It’s that time of year again—the time when you and your spouse struggle to come up with the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you can’t seem to find the right way to spend quality time together, or your regular sitter isn’t available and you can’t find a replacement, or you just need some ideas to get you inspired, here are some of our favorite places around the city that are doing great things for lovebirds, as well as some tips on how to make your stay-cation go off without a hitch!
First Things First: Getting A Sitter
Hopefully your usual sitter is available, but if they aren’t, there are some great last-minute sitter options you can use to make sure your little ones are left in good hands. Besides the obvious solution of calling family members and friends to see who can step in at the last minute, there are websites and apps entirely dedicated to helping parents find the best childcare for their family.
Need a trustworthy sitter at the last second? Let Hello Sitter help you out, the brainchild of NYC mom, Lauren Mansell. This app allows Manhattan parents to book a high-quality sitter with as little as one hour’s notice and no service subscription fees. Thanks to personal interviews, vetted references, extensive background checks, and social media reviews, you can rest easy knowing that your children are with the best caretakers the city has to offer.
Chime, an app by SitterCity, takes all of the stress out of finding the perfect babysitter because they do all of the vetting for you. Available in Manhattan and most of Brooklyn, parents can search for sitters in their area and budget, even at the last minute, all while knowing that SitterCity has taken care of the interviewing, background checks, and social media screening. Parents can even read reviews of their future sitters right on the app.
Chances are you have already used and fallen in love with Care.com, but for parents who don’t know, it is a childcare website dedicated to helping match parents with the best nannies, sitters, and child care professionals in their area. They even have a new Date Night feature, allowing parents to find sitters at the last minute. All caregivers are vetted through Care.com, and you can pay your sitter through the website, so there is no awkward fumbling around your wallet for spare change at the end of the night.
If You Just Want A Fancy Dinner
Don’t need a whole weekend away? There’s no shame in pulling out all the stops for a romantic dinner for two before heading back home to tuck the kids into bed!
542 West 27th St
This is technically a brunch offering from Gallow Green, but it is too fantastic not to include! (Who knows, maybe you’ll want a special Valentine’s Weekend brunch instead!) Visit this rooftop bar and bistro at The McKittrick Hotel, which is transformed into a cozy mountainside ski cabin for the winter months (complete with real pine trees), and enjoy some of their delicious brunch specials. There is an à la carte brunch menu or the option for a $45 three-course prix fixe which includes a mimosa, unlimited soft drinks and La Colombe coffee and entrees like their Chicken & Waffles, signature Lodge Burger, and a traditional Full English Breakfast.
200 5th Ave
Leave it to Eataly to provide the perfect Italian night out for foodies! The five-course Valentine’s menu at Eataly’s elegant Manzo restaurant is $95 a person and includes simple but decadent ingredients, from antipasto (carne cruda with fresh truffles) to dolce (chocolate sponge cake with hazelnut gelato). They also have wine pairings for each course, curated by Eataly’s beverage team.
149 Broadway, Brooklyn
This cute Brooklyn hot spot feels like home but serves up way better food than mom used to make. While admiring the herb garden that hangs above their doorway, you can enjoy dinner dishes like the New Zealand Snapper with jasmine rice, Chinese eggplant, and green coconut curry and the delicious mushroom tart, as well as their a la carte menu. The bar also makes killer dessert cocktails, like the Escape From New York (clement mahina coco, rum clement, pineapple, and cream) or the As You Wish (Diplomatico Reserva, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cream).
129 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn
Enjoy a delicious Valentine’s meal at Locanda Vini e Olii, one of Clinton Hill’s hippest restaurants. With crowd pleasers like the Roasted Lamb Casserole, Roasted Alaskan Cod, and potato gnocchi, you’ll have a hard time deciding which of delicious entree to try!
If You Only Have One Day
You may not be able to swing a full weekend stay-cation, but that doesn’t mean that you and your spouse can’t have a date day to remember.
Skip the ordinary dinner and a movie date night and head over to The Standard’s Winter Garden for a truly unique experience. Spend the evening eating delicious fondues and drinking hot spiked drinks in their heated alpine yurts, where you’ll feel as though you’ve transported to a trendy winter ski lodge instead of the hotel’s rooftop. Once your full of melted cheese and chocolate goodness, give the Olympic sport of curling a try on their curling rink, where you can play against other couples in a festive curling bonspeil.
