There’s something special about Philadelphia in the fall. The air is cool and refreshing, pumpkins and squash dominate local cuisine, and shades of orange, brown and red take over our surroundings. Whether you’re visiting from out of town or live in the city, Philly has great options for date night that can turn a quiet night on the couch into a romantic rendezvous reminiscent of a scene from Midnight in Paris. Date night doesn’t have to be about impressing your significant other or spending a fortune to be romanced but it does need to be fun and involve laughter. There are plenty of opportunities for romance in Philly that go beyond the standard dinner and a movie date night, many of which won’t cost you a day’s paycheck.
Get a Little Dirty!
Friday night is grown-up playtime at Clay Studio in Old City. Couples, friends, and singles all get a turn on the potters’ wheel, with the help of energetic and extremely knowledgeable instructors. For $35, you get wine, beer, snacks and enough clay to make several sculptures that the studio will fire and ship to your home (for an extra $10). The best part is that you get to try something new together while providing plenty of ammunition to make fun of one another throughout the night.
Paint a Picture
Combine your love of art and drinking cocktails into one 2-hour activity. Lead by an engaging instructor, the class starts out with the Paint Nite Oath, a vow to not utter the words, “mine doesn’t look like yours” or “mine sucks” even if you really, really want to. The class is led by a local artist who gives step-by-step instructions to somehow transform your blank canvas into a very close replica of the instructor’s model painting. The canvas, brushes and paint are ready and waiting for you. All you need to do is bring yourself and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. You can choose your night based on the painting that most appeals to you, the date, artist, or a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. The purpose is twofold, one a way to draw crowds into local restaurants on otherwise slow nights and two, a non-judgmental environment where you can relax, socialize, and try something new.
Go Back in Time
If you love the show, Boardwalk Empire, you’ll love the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Center City. In the late 1920s, the speakeasy housed the largest illegal alcohol distribution ring in the country and now it’s transformed that prohibition-area history into a dark, cozy spot with creative cocktails you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Don’t be intimated by the wacky drink names- Pianos Filled with Flames and Happiness is a Word for Amateurs – the servers are patient and happy to help you navigate the menu to choose a satisfactory libation.
J and I love going to comedy shows for date night, whether improv or stand up. For less than $25, you can buy 2 tickets to the Philly Improv Theater and witness a hilarious improv comedy show. With about 50 seats, the theatre is small and intimate. The show is BYOB – so don’t be shy about toting a 6-pack from the liquor store down the block. And you can feel good about the night, too: a portion of all proceeds from classes and performances are put into a fund for the purchase/rebuilding of the theater so you can laugh and feel good about yourself at the same time.
Take a Love Letter Tour
The quintessential Philadelphia tour, Love Letter, is a series of 50 rooftop murals that read like love notes. From 45th to 63rd along Market Street, you can tour the public arts project from the Mural Arts Program. For 1.5 hours, a program tour guide joins you for a ride on the Market-Frankford transit line through West Philadelphia. As for a little sneak preview, the text ranges from Your Everafter is All I’m After to This Love is Real so Dinner is on Me. You may find yourself on an adventure you weren’t expecting as you get to know the city.