Every couple needs a night out as often as their schedules – and babysitters – allow. But with the hassle of leaving the kids with a sitter, along with the ever-increasing price to go over the bridge, it’s probably easier to stay close to home. So we’ve compiled ten different ideas for date night (and on some occasions, daytime dates) that are right here on the Island. There’s something for everyone!
See a live show. See a concert, watch a play, hear one of your favorite stand-up comedians live – those are just a few of the St. George Theatre’s many offerings showcased on its historical stage. If you and your sweetie are big fans of live music, you can catch free live concerts on the South Beach boardwalk and in various parks throughout the Island all summer long. For more information on those events, check siparent.com/summer later on this month.
Hit the lanes. Up for some friendly competition? Challenge your darling at one of the Island’s two major bowling alleys — Rab’s Country Lanes on Hylan Boulevard or Showplace Entertainment Center off Victory Boulevard. Make it interesting: the winner gets to pick where to grab dinner afterward.
Go for a stroll. Staten Island is home to myriad scenic spots where you can enjoy the view before spreading out a picnic. Take in the picturesque beauty of Snug Harbor‘s many botanical gardens: The New York Chinese Scholar Garden, The Rose Garden, even The Secret Garden, just to name a few. Be sure to snap a photo together under The Allee, the iconic tunnel arch. Stroll along the FDR Boardwalk to smell the salty sea air amidst the stunning backdrop of the Verrazano Bridge. Go buy a bag of food and feed the ducks together at Clove Lakes Park (just make sure you only throw duck food pellets because bread and other human food may grow bacteria that can harm the ducks).
Take a class. Learn something new together and who knows, you may end up sharing a lifelong hobby. Casa Belvedere offers cooking classes for adults where you can learn tactics for making delicious Italian food. At Pinot’s Palette on Ellis Street or Forest Avenue, or at Paint with a Twist in New Dorp, you’ll create original artwork together (with the added bonus of sipping wine while you work). Ed Perpetua Tennis Academy offers a Friday night walk-in class for adults, beginners welcome. Many local museums offer classes as well. For example, the Alice Austen House offers photography workshops throughout the year. The Noble Maritime Collection at Snug Harbor offers free knitting on Thursdays. The Garibaldi Meucci Museum offers Italian language classes. Check individual museum websites for their schedule of upcoming events.
Try something new. Are you and your spouse the adventurous types? Here are a few new ideas you may yet not have tried.
• Wheel Fun Rentals lets you cruise the boardwalk in a variety of pedal-powered vehicles, including surreys, tandem bikes, and other specialty cycles.
• Geocaching is a real life treasure hunt that sends you to various spots using GPS coordinates.
• Supreme Chocolatier takes participants on a tour inside the factory where you can even sample some indulgent chocolate for just $4 per person.
• The National Lighthouse Museum‘s popular Lighthouse Boat Tours usually run once a month and feature spectacular views of the New York Harbor and the Jersey Shoreline.
• Kayak Staten Island offers weekend kayaking off the shores of South Beach entirely for free.
• Staten Island is home to 2,800 acres of rugged Greenbelt where you can hike, run, or even ride a bike.
• Go stargazing in Gateway Great Kills National Park on a clear night with the Amateur Astronomers Association.
Just relax. Pampering yourselves with a relaxing massage after a busy week is a great way to slow down and enjoy time together. Relax on Cloud 9 on Clove Road and A.F. Bennett on New Dorp Lane both offer special packages for couples looking to enjoy some tranquil time together.
Get a room. Need a little alone time? Sometimes a few hours away is just not enough. Book a room at the beautiful Hilton Garden Inn on South Avenue, where you can have dinner and drinks at Lorenzo’s Restaurant and then head up to the room to enjoy a peaceful night together.
Watch a ballgame. There’s no need to travel all the way to the Bronx to see the Yankees play. The Staten Island Yankees minor league team plays at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark on the North Shore from June to September. You can buy tickets for a specially-themed game or even view a postgame fireworks show on select nights throughout the summer.
Catch a flick. Check out the latest blockbusters at one of Staten Island’s two major theaters — The Atrium on Arthur Kill Road or The United Artists Theatre on Forest Avenue. There’s also the Island’s first dine-in movie theatre coming to Hylan Boulevard, although you’ll unfortunately have to wait until 2019 for it to open.
Grab a bite. The Island is jam-packed with eateries boasting stunning views and even better food. Enjoy dinner overlooking the Atlantic at the Marina Cafe or South Fin Grill. Cozy up with lunch in the park at the Stone House at Clove Lakes. Get happy for Happy Hour at the South Shore Bar & Grill (also on the water). Can’t narrow it down to just one restaurant? Try an exciting restaurant crawl hosted by a local merchant’s association. Check out the siparent.com calendar for dates to upcoming crawls.
Go museum hopping. There are so many museums and cultural institutions in Staten Island, you could never visit them all in one day (although it might be fun to try!). There’s plenty of material to spark fresh conversation for the most cultured of couples. Immerse yourself in Italian culture at the Garibaldi Meucci Museum; see how Staten Islanders lived during colonial times at Historic Richmond Town; explore the many artifacts and exhibits at the Staten Island Museum. For a complete list of local museums, go to siparent.com/museums.
By Jeannine Cintron, a Staten Island mom of two who hasn’t had a date night in a while and could really use a night out (hint hint, hubby).