Details updated for Summer 2019
One of the wonderful things about living in a city like Philadelphia is that in any given season there are a butch of new date ideas to try. And some of them are so good you can go back summer after summer. Here are some of my favorite summer date nights in Philly:
Best Pop-up Park- Spruce Street Harbor Park/ Summerfest at Blue Cross River Rink
Philadelphia definitely does Pop-up parks right. We love spending time at Spruce Street Harbor Park and Summerfest every summer. Both are located on the Delaware River Waterfront and provide an afternoon full of fun, whether you just visit one or walk the short distance between both of them. This is my favorite spot for date nights in Philly during the summer.
Spruce Street Harbor Park offers hammocks, games, a beer garden, and food trucks including Philly favorite Franklin Fountains. Special activities include live music nights, craft fairs every weekend, stand up paddle board yoga classes, and paddle boats.
Summerfest offers a large air conditioned area selling Chickie’s and Pete’s to cool off in after you roller skate or mini golf. You can also enjoy midway games and rides including a Ferris Wheel, as well as multicultural festivals throughout the summer.
Price: Free admission, activities priced individually (Most parking is $20, however)
Roller Skating- $4 admission, $10 skate rental
Marquee Rides- $4
SUP Yoga- Visit Aqua Vida’s website for more info.
Paddle Boats/Kayaks– $8/person/half hour
When: Spruce Street Harbor Park is open until September 29th (hours change in late September), Summerfest is open through Labor Day weekend.
Best Outdoor Movie- The Oval
Another of Philly’s pop-up parks, the Oval, is located in the parking lot directly in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Starting on July 19th it transforms into a colorful urban park with life size games, music, food trucks, and themed activity days.
If you have kids (or want to play like one) you can enjoy sand boxes, water play, mini golf, giant chess and checkers, a maze, and chalkboards (this is some of what was available previous summers). There are multiple locations throughout the city to watch an outdoor movie, but what is better then having the Philadelphia Museum of Art be the background of your movie viewing? That’s what my husband and I found at this ideal date night in Philly. There is grass to park your blanket or chair on and you are able to occupy yourself for a few hours before grabbing the best seats when people start to move towards the screen.
Photo from the Oval
Price: FREE! Unless you want to grab food at one of the food trucks.
When: July 19th-August 18th, The Oval is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Details: Most event details have yet to be posted for 2019.
Best Indoor Escape- Franklin Institute Science After Hours
Looking for a way to escape the heat? Go indoors to one of Philly’s many museums for a perfect year-round date night in Philly. In the past we have gotten to explore the Franklin Institute at one of their monthly adult’s only Science After Hours events. This night’s theme was the sixties and included such activities as a DJ with a 60s themed dance party and an exciting science demonstration/video presentation traveling through the science of the decade. We enjoyed being able to explore the museum (and play with the hands-on exhibits) with out fighting little ones for space.
Price: $25 per person, drinks (including alcohol) and food for sale in the ticketing area
Details: Every event features special presentations, science demonstrations, make-and-takes, lectures, and free swag all centered around the monthly theme.
Best Boating- Bartram’s Garden
Photo from Batram’s Garden
Bartram’s Garden is a 40-acre area of fields, gardens, and woods tucked against the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia. Before a couple of summers ago I had no idea this beautiful park even existed. Once you arrive in the parking lot it really is hard to believe that you are still in Philadelphia. The grounds are free and open year round from dawn to dusk, unless you want a guided tour of the house and gardens, which is $12. We enjoyed hiking through the property, but we really went for their Saturday Walk-Up Boating program.
When: April 27th to October 19th, 2019, every Saturday 11-3
Details: Take a kayak or rowboat out on the Schuylkill River for 30 minutes. Boats and life jackets provided.
Photo from Batram’s Garden
Outside the City- Longwood Gardens
So this one is technically not in the city, but I’d be amiss in not sharing one of my favorite spots in the Delaware Valley. I grew up going to Longwood Gardens, often several times a year when we had a family membership. I shared it with my husband for the first time several summers ago.
You can definitely spend a good part of a day here, exploring the beautiful outdoor gardens, the indoor conservatory, and learning about the Dupont family. There also have been some exciting additions since I was a child, including the expansive Meadow Garden and beautiful tree houses scattered through the grounds.
Price: $23, timed tickets are required so it is best to purchase in advance on the website.
When: Sun–Wed 9:00 am–6:00 pm, Thurs–Sat 9:00 am–10:00 pm
Main Fountain Shows are at the following times: Daily at 11:15 am; 1:15, 3:15 & 5:15 pm, Thursdays–Saturdays at 6:15, 7:15, 8:15
What are your favorite date night in Philly for the summer season? If you live elsewhere, what’s your favorite summer spot in your city?