5 Date Ideas That Don't Involve 'Netflix & Chill'

Read time: 5 min.

It’s a particularly beautiful, warm day for the winter season. You roll out of bed and to your surprise the hot guy a year above you has Tinder matched with you. Immediately he sends you a message with the perfect amount of humor and directness. You two start chatting about your hometown and your new, exciting plans of going to Howl for the fourth weekend in a row. Just when you think you’ve finally found the man of your dreams, he reminds you that Tinder is a place where chivalry and romance go to die. He hits you with a message at 12:36 am saying: “Haha honestly I’m just chilling alone if you want to come over and watch a movie or something :)”.

Am I the only human nowadays that does not find any appeal in going into the home of a stranger and watching a movie while pretending you know enough about this stranger to be quietly watching a movie with his arm around you? If you’re anything like me and want to break free from the usual “let’s watch a movie on my computer screen and ignore any sexual tension” date and want to gravitate towards date ideas that actually allow for meaningful interaction, try spicing it up with these unique, exciting, budget friendly NYC date ideas/spots.

1) Bat Haus’ Drink and Draw

Getting tipsy and staring at someone that’s naked usually happens towards the end of the date, but at Bat Haus it could be the entire date. Every Wednesday 8pm-10:30pm, a $10 admission gets you all-you-can-drink beer and 2.5 hours of drawing time with a professional nude model. All you need to bring is your creativity and preferred art utensils.

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Where it’s at: 279 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Travel Time: 70 min using subway (CityMapper app)

Who to bring: An art major who also does not mind extreme nudity

2) Kings County Distillery

Want to ensure your date knows you’re not fucking around? Nothing screams maturity more than drinking alcohol but not aiming to black out. Kings County Distillery is New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery- the first since prohibition. Founded in 2010, Kings County makes handmade moonshine, bourbon, and other whiskey. Tours are $14 and include a tasting and admission to the Boozeum. Tours last 45 mins to an hour and cover the history, culture, and science of distilling whiskey.

Where it’s at: 299 Sands St, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Travel Time: 70 min using subway (CityMapper app)

Who to bring: Hipster who drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon beers solely for the reason that they’re not mainstream

3) Dream House

Created in 1993 by modern composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela (who are married), this exhibit is the apogee of 40 years of their work. For a small donation, you and your date can spend as long as you two like in a series of purple-lit, incense-filled rooms, listening to spacey minimalist music and absorbing the effects of the space's immersive light installation. This trippy, one-of-a-kind experience can be yours Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2pm - midnight for a suggested donation of only $5.

Where it’s at: 275 Church St, New York, NY 10013 (near Tribeca)

Travel Time: 65 min using subway (CityMapper app)

Who to bring: Someone who drops acid every month or so and doesn’t brag about it.

4) Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

Love traditional ice cream dates but want to stand out? Consider checking out a family-owned ice cream factory that is referred to as an “unofficial NYC landmark”. Known for their wacky flavors such as wasabi, black sesame, and peanut butter and jelly, this eccentric ice cream shop is sure to spark conversation. After ice cream (or before… you do you), you can roam around Chinatown, take in the sights and maybe take a few pics for your VSCO (again, I don’t know you and this is just a suggestion).

Where it’s at: 65 Bayard St New York, NY 10013 (Chinatown, Manhattan)

Travel Time: 65 minutes using subway (CityMapper app)

Who to bring: An ice cream lover… duh.

5) Yoga to the People

Want to get hot and sweaty on your first date? Try a yoga class! With six total locations, a huge selection of times, and a suggested class donation of $10, Yoga to the People is extremely accessible. Yoga to the People’s mission is to make the mind and body benefits of yoga accessible to everyone, no matter what economic limitations (yes, this includes broke college students like you).

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Where it’s at: The closest studio is 2710 Broadway, Fl 3, New York (Manhattan)

Travel Time: 60 min using subway (CityMapper app)

Who to bring: Person who goes to the gym… even on Fridays and Saturdays.

Again, these are all just suggestions. If you’re perfectly happy laying in bed with a Tinder stranger, watching a cheesy movie on Netflix and constantly thinking “are we going to have sex right after the credits come on?” then you do just that.

CultureVictoria Munoz