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The Short Version: New Yorkers looking for an affordable and engaging date spot should consider visiting the Bronx Museum of the Arts. This contemporary art museum is open from Wednesday through Sunday until 6 p.m. (8 p.m. on Fridays) and admission is free, so it’s a perfect substitute for an expensive and crowded bar. Couples may also want to check out the museum’s calendar to find out about upcoming programs, events, and exhibitions that would make for interesting date night opportunities. Throughout the year, the Bronx Museum highlights local talent and international influences in the art world. Whether you book a self-guided tour, attend a slam poetry performance, or visit a cross-cultural exhibit, the Bronx Museum will give you plenty to ponder and discuss as you find commonality with your date.
When you’re taking someone special out on a date — especially if it’s a first date — you should look for a place that can help stimulate a conversation and make you both feel comfortable. A lot of people choose restaurants as their go-to date locales, but what if your plate of salmon and mashed potatoes doesn’t whip you into a talking frenzy? What if conversation topics run dry before you get past the appetizers?
Going out to dinner may be a dating standby, but, personally, I’d prefer to go somewhere that has more of a quiet and thoughtful atmosphere. Like a museum. Couples who go to the museum together are surrounded by things they can talk about, and it’s easy to keep the conversation going simply by saying, “What do you think of that piece?”
The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a community hub known for its diverse collection of over 1,000 works of art. It opens its doors at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday (excluding some major holidays) and offers free admission to visitors of all ages. After you tour the galleries, you can share a bite to eat at the museum’s XM Cafe, which sells light fare including sandwiches, cookies, and coffees.
If you want to take your date nights up a notch, you can visit the Bronx Museum during its exhibitions or special events. Its First Friday events, for instance, often feature live bands, hands-on activities, and educational presentations.
The museum often grabs attention through its impressive visual displays or moving live performances. You don’t have to be an art connoisseur to appreciate the work, creativity, and passion behind these original exhibits.
“Our mission is to connect with a diverse audience and do things at the museum that reflect the Bronx,” said Ayesha Akhtar, the Community Engagement and Marketing Associate at the Bronx Museum. “I think that makes us an amazing date spot.”
Since its founding in 1971, the Bronx Museum has welcomed people looking to engage their minds and their senses in a one-of-a-kind experience. For the past 30+ years, the museum has cultivated a reputation as an internationally recognized cultural destination.
“People come from all over the city and all over the world to visit our museum,” Ayesha said. “We see over 100,000 people a year.”
Visiting the Bronx Museum is an unforgettable experience from the moment you walk up to this visually stunning building. The former synagogue on 165th street has been converted into an iconic and modern centerpiece of the Bronx cityscape. Once inside, the museum’s spacious galleries, original artwork, and community atmosphere make guests feel at ease.
The Bronx Museum endeavors to make art accessible to everyone, and its budget-friendly options draw people to this thought-provoking destination.
You can become a member of the Bronx Museum to receive exclusive discounts and other privileges. The dual membership, which costs $85, is a great deal for couples who want to return again and again to the galleries. Membership includes access to members-only tours, VIP seating at public programs, and special preview events.
Membership events often draw a sophisticated crowd of art enthusiasts. As a card-carrying member of the Bronx Museum, you can enjoy exhibition tours, art fair tours, and private collection tours surrounded by an elite social circle.
The Bronx Museum always has something going on in its galleries. The space is designed to stimulate new ideas and support up-and-coming artists. Its seasonal exhibitions do a great job of showcasing a range of artistic points of view.
“We try to do exhibitions that speak to the community,” Ayesha said. “We have a few really wonderful exhibitions coming up.”
In the summer of 2018, the Bronx Museum will unveil a few noteworthy exhibitions worth a visit. “Dialogues: Tim Rollins & K.O.S. and Glenn Ligon” will run from May 16 to July 15 and offers visitors a look at the parallels between artists Tim Rollins & K.O.S. and Glenn Ligon. This exhibition is meant to showcase how different works of art can influence one another and create a dialogue about slavery and race relations in the US.
In July, an exhibit titled “Manuel Mendive: Nature, Spirit, and Body” will feature the recent works of Afro-Cuban artist Manuel Mendive, who’s considered to be the most important Cuban artist alive today. “At the Bronx Museum, Mendive will present a new body of works focused on his continued interest in Yoruba mythology, pondering on man’s relationship with nature and spirituality,” according to the museum’s website.
The museum’s many exhibits can help you start a dialogue with that special someone about topics that interest you. It’s easy to find common ground with someone in this setting. The cross-cultural displays transcend borders and boundaries to bring people together through shared ideas, impulses, and inspiration.
Thousands of people stop by the Bronx Museum not knowing what the expect, and they often come away wowed by the experience.
On a cold day in January, Lawrence R. decided to take his date to the Bronx Museum. “Living in Queens, the Bronx typically wouldn’t be my destination for a date,” he said, “but admission was free, and I love art museums.”
Lawrence said the approachable atmosphere drew him and his date in. He said they spent an hour walking through the galleries and viewing thousands of works of art. “I agree with the consensus that it’s a ‘hidden gem,'” Lawrence said in his Yelp review.
“Beautiful, intimate, approachable space with tons of free programming.” — Andrew L., a Yelp reviewer
“A nice museum with some interesting art pieces and welcoming staff,” said Giacomo C. “If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s well worth a stop.”
Whether you come with a date or by yourself, you can spend a few hours relaxing in a peaceful setting removed from the fast-paced city.
“The Bronx Museum of the Arts was the perfect place for me to be with me,” said Keke L. on TripAdvisor. “I loved it. The space is open and airy. It’s big, yet intimate… it was quiet, mostly, and I got lost in my thoughts at times.”
The dinner-and-movie date routine can grow stale for singles and couples who go out a lot, so a museum can offer a refreshing change of pace. Instead of staring at your plates and having to come up with icebreakers on your own, you can set your sights a little higher and point out eye-catching works of art that offer built-in conversation starters.
The Bronx Museum of the Arts is a popular date venue for couples of all ages because it doesn’t cost anything to stroll through the galleries and learn about modern art and culture. You can connect with your partner by sharing your thoughts about a certain piece of artwork or exhibition, and it’s a low-pressure space to have a discussion and build bonds.
“I think it’s really important to have institutions like the Bronx Museum in the community,” Ayesha said. “It gives people access to the art world.”