Valentine's Day may be an overly pink, Hallmark-perpetuated hypefest, but it's also a great excuse for a night of unabashed romance. Make your sweetheart feel special with a fabulous New York Valentine's Day.
The Valentine's Day Gifts
- Flowers are a sure bet to impress the ladies. Check out Flowers of the World for truly unique arrangements that she won't forget. But in this economy, it truly is the thought that counts, so a modest bodega bouquet and a heartfelt note will do almost as well.
- Show your caring and humanitarian side with a gift that makes the world a better place. Sponsor a Kiva loan in your Valentine's name and provide $25 or more to help change someone's life. To impress an animal-loving paramour, consider sponsoring a rescued cow, pig, sheep, goat, or chicken who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s three shelters in New York and California. Sponsorships start at $25 and each includes an adoption certificate, a photo of your animal, and the opportunity to visit the sanctuary and meet your adopted friend.
- Gifts from the Apple store will wow dates of any gender. Why not load his iPod with romantic songs chosen just for him from iTunes? Or spend a little more and spring for a new iPad or iPod and get free laser engraving of your personal message and free signature gift wrapping.
- Turn up the heat this Valentine's Day with some sexy toys from The Pleasure Chest. Who needs flowers when you can give your Valentine a gift that keeps on giving? There are options for every budget -- from the $29.95 Night of Romance kit to the $189.95 dual-motor luxury vibrator. The personal shoppers at The Pleasure Chest are trained to help you pick out the perfect gift without making you blush.
- Give your Valentine some naughty ideas with Sexy Slang's Bedroom Challenge, a fun little book of ideas for spicing things up all year 'round. Sexy Slang also has cute tees for your favorite stud muffin or hot chick.
- If your love loves New York, why not get her an NYC-themed gift for Valentine's Day? The Central Park Conservancy offers some unique gift ideas including ties and scarves featuring a map of Central Park and a charm bracelet with charms that depict park landmarks like the Bethesda fountain, the Balto statue, the Imagine mosaic and more. Order online or stop by the Dairy Visitor Center & Gift Shop in Central Park at East 65th Street just off the East Drive.
- Arrange a special adventure for your Valentine through Great American Days. Valentine's Day specials include a Flavors of New York Food Tour and a Sunset Harbor Tall Ship experience for 10% off (starting at $20).
- Splurge on a night at one of New York's most romantic restaurants.
- Need more options? We've got 20 great Valentine's Day special deals and prix fixe menus -- from bargains for recession romantics to unique offerings from NYC's top restaurants.
- If your sugar pie is a true New York foodie, an amazing menu will make more of an impact than candlelight and roses. Book a table at one of Zagat's favorite New York restaurants and your date will be swooning before dessert.
- Nothing says love like a home-cooked meal. Whip up an intimate nosh at home. And don't forget dessert! Pick up some decadent chocolate to get the endorphins going or stop by your favorite local bakery for yummy homemade cookies or cakes.
The Romantic New York Valentine's Day Outing
- Carriage Ride in Central Park -- The picturesque carriage ride in Central Park is not just for tourists and romantic-comedy heroines. Snuggle under a blanket with your sweetie in the moonlight. Canoodle to the clop-clop of horse's hooves as you view the city from a more romantic perspective. A 20-minute ride should cost you about $20-$30 plus tip.
- The Scenic New York Kiss -- Enjoy a memorable kiss on Valentine's Day in one of the city's most romantic locations. There's the top of the Empire State Building, naturally, where you can make like Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr (or Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Also included in a recent Daily News list of the best kissing spots in New York are the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink, The Cloisters, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Just try to keep it PG-13 until you get home.