5 Fit Friend Date Ideas in Philly That Totally Beat Going to Brunch (AGAIN)

Because you’ve spent enough money on scrambled eggs for one lifetime.

Yoga on the Pier at Race Street Pier | Photo by Matt Stanley

Brunch is arguably the most effortless friend date out there — Saturday and Sunday mornings tend to be pretty free for most people, you don’t have to put much thought into where to go, and everyone loves pancakes. But at a certain point, like with any relationship, the same ol’ date over and over again can start to feel stale, and you start leaving brunch thinking dark thoughts like, “I wonder how many dollars I have spent on scrambled eggs over the past five years.”

You don’t ever want to reach the point where you’re asking yourself this question. Trust me, I’ve been there and the calculations only leads to despair.

Instead, we say, switch your friend dates up before they start to feel stale. And make them more efficient while you’re at it — get a sweat session in while you each rant about your lives (this is what friends do, right? It’s not just my friends, right?), like your sister’s computer game-addicted boyfriend who’s a decade younger than her, or the snarky email your coworker sent you last week. You will thank us when, after a few weeks, you’ve spent WAY less money on mimosas and have more muscle to show for it.

Below, five fun, fit friend dates planned for you. Read up, then text your steady brunch date with the change of plans.

First: Get your downward dog on at Yoga on the Pier, Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard, Delaware River Waterfront. 
Then: Picnic on the pier.
Yoga on the Pier, the super-popular free warm-weather yoga series held at Race Street Pier, holds tons of classes throughout the week, no sign-up necessary. We say, you schedule a date with a friend to downward-dog together, at either the 6 p.m. class that happens each weeknight or the 9:30 a.m. class on the weekends, each of you toting with you a dish or two to chow down on, picnic-style, afterward. Pro tip: Post up on the steps to the far end of the pier for the best river views.

First: Run with City Fit Girls, Dilworth Park, 1 South 15th Street, Center City. 
Then: Grab a green juice margarita at Mission Taqueria, 1516 Sansom Street, Center City.
The ladies-only running group City Fit Girls meets at Dilworth Park on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. for their weekly run. Our point? Grabbing a friend or two to gab with while pounding the pavement with the group is the perfect — more productive — alternative to hunkering down for a midweek happy hour to gripe about work. But if it’s one of those weeks where a midweek drink is a must, post-run, head just a few blocks away to Mission Taqueria with your pals for their Green Juice Margie. Yep: That’s a margarita made with green juice, and I promise you — cringe-worthy as it may sound — it is darn delicious. (Note: Make sure to check that the week’s run isn’t ending at a different location, which they occasionally do.)

First: Pick a day-hike destination, locations vary. 
Then: Trek and talk it out.
There are so many hiking spots around Philly — many of them reviewed here by Philly Day Hiker — that I want to go to. The problem, though: Something about traipsing through the woods alone really freaks me out. (Thanks a lot, Blair Witch Project.) The fix: Instead of spending three hours downing mimosas on a Sunday, a way less hangover-inducing way to hang with a friend is to head to one of these hiking spots. Bonus: Your Instagram story will be way more interesting and way less eye-roll-worthy.

First: Sweat at the Art Museum, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Fairmount. 
Then: Wander the museum.
A well-kept secret: Dhyana Yoga leads two classes at the Art Museum every Wednesday evening, which is also pay-what-you-wish night at the museum. Classes are at 6 and 7 p.m. and are free after your pay-what-you-wish admission, and after you get your downward dog on, you and your pal are welcome to wander around the museum. You’ll leave feeling stretched out and smarter, and without the usual “Oh. No. What have I done to my bank account?” feeling that a midweek dinner friend date can induce.

First: Flow at Rebel, 8020 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. 
Then: Shop the Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market, 7673 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill. 
Um, have you been to Rebel in Chestnut Hill? It is a yoga apparel store meets cafe meets yoga studio cottage and it is perfect friend date material, if I do say so myself. Their Saturday 9:30 a.m. Power Hour vinyasa yoga class (which is actually 75 minutes) is a killer sweat session and gets out just in time to make the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market, which runs until 12. And sweating and shopping is always more fun with a friend in tow, right?

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