Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you).
There are plenty of options in the city for a conventional night out, but why settle for dinner and a movie when the City of Brotherly Love is at your fingertips? We’ve put together this list of some of our favorite fun date ideas in Philadelphia for when you’re looking to do something a little unexpected, whether its your first date or your 500th.
If you are not a self-proclaimed romantic, worry not – we’re gifting you a roadmap that will set the bar high for your next night out. If you’re a board game fan, exercise enthusiast, or simply a lover of love, you will find no shortage of date night options to keep you and your significant other occupied.
Hike Wissahickon Valley Park
The 1800-acre Wissahickon Valley Park has been a favorite of ours forever–when we first moved to Philadelphia, we had the good fortune of living across the street from a main entrance. It’s one of the best places to get outside in the city.
This great park is both beautiful and historic–General George Washington led his troops in fighting here as part of the Battle of Germantown during the American Revolution. Today, walkers and hikers come to wander along Forbidden Drive, a gorgeous path following the contours of the creek. You’ll see some of the best scenery the city has to offer and may even come across the 160-year-old Thomas Mill covered bridge.
There is more than one way to walk the Wissahickon, but only one entrance borders a killer BBQ spot. Just before Ridge Avenue becomes Main Street in Manayunk, Deke’s Bar-B-Que gifts passerby with the smoky aroma of slow-cooked barbecue. Deke’s sits directly at the head of a Wissahickon Valley trail, making it the perfect post-hike indulgence.
Play a game at Thirsty Dice
Game night is always a classic, but what about choosing from 800+ board games while sipping on boozy milkshakes and indulging in bacon lollipops? Sounds a little better than playing Monopoly in your living room, huh?
Thirsty Dice is the perfect place for couples to let loose with some healthy competition. Just purchase a one-time library pass for a few bucks and enjoy a selection of over 800 games. You can grab something off the shelf and get your game on, or, if you’d prefer, a Gametender can make a recommendation and even teach you a new game.
Thirsty Dice also hosts Quizzo on Wednesdays and has plenty of special events like interactive murder mystery nights and themed brunches. If you need a Harry Potter-themed drag show plus trivia, they’ve got you covered there, too. Check their website for what’s upcoming.
Picnic in Clark Park
While there are countless parks to choose from when picking a picnic destination, historic Clark Park stands out from the crowd with popular activities like Shakespeare in The Park and bocce. If you prefer a full-on barbecue over a packed lunch, there are grills and picnic tables at your disposal. On Saturdays, the regular farmers market makes a great stop for local provisions.
Break out your finest picnic blanket and wicker basket and soak up the sun with your date.
Experience the Love Letter Train Tour
Love is everywhere, even on the walls. A series of murals by Philly-born artist Stephen Powers, the Love Letters project spans 50 rooftops in West Philadelphia. Stretching from 45th Street to 63rd Street, this stretch of murals and images is best viewed while riding the Market-Frankford Line subway. These are love letters from a guy to a girl, from an artist to his hometown, and from local residents to their neighborhood of West Philadelphia.
The whole ride takes about 15 minutes from City Hall (15th Street Station) to 69th Street Terminal (you can actually get off at 63rd Street and go back into the city as there aren’t any more murals past that point). Do yourself a favor and make the trip with someone you love. You won’t regret it.
Try your hand at candle making
What’s more cozy and romantic than making your own candle? A place where you can also BYOB to toast the fun you’re having.
Cork and Candles has two local locations–one in Midtown Village and the other in King of Prussia–where you can get creative with colors, scents, and crystals while making your candle. You choose from a wide selection of vessels and pick your scents from the huge scent wall. Their chandlers (i.e., candle makers) help you through every step of the process, so you can walk out with your own custom blends.
There are fun, seasonal candles that change regularly, or you can go with something more classic. We opted for the 90-minute option and had a great time making two custom candles each. Both locations are BYO, and King of Prussia offers a selection of flatbreads and cheese and charcuterie boards.
Experience First Fridays
A time-honored tradition in Philly, every first Friday, professional and amateur artists alike line the streets of Old City displaying their works of art. If you take a stroll in the area between Front and Third Streets and Market and Vine Streets, you will find a casual atmosphere that encourages art appreciation, fantastic food, and mingling with other like-minded art lovers, with many art galleries and boutiques serving free wine and snacks.
If you’re not sure exactly what you want to do with your date, this is a great option. Peruse the art galleries, sip on some free wine, and take in the historic beauty that is Old City.
