NYC kids, let's face it: college is already crazy expensive and the typical date ideas aren't easy on the wallet either. Add that to the fact that New York City is a ridiculously expensive place to live and you've got a recipe for empty pockets. Don't let this put a damper on your date though, because there are plenty of inexpensive and totally Instagram-worthy date locations and ideas all around the city!
1. Central Park
There's a reason that Central Park has been a backdrop for many movies, television shows, plays and social media posts – with 36.7 million square feet of gardens, lakes, monuments, castles and open fields, there's no shortage of amazing things to do. The best part? You don't have to pay a cent! For a classic date, bring a blanket and some snacks, and you've got yourself a picnic in the park. Make sure to check out all the interesting (and free!) events going on in Central Park here. On top of that, Central Park is only a 10 minute walk from campus and a 15 minute walk from the 55th Street dorms!
2. Sutton Place Park
While this spot doesn't offer as many options as Central Park, Sutton Place Park is still an amazing spot to meet up for a date! This waterfront park has a view of the Queensboro Bridge and the East River. Sutton Place offers a peaceful location to sit with coffee and talk, have a study date or to take the best pictures, making it an ideal date location. The Sutton Place entrance is located on 54th and Sutton Place, only four blocks from the 55th Street dorm building.
3. Governor's Island
Governor's Island is one of New York City's hidden gems. This small island located in the East River is home to gorgeous parks, castles, botanical gardens and paths that are absolutely date-worthy. Worried about getting there? Fret not, the ferry to Governor's Island, which leaves from the Battery Maritime Building, is free until 11:30 a.m. and a round-trip ticket is only $2. Free walking tours of the island are also available, as well as free music and art exhibitions!
4. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a small, picturesque neighborhood located in Northern Brooklyn, facing Manhattan. From the 55th Street dorms, it's a $2.75 swipe on the 6 train to 14th Street-Union Square, then a free transfer to the L train before exiting at Bedford. Brooklyn is a quaint neighborhood and is much quieter than many neighborhoods in Manhattan. Brooklyn boasts a plethora of things to do in general, but Williamsburg specifically offers places like Davey's Ice Cream, free music at Pete's Candy Store, free movies in McCarren Park or the free Black and White Gallery located on Driggs.
5. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The Museum of Modern Art is a staple of New York, boasting interesting art exhibits about society, fashion and life year-round. This gorgeous museum is located in Midtown Manhattan on 53rd between 5th and 6th, only seven blocks from the forms, and not only has incredible exhibits, but offers amazing deals on admission. On UNIQLO Free Fridays, every Friday night from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. admission is free. With a student ID tickets to MoMA are only $14, if you can't make it to Free Fridays.
6. Broadway Shows, Rush and Lottery
We all know how expensive Broadway shows can be – $600 dollars for Hamilton tickets, anyone? However, New York is known for its phenomenal theatre scene, so why not take advantage of that? Many Broadway shows offer "rush" tickets, or a limited batch of tickets for sale at the box office upon opening. These prices range anywhere from $19 to $50, with the average price somewhere around $39. While this is definitely a more pricey option, it makes for a good "cheap date," as Broadway tickets normally range between $75 and $200 per ticket. Take advantage of being a student in the city and get to the box office of your favorite show early to see what tickets they have! Playbill offers a full list of rush and lottery policies here.
College and dating can often be a tricky combination, especially on a budget. Luckily, there are plenty of options for a fantastic first date that won't break the bank and are incredibly unique!
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