Where to Go on a Perfect Date in Philadelphia This Winter
From intimate drinks by the fireplace to casual spots for a first date.
The mercury levels drop and the urge to partner up and hunker down rises. Listen, we can’t explain it either, but regardless of the reason, cuffing season is in full swing. Maybe it’s just that everyone looks cute bundled up in a scarf with rosy cheeks.
Whether you want to take a romantic walk with your longtime love or are looking to impress a new fling with dinner in a bookstore, Philadelphia has plenty of opportunities to dial up the romance. From incredible restaurants for a dinner date to first-date bars and intimate wine tastings, here are the best date ideas to up your game this winter.
The latest addition to the Rittenhouse dining scene is the high-tech sushi spot Kura Revolving Sushi Bar. Grab small rolls and salads straight from the constantly revolving conveyor belt or order hot dishes like gyoza and drinks from the touch screen at your table. Made-to-order food is whisked straight to your table via a high-speed conveyor belt, and drinks are delivered by a delightful robot named Kur-B, leaving you and your love to have an uninterrupted dinner date.
Listed on The National Register of Historic Places, this stunning public garden is more than 130 years old and features a collection of about 11,000 plants. Peep the seasonal shrubs and ferns while searching for chickadees and wrens with your chick. Admission is discounted through February for those thrifty outdoor lovers. Plus, special wintertime tours, including the Bare Naked Trees Tour, will surely get your mind wandering to some suggestive places.
There are few things more sultry than a speakeasy date night. Impress your paramour with your extensive knowledge of the city’s secret and exclusive bars, like Hop Sing Laundromat and Blind Barber—both accessible via unassuming entrances (the latter of which is inside an actual barber shop).
Quintessential almost to the point of cliche, no winter date is complete without a few laps gliding on freshly Zamboni-ed ice at an outdoor rink. If you’re driven by the hustle and bustle of downtown, head to the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink at Dilworth Park, in the middle of the Center City action. After your 90-minute skate session is up, warm up with a couple drinks in the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin, outfitted in dangling lights and winter foliage. For waterfront views and an outdoor winter wonderland, head to Penn’s Landing for Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest with its NHL-sized rink, fire pits, boozy winter beverages, and games. While you’re reserving your skating tickets for 90-minute sessions, book a firepit so you won’t have to share with others. Or if South Philly is more your jam, the Rizzo Rink offers free public skating under I-95.
Root, root, root for the home team
South Philadelphia East
We all know dedication to Philly sports is a top quality in a potential partner, so why not treat your date to a game at the Wells Fargo Center? The Flyers’ regular schedule runs until the beginning of April and the Sixers’ last home game is April 6, giving you plenty of opportunities to snag cheap-ish tickets—and wear coordinating sports paraphernalia—if you do some planning.
The upscale Italian restaurant under the El in Fishtown is home to many great dishes and features an amenable bar staff open to crafting creative mocktails and plenty of cavatelli with bite—but it's their fireplace that packs a romantic punch, especially in colder weather. Cozy up with a glass of wine and your sweetie on the restaurant’s comfy sofas and feel the love.
Is cheese an aphrodisiac? We’re not scientists, but we trust our taste buds. The recently opened Philly Cheese School is known for creative pairing classes, offering info and tastings of fun matches like cheese and cookies, potato chips, or candy. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about flavors and get your snack on while celebrating your own dynamic duo with another stellar pairing.
There’s nothing like the warm glow of a candle to set the mood. Even better when you’ve made the candle yourself. Queen Village’s Loomen Labs is a zero-waste candle bar where visitors can customize their own scent, color, and select a special glass vessel for a totally unique candle. Oh yeah, and it’s BYOB.
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. Drive about 45 minutes to the acclaimed Chaddsford Winery and grab a couple of wine flights. Wineries along the Bucks County Wine Trail (about an hour drive) offer tastings and tours or follow our lead with a DIY winery tour, starting in the Brandywine Valley and ending in Bucks County.
Catch a sexy dinner and a show
When the lights are turned down and the performers take the stage, you can cuddle up to your date and let your body language do all the talking. Kill two birds with one stone at some of the city’s best dinner and event spaces, like Fabrika in Fishtown, where you can see jazz, cabaret, and drag performances in a lofty industrial space. For more jazz, enjoy upscale Southern cuisine and jazz at SOUTH on North Broad or whiskey and tunes in the warmth of Midtown Village’s Time.
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 robatayaki, dumplings, and crispy spring rolls; $9 cocktails; and a whole lot of mood lighting.
Kensington bookstore The Head and The Hand is giving couples the opportunity to book the entire store for 90 minutes 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.