See a show at Chris’ Jazz Cafe
For a mellow evening out, head to Chris’ Jazz Café. For over 30 years, the venue has been a go-to destination for jazz in the city five nights a week. Guests enjoy performances from local, national, and internationally-known artists, usually with two sets a night. The Southern-influenced menu at the on-site restaurant makes this a great spot for dinner and a show. Hint: get the jambalaya!
Roll at South Bowl
South Bowl is not your mother’s bowling alley. With two floors of bowling lanes, arcade games galore, and two full indoor bars, you don’t have to be a lover of bowling to have a great time here. If that’s not enough, South Bowl has “The Yard,” an outdoor area containing batting cages, two 40-foot bocce courts, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and an outdoor bar and lounge.
With so many activities to choose from, you can really curate your own date experience. Claim a lane or settle in and munch on some tater tots. Insider tip: go on a weekend to catch a live DJ set and don’t forget to bring cash as bowling is cash only.
Pet furry friends at Schuylkill River Dog Park
Calling all dog lovers! If your bio reads, “Must love dogs,” this one’s for you. Whether you have your own pup or you just want to marvel at their cuteness, the Schuylkill River Dog Park is a great place to bond over your love of furry friends. The bridge that leads to the fenced-in dog park offers the perfect vantage point for dog (and people) watching along the river.
Maybe you’ve arranged a doggie date? The dog park offers two areas, one for big dogs and one for small dogs both with watering areas, plenty of benches, and even kiddie pools. If you want a bite to eat before or after, grab one of the famous pretzel sandwiches at Rowhome Coffee a few blocks away.
Tour Eastern State Penitentiary
One of the more unusual attractions in Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary is full of stories to explore. Opened in 1829, the jail-turned-museum housed thousands of inmates in its 140-year history. Today, its crumbling walls and dilapidated cell blocks welcome visitors to learn about the people that were incarcerated here and the history of the building.
In the summer, Eastern State’s twilight tours let you see the space in a different light. After your visit, grab a drink at the Fair Chance Beer Garden in the courtyard and ponder the history around you.
Hang out at Spruce Street Harbor Park
It’s not summer without a visit to Spruce Street Harbor Park. Snuggle up in a hammock and watch the sun set on the Delaware River at this welcoming spot. The park is packed with live music, food stands (the al pastor tacos from Philly Taco!), vendors with interesting cocktails, and nets that hang right above the water.
When the sun goes down, a rainbow of twinkling lights illuminates the park. Finish off your night with a delicious banana split from the Frozen Delights kiosk or opt for a nightcap and lounge in an Adirondack chair. The park is open seasonally from mid-May through late September.
Get weird at the Mutter Museum
The Mutter Museum is not for the faint of heart and is one of Philadelphia’s most unique museums. You are welcomed by a banner that reads, “Disturbingly Informative,” which checks out given the content of this museum. Anything from (real) gangrenous feet to femurs splintered by bullets to slices of Einstein’s brain can be found in the confines of the Mutter. Romantic? Maybe not, but definitely a conversation starter.
If you or your significant other is a lover of medical oddities or the generally curious, there’s no better place to go in the city.
Take in the Philly skyline at Bok Bar
It’s hard to beat a summer night at Bok Bar watching the sun go down over the city. Located in a former technical school built in the Art Deco style, Bok rooftop bar is the place to be in season.
An evening on the rooftop is one of the best Philly date ideas and gives unobstructed views of the incredible skyline. Plus, there is a bar onsite, and an ever-changing list of incredible chefs provide a selection of dishes to snack on cobble together a meal. Your date is sure to swoon over the stunning backdrop, and you will get to experience the sheer and utter liberation of drinking in a defunct high school. We visit at least five times a season, which isn’t anywhere close to being enough.
Get creative at East Falls Glassworks
If you’ve ever wanted the excitement of working with 2000-degree molten glass, East Falls Glassworks is your place. This public access glassblowing studio offers multiple beginners’ classes every week. You can pick from making creations like ornaments, stemless wine glasses, paperweights, and more.
Just about every project here requires two people working together, so it’s about as perfect a fun date night as you’ll find. Plus, every time we use the drinking glasses we made, we talk about how much fun we had. Tip: if you visit during a First Friday event, rates are often discounted compared to the costs of a regular class.
