Summer is here, and if you haven't already found love, we're sure it's right around the corner. Going out in New York can often mean loosening your grip on those purse strings, and when you're a pair, Benjamin Franklin becomes all the more elusive. Lucky for you, there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do that definitely won't require you to break the bank. Next time you take your sweetie out, skip the noisy bars and restaurants and heighten your senses together by doing something totally out of the ordinary. We've come up with six fun summer date ideas that don't cost a cent. Check them all out ahead!
Image via NYC Parks & Rec
DATE IDEA #1: Walk the High Line at night
We absolutely love the High Line here at Inhabitat. One of the best examples of adaptive reuse, this newly minted iconic NYC destination finds itself packed full of tourists during the daylight hours, but is considerably much quieter (and cooler) at night. Take a date here for a romantic stroll at dusk and show off your design chops by pointing out some Tschumi, Nouvel and a few of subtle features that really make the High Line special. If you don’t charm your date, at least the surrounding sparkling night lights of NYC will. (Insider tip: watch our exclusive video here to get the DL straight from landscape architect James Corner).
Image via Brokelyn
DATE IDEA #2: Head to Williamsburg for a ’90s flick in McCarren Park
Let’s be real: movie ticket prices are outrageous these days, and we can’t always afford to drop $30 on tickets and another $15 on popcorn. Instead of heading to the Angelika, enjoy a sweet 90s flick al fresco at McCarren Park in Williamsburg. Bring your own snacks, drinks and a couple lawn chairs or blanket, and enjoy one of the six free films screening now through August. Get there a little early if you want to claim a prime spot. Summerscreen kicks off on July 10th with the Jennifer Love Hewitt “classic” Can’t Hardly Wait.
Image via Bowery Presents
DATE IDEA #3: Rock out at one of more than 100 SummerStage shows
What’s summer without seeing at least one of your favorite bands play live? Bring your date to one of the more than 100 free shows being hosted by SummerStage across all five boroughs. From concerts to DJed dance parties to theater, this year’s program is pretty stellar. So far acts like the Zombies and Mos Def have already taken stage, and there are still plenty more talents to come, including soul singer Shuggie Otis and a performance from the acclaimed Martha Graham Dance Company. Check out the official SummerStage site to see all the acts they have lined up for the summer.
Image via BARC shelter
DATE IDEA #4: Walk some shelter dogs
Are you an animal lover? Show your softer side (and find out if your date has one) by suggesting that you spend an hour walking some shelter dogs. Not only will you have the ultimate conversation piece in tow—an adorable dog—but you’ll also both be doing a good deed on your date! Check out BARC shelter in Williamsburg; they’ve got a few evening hours set aside for walk-in volunteers.
Image via Art Nerd
DATE IDEA #5: Go to a gallery opening
NYC is overflowing with art. Check out one of the hundreds of gallery openings going on throughout the week. With free wine, free art, and maybe a canape or two to nibble on, you really can’t go wrong. Thursday nights in Chelsea are host to countless openings, but here at Inhabitat we’re always trolling Art Nerd for the coolest and most prolific artists showing their works in the Big Apple—we suggest you do the same.
DATE IDEA #6: Explore a new neighborhood together
Have you been meaning to explore Flushing? Or maybe Hoboken? Or maybe you’re a Manhattanite who has never stepped foot in Brooklyn. We tend to stick to our respective ‘hoods despite the fact that NYC is a plethora of things yet to be discovered. Break out of your comfort zones and go exploring a neighborhood you’ve both never been to before. Start early and stick around until late at night to see how the neighborhood transforms. We guarantee that at least ONE good story will come from this date.