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  • Nic F. Anderson

Five NYC Date Ideas | Free! Only MTA Fare Required

Times are hard and unless you are from an affluent family or just got lucky, a lot of us don’t have the ability to drop a week’s worth of a paycheck on a date… especially when you pay rent in New York City or are disproportionately paid less than your white, cisgender, straight, able-bodied, neurotypical, etc. (or all of the above!) counterparts.

Here are five free things to do with a date in NYC - only MTA fare to go there/go home required!

1. See The Sights From Up Above

There are so many bridges and walkways in New York City. There’s the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and Chelsea High Line, for starters. The Chelsea High Line, however, does have “business hours,” so to speak - make sure to check online before heading over there.

Tip: Check the weather beforehand. If it’s supposed to rain, go another day. Getting rained on when you’re in the middle of the bridge is unpleasant, especially when it’s cold outside.

2. See the Sights From the Water

Staten Island Ferry and Ikea Ferry are two free boat rides. With the Staten Island Ferry, it’s a free way to see the Statue of Liberty. Is it close like the tour cruise? No. Can you still see the Statue of Liberty well? Absolutely.

Tip: Being on the outside deck of the ferries is incredible in the summer but a tad brutal in the winter. Please dress accordingly and consider wearing sunscreen to protect your beautiful and precious skin.

3. Bronx Zoo (on free days)

The Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays but the caveat is you must buy tickets in advance.

(Editor’s note: Nic doesn't like zoos but knows other people do, which is the only reason it was included in this list.)

4. People watch and walk around in parks (always free)

Despite being a concrete jungle, NYC has a lot of parks! For example, we have Central Park, Tompkins Square Park, Union Square Park, Washington Square Park, Maria Hernandez Park, Herbert von King Park, etc.

5. TV Show Taping

A popular tourist attraction but perhaps an underrated date idea for folks who live here. If you’re able to snag two tickets for a live taping, you’ll be able to see the TV hosts and their celebrity guests up close and personal. Sometimes, if you have the audience sparkle the producer is looking for, you may get .001 second of screen time yourself.

See a full list of TV show tapings in NYC and the links to reserve tickets here.

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