Renderings courtesy of Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho with Formlabs

Every year, we look for all the other possible Valentine’s Day activities we can suggest to our readers. This year’s lineup looks particularly “untapped” with activities ranging from a tour of the Digester Eggs at Newtown Creek to an exploration inside Ellis Island’s abandoned hospital. Here’s what’s in store:

1. Cocktail Hour at the American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is hosting a cocktail hour inside the Cullman Hall of the Universe, complete with an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, chocolates and music by the Josh Rutner Quartet. If that’s not enough, AMNH will also offer an unbeatable view of the night sky in the Hayden Planetarium, accompanied by romance stories “from the ancient past.”
Book your tickets for the 6:30pm event, as the 9pm is already sold out!

2. Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Hospital at Ellis Island

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The abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex—once the standard for United States medical care (and later transformed to the FBI headquarters when the island served as a detention center)—has been left to decay for nearly 60 years. Now, Untapped Cities is bringing you behind-the-scenes for a unique exploration of the abandoned facility; on this experience, you’ll visit the contagious disease wards, the autopsy rooms and have exclusive access to places usually closed to the public.
Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital
While Ellis Island has become one of New York City’s top tourist attractions, drawing over two million visitors per year, the 22-building South Side hospital complex is hidden in plain sight, just to the left of disembarking passengers headed towards the Great Hall. Looking at its desolate, skeletal frame now, it’s difficult to imagine its backstory as one of the largest public health undertakings in American history. Join us for our upcoming hard hat tour in February, guided by a Save Ellis Island docent, where we’ll uncover its many, buried secrets.
Check out all of our Behind the Scenes Tours.

3. 2018 Cupid Undie Run

If you got a rush from the Coney Island Polar Bear Swim, make sure to join the Cupid Undie Run, which takes place  good cause: the Children’s Tumor Foundation. This year, the event takes place on February 10, kicking off at Stage 48 with a bit of drinking and dancing before the run takes place around Pier 84. Following your jog, join an epic (dance) party back at Stage 48.

4. NYC Parks Valentine’s Day Gala

NYC Parks is hosting an evening of dance in celebration of Valentine’s Day! Dress to impress and head to the recreation center in Highbridge Park for the gala, which will take place from 6pm to 8:30pm on February 9. Make sure to RVSP for the free event here.

5. Movie Series at Nitehawk Cinema

Photo courtesy Nitehawk Cinema

Cinephiles should head to Nitehawk Cinema on Valentine’s Day: the dine-in theater isn’t just screening romantic flicks on the 14th; it’s doing so all month long. Check out the line up here, which includes movies like Groundhog Day, Brokeback Mountain and Casablanca.

6. Love at the Tenement

Photo courtesy the Tenement Museum

The Tenement Museum is hosting “Love at the Tenement” on February 9. The event and guided tour will focus on the stories of former tenants who have found and experienced love. Listen to captivating tales about scandals, young love and second changes, while learning about marriage traditions in the 19th and early 20th centuries. You’ll also get to indulge in sweet treats. Find out more information here.

7. Museum of the City of New York After Hours Tour

Inside Port City, 1609-1898. Photo by Filip Wolak courtesy MCNY

On February 14th, take an after-hours tour through New York at Its Core to discover the weird, the cool, the famous, and the infamous sites of romance in this fabled city. There is a $100 fee ($85 for Museum members)for two tickets that includes Museum admission, a guided tour, and a champagne toast in the Museum’s rotunda, under Starlight.
Space is limited, so make sure to register ahead of time here. As a teaser, check out 10 highlights of the exhibit.

8. Movie Night at the Metrograph

Head to the Metrograph, an independent cinema on Ludlow, for a 4-course, prix-fixe dinner, which comes with two signature cocktails. You can treat yourself or a loved one to a meal (Lamb’s Lettuce with corned duck breast, Candele Terrine or Timpano with Pheasant, and Angel Food or Flourless Chocolate Cake), paried with one of six romantic, cult classic films that will be screening at various times throughout the day.
The Valentine’s Day film series runs from February 9 to February 14. Get your tickets here.

9. Take a Tour of the Digester Eggs at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant

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What’s more romantic than sludge and wastewater treatment? This annual tour at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Digester Eggs takes place three times a year (in February, April and October). It’s an extremely popular event, and always a hoot. We took it in 2016, and received a great overview of the process by NYC Department of Environmental Protection staff that work at the plant. Plus, you also get to head up to the glass walkways of the award winning eggs, where you’ll have an unobstructed view of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
The next tour will take place at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm on February 10, and registration is open two weeks prior. We recommend joining the evening tour to see the digester eggs lit up. For more information, click here.

10. Times Square Heart Installation

Renderings courtesy of Aranda\Lasch + Marcelo Coelho with Formlabs

Times Square Valentine Heart Design will soon be on view at the center of the Crossroads of the World. This year’s winner is Window to the Heart, a 12-foot in diameter Fresnel lens sculpture created by Aranda\Lasch design studio and computation artist Marcelo Coelho. The stunning piece will be unveiled on February 1st at 11am at Father Duffy Square (between 46th and 47th Streets), where it will remain on view for the month of February.
Described as the world’s largest lens, Window to the Heart was designed with Formlabs, a 3D-printing manufacturer. When installed, its unique shape and reflective surface will capture and distort the image of Times Square. It will also feature a heart-shaped window at its center, which visitors can look through. According to a Times Square Arts press release, the lens segments of the sculpture will be printed using clear resin rather than glass.
Next, check out The Surprising History of the Iconic “I Love NY” Logo