Since New York happens to be one of the world's most romantic cities, it will always be one of the greatest places to toast a special occasion. If you're looking for a unique way to commemorate your wedding day, the Big Apple offers more ways than one. Here's how to celebrate an anniversary in NYC.
1. See the Ballet or the Opera at Lincoln Center
The city is no doubt a cultural mecca, and from theater to art to live music, you'll have endless choices for romantic outings. The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center hosts the New York City Ballet for their spring, fall, and winter seasons as well as their legendary production of The Nutcracker every December. American Ballet Theater has been performing at the Koch Theater in October. Next door, the Met is the home of the Metropolitan Opera, and it's also where ABT holds their spring and summer seasons. Celebrate your wedding anniversary with two tickets to traditional productions like Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, or La Traviata. Or, opt for seats to the premiere of a new work, followed by a late dinner in one of the city's many excellent restaurants (more on that next).
2. Dine at a Romantic NYC Restaurant
When it comes to food and drink, NYC offers more places than you could try in your lifetime, but those rare restaurants that outshine the rest aren't as common. Some of the most romantic places to eat include One if by Land, Two if by Sea and the River Café. If you're looking for a high-end New York restaurant, Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park are great options. The food and overall dining experiences at both restaurants could be the finest you'll ever have, making the cost of dinner for two seem like a value as compared to the city's stockpile of overpriced, mediocre restaurants. I recommend using the Zagat Guide to find that unique place to celebrate an anniversary.
3. Spend the Day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art lovers and the art curious can get lost (literally!) in the endless galleries of the Met. Since the museum can be overwhelming, particularly for newcomers, I suggest selecting a few exhibits and focusing on those. You could spend days at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and not have seen every work, so don't feel pressured to overload your senses. Rather, schedule a second visit for your next special occasion, or on any day. The European Paintings and Sculpture and the Egyptian Art are highlights, as is the Costume Institute. If you visit from April through October (check metmuseum.org for exact dates), the museum stays open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
4. Have a picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park
For stellar views of Manhattan, the New York Harbor, and the Brooklyn Bridge, head to this waterside park with a gourmet food basket. Not in the mood to gather the provisions yourself? You’ll discover a Shake Shack and a Luke's Lobster within a quick walk of the picnic areas. For detailed info on where to dine in the park, head over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park website.
5. Take a Helicopter Ride
For an aerial perspective of New York, whisk your partner high in the sky on a helicopter ride. See the Statue of Liberty, the city's magnificent bridges, Central Park, and other attractions like you've never seen them before. New York Helicopter will handle all the work, so you can just sit back and do the oohing and aahing.
6. Renew Your Vows in Central Park
To tie the knot or renew vows, I can't think of many places more romantic than New York's own Central Park. Apply for a permit and select from locales such as the Ladies Pavilion, the Cop Cot and the Conservatory Garden. You can also hire the park to handle the music, flowers, photography, and other details if you like. If you plan on inviting fewer than 20 people, you shouldn't need a permit, but you might want one to guarantee your spot in the park. Visit the Central Park website to find out more about renewing your vows.
7. Go to the Top of the Empire State Building
It's been featured in television and movies, so why shouldn't you partake in the romance of New York's iconic skyscraper? Grab your significant other and get to the ESB at 8 a.m. when it opens or after midnight when it's less crowded, and you'll have more privacy. On Thursday through Saturday nights, a saxophonist plays from 9 p.m. until midnight from Labor Day through Memorial Day, and 9 until 1 a.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Don't forget to get an express pass online, so you don't waste time waiting in line on your special day. And besides all the romance stuff, the view is great, too.