Where to Go on a Perfect Date in Philadelphia Right Now
From ferris wheel rides to archery classes, these are the best date ideas in Philly.
If last summer wasn’t the Hot Girl season you’d imagined, it’s time for some warm weather redemption. Philly’s got plenty of date locales, from romantic restaurants and bars to archery spots—and even more special date ideas await just outside of the city.
Whether a perfect date means exploring some of the city’s best restaurants, riding in a ferris wheel, or hitting the beach, we’ve got all the inspiration you’ll need this summer. So here’s a rundown of all the best spots to go on a date in Philadelphia right now.
Smooch on a ferris wheel
Summertime 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 drinkoptions galore; Cherry Street Pier with its art exhibitions and artisan markets; and finally, Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest, a combination roller rink and carnival. Rent some skates and glide on the rink hand in hand or snuggle up with some Chickie’s and Pete’s crabfries on the ferris wheel for the most quintessential Philly date in the world.
Most city-dwellers this summer will make a trek to any of the shore towns that pepper the New Jersey coast—why not you and your boo? For the ultimate couple’s escape, there are a number of idyllic beaches within two hours of the city. Looking for a chill time? Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Island Beach State Park might be up your alley. For nightlife? Asbury Park and Wildwood are your jam. Everything else in between is in Cape May, Ocean City, and Beach Haven.
If your romance is more down-and-dirty, head to any nearby farm or orchard to pick your own produce. New Hope’s Solebury Orchards offers blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, and blackberries 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 harvesting. Just think of the delicious fruit salad you’ll make after.
Cupid’s arrow already got you, so now it’s time to learn to shoot your own. Feed your inner adventurer with an archery training class at Callowhill Archery, an indoor archery range. Basic 90-minute classes go over safety training and games—because nothing is more important than protection. The range hosts frequent date nights designed for couples to learn how to shoot and play cooperative games.
There are few things better than daily happy hour. The fact that it’s at Double Knot is icing on the cake. Michael Schulson’s sexy Midtown Village sushi and pan-Asian restaurant offers discounted food and drink every day from 4 to 7 pm, making it the perfect date spot on a budget. Score $6 hand rolls, dumplings, and bao; $9 cocktails; and a whole lot of mood lighting.
Tour departs at 4th and Ranstead Streets
Off-kilter couples, assemble. Not your typical walking tour, this one infuses comedy, magic, mystery—and a little bit of history. “Walking magician” Robert Malissa leads a 75-minute walking tour through Old City, taking you and boo to historical sites for magic tricks and comedic stories about Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin, and more.
Museum of Illusions
Sure, you could make heart eyes over legendary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the Barnes Foundation, but you could also pretend the rules of gravity and perception don’t apply at the newly-opened Museum of Illusions. The city’s newest museum features more than 80 exhibits full of holograms, stereograms, and optical illusions meant to trick your eye and offer excellent photo ops.
The Clay Studio
Nothing brings hearts closer together than learning a skill and building stuff. The Clay Studio’s brand new South Kensington facilities has nearly 200% more classroom space than their old digs, which means there’s plenty of room for you and bae to get all Ghost-like. The Clay Studio has classes for all skill levels most nights of the week, ranging from Intro to Wheel Throwing to Handbuilding Functional Ceramics.
Pack a picnic and gaze at the skyline
Out in Fairmount Park, there’s a vast open area that overlooks the city. Yup, you guessed it: Belmont Plateau. Between the views and the abundance of space, it’s the perfect location for an idyllic picnic. Pick up some hoagies from Liberty Kitchen or Martha, some hummus and pita from Dizengoff, or some charcuterie and cheeses from Di Bruno Bros. and go to town.
Peep some truly amazing architecture
Clear your schedules and spend the day on foot marveling at some of the city’s most unique facades. Of course, there are the givens, like City Hall, the Lit Brothers Building, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, and the Wanamaker Building, but the city is home to enough architectural gems to cover date nights all year long. Add the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society (with its beautiful exterior), Eastern State Penitentiary (home of gothic elegance), and the Kensington National Bank (yes, a Wells Fargo designed by Frank Furness) to your list.
The Head and The Hand
Kensington bookstore The Head and The Hand is giving couples the opportunity to book the entire store for 90 minutes or two hours for a book browsing date night. Shop owners will curate a special playlist, decorate the shop in mood lighting, and treat you with wine or beer to get the mood flowing. Plus, you can bring your own snacks to enjoy in the store and you’ll get a free copy of one of the books they publish.
DIY your own wood-fired pizza tour
Carboload your way through your relationship with a DIY wood-fired pizza tour. Share slices of Neapolitan margherita pizza from Spuntino in Northern Liberties, naturally fermented pizzas at the new Eeva in Kensington, whatever unique pizza is on special at Midtown Village Mediterranean hotspot Barbuzzo, and top it all off with a funghi pizza topped with truffle, caramelized onion, and bufala mozzarella at Osteria on North Broad.
Putt-putt your way to their heart
Ever since Keystone Mini Golf closed up shop last year, we’ve been in need of a cool indoor mini-golf spot to take our dates. Enter Libertee Grounds, a nine-hole course and pan-Asian bar and restaurant for your date needs. No need to pay for an Uber to multiple locations when you can enjoy putt-putt and drinks under one roof.
Take in the scenic landscapes at Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens is a solid date spot any time of year, but especially now when things get moody during summer evenings. Check out the illuminated fountain performances, where sprays of light-backed water dance to constantly changing musical soundtracks. Then, make your way to the outdoor fields, full of illuminated bulbs as a part of a new installation, “Light: Installations by Bruce Munro.” Gush over the vibes at the beer garden afterward.
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 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. Want to make the experience even more romantic? Try a self-guided tour, just the two of you.