Once you crack the hard outer shell of New York City, you’ll find romance spilling out of the seams, and on Valentine’s Day especially, the city pulls out all the stops. Restaurants throughout the city offer special meals for two (like this one and this one). Cinemas have special showings of timeless love stories, some classic and some you may be seeing for the first time. Up high, sweeping city views (here, here, and here) can become the backdrop to your evening of passion, while down low jazz clubs provide dim corners to hold each other close and sway to the sultry music. Whether you’re looking for music, museums, or marriage, or perhaps some snarky storytelling, New York has you covered.
Love in Times Square
What better place? What more romantic day? Throughout Valentine’s Day, couples will slide rings on each others’ fingers and promise wedded bliss, surrounded by the beautiful diversity of people that flock to Times Square. Couples must register beforehand if they want to get married, but everyone is welcome to witness couples tying the knot. This year, the nuptials will take place near We Were Strangers Once Too, a sculpture that features the many contributions New York’s immigrants have made to the city. In addition to Weddings in the Square, a mass vow renewal ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m., and surprise marriage proposals will pop up throughout the day on the giant American Eagle screen.
February 14, 2017
Weddings throughout the day; Mass vow renewal 6:00 p.m.
Love in the Parlors: A Valentine in Concert
Romantic music from 19th century composers, performed by the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society, is a consistent favorite on the New York Valentine’s Day scene. It takes place in the Merchant’s House Museum, the East Village mansion that Seabury Tredwell purchased upon his retirement in 1835 for his wife and eight children. It is one of the oldest residential homes in New York City, especially notable because the furniture and artifacts inside are original and in nearly perfect condition. The Tredwell family continuously occupied the home for almost 100 years, when youngest daughter Gertrude passed away in 1933 in an upstairs bedroom. Some people say Gertrude’s spirit still roams the mansion’s opulent rooms, a legend which lends an air of mystery to this National Historic Landmark’s annual event. Guests are invited to sit in the formal Greek revival double parlor, resplendent with elegant candelabra, robust period furniture, and Tredwell family oil portraits. Musicians perform works by Beethoven, Schubert, and many more.
Merchant’s House Museum
February 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.; $40
LOL on Valentine’s Day, The Holiday We Heart To Hate
The Moth rewards its devoted fans with an annual Valentine’s Day show themed “Love Hurts,” where true stories of love and loss mixed with heartbreak and hilarity are told to a supportive audience. This generally sells out quickly, though, so if you’re putting off your plans until the last minute, go for something further off the radar, like LOL on Valentine’s Day, The Holiday We Heart To Hate, a storytelling and musical performance presented by the nonprofit organization, Out by 10. This year’s storytellers are Josh Gondelman, a writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Negin Farsad, an author, comedian, and director and producer of the film “The Muslims Are Coming!,” and Matthew Dicks, author and 28-time MothStorySLAM champion. The musical talent is courtesy of Jocelyn Mackenzie, a Brooklyn-based singer and songwriter who writes for film and theater, and has collaborated with Ani DiFranco.
John Strasberg Studios
Feb. 10, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
$20 in advance; $25 at the door
Museum of Sex
Is it too on the nose to go to the Museum of Sex on Valentine’s Day? Or is it so obvious that you failed to even consider a museum devoted to the world’s favorite pastime for your romantic evening out? And MOSEX hasn’t forgotten about you. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, they are offering lovers champagne for two with the price of admission. They also have two recently launched and highly anticipated exhibitions, “Night Fever” a photography collection that explores the 1970’s New York disco scene, and “Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art.” Several longstanding exhibitions also continue. From the primal yet educational, “The Sex Lives of Animals,” to the more hardcore: “Hardcore: A Century and a Half of Obscene Imagery,” the museum offers multiple displays for those with a passion for the flesh. Tactile learners may appreciate “Jump for Joy” which is described as a bouncy castle of breasts.
Get Some Love: Valentine’s Weekend 2017
February 11-14, 2017
$17.50-$22.50 (prices vary based on day and time)
Your Love, Our Musical
Two immensely talented performers act out an improvised musical based on the true story of two members of the audience. Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman, two extremely accomplished artists with backgrounds in comedy, music, and acting, select a couple from the audience, humorously pry their love story out of them, and then perform a musical, making up lyrics completely on the spot. Vigil and Kaufman, along with musician Dan Reitz, anticipate each others’ moves and are so in-sync that if you didn’t see it with your own eyes, you’d think they had been rehearsing the story for weeks. There is no more uplifting celebration of love than through song, and whether it’s your story unfolding Broadway-style or maybe the couple sitting two rows behind you, you’ll laugh and sing and cheer for a happy ending.
The Bell House, Brooklyn
February 12, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.; $15