To plan a healthy date in NYC, this is the only list you need to consult


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Photo: Getty Images/Leo Patrizi

Whether you’re single, coupled up, or in one of those confusing non-relationships, we all fall into date-night ruts every once in a while. You know—dinner at the same restaurant every week, a glass of wine at one of the three bars you have on rotation, or even just ordering in and watching Netflix (happens to the best of of us). While all of these activities have their time and place, they can also become a little, well, boring. And that’s not fun for anyone.

Luckily, if you live in NYC, there’s no shortage of creative, wellness-centric date activities to help shake up your routine and get those happy, love chemicals flowing. Here’s a baker’s dozen to try.

13 of the healthiest date ideas NYC has to offer

1. Go on a public transportation-accessible hike

While New York City itself isn’t exactly famous for its sprawling expanses of nature (one of its best-known nicknames is “concrete jungle,” after all), a peaceful, heart-pumping hike is always just a train ride away. If you take the Metro-North from Grand Central, you can access plenty of tree and creek-lined trails with breathtaking views. A few of the many great options include the Breakneck Ridge trail, Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, trails in Bear Mountain State Park. And even if the trail of your choice isn’t located directly by the train station—well, Uber and Lyft are tools at your disposal for a reason, folks.

2. Chow down on vegan pizza at Double Zero

If you and your date love pizza but dairy doesn’t sit well with you, no worries. Plant-based pizzeria Double Zero in the East Village features a wide range of mouth-watering pies topped with delicious nut cheeses (gluten-free crust is also available upon request). Seriously, you won’t even notice the difference. And if you’re hankering for something more, the spot also offers sustainable wines and healthy desserts.

3. Go kayaking on the Hudson River

Sure, kayaking isn’t exactly ideal year-round, but it’s a blast in the summer. Beyond providing an easy escape from the bustle and hectic nature of the city without actually needing to up and leave the Big Apple, it’s a great way to clock in your sweat sesh. You’ll feel the wind in your hair and get a decent arm workout in—and as a nice bonus, it’s completely free.

4. Grab a coffee or matcha at Café Integral

Sipping on a delicious, warm beverage with someone special is an ideal way to spend a weekend morning or afternoon. NYC has no shortage of awesome coffee shops for your caffeinating needs, and Café Integral in particular is worth your time. It’s full of delicious, healthy drinks options, complete with creative house-made nut milks, like cashew pepita. Once you have your beverages, pop around the corner to McNally Jackson Books on Prince Street and do a little browsing.

5. Go for a run in Central Park

Hitting the pavement with someone you love (or at least want to spend some time with) makes that endorphin rush even better. And don’t worry about the sweat—studies show that when you’re attracted to someone, you’re also attracted to the smell of their sweat. If running isn’t really your thing, a long walk will do. Central Park sprawls across 843 acres of land, so there’s a lot of territory to explore. Bonus points if you can find that hot duck.

6. Drink natural wine at Anfora

Wine is, like, the date-night beverage, and it’s even more ideal when it’s not loaded with stuff that’s practically bound to give you a nasty hangover the next day. Visit Anfora in the West Village, which offers a mood-setting atmosphere and plenty of natural wine options for you and your date to sip.

7. Catch a comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade

Is there anything better than laughing hysterically with someone you’re crushing on? (Didn’t think so.) Head over to UCB for a fun, affordable comedy show to make it happen. With locations in both the East Village and Chelsea, there are plenty of fun restaurants to hit up after the show, where you can rehash just how hilarious the last hour of your life was.

8. Nourish your gut (and eat some delicious food) at Souen

Souen is a small, romantic restaurant that has locations in the East Village and Soho. In addition to its cozy atmosphere, it offers some of the best macrobiotic entrees maybe ever, including veggie curry, squash tofu, pad thai, and a straight-up macro plate. The brain-gut connection is a real thing, so you and your plus-one can count on leaving feeling happy and at ease, thanks to those nourished guts.

9. Get mindful at MNDFL

In addition to its many health benefits—decreased pain and stress, to name two—being completely present is an incredibly romantic trait. So why not make that happen with a meditation-focused date? Book a cushion at MNDFL, and get in the know about how to be in the now.

10. Chow down on Ayurvedic goodies at Divya’s kitchen

Want to eat in a way that honors your dosha type? Divya’s Kitchen has you covered. With irresistible small-bite options like salt sesame crackers and toasted coconut chips, and entrees like seasonal khichari and plant-based lasagna, you and your date will leave feeling nourished and satisfied.

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11. Get your downward facing dog on at Sky Ting yoga

With several locations to choose from, Sky Ting Yoga is a great place to Zen out, work on your flexibility, and take in amazing sights of the city (seriously—the views from the Chinatown outpost are wild). Afterward, head to chic bar or restaurant to make sure your date doesn’t end with savasana.

12. Take advantage of New York’s many winter-themed activities

If you’re looking for a fun wintertime date, New York has plenty of them. Visit one of the city’s holiday markets in Union Square, Columbus Circle, and Bryant Park, and follow it up with ice-skating—Bryant Park, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center all have rinks!

13. Visit the New York Botanical Garden

While this destination is most visually spectacular in the spring when everything is in bloom, there’s always something fun going on at the New York Botanical Garden. In the wintertime, try Bar Car Nights, an adults-only event, complete with cocktails and after-hours viewing of the can’t-miss annual Holiday Train Show exhibition.

No matter what activity you do, here’s the case for wearing sneakers on a first date—except maybe if you’re in an infrared sauna, which is a cool (or rather hot) idea.

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