The Coolest and Most Romantic Dates You Can Go on Right Now
Between the indignities of dating apps and the temptation to just spend the night bingeing Netflix, simply finding a date in this city is tough enough. That said, we believe in you, and once you do end up convincing someone to spend time with you, it shouldn’t have to be a struggle deciding what to do together (there's so much fun stuff to do in Philly, after all). Whether you’re in the early stages of a new romance or have been cuffed up for awhile, let these ideas be your guide for Philadelphia dating bliss -- and feel free to take all the credit for them.
Take a few laps around Philly’s ice skating rinks
There’s only one thing to do when it gets too cold to drink outside: Do an outside activity to forget it’s so cold. Philly’s all about seasonal hangs with the Rothman Orthopedics Rink at Dilworth Park -- complete with a cabin serving wintry cocktails, beer, and snacks. Be sure to also check out the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest for fire pits, games, and bites from Chickie’s and Pete’s and Franklin Fountain. Strap on a pair of ice skates (don’t worry, you can rent them there) and get romantic.
Bundle up for winter garden strolls at Longwood Gardens
Everyone loves Longwood Gardens at Christmas time: the giant Christmas tree! The extravagant lighting and decorations both indoors and outdoors! The illuminated fountain! Beyond the seasonal joys, Longwood is charming well into the winter with blooming orchids and lovely pines. It’s a refined kind of date experience.
Cheer on the Sixers
Nothing says true love like a shared passion for Philadelphia sports. The Philadelphia 76ers are poised to have a solid season and the team plays dozens of home games where you and your sweetie can get classic Philly rowdy.
Catch a flick and eat sushi
Impress your date with a charming evening in Old City. Start at any of the Ritz movie theaters -- Ritz at the Bourse, Ritz Five, and Ritz East -- for an indie film of your choice. Then, head over to Kisso Sushi Bar, one of the most underrated Japanese spots in the whole city, for some of the freshest fish you’ll ever taste. Bonus points: Top off the night with ice cream from Franklin Fountain.
Hang with the fishies at the Adventure Aquarium
Camden, New Jersey
Sure, it seems a little kiddish 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.
Fill up on ramen
Warm up your cold soul with a steaming hot bowl of ramen. Take your pick from a number of stellar noodle spots like Neighborhood Ramen, Cheu Noodle Bar, Terakawa Ramen, and Nom Nom Ramen for a meal that’s sure to put you in enough of a food coma that you’ll want to head home for some cuddles ASAP.
Reach new heights at Go Vertical
Consider this a Bachelor-esque metaphor for your future relationship. This indoor rock climbing gym offers 250 unique routes for climbers of all experience levels (including a beginners’ learning area). If you’re both newbies, you and your honey can sign up for a class to learn the ins and outs of climbing. Or, if you’re pros, enroll in a four-part climbing clinic or just pop in for an open climb.
Take a guided tour at the Magic Gardens
Washington Square West
It’s hard to miss the gorgeous mosaic instillation when you’re walking down South Street (it spans half the block), but you’ll learn the full story behind Philly’s Magic Garden on a guided tour. Immerse yourself and your date into the labyrinth of mirrors, found objects, and glass bottle installations for just $15 each.
Taste 17 whiskeys at New Liberty Distillery
At one point in time, more whiskey was produced in Pennsylvania than Kentucky -- so what better place to beat the heat and get into some whiskey business than at New Liberty Distillery in North Philly? The historic three-floor facility is a former horse barn that is now open for tours, where very knowledgeable staff guide you through the whiskey-making areas, rick house, and tasting room. Craft bourbon and rye tastings are included, but why stop sipping when the upstairs bar serves delectable mixed cocktails? Have the bartender make you both a Strawberry Smash -- you won’t regret it.
Treasure hunt at the Phila Flea Markets
Hosted in different neighborhoods on most weekends, these indoor/outdoor flea markets are 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.
