Downtown Date Night

Downtown Date Night

First dates. Anniversaries. “Just because” nights out. The pressure is on when planning the perfect date night. Let us make at least one part of the experience easier, with a few downtown date night ideas.

With a mix of art, culture, food, and eclectic shopping—not to mention, a romantic, old-school New York setting—the Seaport is one of the best places in the city to woo your soulmate. Here’s some inspiration for your date-night planning, whatever the two of you are into.

We’re Art Aficionados

Micaiah Carter opening night
Photo credit: BFA

Well, hello, tastemakers. Good news: our passion for art runs deep at the Seaport, especially when it comes to showcasing emerging artists. Bring your boo to the neighborhood and discover the latest up-and-comers at SN37 Gallery, a welcoming not-for-profit space with an exciting rotation of exhibitions. Dedicated to championing a diverse group of image-makers, SN37 is currently hosting American Black Beauty Vol. 1, featuring the work of fashion photographer and filmmaker Micaiah Carter. While Carter has captured stars like Pharrell and Naomi Osaka, this exhibition turns the lens on Carter’s family members, who are presented alongside his high-end fashion images.

Thirsty? Head to Pearl Alley after a stroll through the gallery. With Dante Winter House in residence, this waterfront spot looks like a cozy dreamscape. The perfect place to savor a craft cocktail, share small plates, and get to know each other better.

Let’s make it dinner:If things are going well, or you want to wow your date from the outset, make a reservation for dinner at The Fulton. The best piece of art at Jean-Georges’ seafood-driven restaurant is the panoramic view of the river and Brooklyn Bridge. But those with an eye for design will also appreciate the maritime-influenced interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg and architect Cass Calder Smith. Rope features and buoy-shaped light fixtures are a nod to the location’s history as the Fulton Fish Market.

Before the night is over, take a stroll along the Seaport’s historic cobblestoned streets and admire architecture that dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Let’s Do a Day Hang

Photo courtesy of @jaypooch via Instagram

Got it. You want to keep things low-key—but still make an impression. Why not kick things off with a casual but delicious brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn? This sun-drenched corner spot located on Fulton Street at the heart of the Seaport brings a taste of Williamsburg to downtown Manhattan. Chat over salads, pancakes, and toast, and trade sips of brunch cocktails with names like Champagne Problems and Nautical by Nature.

Fancy a post-brunch stroll? Head across the street to the South Street Seaport Museum, and keep the conversation going as you take in remnants of the neighborhood’s past. Exhibitions feature art, artifacts and ephemera from the Seaport’s days as a bustling port and center of commerce. The collection even includes historic ships and on Saturdays and Sundays, you can take your date on a (free) tour of 1885 tall ship Wavertree and 1908 lightship Ambrose at Pier 16 (Fulton and South Streets).

Pick up a gift: Treat your date to a fancy pen or a book on their favorite topic. McNally Jackson Books is located next to the museum, and might just be the most romantic bookstore in the city, with exposed brick walls and picturesque arched windows. Comfy seating in nooks across the store’s two levels provide opportunities to extend the date, as does the cafe on the ground floor, open until 7pm.

Health is our Love Language

date night at Malibu Farm

Spoiling your date doesn’t have to involve indulging in vices. The Seaport has plenty of health-oriented options for couples into fitness. Invite your special someone to join you at HIIT The Deck, where you can work up a sweat together with boxing-inspired moves. Indoor and outdoor classes are available and no prior boxing experience is necessary.

Sweat-sesh reward: Now the endorphins are flowing, it’s time to fuel your bodies. Head over to Malibu Farm on Pier 17 for lunch. Chef Helene Henderson’s menu is veggie-forward and full of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Soups, salads, gluten-free shrimp tacos, Impossible burgers…this is healthy eating that’s big on flavor. Ginger and turmeric shots are also available, along with fresh juice blends like the Sweet Carrot (carrot, orange, apple, lime and ginger) and the Deep Root (apple, carrot, beet, lemon, kale, ginger and spinach). And for something a little more cheeky, don’t miss the fresh-forward cocktails like the melon margarita.

Let’s get outta here: Okay! You’re ready to keep the date going back at your place? Why not take a stroll through Fulton Stall Market, where you can pick up all sorts of locally produced ingredients (or ready-to-eat goodies) for a healthy dinner at home.

Help! My Date’s the Coolest Person I’ve Ever Met

Take a breath—we’ve got you. If you’re trying to impress someone who looks like they just stepped off a runway or someone with an amazingly unique personal style, there are places in the neighborhood we’re sure they’ll be interested in. Channel your creative sides, side by side, with a sneaker-customization workshop at The Shoe Surgeon. At this Seaport pop-up of LA-based Dominic Ciambrone’s atelier, you can learn the ins and outs of sneaker design and also shop one-of-a-kind creations, like the ones worn by the Shoe Surgeon’s celebrity clients.

And Then? Keep the cool vibes going with a stop by Christian Benner. Browse customized band tees—and maybe treat your date to one of the designer’s signature distressed leather jackets.

Refresh under the radar: Whisk your date off to Little Shop, the neighborhood’s stylish speakeasy, for a cocktail or glass of wine. You can also select snacks from the shop to enjoy with your drinks.

Need even more date ideas? Take a scroll through our Instagram feed for additional inspo, as well as updates on the latest events taking place in the neighborhood.