Amy Cunniff is a recent Temple graduate with a B.A. in Geography & Urban Studies and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Philadelphia’s hidden gems and traveling. Follow her food account @amyeatsaround to see more of her favorite spots, and check out her Philly date-night guide below!
As a recent Temple grad, I have spent the last four years exploring our beautiful city as much as possible. This past year, my boyfriend and I started a weekly tradition that we call “Thursday Day Dates”—we take turns planning a date every week (ranging from happy hours to museum visits and everything in between). Doing this has been such a fun way to discover more places in Philly and make amazing memories while doing it!
Free Dates for our Budget-Savvy Friends
Cira Green is a beautiful spot to relax during the warmer months—between free movie nights and people playing music or taking photos, it’s a great place to hang out or people watch. Bring books or games, a blanket, and some snacks if you so please, and stay for sunset. Trust me, it’s worth it!
If you’re a dog person, check out Doggie Style Pets. You can volunteer to walk one of their adoptable dogs! With multiple locations around the city (including Rittenhouse and Old City), it’s easy to find the perfect spot for a stroll. You get 30 minutes with the rescue pup, and if you feel so inclined, you can adopt at the end of the date.
Another perfect date for dog lovers? Big Dog Run, located at the Schuylkill River Trail. Walk up the bridge to get a bird’s-eye view of the dogs (and a perfect angle of Center City). If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money, stop by Rita’s beforehand for a treat while you watch.
Walking a dog from Doggie Style Pets
Dates for the Self-Proclaimed Foodie
For the best ambiance, look no further than Harp and Crown, a Center City happy hour staple. The combination of mood lighting, hanging plants, and funky artwork makes it a perfect date spot. Not to mention, the basement has a super cool speakeasy and bar where you can still order their whole menu. Get a bunch of plates to share—my favorites include any of their pizzas and the whipped ricotta.
The whipped ricotta and mac n’ cheese from Harp and Crown
Hop Sing Laundromat (21+) is a speakeasy that has many rules—the most important one being no photos allowed. It not only protects your privacy (in case you drink one too many of their fantastic cocktails), but it also allows you and your date to live in the moment. Their extensive menu hosts drinks with creative names like the “Fuhgettaboutit” and “Dream Baby Dream.”
Visit one of Philly’s favorite Farmer’s Markets at Clark Park in West Philadelphia. Held every Saturday from 10am-2pm, this is a great way to get to know some local farmers and businesses in Philadelphia. After you take a stroll through all of the stands, head over to Clarkville for incredible pizza with a cause (a portion of their ‘Community Pie’ sales goes to the Bethesda Project!), or stop by Renata’s Kitchen for an amazing Middle East-inspired brunch.
First Dates that Make an Impression
Take your person to mini golf at Franklin Square, followed by an amazing meal at a Chinatown favorite like Dim Sum Garden. For the over-21 crowd, go to Libertee Grounds on Girard Avenue (walking distance from Temple’s campus!).
The Pan-Asian food upstairs will give you plenty to talk about as you work your way through a Philly-themed minigolf course in the basement.
Photo credit: Libertee Grounds
We’ve successfully reached the warmer weather, meaning one of the best activities is to spend time outdoors! Take your date on a self-guided mural tour around Philadelphia. Some of my personal favorites include the Percy Street Project (at 9th and Percy), How to Turn Anything into Something Else (at Race and Broad), and Colorful Legacy (at 40th and Chestnut).