10 Healthy (and Cheap!) Dates to Plan in Philly This Summer

Hit the refresh button on your dating life with these fun and affordable outdoor date ideas.

summer date ideas

Planning a fun date in the summer doesn’t need to be expensive. Here are 10 affordable summer date ideas in the city. / Photograph by Caroline Cunningham

Forget about dinner and a movie every Saturday night, and allow us to instead help you get a little more creative (and active) with your summer date ideas. Below, find 10 ways to get moving outside while having a blast with your significant other.

Oh, and don’t worry: none of these dates will break the bank. In fact, many of the activities are free — with the exception of food and drinks along the way. Ready for some summer romance? Read on for all our fun, cheap, and healthy date ideas.

Skate and then get drinks along the Delaware River

First: Go roller skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest (101 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard, Delaware Waterfront).
Ditch the skates and head to Morgan’s Pier for drinks and snacks (221 North Columbus Boulevard, Delaware Waterfront).

Roller skating is a great cardio workout, and it’s totally acceptable to hold hands the entire time. Pricing for your skate date will run $14 per person for the skate rentals and admission. After the skate sesh, walk about a half mile to Morgan’s Pier to continue the outdoor fun while chowing down on goodies like a grain bowl, a spring veggie flatbread, and a chickpea salad. (And after a bazillion turns around the rink, we say you’ve earned a margarita, too!)

Relax with yoga, followed by an outdoor movie

First: Do Yoga on the Pier (Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard, Delaware Waterfront).
Then: Enjoy a movie under the stars at Penn’s Landing (101 Columbus Boulevard, Old City).

Okay, okay, fine: This involves watching a movie — but outdoors! And, my friend, this date is completely free. (Miraculous, we know.) Bring your own mat to a yoga class at Race Street Pier on Thursday night at 6 p.m., then follow-up your downward dogs with an outdoor movie screening at Penn’s Landing, which are happening until August 29th. And don’t forget to pack your popcorn! The showings aren’t until 8:30 p.m., so you’d even have time to grab a quick bite (or cocktail!) in between.

Take an art-filled stroll that ends with a vegan happy hour

First: Put on your walkin’ shoes and walk the Mural Mile (starting points and routes for both the North and South lines can be found here).
Then: Enjoy happy hour at Charlie Was a Sinner (131 South 13th Street, Midtown Village).

If you don’t want to be a sweaty mess on your date, this idea turns the fitness level down a bit, and cranks the culture level way up. You’ll take a take of tour some of the city’s best murals by foot, thanks to Mural Arts Philadelphia. Regardless if you choose the North or South route, the free self-guided tours let you and your date go at your own pace. Each of the self-guided tours ends in the food-filled Midtown Village, and Charlie was a Sinner is a solid place to refuel with delicious vegan food. Plan ahead and make a reservation for happy hour during which drinks and snacks are a little cheaper.

Row a boat, then hit a brewery

First: Spend a Saturday boating on the Schuylkill River at Bartram’s Garden (5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, Southwest Philly).
Then: Head to Dock Street Brewery for a bite and locally brewed beer (701 South 50th Street, West Philly).

Did you know that you can rent a rowboat for free at Bartram’s Garden every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (until August 13th)? Well, now you do, which means you’re basically ready to recreate that scene in The Notebook. Once your arms are tired, head to Dock Street Brewery for lunch or dinner and enjoy their healthy-ish options including a hormone-free burger, fresh salads, and wood-fired pizzas.

Take a hike, then visit a casual cafe

First: Hike the Wissahickon (check out five different trails here).
Then: Refuel with some casual fare from Green Soul (8410 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill).

A hike in the Wissahickon never fails to impress (there’s just so much green!). Afterwards, you’ll probably be sweaty, because, well, it’s summer and the Wissahickon can get pretty humid. But don’t let this deter you! Just think about the green smoothie you’ll down at the decidedly casual Green Soul cafe, which serves up quick dishes like a Cajun Salmon BLT or a build-your-own salad. Mmmmm.

Meditate and drink kombucha cocktails

First: Relax your minds at Vitality meditation studio (1856 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown).   
Then: Head to Front Street Cafe for a kombucha cocktail (1253 North Front Street, Fishtown).

This combo of meditation and cocktails makes for a super laid-back night. After a relaxing class at Vitality, it’s just a quick walk to Front Street Cafe, where you can continue kicking back with cocktails like a Spring Garden, made with fresh strawberries and cucumber, or a kombucha concoction (they serve it on tap!). The buffalo cauliflower is obviously a must-do as well.

Take your relationship to the next level — become biking buddies

First: Navigate the Philly-area on two wheels.
Then: Visit a craft brewery that’s easily accessible by bike.

The Philly area offers a bunch of bike trails for you to explore with your significant other. And what better way to cool down after your sweat session than with an ice-cold beer? You’ve got seven local craft breweries to choose from. Way more interesting (and productive!) than just meeting for drinks, no?

Venture into new territory in Fairmount Park

First: Explore the hidden gems of Fairmount Park with a guided hike followed by mediation (locations vary in Fairmount Park).
Then: Picnic in Fairmount Park.

If you’re one that typically sticks to one trail, and one trail only in Fairmount Park (hey, we’re guilty of it too!) then it might be worth your while to explore all of the hidden gems — like the Horticulture Center — this wonderful park has to offer. Work your legs during the hike and recover your mind with a short meditation afterwards for a mere $10 per person. And because no date is complete without snacks, pack a picnic basket and hunker down on a nice patch of grass in the shade.

Battle the mid-week blues with wellness

First: Head to Eakins Oval for Wellness Wednesdays (2451 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Art Museum-area).
Grab dinner and a drink at Whole Foods (2101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Art Museum-area).

Kick Hump Day in the butt with Wellness Wednesdays at Eakins Oval, a free summer-long series hosting three workouts per Wednesday evening from July 24th through August 14th. The workouts include power yoga, kickboxing, and dance fitness. Follow up your outdoor sweat session with a dinner date at the healthy-food-lovers paradise — Whole Foods — where you can score anything from a falafel sandwich to a salad accompanied by beer or wine.

Take a dip, then a sip

First: Go for a swim in one of Philly’s public pools.
Then: Revel in Philly’s green spaces at one of the many Parks on Taps locations.

If you and your better half really need to beat the heat, cool down in one of the free swimming pools in our steamy city. After your fingers get all pruney, head over to Philly’s roving summertime pop-up beer garden. You can plan your day with the help of Parks on Tap’s full schedule.