If it seems like everyone is in love this weekend, well, we are: with New York, that is, and all of the terrific ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, whether happily coupled or consciously uncoupled. So grab a date (or your best friend) for a meal for two, then get out and explore; no matter how low the mercury drops, there’s always something hot to #NYSeeAndDo in the city that never sleeps.
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It’s here: Valentine’s Day weekend. Time to step up your flower-and-chocolate game, and that means a trip to the West Village and SoHo. Wow – don’t woo – your beloved with Black Rose truffles (dark chocolate infused with black tea and rose petals) from Kee’s Chocolates, then meander up to VSFNY for some of the city’s most lavish and unusual floral arrangements.
Get In the Mood
Now that you’re stocked up for the weekend, why not kick things off with jazz and burlesque? Duane Park’s weekly The Plume Revue is a sultry, swinging showcase of top-notch music and dancing that leaves little to the imagination. A rotating cast of musicians perform everything from classics to contemporary tunes while the dancers shake their, ahem, tail feathers (and tassels). There’s no sexier way to kick off your amorous celebration.
Take in a Matinee
Saturday is an ideal day for an afternoon Broadway fix, with matinee performances from such favorites – and otherwise untouchable shows – as The Book of Mormon, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Wicked, and even Hamilton. Casts may differ from weeknight performances, so if you have your heart set on seeing a specific lead actor, you might have to settle for the (no less talented) understudy, but tickets are easier to come by, and a trip to the TKTS booth in Times Square just might net you prime seats for far less than you would expect.
Put It on Ice
Central Park’s fifth annual free Ice Festival is today, and it’s a perfectly frosty day for it. Bundle up and watch as famed ice carvers craft replicas of the park’s iconic statues from more than 6,000 pounds of ice, then dance yourself warm with a lively Silent Disco. Headphone quantities are limited, so RSVP if you plan to attend. Cap off your wintry afternoon with a frosty cold vodka martini at The Russian Tea Room.
Ring In the New Year
Sure, Valentine’s Day might get the lion’s share of holiday recognition today, but down in Chinatown, they’re putting on red for a different reason: The Year of the Monkey and the annual Lunar New Year celebration, a street party studded with vendors, food, and activities along the colorful parade route. Beginning at 1 p.m., performers and floats will wind their way from Mott and Hester down to Worth Street and back up to Forsyth and Grand, with plenty to see and do along the way.
Go All Out
With Valentine’s Day as your excuse, why not pull out all of the stops and dine at one of New York’s most iconic and lauded restaurants? The New York Times has bestowed four stars on only five of the city’s myriad restaurants: Del Posto, Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, Le Bernardin, and Sushi Nakazawa. We say there’s no better time than tonight to truly knock your dates socks off with one of the best meals in the world.
Have a Laugh
Whether you’re in a relationship that keeps a smile on your face or laughing at the absurdity of the “Hallmark Holiday,” you’re sure to get a chuckle from stand-up superstar Mike Birbiglia, onstage at Bleecker Street’s Lynn Redgrave Theater. With two shows today, at 4:30 and 7:30, you can opt to dine before or after the performance; we’re partial to playful comfort food spot Delicatessen, in keeping with the lighthearted spirit of this outing.