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(credit: Downtown Boathouse)

Spring has arrived, and that means love is in the air. Whether you’re going on a first date or you’re looking for a fun night out without the kids, here are eight ways to have some fun in NYC. By Carly Petrone.

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(credit: Instagram/extractionlab)

Alpha Dominche Extraction Lab

51 35th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11232

More: Best Coffee Shops In NYC

If you want to spruce up your average coffee date, then make your way over to the Alpha Dominche Extraction Lab in Brooklyn’s Industry City. This filter-only café offers a wide range of coffees and teas that are made-to-order using their STEAMPUNK single-cup brewers. The 2,000-square-foot space is designed to encourage education and interaction, so don’t be afraid to ask questions about all of their different brewing and roasting techniques. Each beverage served at the Extraction Lab will be presented on a tray with a small note from the brewer that explains the origins of the coffee or tea, its taste notes, and the profiles the drinker can expect from the coffee. What a great conversation starter! It’s definitely a fun and interactive way to get to know your date between sips. Lab is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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(credit: MOFAD)

Museum of Food & Drink

62 Bayard St.
Brooklyn, NY

Exploring Williamsburg: Eat, See And Play

Calling all foodie couples! Did you know that there is a Museum of Food & Drink to explore in Brooklyn? Yep, MOFAD is located in the heart of Williamsburg, and it hosts an array of public programs like cooking classes, guided tastings, hands-on workshops, science demos, discussions, and seminars.

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(credit: Facebook/LitPubCrawls)

Literary Pub Crawl

White Horse Tavern
567 Hudson St.
New York, NY
212-613-5796

More: Best Themed Bars In NYC

Hit the streets with the folks from Literary Pub Crawl. Sign up for their Greenwich Village tour and learn about the homes of some of the most revolutionary American writers, musicians, and commentators from the past 100 years. You’ll get to stop off at a few pubs along the way to discuss what really happened when these influential figures took a break. Tours run from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and tickets are $30, $25 for students.

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(credit: NoMo SoHo)

NoMo Kitchen

9 Crosby St.
New York, NY
646-218-6400

More: Best Spring Cocktail Menus

Grab a bite to eat and a crafty cocktail at The NoMo Kitchen inside the NoMo SoHo. This hotel dining room is the perfect spot for a romantic date, thanks to its all-glass ceiling lined with beautiful chandeliers. The space is also surrounded by plenty of greenery and hanging plants, giving it more of an outdoor feel. The room is bright and airy during the day, and provides ideal mood lighting once the sun sets. Sip on a sexy cocktail by mixologist Xavier Herit and pair it with a fresh farm-to-table dish from new executive chef Gary King.

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(credit: Facebook/NorthRiverLobsterCompany)

North River Lobster Company

Pier 81
W. 41st St. and 12th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
212-630-8831

More: Best Night Cruises In NYC

Set sail with your sweetheart this spring aboard the North River Lobster Company! Starting April 14,  you can hop onto a 1-hour cruise that’ll take you along Manhattan’s West Side. Grab a seat up on the expansive roof deck and nosh on summer favorites like lobster rolls, a raw bar boat, and burgers. Wash it all down with a bucket of beer, a glass of rose, or a mouthwatering cocktail. Cruise leaves from Pier 81 and there is a $10 fee to sail.

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(credit: BARC)

Volunteer To Walk A Dog

86 N 1st St.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
718-486-7489

More: NYC’s Best Pet-Friendly Restaurants

If you’re both dog lovers, then stop by the BARC Shelter in Brooklyn and show off your softer side by volunteering to walk one of their rescue dogs. No appointment necessary — just show up during their morning (Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.) or evening (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) slots and go explore the neighborhood with your new furry friend. There is a 30-minute max so the two of you will still have plenty of time to grab a drink or a bite to eat after.

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(credit: Instagram/cookiedonyc)

550 LaGuardia Pl.
New York, NY
646-892-3600

More: Best Ice Cream Shops in NYC 

If you can handle waiting in line (hey, it’s a great way to get to know your date, right?) then definitely share some cookie dough over at . Bond over your love of sugar with an ice cream sundae, an ice cream sandwich, or a cookie DŌ milkshake, made with vanilla ice cream and your choice of cookie dough flavor. If you want to remember your date, take home a Bite Box or Tasting Pack. You can even send your date an 8 oz. container of his/her favorite flavor if you really want to win some brownie points.

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(credit: Downtown Boathouse)

Free Kayaking

Pier 26
New York, NY

More: Best Outdoor Water Sports In NYC

Paddle along the harbor from the New York City Downtown Boathouse and enjoy the view together. All you have to do is sign a waiver and wear a life jacket and you’re good to go. Enjoy this 20-minute excursion (or longer, if no one is waiting) and get a taste of outdoor living. If you feel like you may need a lesson, the NYCDB offers public classes on everything from what to do if you capsize, to how to paddle in the water. Think you’re ready for a longer trip? Show up at Pier 96 on Saturdays at 8 a.m. and let a guide take you along a five-mile trip along the river. Free kayaking is along Pier 26 open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays, 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tue/Wed/Thu evenings.

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(credit: Aunt Jake’s)

Aunt Jake’s

151 Mulberry St.
New York, NY 646-858-0470

More: NYC’s Best Family-Style Italian Restaurants

Foodie couples can now sign up to take homemade pasta making classes at Aunt Jake’s. Head down to Little Italy and let Executive Chef Carmine Di Giovanni teach you how to create everything from pappardelle to garganelli. Not only will you get to make your own dough by hand but you’ll also get to roll it out using a traditional pasta machine. Cut out fun shapes using pasta rollers or take a stab at using your hands to create traditional shapes like farfalle (bowtie). The best part? You can dive into your freshly prepared meal at the end of class – just add your choice of Arrabiata or “Broken Meatball” sauce. Of course, taking it to-go and saving it for a more intimate one-on-one date at home is another option. Classes are $25/person and start at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. See website for more details.

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Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City. Follow her @petronerocks.

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