The Most Fun Philly Dates To Go On Right Now
Get back out there.
Any date is a good date in Philly if you try hard enough—or encounter a lively local character in your travels. But for those who really want to impress their bae, there are plenty of local date options, from the uber romantic to the light and playful. It’s time to embrace the summer humidity and bask in the sweatiness on Philly’s greatest dates.
Try new locally-made beers
For the craft-beer loving couple, the Greater Philly area is rife with new breweries and beers. Charisse McGill of Lokal Artisan Foods fame (perhaps you’ve tried her to-die-for French Toast Bites?) collaborates with Yards Brewing Co. for a French Toast Bites Ale, a smooth ale brewed with cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla. It’s available now at Yards’ Spring Garden taproom. Philly’s first Black-owned brewery, Two Locals, which debuted in March, is selling beer online and at Craft Hall. Don’t miss the brewery’s Nubian Brown Ale, featuring hints of fresh baked bread and medium roasted coffee, and Prolific Hazy IPA, which has notes of mango nectar, guava, and pineapple. A new nanobrewery in Frankford, My Local Brew Works, brings homebrewing ethos to a larger audience. Out in Norristown is the new von C Brewing, whose owners come from a family line of beer makers. They’ve got lagers, IPAs, witbier, and more. Drink up, lovebirds!
Smooch in a ferris wheel
Penn’s LandingSummertime on the Delaware River waterfront is truly a romantic experience. You’ve got Spruce Street Harbor Park with its colorful mood lighting, hammocks, games, and food and drink; Cherry Street Pier with its art exhibitions and artisan markets; and finally, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, a combo roller rink and carnival. Rent some skates and glide on the rink hand in hand or snuggle up with some Chicke’s and Pete’s crabfries on the ferris wheel: The most Philly date in the world.
Make the pilgrimage to the Jersey shore
Cape May, New Jersey
Most city-dwellers will make a trek this summer to any of the shore towns that pepper the New Jersey coast—why not you and your boo? Whether you’re in need of a weekend getaway or are looking for the ultimate couple’s escape, make sure you’re lodging in style at Lokal Hotel’s Cape May micro-resort. With eight apartment-style hotel rooms with balconies and access to a pool, you might not even make it to the beach. (Though you should.) Don’t miss any of Cape May’s breweries, historic houses, and shopping, either.
They say oysters are an aphrodisiac, and lucky for you, the seafood tower at The Wayward has plenty to go around. The restaurant’s chilled seafood selection includes gulf shrimp, Maine mussels, niçoise tartare, and Nova Scotia lobster. Order one, order two, order all four: Go big or go home.
If your romance is more down-and-dirty than French brasserie, head to any nearby farm or orchard to pick your own produce. New Hope’s Solebury Orchards offers blueberry, cherry, tomato, and blackberry picking in the summer; over at Linvilla Orchards in Media, you can pick your own strawberries and cherries; blueberries, sweet corn, peaches, and string beans are available for pickin’ at Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford; and Shady Brook Farm is great for strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and peach harvesting. Just think of the delicious fruit salad you’ll make after.
Lancaster County, Chester County, Bucks County
Not for the faint of heart, but hot air balloon rides stand as one of the most impassioned dates of all time. With three launch sites—in Lancaster, Chester, and Bucks counties—you can take your pick as far as which part of Southeastern Pennsylvania you want to see from above. The three-hour experience features the inflation of the balloon, your ascent up to a mile high, an hour-long flight, and refreshments once you’re back on the ground.
Check out one of the city’s lesser-known museums
Neon Museum of Philadelphia, 1800 N. American St., Unit E
Sure, Philly’s chock full of storied museums like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes. But for a museum date that’s off the beaten path, don’t miss the Neon Museum of Philadelphia. Consisting of over 150 pieces, from historical Philadelphia signs to neon folk art, the museum is the perfect opportunity to hang out with the lights down low.
Grab a bite at the city’s cutest streeteries
Sure, indoor dining has resumed, but take advantage of the warm temperatures and fully embrace al fresco city dining this summer. Some of the city’s cutest outdoor enclosures include Wm. Mulherin’s Sons’ setup, with wood-fired pizzas and pastas under a sturdy roof; moody booths at at Charlie was a sinner., where you can enjoy plant-based dishes and cocktails; pasta and gelato hot spot with unique lighting fixtures, Gran Caffe L’Aquila; and laid back bar vibes on Girard Ave. at Johnny Brenda’s.
