Valentine’s Day is almost here. It’s actually one of my favorite holidays. I am a romantic at heart anyway. There’s something about hearts and love songs that make me swoon.
I live in New York city and living here can be quite expensive. If you are on a tight budget, celebrating Valentine’s day may be overwhelming that you may not even want to celebrate at all. I really cannot understand why restaurants charge so much at holidays. But, you also do not have to buy an expensive gift for your significant other. Experiences that the two of you can share is even more romantic. I’ve compiled a list of 10 free things to do in New York City on Valentine’s Day.
1.) Take a walk around Central Park. I know the weather has not been cooperating with us lately, but Central Park is an escape from the noise of the big city. Here, you can stroll around hand in hand with your honey and explore 843 acres of nature. Better yet, grab a blanket and sit on the lawn and stare out in the sky, weather permitting of course.
2.) Attend a performance by Juilliard organists at St. Mary’s Church on Valentine’s Day (Monday, February 14)
145 West 46th Street
Time: 8 PM
The best part is it’s free and you know you will be getting a good performance since Juillard only accepts the best students.
3.) Go to the Highline on Manhattan’s west side. The Highline is New York’s elevated park and opened in 2009. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues. Section 1 of the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street.
The Highline is opened everyday during the winter from 7 AM – 8 PM. It’s a great place to sit and watch the sunset or just take a stroll from one end to the other.
4.) Take a tour of Grand Central Station.
42nd Street and Park Avenue
Grand Central is the most amazing place in New York City that is free. The architecture is breathtaking and if you want to eat (though not free) food, they have an array of restaurants inside and also a boasts a gourmet market.
5.) Window shop on 5th Avenue. Pretend you and your loved one are rich and famous or maybe just rich and window shop at:
Tiffany’s – 727 5th Avenue at 57th Street
Bergdorff Goodman – 754 5th Avenue at 58th Street
Saks 5th Avenue – 611 5th Avenue at 50th Street
And of course, you can window shop in all of the shops in between these big department stores.
6.) Sony Store’s Sony Wonder Technology Lab
56th Street, between Madison and 5th Avenue
Sony Wonder Technology Lab is a place where your sweetie might be interested in going. It is a man’s dream come true: lots of interactive exhibits from technology and entertainment. It’s four floors of hands-on exhibits, create, communicate, and collaborate in a whole new way! You can learn about audio, imaging, robotics, design, networks and the best part is it’s all free!
7.) Experience a New York moment at Rockefeller Center
600 5th Avenue at 49th Street
Rockefeller Center is home to the NBC studios, Christmas tree and ice skaters. You and your loved one can watch the ice skaters skate in the rink. Believe it or not, these skaters are actually very good and it won’t cost you a dime.
8.) New York Public Library
42nd Street and 5th Avenue
This library looks more like a museum. It’s one of the most impressive libraries in the world. They usually have various exhibitions on display, and it’s also home to Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, Columbus’ letter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella telling them of his “discovery”, Virginia Woolf’s diaries, ancient Japanese scrolls, and medieval transcripts. And when you are finished going around the library go next door to….
9.) Bryant Park
40th-42nd Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues
New York is home to many parks and the biggest of them all is Central Park. So, many people forget about Bryant Park. It houses an ice skating rink in the winter time (though not free) and is the home of Fashion Week. It’s nice to just sit on the benches with your sweetheart and people watch.
10.) Go to Union Square
14th- 17th Streets between Park Avenue South and Broadway
Browse at the local art and drool over the food at the farmer’s market. New York is home to many artists and Union Square is where the artist sell their art. Artists range from painters, photographers, sculptors to handmade crafters. And there are a lot of artists with different genres and they are also very friendly. If going to a museum is out of your budget, try Union Square.
The farmer’s market is also at Union Square on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays where you can sample local goods from cheese to wine. Browsing is free but the food is not.
So there you have it. 10 free things to do with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. And you thought there was nothing free in New York City. Happy Valentine’s Day!