Love Park, the City of Brotherly Love…Philly has a knack for love, making it the perfect place to spend Valentine’s Day—and we’ve got you covered! There are plenty of events around the city to celebrate, so we’ve picked out some of the more inexpensive options that are perfect for couples, singles, or friends alike. So grab a bit to eat somewhere, (if you need some inspiration, there’s always heart-shaped pizzas) head out, and enjoy the city with the people you want to be around.
A Night at the Opera: Oscar
When: February 11, 13 & 15, time varies Where: Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia Cost: FREE!
If you haven’t heard about Oscar yet, you’re missing out! The rollicking operatic portrayal of the life of legendary Oscar Wilde is making a splash in Philly, and what better way to celebrate the holiday of love than by getting a dressed up and heading to the opera (don’t be nervous—the opera isn’t as intimidating as you think). The show chronicles Wilde’s trial and incarceration over his scandalous love affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. Celebrate Wilde’s career and personal story with this sweeping art form, and enjoy taking part in the cultural fun with a friend or significant other. Open Arts members can get tickets for FREE, so sign up if you haven’t already (and when the free tickets are gone, you can get advanced student rush tickets for only $10). Read more about the play and experience here.
Magic Gardens Valentine’s Date Night Tours
When: February 13th, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Where: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, 1020 South Street, Philadelphia Cost: $15
If you’re over 21, this is a great night of colors and lights to share with someone you care about. Magic Gardens is already a unique destination wrapped in enchantment and creative splendor (our editorial intern last semester wrote a love note to the Gardens); but if you add some wine and a private candlelit tour, it’s somehow transformed into an even more captivating space. On the tour you can view the more romantic aspects of the mosaic galleries and labyrinth, such as hidden symbols of love around the gardens. You’ll also learn about the love story of Magic Garden’s creator Isaiah Zagar and his wife Julia and its influence on his work. Couples even have the chance to view the mosaiced basement that is not open to the general public. So grab a date (or a friend), and experience the magic! Ticket price includes wine, and reservations are required so get your tickets now!
When: February 14th, 7:00 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Where: Blue Cross RiverRink, 531 N. Columbus Boulevard, Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia Cost: $20
This event is popular every year during the romantic holiday, so be sure to get your tickets early. The breeze off the Delaware River won’t seem so cold when you’re skating next to your sweetheart. You can enjoy a night of skating to favorite love songs played by the DJ, and then cozy up by the fireplace and firepits. A special light display will illuminate the rink and the Garces Group will provide delicious food and drink. The ticket price includes free photos as well as complimentary flowers and chocolates! (If you’re looking for a more centrally-located option, head to the Rothman Institute Ice Rink in Dilworth Park)
StorySlam: The Ex-Files
When: February 14th, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Where: Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia Cost: $14
If you haven’t penciled in a candlelight dinner for February 14, grab a ticket to this hilarious night of self-deprecating humor. This annual storytelling competition asks audience members to step onto stage and share real-life tales of breakups and heartaches. If you want to participate, you just leave your name at the door. Ten storytellers are picked at random, and each contestant has five minutes to tell their tale. Then you judge each performance, and the highest-scoring participant wins $100 and a spot at First Person Arts’ annual Grand Slam! Get your tickets ($14) online fast before the prices go up or the show sells out!
Philadelphia Jazz Project: Love Notes
When: February 14, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Where: Arch Street Meeting House, 320 Arch Street, Philadelphia Cost: $25
This romantic night of music will definitely be one that you and your date will enjoy. “Love Notes” is a special Valentine’s Day performance that is inspired by John Coltrane’s classic jazz balled “Naima,” which was written for his wife in 1959. The show one will feature a variety of Philly’s finest male vocalists and musicians, and you’ll be engaged in the musical themes of love, understanding, and passion. The ticket price (which is the pre-show price) includes refreshments, and vendors will also be selling Valentine gifts throughout the night. So come out and enjoy the smooth stylings of these jazz artists!