Kick it old school with a picnic in the parkVarious locations
Think about it: There’s nothing more romantic than spreading out a blanket in a field of grass and eating sandwiches with someone you find attractive. Luckily, Philly is home to many walkable, picnicable parks -- Rittenhouse Square Park, Washington Square Park, Penn Treaty Park, Fairmount Park, Clark Park, Schuylkill Banks, to name a few. Build your picnic, either with homemade items, or pick up some hoagies and charcuterie from Liberty Kitchen, cheese and meats from Di Bruno Bros, or just grab an entire pizza and go to town.
Take in the great outdoors on a scenic hikeVarious locations
Perfect for nearly any time of year, and a super safe socializing option, is the tried and true hike. The Philly area is home to plenty of nearby trails, like the Lehigh Gorge Trail in Jim Thorpe, Pinnacle Trail in Hamburg, and the always solid Wissahickon Valley Park just minutes away. There are plenty of opportunities to show your beau you’re down to get dirty.
Take in the lush landscape at Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens is a solid date idea even when it isn’t decorated for the holidays. In the summer, the annuals and perennials are in full bloom and fountain shows send streams of water into the sky for your enjoyment. On weekends, come after sunset to see illuminated fountain performances and to listen to live music in the beer garden. It’s a refined kind of date experience. Just remember to book your ticket ahead of time (no walk-up ticketing).
Hang with the fishies at the Adventure Aquarium
Camden, New Jersey
Sure, it seems a little childish to hang at the aquarium, but Camden’s Adventure Aquarium features a huge tunnel where sharks swim around you (trippy), friendly hippos (cute), and stingray petting (wild). So, yeah, you might be some of the oldest child-less people there, but it’ll be worth it. Required advanced ticket purchasing only adds to the sexiness.
Hosted in Chester County on weekends through October, this indoor-outdoor flea market is awesome for scoring eclectic trinkets and Philly-specific finds. Grab a morning coffee and head there early when the pickings are best. Bring cash, weave your way through tons of vendors, and impress your date with your haggling skills.
Do a tour and tasting in wine country
Whisk your date away to Pennsylvania wine country for a day trip—you’ll need a car, but beautiful rolling hills and delicious grape juice (the fun kind) are just a short ride from Philly. Head to the acclaimed Chaddsford Winery (a 45-minute drive) and book a sweet wine reserve tasting. Wineries along the Bucks County Wine Trail (about an hour drive) are also open for tastings or take our winery tour, starting in the Brandywine Valley and ending in Bucks County.
Eat your way around the city by footVarious locations
For a date you’ll both savor, get a real taste of Philadelphia on a City Foods Tour. From Flavors of Philly (oh, there will be cheesesteaks) to tours highlighting the stellar eateries on East Passyunk, you’ll walk the city and indulge your taste buds at some of Philly’s best family-owned hidden gems. Each delectable outing runs two to three hours. Come hungry for knowledge as well -- you’ll get a rich history lesson, and some architectural sightseeing along the way. Masks are required for all guests, except when you’re eating or drinking. Want to make the experience even more romantic? Try a self-guided tour, just the two of you.
Bike along the Schuylkill River (and beyond)Various locations
Feeling active and exploratory? Rent bikes together and pedal along the city’s waterfront in a self-guided tour. Start your journey on the road less traveled at the Schuylkill Banks; pass the scenic Boathouse Row, ride along the river, under historic bridges, and take in some public art along the way. Keep going towards the Manayunk Canal Towpath lined with old rail lines and wildlife, then ride straight through Valley Forge National Historical Park. The open air is perfect for pandemic safety and the exercise isn’t bad, either.
Hamilton, New Jersey
Central Jersey’s sculpture park, Grounds for Sculpture, is the perfect place to impress your date with giant squiggly things and a giant lady’s head peeking out of a pond. All joking aside, the art here is incredible, and the grounds are home to more than 400 works of contemporary sculpture, like Seward Johnson’s incredibly realistic human statues and Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas’ large aluminum arch. Don’t forget to grab a few selfies to let everyone know your love for art—and each other—is real.