic on top of a rock in Central Park.

  17. New York I Love You: Go photo booth hopping (from Rough Trade to the Empellon Al Pastor on St. Mark's to Dave & Buster's) before dining at Tavern on the Green.

  18. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist: Spend the whole night out starting with a show at Arlene’s Grocery, then hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya, Ukrainian food at Veselka, and dancing at Union Pool. Take the train home at Penn Station. 

  19. nothing, except everything: (a 12 min short film on YouTube!): Cruise through the Lincoln Tunnel in a convertible while your date stands up in the passenger seat and feels the breeze (to remake that cliche romance movie scene). Or hop the fence of an empty football field and hang out on the grass, start a water balloon fight in Washington Square Park, get ice cream from one of the trucks along the river in Astoria Park, and win each other carnival prizes at Coney Island.

  20. Set It Up: Watch a Yankees game during the day, snack on apps & chips at a restaurant, then play mini golf at night at Pier 25.

  21. Serendipity: Obviously, a dessert trip to Serendipity III followed by ice skating at Wollman Rink.

  22. Someone Great: Sit on the edge of the Washington Square Park fountain and then catch a show at Sony Hall

  23. Something From Tiffany's: Visit the Tiffany's store, grab a croissant (or cornetto) from a Little Italy bakery, and then end the night at Pier 35 with views of the Manhattan Bridge.

  24. The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Meet up for dinner at one of the restaurants in Chinatown on Doyers St and Pell St.

  25. The Good Guy (2009): Peruse through books at Housing Works in Soho and slow dance at The Met Cloisters.

  26. The World Before Your Feet: Take a cue from Matt Green and walk through an obscure neighborhood in each borough.

  27. Tick Tick Boom!: Watch an Off-Broadway show at Playwrights Horizon.

  28. The Art of Getting By: Watch a film at the Village East movie theater.

  29. The Hating Game: Go bookstore hopping around the city (Three Lives and Co, McNally Jackson, the Strand) and then take a walk on the High Line.

  30. The Last Five Years: Cloud-gaze in Central Park at Sheep Meadow and then visit Cathy’s apartment at 125 West 119th St in Harlem. 

  31. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: Visit Tannen’s Magic, the country’s oldest magic shop (the closest thing we have to the magical Arcana Cabana).

  32. The Sun Is Also A Star: Go on an epic date throughout the city, hitting spots like Grand Central Terminal, LES Coleman Skatepark, Cafe Reggio, Gagopa Karaoke, and Roosevelt Island.

  33. The Devil Wears Prada: Start with dinner at Bubby’s and then drinks at King Cole Bar inside The St. Regis hotel.

  34. Tramps: Catch a bus at the Port Authority and spontaneously take a weekend trip to Providence, RI.

  35. Two Night Stand: Spend the night in and build a blanket fort, complete with string lights and picnic foods.

  36. When Harry Met Sally: Check out the Egyptian Art section at The Met and have an orgasmically good sandwich at the famous Katz Deli.  

  37. Wonder Wheel: Relax at Coney Island beach before riding the infamous Wonder Wheel, bar hopping at Ruby’s Bar and Freak Bar, and watching a show at the St. George Theater.

Television-Inspired Dates

  1. Dash & Lily: There are a lot of ideas but a few include shopping at The Strand, grabbing pizza at Two Boots in East Village, drinks at McSorley’s Old Ale House, attending a slam poetry event, and trying Christmas cookies and cannoli at Ferrara Bakery.

  2. Doctor Who: (From the episode "The Angels Take Manhattan") Visit Green-wood Cemetery, take a walk over Bow Bridge, and hang out at Umpire Rock in Central Park.

  3. Friends: Have lunch at Little Owl, the restaurant beneath the Friends apartment, and then check out the Friends pop-up.

  4. Gossip Girl: Have drinks at The Campbell, check out the rooftop at The Empire Hotel, make reservations at Butter, and go clubbing at Marquee.

  5. High Fidelity: Browse through vinyl records at Brooklyn Record Exchange and order froses at Cafe Colette.

  6. How I Met Your Mother: Play laser tag at Area 53. Or go on a “superdate”, which includes dinner, a show at the Met Opera House, ice skating at Wollman Rink, a carriage ride through Central Park, and watching fireworks.

  7. Master of None: Check out the Russian Orthodox Cathedral across McCarren Park, go to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, try Lucky’s Famous Burgers on 23rd St, and dance at the Good Room. Or take a road trip upstate to the Storm King Art Center.

  8. Modern Love (season 1): Sit along the water at the Waterfront Park off of the Dobbs Ferry Station in Westchester and then take a car over to Riverrun Books & Manuscripts. Or play a game at the Central Park Tennis Center and take a walk in Carl Schurz Park.

  9. Seinfeld: Grab lunch and coffee at Tom's Restaurant before watching a show at the Producers Club.

  10. Sex and the City: Grab cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and head downtown to the 5th Avenue New York Public Library where Big and Carrie almost got married. Next, head to Jefferson Market Garden where Steve and Miranda did get married. End the night with dinner at a trendy restaurant and watching a movie at the Paris Theatre (because you’re about to fly to Paris together and realize you belong in New York City all along). 

  11. Sweetbitter: Have dinner at Union Square Cafe, the restaurant which inspired the real-life events of author Stephanie Danler, followed by wine at Cafe d’Alsace.

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