Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and if you can’t figure out (or haven’t even thought about) the perfect date night, you’re in luck. Whether you’re the type of couple who likes to chill out at a jazz club or rock out at a dive bar; get active and try new adventures or enjoy a bit of history at your leisure, these seven unique date ideas will help you step up your Valentine’s game.

Feelin’ Lucky


Date night at the mall isn’t just for teens. Head to the Palisades Mall to strike up a little friendly competition at Lucky Strike, a hip bowling alley that offers more than you’d expect — try their cocktails and flatbread pizza, for instance. Play a few rounds then head over to the Yard House for hearty fare and huge variety of craft beer. End the night with a showing at the AMC Theater and get cozy with their reclining seats.

Hit the Town

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The village of Saugerties is known for its charming locally owned shops and eateries. Start with lunch at award-winning Miss Lucy’s Kitchen and spend the whole afternoon visiting bookstores, antique shops, clothing boutiques, housewares stores, and more. Be sure to end up at Lucky Chocolates or Krause’s for a selection of rich truffles, and then catch a movie at the Orpheum Theater or head straight to The Tavern at Diamond Mills Hotel for a romantic dinner.

Get Artsy

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There are two blossoming art scenes right now and they are just across the River from one another: Newburgh and Beacon. If Beacon’s hipster vibe beckons, first stop by Bank Square for coffee before making your way to view Dia Beacon’s abstract installations. After, shop the functional art at Hudson Beach Glass on Main Street, or browse the Howland Cultural Center. Come dinnertime, make your way to trendy Café Amarcord for inventive surf and turf.

Newburgh’s burgeoning art scene has a more laid-back feel. Start with brunch at Caffe Macchiato, a Liberty Street staple. Browse art on display at Ann Street Gallery or view an indie flick at the Downing Film Center. Grab a bite and a brew at Newburgh Brewing Co. (try the brown ale), which also features local artist’s work on its walls.

Time Travel

Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

If your date digs history, make your way over to Dutchess County for tours of the former home of FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val Kill, and the Vanderbilt Mansion, followed by a romantic dinner at the Culinary Institute of America, alma mater to some of the world’s greatest chefs. Their several on-campus restaurants offer fare to please any palate. (Don’t forget to make reservations!)

Rock Out

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Rock climbing, rockin’ food, and a rock show makes a date that truly… rocks. Challenge each other to indoor rock climbing at the Inner Wall in New Paltz. You’ll work up an appetite, so make your way down Main Street to A Tavola for a delicious Italian dinner. End the night a few doors down rocking out to live music at divey Snugs or townie Bacchus.

Mysterious Ways


Look no further than the Vanderbilt Inn in Philmont for a killer date idea: Traveling theater troupe Murder Café brings their murder-mystery dinner performance “Murder By Chocolate” to infamous inn. A three-course dinner is served between scenes that follow the clever storyline of a deal gone wrong between chocolate barons, and audience members are either suspects or witnesses to a staged murder. Tickets are $55 and reservations must be made in advance.