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5 Ways to Impress Your Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day in New York City

winter in NYC

Romance and snow are in the air. As I write Pace ELI’s latest blog entry, New York is getting its first winter snow storm.

Can you imagine how beautifully romantic New York is in the snow? Study at the Pace University’s English Language Institute and experience it for yourself. Now, visualize our romantic city on Valentine’s Day…florist windows filled with red roses, heart shaped candy boxes and sweet greeting cards in hand as couples run off for a special night, the streets aglow in red decorations.

Today is Valentine’s Day is filled with passion and starry-eyed love but that was not always the case.

A short Valentine’s Day history lesson traces its origins to an ancient Roman festival known as the Feast of Lupercalia that had a fascinating custom where the names of young Roman girls were written on a slip of paper and placed into jars. Each young man pulled out a girl’s name from the jar and was paired with the girl for the festival. Often, the couple would fall in love and later marry while others would stay together only for the duration of the festival.

The Empire State Building literally glows for Valentine’s Day

The name Valentine came from a priest who secretly married couples after a Roman emperor banned marriage (he thought that if men were not married, they would be more likely to join the army!). When the emperor discovered these clandestine weddings, he put Valentine to death on February 14th around 270AD. Some years after his death, Valentine was named a Saint.

Over time, the day grew in popularity and couples began to exchange love notes called “Valentines”. Today, Valentine’s Day cards, candy, roses and if you are lucky, jewelry are gifted.

#1 Take a Cruise

cruise dining nyc

Yes, February is cold in New York but how romantic would it be to sail the Hudson River and take in Manhattan’s glittery skyline while enjoying dinner and drinks. You may even catch a fireworks display.


#2 Dine in the Dark

dine in the dark nyc

One restaurant asks guests to open their minds instead of their eyes. Couples dine blindfolded and focus their culinary experience on taste, smell, sound and touch.


#3 Love in Times Square

x marks the spot times square

Times Square, best known for New Year’s Eve festivities, gives couples the opportunity to renew their vows, propose or get married in front of a Valentine display. This year’s sculpture, which is Reddymade’s “X” explores the meaning of private and public love, interpersonal relationships and civic engagement. Come to where X marks the spot and witness the goings-on for yourself.


#4 Share a Heart-Shaped Pizza

heart shaped pizza nyc

Love pizza? Several New York pizza hot spots serve heart-shaped pies. Even local places will make them upon request. What a cute and inexpensive way to impress your sweetheart!


#5 Classic Carriage Ride through Central Park

carriage ride in Central park NYC

Take a cozy carriage ride through Central Park. If you are lucky it will be snowing and the park with look like a Winter wonderland.


snow in NYC

Speaking of snow, it has finally stopped snowing here. It’s time to play. Are you up for a snow ball fight or building a snowman? Come to New York and I’ll show you how it is done! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Does this sound like fun? Come to New York to study English: visit the ELI website, contact the ELI or apply here.


Word List:

  • visualize (v.) imagine
  • aglow (adj.) shiny, bright
  • starry-eyed (adj.) dreamy, happy
  • traces (v.) to find
  • slip (n.) piece of paper
  • clandestine (adj.) secret, covert
  • wistful (adj.) thoughtful
  • bizarre (adj.) strange
  • blindfolded (v.) to cover eyes with a scarf
  • culinary (adj.) cooking
  • vows (n.) promise
  • civic (adj.) public
  • goings-on (n.) activities
  • cozy (adj.) warm and comfortable

WRITTEN BY LISA KRAFT