This Valentine’s Day, celebrate your love for New York City’s five boroughs. Whether you are single or celebrating with a significant other, friend or family member, there are many reasons to visit neighboring boroughs this Valentine’s Day weekend. Riding the Staten Island Ferry, strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge, spending a luxurious evening at a restaurant or hotel—romantic activities abound across the City. NYC & Company, the City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, encourages visitors and locals to enjoy the Valentine’s Day festivities taking place in all five boroughs.
"With all of its iconic, romantic spots, New York City’s five boroughs deliver the best Valentine’s Day experience for both singles and couples alike," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. "To encourage visitors to choose New York City as their getaway, the City is offering creative options, packages and promotions for those looking to celebrate their love throughout New York City, one of the world’s most romantic destinations.”
NYC Valentine’s Day Happenings:
Enjoy the Second Saturday Arts Walk on February 12, and spend the afternoon strolling between galleries, restaurants and homes to experience local art, music and food at 16 participating locations.
Head to the Staten Island Zoo on Sunday, February 13, to take advantage of its Sweetheart Day offer of two-for-one admission.
Turn your day trip into a romantic evening at the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island during its Eat, Love, Stayspecial, running from February 11 to 14. With overnight accommodations, in-room champagne and a buffet breakfast for US$179, experience a lavish evening on a budget. For an additional US$99, couples can enjoy a romantic dinner at Lorenzo’s Italian restaurant..
It’ll seem like old times at Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts on Saturday, February 12, when the Association, the Happenings and the Vogues take the stage for a concert billed as Back to the 60’s. The show starts at 8pm, and tickets range from US$35 to US$45. For additional information, visit kupferbergcenter.org.
Reserve a romantic US$85 three-course prix-fixe meal at the Long Island City restaurant Water’s Edge. A quick trip from Midtown Manhattan, Water’s Edge offers a fantastic view of the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
Head to the Queens Botanical Garden on Sunday, February 13, for the I Heart Worms: Heart-Shaped Compost Cookies Workshop. Learn to create heart-shaped compost cookies and receive step-by-step instructions on how to start and maintain outdoor and indoor worm compost bins. Registration is required for the US$5 workshop, and be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Instead of dining out for Valentine’s Day, visit Wave Hill on the afternoon of Saturday, February 12, for Life, Love, and Lemons, a cooking demonstration you can take back to your own kitchen. A guest chef from Great Performances caterers will demonstrate how to prepare Moroccan dishes with fresh and preserved lemons. The demonstration starts at 2pm.
Spot mated pairs of cardinals on Saturday, February 12, during the Cardinal Couples bird-watching walk in Van Cortlandt Park. Gather at the Nature Center at 8am for the free event.
On Sunday, February 13, visit Prospect Park Zoo for Animal Dating and Mating. You’ll learn about the courtship rituals, love lives and evolutionary biology of some of your favorite zoo animals, and have a chance to create valentine treats for some of the zoo’s resident animal couples. You must be 21 or older to attend and advance registration is required. The event runs from 2:30 to 4pm and costs US$15 for members and US$20 for nonmembers.
Grab a friend and go to the Brooklyn Museum to see Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera. The exhibition displays study photographs taken by the artist alongside his paintings, drawings, and related tear sheets, offering a fascinating look at his working process. For more information, visit brooklynmuseum.org.
For some dessert after work on Thursday, February 10, head to the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park for Social Hour: Valentine’s Day Sweets. Norma Jean Darden, chef and proprietor of Spoonbread Restaurants, will demonstrate how to make three of her family recipes: nut brittle, fresh fruit popsicles and chocolate fudge, followed by a tasting. She’ll also share the recipes so you can whip up these treats at home. The event is free and runs from 6:30 to 8pm; for more information, visit nycgovparks.org.
To further indulge your sweet tooth, stop in at Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Café, whose 4-foot-high chocolate fountain will be flowing with more than 26 pounds of bright-red chocolate, special for Valentine’s Day. With the purchase of a box of chocolates, you’ll receive a free treat (strawberry, pretzel, marshmallow or cookie) to dip in the fountain. Additional details can be found at lilyscafenyc.com.
For an unprecedented chocolate experience, visit Godiva’s Fifth Avenue flagship location, which is being transformed into a special pop-up boutique through February 14. To encourage customers to express their love in writing, Godiva will stamp and mail its customer’s love letters for free.
From February 10 to 20 the Times Square Alliance invites individuals and couples to Duffy Square to lift up Light Hearted, the winner of this year’s Times Square Valentine design competition. Designed by Lauren Crahan and John Hartmann, of Freecell studio in Brooklyn, Light Hearted spans 10 feet, and its open-weave fabric allows wind to pass through but still captures and reflects light. To volunteer to hold the valentine aloft for a 30-minute period.
A tradition since 1994, each Valentine’s Day, the Empire State Building, in conjunction with theknot.com, hosts 14 lucky couples for a romantic wedding, vow renewal or commitment ceremony atop the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” To find out more, visit theknot.com/empirestatebuilding.
NYC Valentine’s Day Hotel Packages:
From February 1 to 28 The City’s W Hotels are offering a Love Sick Package, a cure-all for couples stricken with the love bug or singles simply sick of Cupid’s holiday altogether. The “prescription” includes a Max Brenner Chocolate Syringe, Max Brenner Massage Oil, an in-room movie credit, breakfast in bed, a bottle of bubbly and late checkout.
Vikram Chatwal Hotels invites you to partake in a fun-filled evening for two from February 1 to 14 at one of its properties, including Dream New York, The Time Hotel, Night Hotel and Stay. The I Love Valentine’s Day package includes accommodations in a King Room, dinner for two at Serafina, a bottle of prosecco and dessert, along with music and a romantic movie of your liking. Starting at US$629 a night, the package includes turn-down service of candy hearts, chocolate-covered strawberries and rose petals, breakfast in bed and a chocolate-tasting class at MarieBelle Sweets.
Apple Core Hotels welcomes guests to enjoy its Roses and Rosé package from February 1 to 28 at its Five budget-friendly properties—Nyma, the Comfort Inn Times Square, The Hotel @ Times Square, La Quinta Manhattan and the Ramada Eastside. Along with accommodations for the evening, guests receive a bottle of sparkling rosé wine and a dozen red roses, all the necessary supplies for a romantic evening for two. Packages begin at US$204.99.
Create a custom dessert for your valentine with the Confection Perfection package at the South Gate restaurant at Jumeirah Essex House. Design a personalized dessert with executive pastry chef Deden Putra before February 7, and then on Valentine’s Day, after a three-course meal and champagne, surprise your loved one with his or her unique sweet treat. The entire package costs US$400 for two people; dinner and champagne alone can be enjoyed for US$85 a person.