- Smile and say cheese
- Melt some wax
- Take in the lush landscape at Longwood Gardens
- Do a tour and tasting in wine country
- Catch a sexy dinner and a show
- Try to avoid Cupid’s arrow
- Grab happy hour any day of the week
- Trick your eye (but not your heart)
- Get your hands dirty
- Peep some truly amazing architecture
- Make heart eyes in a candlelit bookstore
- DIY your own wood-fired pizza tour
- Putt-putt your way into their heart
13 Ideas for a Perfect Date Night in Philadelphia
Fall is arguably the best season for romantic dates. It isn’t so cold that you can’t spend time outdoors and it isn’t so hot that you’re perpetually covered in a thin film of sweat. Plus, everyone looks hot surrounded by fall foliage.
So whether you need a spot to spark connection with a new match or want to spice things up with your longtime love, there are plenty of things to do in Philly that make for great dates. From incredible restaurants for a dinner date to spots for a romantic stroll, here are the best date ideas to up your game, Philly.
Smile and say cheese
Philly Cheese School
Is cheese an aphrodisiac? We’re not scientists, but we trust our taste buds. The newly opened Philly Cheese School is known for their 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.
Melt some wax
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.
Take in the lush landscape at Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens is a solid date idea even when it isn’t decorated for the holidays. In the fall, the wildflowers in the Meadow Garden bloom with gold hues, and the trees burst with color, giving the grounds a lively glow. In the Conservatory, some 5,000 chrysanthemums are arranged into clouds and umbrellas. On weekends, come after sunset to see illuminated fountain performances and hang in the beer garden. It’s a refined kind of date experience.
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 grab a couple of wine flights. Wineries along the Bucks County Wine Trail (about an hour drive) offer tastings and tours or take our 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 and whiskey and tunes in the warmth of Midtown Village’s Time.
Try to avoid Cupid’s arrow
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.
Grab happy hour any day of the week
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.
Trick your eye (but not your heart)
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.
Get your hands dirty
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.
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.
Make heart eyes in a candlelit bookstore
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 cremini mushroom, tomato, and 24-month parmigiano reggiano at Osteria on North Broad.
Putt-putt your way into their heart
Ever since Keystone Mini Golf closed up shop a few years ago, 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.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat!
Allie Volpe is a contributor for Thrillist.