Indulge in a decadent class at Cook
If you’re looking to really (like, really) impress your date, a class at Cook will certainly deliver. In this intimate demonstration kitchen, you’ll sip delectable swills and watch a meal be prepared by one of our city’s best chefs -- and then you'll get to eat it. (Maybe you’ll even pick up a few tips in the kitchen, a gift that keeps on giving!) Scrumptious seasonal classes include: Brooklyn Beer Dinner, Forgotten Cocktails, Meat-za Pizza, Indian Holiday Dishes, and many more. Demos sell out fairly quickly, so check back soon for the winter schedule.
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 enjoy a traditional wine tasting ($12-16). The Bucks County Wine Trail (about an hour drive) is also hosting seasonal events, including a self-guided tour, which includes wine sampling from seven wineries for $30.
Indulge in the Pizza Brain/Little Baby's combo
Philadelphia's packed with awesome, must-see museums -- so it comes as no surprise that the world’s first pizza museum also calls this city home. For a delicious date, start by getting the full experience at Pizza Brain with some culture and thin-crust slices (eh, make that a full Kira Tierston pie). Then, save some room and head next door to Little Baby’s with an open mind; quirky-yet-delectable ice cream flavors like balsamic banana, bourbon bourbon vanilla, cherry hibiscus, and even pizza (if you haven’t had enough) are perfect for a date night. There are tons of non-dairy and vegan options, too.
Spend an afternoon at Yards Brewery
With its Spring Garden location that boasts a warehouse-meets-biergarten vibe, Yards Brewing Company is now equipped with 20 beers on tap, a full kitchen, longer hours, live music on Fridays, and an outdoor space that pairs delightfully with their Grapefruit Pale Ale. Plus, tours of the brewery run every 30 minutes at only $5 a person.
Eat your way around the city by foot
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 that specialize in real-deal pizza, gourmet, and international foods, 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.
Learn about dinosaurs while you drink beer
Science is fun… especially when you’re learning all about the T. rex with a beer in hand. On the fourth Friday of every month, The Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University remains open until 8pm for Dinos After Dark, which includes a pop-up beer garden in Dinosaur Hall. All the galleries and special exhibits -- from Xtreme Bugs to Butterflies! -- stay open for your perusal and education, and there are also live animal presentations. Pay-as-you-wish admission is still in play.
Bike along the Schuylkill River (and beyond)
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. From there, you can cycle the 13 miles home if you’re feeling ambitious, or hop SEPTA back to Center City. Pro tip: Renting a tandem bicycle will test your teamwork skills and guarantee Instagram-worthy pics.
Eat your way through Reading Terminal Market
Reading Terminal (one of America’s oldest and largest public markets) is a culinary Eden where you can literally eat everything -- and you should, since bringing a date means doubling the amount of socially acceptable orders. Come hungry, peruse the aisles, and be sure to check out our must-stops: donuts from Beiler’s, cookies from Famous 4th Street, and roast pork from DiNic’s.
Go masterpiece sightseeing by trolley
Various locations in West Philly
Assuming you have eyes, you’ve seen at least some of the 3,800 amazing public artworks around Philly (it’s the mural capital of the world, after all). But an up-close look at the city’s iconic works of art with a history lesson aboard a trolley is the recipe for perfect date. Mural Arts Philadelphia's private tours will immerse you and your plus-one in the diverse neighborhoods you’re trolley-ing through.
Indulge in the Pizza Brain/Little Baby's combo
Philadelphia's packed with awesome, must-see museums -- so it comes as no surprise that the world’s first pizza museum also calls this city home. For a delicious (and inexpensive) date, start by getting the full experience at Pizza Brain with some culture and thin-crust slices (eh, make that a full Kira Tierston pie). Then, save some room and head next door to Little Baby’s with an open mind; quirky-yet-delectable ice cream flavors like balsamic banana, bourbon bourbon vanilla, cherry hibiscus, and even pizza (if you haven’t had enough) are perfect for a summer’s night. There are tons of non-dairy and vegan options, too.
If you haven’t been to North Bowl yet, you’re missing out on a great date location. Filled with cool decor, arcade games, a full bar, and a kitchen serving up delicious tacos, tater tot combos, and more, it has all you could need for a little competitive night out. Make sure you and your date check out the photo option on the scoreboard for some extra LOLs throughout the game?
Sign up here for our daily Philly email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.