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autumn date ideas

5 Autumn Date Ideas in NYC That Go Way Beyond Dinner

By / September 11, 2018

Besides crisp temperatures and pumpkin-flavored everything, fall delivers a fun assortment of events in New York City best enjoyed in the company of someone you’re romantically involved with.

With activities for all sorts of interests, our list of 5 autumn dates will help you to have the perfect date night.

Watermark Bar

For beer enthusiasts

The activity: Oktoberfest at Watermark Bar
September 21–23, 27–30; October 4–7, 11–14, South Street Seaport

If a quick trip to Munich sounds enticing, take your date to this waterfront bar and its four straight weekends of Oktoberfest celebrations. The festivities include a stein-holding contest, all the German beer you could ever want, and giant soft pretzels, all with a picture-perfect view of Brooklyn in the background.

Where to eat: The Hideaway Seaport

A full day of drinking calls for some hearty comfort food, and this gastropub offers some of the best in lower Manhattan. Start with pigs in a blanket and opt for either crab cakes or fried chicken on a biscuit for a meal that will soak up all the boozy goodness from the day. If you’re still down to drink, try the Samson & Delilah, made with London Dry Gin, lavender shrub, hibiscus cordial, and lemon juice, garnished with an edible orchid ice cube.

Blood Manor

For thrill seekers

The activity: Blood Manor
October 5–31; November 2–3, Tribeca

There’s no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than by visiting the city’s most intense haunted house attraction, which has an all-new Tribeca location this year.

Promising to feature new terrors and a more frightening adventure than in years past, Blood Manor is 5,000 square feet of themed rooms designed to play on guests’ ultimate fears and deliver a “scream-inducing” experience. You’ll want to keep your date close as you embark on this nightmarish journey.

Where to eat: Pepolino

We recommend eating dinner after Blood Manor so that any unsettling sights won’t have you fighting to keep your food down. At Pepolino, warm Tuscan dishes in a rustic setting are sure to bring your chilled bones back to life. Split a bottle of wine to help calm your nerves and enjoy savory meals such as spinach and ricotta gnocchi and lamb straccetti.


For nature lovers

The activity: Fall Foliage Cruise
Saturday and Sunday, October 13–November 11, Chelsea Piers

Get out of the city for a few hours by climbing aboard a schooner and setting sail along the Hudson River as you take in the changing colors of the leaves and the refreshing autumn air. The boat will cruise up to breathtaking views of the New Jersey Palisades, providing ample photo opportunities for you and your boo. Guests are welcome to bring snacks along for the ride, so plan accordingly and impress your date with their favorites.

Where to eat: The Red Cat

After taking in the colorful surroundings along the Hudson River, keep the romantic vibes going at The Red Cat, a cozy spot with a seasonal menu. With appetizers like steak tartare or an onion tartlet and entrées such as the Long Island duck breast and local skate, this place is a winner no matter what you order. Whatever you eat, save room for dessert. You’ll absolutely want to try the apricot brown butter tart, which comes with orange rosemary ice cream. Make sure you make a reservation, considering this Chelsea gem is usually hopping.

Robyn VonSwank

For night owls

The activity: Nightfall at Green-Wood Cemetery
October 19–20, Green-Wood Heights

Explore the final resting place for thousands of Brooklynites on an interactive night tour and experience at this sprawling cemetery located in the heart of Brooklyn. Wander through Green-wood’s winding paths as candles light the way and musicians, performance artists, and storytellers deepen your understanding of the storied burial grounds.

Where to eat: Greenwood Park

Considering that Nightfall lasts until midnight, you’ll want to grab a bite that will keep you full for the duration of the evening. Located just a few blocks from the cemetery is this large beer garden with 24 beers on tap and upscale pub grub. The avocado BLT and grilled lamb burger are both solid options, especially if you choose onion rings for your side. If you have time to kill before your spooky activity, try your hand at bocce ball if you can snag a free spot.

New York Comedy Festival

For stand-up fanatics

The activity: New York Comedy Festival
November 5–11, Various locations

With some of comedy’s biggest names coming to the Big Apple, you can impress your significant other by scoring tickets to a show while they’re still available. Although the festival takes place across a handful of venues throughout the city, Gabriel Iglesias, Marc Maron, Tracy Morgan, and more of our favorites will perform at the Beacon Theatre, which just so happens to be near some of the city’s finest dining establishments. Take our word for it that a pair of tickets to this fest makes for the ultimate dinner-and-a-show combo.

Where to eat: Tessa

You’ll want to stuff your faces before you laugh them off. This Mediterranean tavern has an impressive wine list and flavorful dishes like grilled branzino and rabbit cavatelli. With a menu full of standout options, there’s no wrong way to go no matter what you order — unless, of course, you don’t leave room for dessert. The Baked Alaska (key lime ice cream, vanilla hazelnut crunch ice cream, olive oil cake, torched meringue, and mango bergamot sauce) is one of our favorite sweet treats in all of NYC.

Want more? Here’s a guide to the best eating and drinking around 10 Brooklyn music venues.


Melanie is a Jersey girl who now calls Brooklyn home. She’s written for Fuse TV, MTV News, Interview Magazine and more, and enjoys creating content that informs, inspires and entertains people. She’s passionate about music, running, cheese and dachshunds, and her husband fully accepts her love affair with NYC.

More articles by Melanie Gardiner



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