No city does winter like NYC—there are plenty of museums, restaurants and attractions to keep you out of the cold and immersed in art, culture and entertainment. For LGBTQ+ visitors looking for warm and cozy romantic outings, we present our list of five adorable date ideas; they include a classic take on dinner and a show, new museum exhibits and even an offbeat drag performance.
Warhol in The Village
Since the opening of the new Andy Warhol exhibit at The Whitney, photos of the queer icon’s art have flooded our Instagram feeds with FOMO-inducing shots. So we thought it would be the perfect indoor date for a chilly afternoon. The Whitney’s sleek, modern building, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, towers over the uber-fashionable Meatpacking District. Afterward, take a quick stroll through the neighborhood and stop in for a quick dinner at the nearby Village Den, owned by Queer Eye’s dreamy food expert, Antoni Porowski.
Queer photographer Robert Mapplethorpe remains one of the most controversial and polarizing American artists. He made his name with black-and-white depictions of nudes, BDSM and other outré subjects—work that some considered obscene. He’s getting a major exhibit at The Guggenheim, which will start late January and run for a year. After a few hours browsing the show, take a short cab ride across Central Park to Joanne Trattoria, an Italian eatery on the Upper West Side owned by Lady Gaga’s parents and Oprah’s former personal chef, Art Smith.
Elton Comes to Brooklyn
On March 8 and 9, Elton John visits Barclays Center to reclaim his title as the gay godfather of pop music. This two-night event is one of the most hotly anticipated local LGBTQ+ events of the year (note, he’s also playing earlier in the week at Madison Square Garden). Picture this: you meet your date for a meal at Ugly Baby, the hottest new Thai joint in Carroll Gardens, and just as you’re finishing dessert, you surprise him/her/them with two tickets to Elton Freakin’ John! Dress cute and, more important, get your tickets now and make your dinner reservations early.
Dinner and a Downtown Show
One of our favorite late-night winter dates is to get all dressed up and have dinner at the sexy Narcissa, the trendy restaurant inside The Standard East Village. Located off Astor Place, the restaurant has earned raves for its farm-focused take on New American food. Later, you can stay out all-night at Club Cumming, one of the East Village’s most beloved gay boites, owned by Alan Cumming. There’s always something happening at this intimate cabaret, which has DJs most nights and a variety of events including Viva La Diva, a hilarious drag show.
A night at the theater is a tried-and-true date option. This winter, there’s no shortage of fabulous shows that hold appeal. We suggest tickets to Disney’s insta-classic Frozen, but you can also try long-running sensations like Wicked and The Book of Mormon, brand-new LGBTQ+ hit The Prom and The Cher Show, which celebrates the eponymous gay icon. Post-show, walk a few blocks west to Joe Allen, a Theatre District institution known for its hearty fare, classic cocktails and walls adorned with posters of Broadway’s biggest flops. Try its famed meatloaf or banana cream pie, and then dance off the carbs in a Hell’s Kitchen bar or club—there are a dozen or so good options to choose from.