Spend Valentine’s Day in NYC Without Breaking the Bank

Valentine’s Day is just days away, and if you’re looking for the best ways to celebrate your love without making your wallet cry, you will be delighted to know that New York City has several affordable date ideas.

Get fit and run for charity!
On February 13th in New York City, there are two 5Ks that you and your love can run for two great causes: Cupid’s Chase 5K and Cupid’s Undie Run.

Love at First Bite
New York is the mecca of fining dining, and you can find good eats for all types of budgets. Definitely take advantage of several lunch and dinner Valentine’s Day promotions and finish with a sweet with your sweet at one of my favorites: Levain Bakery, Dylan’s Candy Bar or Serendipity 3.

Cheap things to do in NYC Valentine's Day - Levain Bakery
A sweet treat from Levain Bakery is one way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC without breaking the bank.

Stroll hand-in-hand through Central Park
Take a self-guided tour of Strawberry Fields. Climb the Alice in Wonderland statue. Gaze lovingly into each others’ eyes on the Bow Bridge. Find those iconic backdrops from your favorite entertainment like Sex in the City, When Harry Met Sally, Friends, Gossip Girl and more. In Central Park, you can do it all! Plus, enjoy little romantic skating at Wollman Rink — just remember the rink only accepts cash.

Sing About Your Love
Karaoke Boho, Gagopa and Sing Sing Karaoke are just a few of the NYC karaoke hot spots that, depending on if you get a private room or sing in front of friendly strangers, offer very reasonably-priced fun ($2 a song to $30 per hour).

Romance along the New York Harbor
Take an NYC-style cruise with views of Lady Liberty as you learn about the millions of immigrants who entered the United States looking for the American dream. Or for an even more budget-friendly alternative, take the FREE Staten Island Ferry for the view but without the commentary.

Art Date
On 5th Avenue you will find Museum Mile, which is full of museums and fine art institutions. Unfortunately seeing some of these great masterpieces is not always budget friendly. BUT, take advantage of the fact that Valentine’s Day falls on the second Sunday of the month, and you can visit the Guggenheim for $20 per family (two adults and up to four children). This special price is only valid on the second Sunday of each month and includes special activities highlighting the works of the Guggenheim.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous, take a subway train to Queens, NY to the MoMA PS1 to see VALIUM VALENTINE, a six-hour musical performance for just $15 per person.

Sunset Kiss at Empire State Building’s Observation Deck
How about a big Hollywood kiss on top of the Empire State Building after snapping a picture of the panoramic views? The observation deck is open from 8 am to 2 am every day, but I would recommend going in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day as 10 lucky couples will be getting married in the morning!

Also, if you are taking advantage of the combination of Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend and extending your stay, definitely look into sightseeing packages like Go City Card, New York CityPass and bus sightseeing companies. These packages include entrance fees to the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and other popular city attractions that will save you and your sweetheart some time and money as you sight-see and share romantic moments.

If you are staying at one of the Hilton hotels in NYC like Hilton Times Square or New York Hilton Midtown, take advantage of their concierge services and ask about adding other romantic touches to your stay.

You may also enjoy:

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Know Before You Go

  • Opt for walking tours instead of bus tours if you want to eliminate the issue of traffic – just make sure to pack comfortable shoes!
  • If you bring your own ice skates, Bryant Park allows you to ice skate for free in the winter.
  • The Bronx Zoo is pay-what-you-wish on Wednesdays.
  • Utilize the New York Subway to travel like a local – it’s also a great way to avoid traffic!

New York City skyline photo by b k / CC BY-SA 2.0

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Divina R. Are you interested in traveling to New York City? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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