Dance the night away and TriANGulO’s beginners tango class. The Valentines Absolute Beginner Aregentine Tango Class takes place in their intimate studio in Chelsea, and is for couples only. After learning some new dance moves, enjoy some complimentary champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, as well as bunches of roses to take home with you.
Celebrate the biggest chocolate holiday of the year by making your own at Tache. Their chocolate making class, held at Tache’s chocolate factory and cafe on the Lower East Side, will allow you and your sweetheart to make classic treats, like chocolate bars and caramel kisses, as well as learn the ins and outs of the chocolate factory. It’s a delicious bonding activity that you won’t want to miss!
Watch a Broadway Show
A night at the theater is the perfect way to spend date night, and there are plenty of shows on Broadway right now that will get your hearts racing! From classics like The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked to newer crowd favorites like On Your Feet! and An American in Paris, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, make sure to check out Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows for even more variety!
Book A Couples Massage
Take some time to relax, just the two of you, at one of New York City’s luxurious spas. Whether you spend the day being pampered or schedule a quick couples massage before moving on to your next activity, hard working parents deserve some extra TLC. We recommend Caudalie’s Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza by Madison Avenue for a wine-themed spa day that makes NYC feel a little bit more like the vineyards in France, or Body by Brooklyn Spa Lounge in Clinton Hill for deep massages and saunas that will leave you both feeling completely relaxed.
If You Have The Whole Weekend
The city is filled with great activities and restaurants to fill your romantic weekend with, but the hotel you choose for your night away can also provide some extra special surprises.
This glamorous boutique hotel is offering a special Angel vs Devil package to celebrate Valentine’s Weekend. The Angel package include luxury accommodations for two, two passes to Brick Fitness (an all-inclusive, CrossFit style workout) at their nearby Grand Central location, a branded yoga mat to take home and two fresh-pressed juices from 48Lex’s in-house brasserie, Lexington Brass. (Editor’s Note: We’ve taken their yoga class, and it is a relaxing way to start the day while still working on your core!) It is the perfect package for fitness-obsessed love birds!
Couples indulging in the Devil package will receive luxury accommodations for two, a $50 gift card to Bergdorf Goodman’s intimate apparel store, a bottle of Champagne chilled and waiting in room upon arrival, and a decadent breakfast in bed for two, like Cinnamon Roll Pancakes from Lexington Brass. It’s sure to make your holiday weekend a whole lot steamier!
Both packages include late checkout, so you and your valentine are free to sleep in and enjoy some one-on-one time away from the kids.
Sanctuary Hotel is offering three different Valentine’s packages for guests this month, so there is something for every type of couple to enjoy. Included in their Forget Me Not package is a decadent dining experience at their rooftop restaurant, Haven, which you can enjoy while your room is prepped for a romantic night with mood lighting, music, chilled sparkling wine, strawberries, and rose petal turn down service. The Head Over Heels package includes a welcome bottle of chilled sparkling wine and a strawberry plate, a couples massage at the Equinox Spa in Rockefeller Center, rose petal turn down service, continental breakfast for two, and a full day pass to the Equinox Health Club. Lastly, there is the Tender Sweet (Suite), which offers 20% off of your suite and 20% off of your dinner at Tender Restaurant during your stay, as well as 500 bonus airline miles.
Enjoy an overnight experience fit for food lovers with Park South Hotel’s Park and Make Out package. Enjoy a pasta-making class at Covina, the newest concept from James Beard Award-Winning Chef Tim & Nancy Cushman, along with an $100 credit for couples to use toward a special dinner of their choice from either Covina, known for Mediterranean- and Californian-infused fare, or o ya, a nationally-acclaimed sushi restaurant. Don’t forget to cap off the night with some fireside cocktails at the hotel’s library.
Celebrate your weekend away with the Get Love package from Gansevoort Park Avenue/Gansevoort Meatpacking. Both locations are offering early check-in and late check-out, prosecco and a dozen roses waiting in your room upon check-in, two cocktails at either the Gansevoort Park Rooftop or the Plunge Rooftop, depending on where you say, a Mile High Intimacy Kit, and 2 monogrammed pillowcases to take home. It’s sure to be a weekend to remember!