You’ve just met someone who sets your heart aflutter, but are now faced with the challenge of crafting that perfect romantic date. Whether winter or spring, morning or evening, Queens, New York offers some unique spots for an extraordinary experience that your beshert is sure to remember.
For a sporty date, the City Ice Pavilion has a comfortable indoor skating rink with cheap rentals. Glide hand in hand with your special someone and enact your favorite ice skating scenes from romantic films like “Serendipity” or “Ice Castles.” During the warmer seasons, explore the 500-plus acres of Forest Park. Horses can be hired from private stables to tour the series of small hills that form the landscape of the park, where 165 acres of trees provide privacy for a forest tryst, while free concerts can be enjoyed at the bandshell during the summer months. To prove your strength and water wiles, rent a rowboat, paddleboat or hydrobike from the Flushing Meadows Lake Boathouse and enjoy the tranquil views of the park from your craft, which is free before noon.
Just across the park, the Queens Theatre brings the arts to nature. Designed by modernist architect Philip Johnson for the 1964 World’s Fair, the Theaterama building’s façade originally displayed large-scale original artworks by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Ellsworth Kelly. Converted from a movie house to a live entertainment venue in 1972, the theater offers three performance experiences from the main stage down to a more intimate cabaret. Alternatively, the Chocolate Factory Theater focuses on multi-disciplinary performances combining dance, music, video and text that defy easy categorization. For even more experimental fare, the Secret Theatre, the home of the Queens Players, is a bare space that is best suited to raw, unpolished and wildly creative work.
If all that activity and entertainment makes you hungry, there is no more romantic meal than fondue. Simply Fondue is a dim, romantic restaurant containing private, curtain-drawn tables. The warm, gothic furniture and an extensive martini list set the mood, sealed by the shared meal. To gaze into more than your lover’s eyes, try Water’s Edge in Long Island City. A free water taxi from Manhattan begins your meal, which is infinitely complemented by the spectacular vision of the New York skyline out the large windows. But the food is no match for the view; so if you’re still hungry after the meal, head over to Eddie’s Sweet Shop. The century-old soda fountain and ice cream parlor vends huge, homemade ice cream sundaes from the 1950s-style counter. Cuddle with your date at one of the little tables in the snug corner shop as you sip the same milkshake from two straws to create your perfect romantic memory in Queens.