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Posted: Oct 05, 2017

22 Places to Go When You Need a Non-Drinking Night

We’re all about the cocktails that required degrees in mixology and are worth the 20-minute wait and pretty penny. We love kitschy saloons, fancy hotel lounges and floating bars. We’re New Yorkers in relationships who want to take full advantage of the “only in New York” watering holes that make us feel like we're doing the utmost job of exploring the city.

But sometimes, we need to not drink, ya know? And even more than that, sometimes it’s fun to play together like kids without any adult juice involved. The next time you’re both sitting on the couch on a Friday or Saturday night, wondering what you should do that won’t result in a 12-hour hangover the next day, turn to this list.

Almost all the featured spots in this round-up are reviewed comprehensively by our very own couples, so you’ll know everything you need to know before you step out the door.

Below, the best non-drinking places to go in New York City. Now go get your night, ya crazy kids.



01

Alamo Drafthouse / Dekalb Market Hall

Downtown Brooklyn

01

Start at Dekalb Market Hall — where you can pick between Singaporean street food, smoothies, Mexican, or pretty much anything else — then head up the escalator to Alamo Drafthouse to watch a film (and continue your eating rampage from the comfort of your seats — maybe dessert this time?)

02

Brookfield Place

Fidi

Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place is not just a glorified mall (though it does have awesome shopping if you're in need of retail therapy), they also have evening concerts and events on a regular basis.

03

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Prospect Heights / Crown Heights

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Prospect Heights / Crown Heights

The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are obviously stunning during the day (especially in the fall), but they also have adult workshops and evening events that make it worth the trek out there. From Japanese tea ceremonies to workshops that teach you how to use wild root medicine to support your health and mind-calming herbal remedies for insomnia, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are a great destination for getting back to nature, together.

04

Brooklyn Bowl

Williamsburg

04

Live music and bowling. Good old-fashioned fun the way our grandparents did it. Kind of. Maybe there weren't as many strobe lights.

05

Café Hopping

Café Hopping

You heard it here first, folks. We think this could be more fun than bar hopping. If you and yours appreciate a good cup of joe, we promise a coffeeshop-hopping spree will be an adventure. We even wrote an entire guide dedicated to all the ones you probably don't know. Definitely don't miss Hi-Collar, Devocíon or Caffe Reggio.

06

Dumbo Boulders

Dumbo

Dumbo Boulders

Dumbo

Open until 9 p.m., you'll be able to climb the walls and watch the sunset over the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline all at the same time. Definitely for the active, "not afraid of heights" couple. We recommend grabbing a bite here after.

07

Dumpling Crawl

07

Though similar to the cafe crawl above, this crawl may make you a bit sleepier after two or three stops. Sophie and Chris turned us onto the idea of dumpling crawls (specifically the Joe's Shanghai, Xi'an Famous Foods 1-2 punch) and now we're all about it. Other notable mentions include Golden Unicorn and Little Kung Fu Steamed Buns.

08

Escape The Room

Escape The Room

Escape the Room: for when you want to make or break your relationship while being terrified and solving a mystery in one hour. No, but really, it's so fun.

09

Fat Cat

West Village

Fat Cat

West Village

Fat Cat boasts nightly live jazz music, board games, pool, pingpong, shuffleboard — and yes, there are drinks, but clearly you don't need them to have a good time here.

10

Feinsteins/54 Below

Midtown

10

Dinner theater! If you love Broadway show tunes, stellar food and a night of listening to incredibly talented performers, you will love 54 Below. My boyfriend and I certainly had a great time — listen to our review to hear where we hung out with the performers after the show.

11

Hayden Planetarium

Upper West Side

Hayden Planetarium

The Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History has a series of events and programs throughout the year. Coming up is Astronomy Live: Spooky Astronomy for Halloween. But any night of the year, this place will take your breath away.

12

Jane's Carousel

Downtown Brooklyn

Jane's Carousel

Downtown Brooklyn

A beautifully restored carousel from 1922, Jane's is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park and is especially gorgeous at night when all lit up and looking out over the water. Plus, tickets are just $2.

13

Madison Square Park / Hudson Pier / The New York City Park Department In General

13

Leslie Knope would be proud of all the fantastic events and happenings the parks put on across the city. Literally anything from outdoor movie screenings to yoga to concerts, swing dancing, fall festivals and more. Check out their full calendar at the parks closest to you here.

14

Go To A Magic Show

Go To A Magic Show

If you didn't know (that's why we're here!), there are several magic shows in the city worth checking out. Monday Night Magic is every Monday night at The Players Theater on MacDougal street (it's been running since 1997!) In and Of Itself is more of an illusionist/theater performance. Both will leave you speechless.

15

Nitehawk Cinema

Williamsburg

Nitehawk Cinema

Williamsburg

Nitehawk, similar to Alamo Drafthouse, also lets you order any kind of food and libation directly to your seat while you watch a movie. They have great midnight screenings, special events and more. We love a whole bunch of movie theaters though, so check out our full list here.

16

People's Improv Theater or Upright Citizen's Brigade

16

Though a lot of comedy clubs have a 2-drink minimum — these two do not, so the temptation of a drink won’t even be on the table. No pun intended. They do have lobby bars, however, if you want a drink on your next visit. Their improv shows are often free/cheap and showcase great new talent. You never know when you'll see the next Amy Poehler. Check UCB's lineup here, and the PIT's lineup here.

17

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

Gowanus

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

If you’re the kind of couple that likes a little friendly competition, look no further than The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club.Sophie & Chris made it a 3-stop "swamp date" if you're in the Gowanus area.

18

Rubin Museum of Art

Chelsea / West Village

Rubin Museum of Art

Chelsea / West Village

Every Friday night, the Rubin Museum puts on a cabaret cinema event where they screen films based around a theme. They have all sorts of other events that you can see on their calendar here.

19

See A Show

19

Broadway, off-broadway, off-off-broadway — there are so many fantastic shows to choose from in New York. We recommend perusing TodayTix for a great deal (and the chance to win tickets from their lottery system!) This season, we're excited for The Parisian Woman starring Uma Thurman, Time and the Conways, The Play That Goes Wrong, and Tiny Beautiful Things starring Nia Vardalos.

20

The Museum of Sex

Flatiron

The Museum of Sex

Open late on Friday and Saturday nights until 11 p.m., The Museum of Sexis a fascinating exhibit, especially when checking it out with your S.O. Warning though, this aphrodisiac-like experience may have lasting effects.

21

Troy Liquor Bar

Chelsea

Troy Liquor Bar

Chelsea

We know, we know. This place literally has liquor in the name. But, you do not have to order drinks. You can play pool and all sorts of games and have a good ol’ fashioned Middle School basement party. And that's a great night in our book.

22

Veniero’s Pasticceria

22

And last but certainly not least, we always consider a quick dessert jaunt out of the apartment a perfectly acceptable date night. Veniero’s is up to the task of satisfying your sweet tooth — it’s Victoria and Graig’s favorite post-dinner dessert in all of New York. Other (very) notable mentions: Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side and Butterlane Cupcakes in the East Village.

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