Living in New York City is like falling in love. Every day you can find something new to embrace, appreciate and adore. Being single in the city, even on Valentine’s Day, can be an amazing gift and one that you should cherish every day your single self walks the streets of our five boroughs. This year, celebrate the incredible, single New Yorker you are on Valentine’s Day with special ways only you can enjoy your singledom in the greatest place in the universe. And don’t worry, none of these are bad meet-cute ideas. February 14 is all about you.
1. Snag a coveted bar seat at a top restaurant
Reservations for two or more can be tough to come by, but dining solo has many a perk. Not only can you order only what you want (and not have to share!), but you can often sidle into some of New York’s impossible-to-get-into eateries without a reservation. Consider celebrating your singledom with cacio e pepe and a negroni at Via Carota or sitting at the bar at Eleven Madison Park for an abridged tasting menu or a martini and some snacks.
2. Go ice skating at one of New York’s outdoor rinks
Take it from a seasoned skater, hitting the ice is much better solo. No cutesy holding hands, no trying not to trip on your skating partner’s fumbles, just you and the open air, gliding down the ice at your own pace. Book a free reservation at Bryant Park’s ice skating rink or book time at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Pro Tip: Go early, while school is in session and many people are at work, if possible.
3. Indulge in a spa day
Treat yourself to full on pampering. Call in sick to work if you need, because your smartphone will be safe in a locker when you venture out to Spa Castle in Queens, luxuriate in the warm waters at Williamsburg’s Bathhouse or book a special treatment package at a luxury hotel like The Four Seasons New York or The Mandarin Oriental.
4. Visit a museum solo
A self-paced museum tour is an ideal way to celebrate your single status in NYC. No compromises on which museum to visit, no waiting for anyone to read the curator’s notes. Just you, some artifacts and plenty of quiet space to be with your favorite person’s thoughts, i.e., you. Make a day of it and bring a sketchpad, download an audio tour to listen to on headphones or museum hop down Fifth Avenue at your own pace.
5. Buy yourself flowers
Treat yourself to the beautiful bouquet of your choice at one of NYC’s best flower shops. If you feel like being a do-gooder, consider buying a second one to gift to a stranger who looks like they could use some perking up.
6. Splurge on a ticket to your must-see show
It may not be on V-Day, but there must be a Broadway musical, play or big concert in NYC this year that you’ll very much regret not seeing. Make a date with yourself to go do the darn thing, get that ticket and make yourself a self-love calendar invite for the upcoming performance.
7. Take your dog on a date
Single pet parents can embrace the day by doting on their four legged friends. Grab a coffee at Boris & Horton, a full-service dog-friendly cafe (with Wifi, if you must log in to work), explore the Museum of The Dog, browse the dog-friendly boutiques and department stores across Manhattan and even dine at an outdoor dog-friendly destination.
8. Get caviar delivered to your door
Staying in? Make your Monday takeout routine a little more indulgent with caviar service directly at your door. Marky’s Caviar, a third-generation caviar purveyor on Madison Avenue offers city-wide delivery of all its retail options, ranging from the Sterlet ($95/oz) to the Beluga ($830/oz). And yep, that entire jar is yours to smear on potato chips.
9. Find your next great read
Regardless of relationship status, reading is very much a solitary venture. Pick your next great literary love at one of the city’s best bookstores. Today may also be the perfect opportunity to meet fellow single book lovers in the aisles…
10. Go to the movies!
Yes, that new J Lo comedy is finally in theaters, but you get to pick the film and the snacks when you go to the movies solo. Check out dine-in theaters like Nitehawk, Syndicated and Alamo Drafthouse, where you can order from the menu as you screen. Make it a double features if you wish!
11. Treat yourself to a staycation
Escape your typical four walls for a night and sleep in a different neighborhood, your choice! Sink into that big hotel bed with room service and Netflix, soak in a bath, and just walk around a different area for a change of pace. Check out some of our favorite NYC hotels for ideas on where to stay, or wait to book until Valentine’s Day morning and see where you can snag a good deal! That’s the spontaneity of travel!
12. Star in your own photo shoot
Your feed may be overloaded with cutesy couple photos, wedding videos and so much cringe worthy professional content, but you can also be the star in your own single New York show! Hire a photographer to take some professional shots in front of your favorite NYC places to create your own Valentine to the city.
Being single doesn’t mean you have to be alone. Take advantage of all the time you have to yourself and focus on building a strong community. Leave friendly Valentine’s for your neighbors this year or make plans to hang out casually in the future. It’s nice to have acquaintances and even real life friends in your building so you’re not just endlessly orbiting around them and avoiding eye contact (guilty).
14. Make an NYC Bucket List
Head to your favorite local haunt—be it a diner, bar or cafe—and get out a pen and paper (or your notes app) and make the list that’s always lived rent free in your head. Write down everything you want to do in NY, whether it’s walking from the top to the bottom or Manhattan or trying every cheeseburger in the West Village, and start knocking items off. The best thing about this city is your list will certainly keep getting additions, which are just for you to do and love!
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.