See a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park
What says romance like one dollar hot dogs? Sure, the Phillies are great, but ONE. DOLLAR. HOT DOGS. Need I say more? Treat your date to a true Philly night out with a trip to Citizens Bank Park. Whether you’re just in it for the hot dogs or a fan of America’s favorite pastime, attending a baseball game is a great time at any stage of your relationship.
Enjoy Music at the Mansion
Talk about a night to remember! Hamilton Mansion at The Woodlands hosts highly-curated chamber music evenings every year in a ballroom fit for royalty. Visitors can hear classical and contemporary works in the space that was built in the 1780s just for performances like this.
If chamber music isn’t your speed, this unique property hosts all kinds of gatherings year-round. Check out their array of events like outdoor yoga, cultural performances, and seasonal happy hours with this National Historic Landmark District as your backdrop.
Not only does The Woodlands boast 54 acres of lush, green landscape, but this destination also brings Philadelphia history to life with an 18th-century English pleasure garden and a 19th-century cemetery. Make your love one for the history books with an evening in The Woodlands.
Take a tour at Philadelphia Distilling
Is grabbing a drink your date night go-to? Take your Friday night to the next level with a peek behind the curtain at Philadelphia Distilling, one of the city’s top distilleries. For $20, you and your date can explore the process behind Philadelphia Distilling’s tasty spirits. Sip on a “welcome cocktail” while you learn the history behind this Philly gem.
Public tour times are roughly around 45 minutes to one hour long and run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday every week. If you prefer a more intimate occasion, private tours are also available. Don’t want the night to end? Check out a concert at The Fillmore located right next door.
Spend an evening at Cira Green
Rumor has it, it’s always sunny in Philadelphia but the sun tends to shine just a little bit brighter at the top of Cira Green. Looking for the ultimate summer date spot? Look no further. This self-proclaimed “park in the sky” offers panoramic views of the city from its rooftop spot, a full menu of food and drink, and countless events throughout the summer.
Cuddle up on a picnic blanket and catch a movie screening or hang out with adorable puppies available for adoption— just a few of the happenings hosted by Cira Green. Before you start planning your date, check out their website for more information on upcoming events.
Stroll around Morris Arboretum
Roses are red, violets are blue, at Morris Arboretum, love is abloom. Surround yourself with the beauty of the gardens on a visit to the grounds. Complete with sprays of seasonal flowers, towering sculptures, and koi-filled ponds, a visit here may be one of the most romantic things to do in Philadelphia.
With a general admission ticket, guests are free to roam the arboretum unguided but if you would prefer to learn more about specific aspects of the gardens, check the website for guided tour times and special events. We’re members here, so we admit to being a bit biased.
Play around at Five Iron Golf
Whether you’re a total novice or an expert on the back nine, Five Iron Golf is a fun place for an outing. You can choose to play on over 100 simulated golf courses or just be a spectator and nosh on items from their restaurant and full bar. There’s plenty of space to hang out plus other games to play and TVs to watch all the sports you can manage.
Spray your initials at Graffiti Pier
Embrace your nostalgic side at the waterfront urban art gallery known at Graffiti Pier. At the intersection of E. Cumberland Street and Beach Street, find the decades-old public art exhibit, featuring years of local graffiti artists.
Commemorate your love on these historic concrete walls and take a cute pic or two while you’re at it.
Take a food tour
They say the stomach is the way to a lover’s heart. Thank goodness Philadelphia is a foodie’s paradise! A range of companies in the city offer food tours, but City Food Tours is among the most popular. Pick the city neighborhood you wish to explore or decide based on your preferred genre of cuisine.
Get a mouthful of Philly with City Food Tours and impress your partner in the process.
Rent a paddleboat at Penn’s Landing
Choose your fighter: paddleboat edition! Select between a swan, flamingo, yellow duck, or dragon boat and cruise the Delaware River with your cutie. Hours for paddleboat rentals are weather dependent. For information on hours, boat options, special discounts, and seasonal events, visit the Paddle Penn’s Landing website.
Take a day trip
Searching for a quick getaway? Step outside the city limits to explore all that the suburbs have to offer. Just an hour drive from Philadelphia sits culture-rich Doylestown, known for the Mercer Mile, the impressive belt of historical attractions comprised of Fonthill Castle, Mercer Museum and The Moravian Tileworks.
While you’re in Doylestown, check out the great restaurants and shops or head just a little further to New Hope. You’ll find covered bridges, the beautiful Washington Crossing, and the charm of Delaware Canal State Park.
Cork and Candles sponsored our candle-making experience. All opinions of the fun experience are our own.