For the city that’s got history, hipsters, and everything in between, the options for a unique date in Philadelphia are pretty varied. Sure, there's always the hot new restaurant or hidden speakeasy to hit up, but sometimes the best date ideas are the things that channel what our city is known for (with a few hidden gems mixed in). These 21 date ideas should get you started.
Spend the afternoon at Yards Brewery
Go for the free tour (noon-4pm on weekends), but stay for the brews with plenty on tap for even the most novice beer drinker and food trucks. Guerrilla Sunday is not to be missed.
Train like Stallone in Cliffhanger at Go Vertical
Show off your guns and your snazziest workout gear at Philly’s only indoor rock climbing gym. Your date will belay into your heart in no time.
Treats on treats on treats at Reading Terminal Market
Face it: Reading Terminal as a hungry adult is basically one big, delicious playground. Don’t be ashamed as you and your date try double the socially acceptable number of purchased options by sharing.
Jam out at Union Transfer
Check out the UT calendar, pick a show (there’s one almost every night), grab a beer, and enjoy the tunes! And, just so you know, if your date was on any of the Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, or Eagles championship rosters, you get in for free.
Check out who's cooking at The Food Cart at Garage
Built in a former auto body shop, Garage has an insane beer list and a rotating food cart right in the middle of the room. All types of chefs cook here, but if you get bored, there's also skeeball, pinball, and a pool table.
Get a sneak peek of the Birds during a free open practice
Get a jump start on our city’s favorite season with (free!) open practices during Eagles training camp. Most are held at Lincoln Financial Field, where parking is also free, and it’s easy to get right up close to the field.
Find treasure (?) at the Phila Flea Markets
Held in a different neighborhood most warm weather weekends, these flea markets are perfect for picking up some true gems. Bring cash and impress your date with your haggling skills.
Get locked up at Eastern State Penitentiary
Going to prison on a date might not be everyone’s first choice, but Philly’s Penitentiary is the exception. Go during the day to take your time walking around, and don’t miss the audio tour, narrated by Steve Buscemi (naturally).
Eat mussels and drink beer at Monk’s Cafe
For a delicious, yet cheap, meal and a great beer list, Monk’s is among the best beer bars in the nation. It gets pretty crowded at night, so if you have your heart set on the date being there (and not some less crowded bar down the street), get there 20 minutes early and put your name in.
Discover your spirit animal at the Philadelphia Zoo
Checking out cute animals seems like a fail-proof date, and our city’s zoo has a lot of them. If a stroll seems too tame for you, look into the adult-only Summer Ale Festival for craft beer tasting, live music, and food trucks.
Take a fancy class at COOK
If you want to really (and we mean really) impress your date, a class at COOK will do the job. In this intimate demonstration kitchen, you’ll get the chance to watch a meal get prepared by one of our city’s best chefs… oh, and then you get to eat it.
LOL at the Philly Improv Theater
Show your date you like fun and take in some of our city’s most unique comedy shows. Plus, tickets are usually $10 and the theater is BYOB. Score.
Go one-stop meal shopping at the Italian Market
There’s nothing like ducking in and out of the unique shops in this Philly 'hood. Come with a recipe in mind, or get inspired by the food on hand. Just don’t let your meal become a hunk of fresh mozzarella, as tempting as it is.
Challenge your boo at Barcade
A little competition should be the perfect way to take the edge off your date. Grab a beer and challenge your companion to one (or several) of the arcade’s vintage video games. At 25 cents per game (and a full kitchen for when you get hungry), you could be there for a while.
Get geeky at Science After Hours
The Franklin Institute offers awesome monthly events filled with activities and performances based on the night’s theme for adults 21+. Upcoming themes include Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Superheroes, Trek, Wars, & Who: Journeys through Space, and more.
Take a guided tour at the Magic Gardens
Sure, you’ve seen that beautiful mosaic structure walking down South St, but you don’t know the full story until you’ve toured the place. They even have dedicated date nights with candlelit tours catered towards couples, complete with complimentary wine.
Take the scenic route on the Love Letter Train Tour
This Mural Arts Program tour is a gem of the city. Hop on for an elevated train ride (led by a guide for $20/person) and take in a love letter, as depicted by gorgeous 50 rooftop murals. Public transit doesn't get more romantic.
Mummers. Anything to do with the Mummers
We can’t think of a more "Philadelphia" date than a Mummer adventure. Check out the parade on New Year’s Day, or visit the Mummers Museum for year-round amusement (you may even learn how to "strut").
Tour your favorite sports stadium
Share your love of Philadelphia sports with your date and venture down to South Philly for a tour of one of our stadiums. The photos ops will be plentiful as you make your way through the dugout at Citizens Bank Park or in the locker room at the Linc.
Indulge in the Pizza Brain/Little Baby’s combo
In order to properly comprehend that Philadelphia actually has the world’s first pizza museum, you just need to go there and experience it. After a slice or two, head next door and try some perfect ice cream flavors (like chocolate salt malt, Thai iced tea, and everything bagel).
Watch a flick under the stars
Starting in June, grab a blanket and some movie-goer supplies, and head down to one of the many scenic spots where our city hosts outdoor films every summer.
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Emily Tharp writes at Her Philly, a lifestyle blog for young women navigating their way around the city of Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.