Light date ideas near grand central?
March 12, 2014 8:40 AM   Subscribe

First date in NYC, near grand central and the Bryant park area, weekend afternoon. Likes: animals, theatre, the arts, books. Fun and interactive things would be especially welcome. Suggestions?
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron to Human Relations (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Grand Central / Bryant Park are actually not that far from the Central Park Zoo - it's small and manageable and definitely interactive (Rainforest birds land on your coat! feed the goats at the Children's zoo!!!)
posted by Mchelly at 8:48 AM on March 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

What about walking over to the Drama Bookshop on the West Side? It's the ideal length of walk for some good chatting, there's a fun but no-pressure destination, and plenty of opportunity to stop for coffee or a snack or a drink or otherwise extend the date if you're having fun.

Also, you'll have to pass through Times Square, which will give you something in common to bitch about (always a good bonding exercise).
posted by Sara C. at 8:49 AM on March 12, 2014

The Morgan Library and Museum hits a couple of your spots, plus it's not usually on anyone's radar.

Pershing Square is right there, for a late weekend breakfast. Not too expensive (by NY standards) and they have a brunch menu.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:50 AM on March 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's also The Red Caboose - it's a model train store that's been there since the 40's, back when 45th street was (apparently) the Model Train District. The owner is generally on-premise, it's packed with an insane selection of model trains from all eras and countries, and is one of those only-in-New York places that are fast disappearing. They're open Saturdays but closed Sundays.
posted by Mchelly at 8:55 AM on March 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Morgan Library is very cool, I particularly like the contrast between the preserved office/library of JP Morgan and the attached modern museum space (which has a neat Saint-Exupéry exhibit right now!). It's also open til 6 on the weekends, a bit later than some other museums in the city. I know you said this was a weekend date but for future reference admission is free from 7-9 on Fridays, which makes it a fun place to pop into after dinner on a Friday night.

Also maybe this is too obvious but the main branch of the NY Public Library (aka the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building) with the famous lion sculptures and so on is right next to Bryant Park. They have events and exhibitions. The nearby Mid-Manhattan branch does as well, though those seem more adult ed and less date-ish.
posted by Wretch729 at 9:27 AM on March 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Central Park Zoo is a great weekend afternoon date if you want to walk that far. If your date is at all an Asiaphile, maybe consider a stop at Kinokuniya, an outstanding three-level Japanese bookstore across Sixth Avenue from Bryant Park. Lots of manga, of course, but plenty of other stuff as well in both English and Japanese, including an interesting selection of art and photography books. There's a small café upstairs with Asian food, bubble tea, etc. They also have some toys, DVDs, CDs, stationery, etc.
posted by Mothlight at 12:16 PM on March 12, 2014

Central Park Zoo was a favorite destination back in my dating days. You can take the uptown bus if it's raining or it's cold, and the animals will love it if you do.
posted by monospace at 1:15 PM on March 12, 2014

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