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September 08, 2017

10 non-date date spots in and around Philadelphia

Dating Romance
Carroll_Stock - Eastern State Penitentiary Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Eastern State Penitentiary on Fairmount Avenue.

The city is filled with award-winning restaurants, fancy cocktail bars and other classic go-to date spots. Yet, Philadelphia is also home to some rather creative settings that allow you to not only kindle a little love but also make a serious impression on the one you seek to woo.

Go beyond wining-and-dining at the following 10 locales, all of which bring a little unexpected romance to the dating table -- and a whole lot of fun.

From BYOB mini golf to haunted house thrills to gigantic playground picnics, find a variety of ideas from which to choose as you plan your next romantic outing.

Smith Memorial Playground:

Plan an extra playful date at the Smith Memorial Playground, where you can not only wander through six-and-a-half acres of outdoor space, but also slide down in tandem with your boo on a 44-foot wooden slide. The East Fairmount Park playground is the size of six full football fields -- meaning there’s plenty of giddy fun to be had. 

3500 Reservoir Drive. 

Tattooed Mom: 

While dive bars don’t always call to mind instant sentiments of romance, South Street’s Tattooed Mom is full of out-of-the-ordinary gems perfect for courtship in a laid back setting. Stir up a little friendly competition on the pool table, snuggle up in one of the bumper-cars-turned-bar-seats, or plan ahead and devise a wheat paste together to stick on one of the bar’s art-covered upstairs walls. 

530 South Street. 

Race Street Pier + FringeArts: 

Nothing says romance like a sunset stroll along the water. Home to incredible views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge soaring atop the serene Delaware River, Race Street Pier is undoubtedly one of the best spots to plan a golden hour date. Once the sun goes down, head across the street to the FringeArts building for an al fresco brew in the Haas Biergarten or a cocktail indoors at the spot’s restaurant, La Peg.

Race Street Pier: Race St & N. Columbus Blvd; FringeArts: 140 N. Columbus Blvd.

Eastern State Penitentiary: 

Hold on tight during a tour through the historic Eastern State Penitentiary, once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. Today, the uncanny spot stands full of empty cells and long, dim hallways, perfect for exploring with someone you wish to hold close. If you can make it during Halloween season, the attraction hosts Terror Behind the Walls, a haunted house experience sure to level up the element of fright-inciting romance.

2027 Fairmount Avenue

The Navy Yard: 

The Navy Yard is filled with charming alcoves and romantic activities. Head to Central Green, the area’s 5-acre park, to find ping pong tables ready for gameplay (BYO-Equipment) and hammocks available for lounging in afterward. Then, wander to the Navy Yard’s entrance where Vetri’s Bar, Amis, awaits with happy hour drinks and Italian-inspired eats. Post-meal, keep the date going with a waterfront walk along the Navy Yard’s mile-long trail overlooking the Delaware River.

4747 S. Broad Street

Valley Green Inn + Wissahickon: 

Tucked in the woods just off of Forbidden Drive, Valley Green Inn serves up a delicious multi-course brunch -- think mimosas and french toast -- every Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. At the historic restaurant’s steps lay the Wissahickon trail, inviting you to head out hand-in-hand with your date before refueling and romancing at the 17th-century inn.

Valley Green Road at Wissahickon


What’s more loving than an aerial high five? Head to Skyzone for a wall-to-wall trampoline experience that’s sure to get your heart beating alongside your partner-in-crime. Less than a 30-minute drive from Philly in Moorestown, N.J., the haven of fun features a huge foam zone for acrobatic endeavors, basketball nets to show-off your slam dunk and more.

2834 Route 73 North, Maple Shade, N.J.

Morris Arboretum: 

The perfect picnic spot, this 92-acre Victorian arboretum in Chestnut Hill is home to a rose garden, charming indoor fernery and green space galore. Take in the colorful display of over 12,000 plants, and then share a kiss with your date on the 450-foot canopy walk, providing a bird’s eye view of the forest from 50-feet above ground. Feeling good about the date? Make a mental note, the Morris Arboretum also serves as a wedding venue.

100 E. Northwestern Avenue

Keystone Mini Golf and Arcade: 

A hidden gem in Kensington, Keystone Mini Golf and Arcade invites you to come out for a game of BYOB mini golf, challenging your date to an 18-hole game. The indoor-outdoor course is filled with eccentric, antiquey decor that acts as a perfect conversation starter, and the surrounding space is lined with Pinball, Pac-Man and a variety of other old school arcade games for you to enjoy, too.

161 Cecil B Moore Ave


Artist James Turrell’s Skyspace installation in Chestnut Hill allows for a truly unique dawn or dusk date. At set times just before sunrise or sunset, the space beckons you inside to lay side-by-side with your partner and gaze to the sky for a silent, mesmerizing 50-minute light experience. Before you go, reserve a (pay-what-you-wish) ticket online.

20 E. Mermaid Lane