There’s something about the holidays that makes love seem, well, even more lovely. And in New York City there’s no shortage of spots to bask in that warm holiday glow with your significant other—think themed cocktails lit softly from hundreds of surrounding strung-up lights and plenty of mistletoe. Here’s our roundup of the most merry and bright date nights across the five boroughs.

Hit these cozy NYC hot spots this holiday season:


281 Third Avenue

One word comes to mind when thinking of the holidays at Rolf’s: extravagant. This Gramercy Park German bar is a Christmas institution. Every year it transforms—not a single inch of the space escapes the touch of tinsel, lights, verdant green boughs and thousands of ornaments. While the lines reflect its popularity, it’s well worth the wait to settle down with a stein of beer or a signature cocktail.


Miracle Pop-Up Bar

The Cabinet at 649 East Ninth Street; Mace at 505 East Twelfth Street

The Miracle pop-up bars claim to be reminiscent of “the best office party you’ve ever been to.” Happily devoid of any old coworkers, however, the bars have no shortage of rosy-cheeked Santas and nostalgic décor … but the real draw is the craft cocktail list that adds a holiday twist to classic pours. Stop by Miracle on Ninth Street or Miracle on Twelfth Street until December 31.


Neil Simon Theatre at 250 West 52nd Street

The `magic of the holidays’ takes on new meaning with The Illusionists — back on Broadway for a limited run this season. Featuring the world’s greatest illusionists, including top acts from America’s Got Talent, this non-stop cavalcade of wonder is a crowd pleaser, and sure to leave you and your date wondering, `how did they do that?’ Spark your holiday date-night adventures with The Illusionists on the Great White Way before they disappear.

Get Tickets to see The Illusionists at The Neil Simon Theatre

Ice Skating

Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center and Central Park 

For those who prefer the crisp open air for date night, ice skate dates are a perfect plan. Bank of America’s Winter Village at Bryant Park offers a free rink surrounded by holiday pop-up shops and food stalls for a post-skating bite. Another classic choice is The Rink at Rockefeller Center, whose backdrop is none other than New York’s biggest tree. And then of course, there’s Central Park, with its beloved tradition of ice skating under the twinkling lights of the New York City skyline at the famed Wollman Rink, featured in films including Love Story and Serendipity.


Holiday Cookie Class

462 Broadway

Try out the International Culinary Center’s hands-on Christmas cookie class, where you and your date can learn the baking basics of holiday treats like buttery shortbread and traditional gingerbread. While of course you’ll leave with your spoils in hand, you can pick up this Holiday Cookies book to recreate the recipes in your own kitchen.


Dyker Heights Lights

11th Avenue to 13th Avenue & 83rd Street to 86th Street in Brooklyn

Witnessing the extravagant Dyker Heights lights is arguably New York’s perfect after-dark holiday date. Every year after Thanksgiving, the homes in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, deck themselves out in thousands of glittery lights, turning the neighborhood into an imaginative holiday spectacle. Bringing a canteen of hot cocoa and strolling at your leisure is one way to do it, while others opt for guided tours to explore the magic both by bus and on foot.


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