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How to Spend the Ultimate Valentine’s Day at Rockefeller Center

By Emmie Murphy & Paulina CajigalFeb 1 2023
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Window displays are awash in pink and red, Cupid cut-outs dangle from ceilings, and heart-shaped Reese’s are back in stock… which means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Whether you're spending the day with your beloved, a good friend, or going stag, Rockefeller Center can keep you entertained all day (and all month) long.

From bountiful bouquets to love-themed cocktails and art exhibits, here’s how to enjoy the perfect New York City Valentine’s Day — without ever leaving the Midtown campus. While you’re here, take a look at Rockefeller Center’s new Under 30 program, a list of special offerings (all under $30) available throughout the Rink Level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

10 am: Get moving with help from Café Grumpy

Find it on the Rink level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza

Don’t let the name fool you, Café Grumpy will put a pep in your step in no time. Start things off on the right foot with a heartbreaker espresso shot to get you energized for the day ahead, or buy a 20-ounce bag of heartbreaker beans for that special, caffeine-loving someone.

Now that you’re wide awake, it’s time to…

10:15 am: Pick up some stems at Flower Girl

Stay on the Rink level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza

Flower Girl has the perfect bouquet on lock with their Valentine’s Day bundles. Keep it timeless with the Classic — elegant red roses available in bunches of one, two, and three dozen. If petals express what words can’t, Flower Girl also offers 100, 250, and 500-stem bouquets with roses in the color of your choice. For those looking to spice up the traditional arrangement, opt for the Wild Rose, a variety of pink and red roses entwined with jasmine vine.

And for some other last-minute gifts…

10:30 am: Shop around at Apotheke and Hill House Home

Stay on the Rink Level to shop at Apotheke, then head outside toward the Channel Gardens on the corner of 50th Street and 6th Avenue to find Hill House Home

Whether perusing for yourself or a loved one, shopping at Rockefeller Center is as varied as the city itself. Set the day’s mood with some candles from Apotheke or try on some pieces from Hill House Home’s Love Letters capsule, a collection made with a romantic postcard-inspired print.

If all that shopping worked up an appetite…

12:15 pm: Fill up with a meal at 21 Greenpoint

Head back to the Rink Level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza

It’s been said that food is a universal love language and, if that’s true, there’s no better time to indulge. 21 Greenpoint’s New American cuisine is the perfect place to carbo-load and get some much-needed fuel for the day ahead. The restaurant has plenty of meals that are great for sharing, including its popular made-to-order nachos.

For some fresh air…

1:30 pm: Take a spin on The Rink

You don’t have to travel far to find The Rink; just walk through the Rink Level doors

Just imagine you and your special someone holding hands on the ice, in the heart of New York City. The Rink’s picturesque backdrop sets the stage for love, just like a scene from your favorite romance movie. Extend the adventure with a VIP ticket; it includes a longer skate time and a complimentary hot beverage at The Rink Lounge.

For some personal conversations…

3:30 pm: Check out some art at Girl Knew York

Walk one block over to 51st Street

There’s no better way to get to know someone on a deeper level than intimate discussions about love. Girl Knew York’s Valentine’s Day-inspired exhibit Handle with Care explores how love prompts us to treat people, ideas, and things with care. It opens on February 9 with a celebratory shindig from 6 pm to 8:30 pm.

To up the romance…

4:30 pm: Enjoy a winter sunset at Top of the Rock

Find it a block over on 50th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues

Top of the Rock is one of the best places to take in the expanse of the city. Not only can visitors enjoy sweeping views, but they can also experience a new interactive art series titled New Frontiers. Featuring work from emerging New York artists, the rotating installation allows you to discover the history and future of art, technology, and entertainment in the city — and your role in shaping it.

Artist Diana Sinclair’s exhibit invites guests to take a digital portrait that will become a part of a lasting collage on the 67th floor of Top of the Rock; and Breakfast Studios’ kinetic flip-disk sculpture will come to life as it captures guests’ unique movements in front of the art, which are saved and replayed throughout the day.

To top off the day…

5:30 pm: Take home some bubbles from Boisson

Head back to the Rink Level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza

February 14 wouldn’t be complete without some bubbles. But for those who don’t imbibe, check out Boisson’s wide selection of non-alcoholic sparkling wines. If you prefer still over sparkling, Boisson offers alcohol-free red and white wines, too.

Before you head out…

5:45 pm: Unwind with a dinner at Jupiter

Stay on the Rink Level of 30 Rockefeller Plaza

After a jam-packed day of shopping and sightseeing, put your feet up at Jupiter. The Italian restaurant’s perfect Valentine’s Day meal for two includes linguine all’aragosta, a decadent tiramisu to share, and the Pluto & Proserpina, a gin and amaro-based pomegranate cocktail you’ll probably want a second round of.

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