Forget Dinner: Try These Unique Valentine’s Day Dates

Ditch the prix-fixe circuit for active dates, crafty dates, and straight-up unhinged evenings as unconventional as your love.

valentine's day philly

Mini Golf with Love at Franklin Square for Valentine’s Day / Photograph by Cari Feiler Bender

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and while there are countless restaurants with romantic meals sure to bring you and your beloved closer together (and you and your money further apart), that may not be what you’re all about this year. And, quite frankly, we love that for you. Celebrating your love means celebrating you, not some couple you’re supposed to be that gets dressed up and makes googly eyes at each other across a candlelit table while inches away from other couples who paid to do the same thing. If you’re looking for something outside-the-box for this year, we’ve got ideas.

Mini Golf With Love at Franklin Square
All February long, Franklin Square’s mini golf switches over to a Valentine’s Day theme called “Mini Golf With Love,” adding special decorations and music to the course’s Philly landmarks. Of course, you can still catch the Electrical Spectacle light show every 30 minutes beginning at 5 p.m. daily and running through 9 p.m. set to “Winter Wonderland” for the month. Then grab warm drinks and cocktails inside the heated tent (or around the fire pits), and take a ride on the carousel.
$12-$15, Thursdays through Sundays through February 26th, Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets.

Taqueria Amor’s Barbie Makeover
Coming off their popular Grinch-themed holiday pop-up, Manayunk’s Taqueria Amor is going full Barbiecore for February. It’s all pink everything, and they’ve got seven new themed cocktails including “Bar-bay Breeze” and “Let’s Go Party.” The pop-up runs through February 20th.
Pay-as-you-go, February 1st-20th, Taqueria Amor, 4410 Main Street.

NLM at Night: The Future of True Love
National Liberty Museum hosts an after-hours event with cocktails, tarot readings and dance lessons. Gina Tomaine, author of the guidebook to the Philly Tarot Deck, will be on hand offering readings to reveal your romantic future, and Concierge Ballroom will be holding dance demonstrations and a workshop to teach you some new steps for your next night out. You can also get crafty with some drop-in card-making. “Singles, couples, and situationships are invited” for this event.
$10-$15, February 9th, 6-9 p.m., National Liberty Museum, 321 Chestnut Street.

Candle-Making with Old City Canning Co.
At these 1.5-hour workshops, chandlers will walk you through creating your own personalized candles as you sip some bubbly. Reserve your timeslot online.
$45, February 9th, 11th, and 16th, Old City Canning Co., 1533 South Street.

Tipsy History: A Love Story
Apparently, our very own Betsy Ross had quite a dramatic (for her day) romance: She eloped with her husband, John, and was condemned for marrying outside of her Quaker community. Hear about her love story, sip a “Love is Love” cocktail, and go on a love-themed tour of the Betsy Ross House. Tours are 75 minutes, and advanced tickets are required.
$25, February 10th and 11th, 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street.

Fire & Ice / Photograph courtesy of Assembly Rooftop Lounge

Fire & Ice Pop-Up at Assembly Rooftop Lounge
The Logan Hotel’s swanky rooftop bar is closing out its holiday-season Alpine Heights pop-up with a week of “Fire & Ice” in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The pop-up will have an ice bar, flaming cocktails, make-your-own-s’mores with tabletop stoves, and of course, cozy fire pits, blankets and views of the Parkway. Themed cocktails include “Love Me (Bar)tender” and “Drunk in Love.” Make reservations on Tock.
$10 cover, pay-as-you-go; February 10th-18th, Assembly Rooftop, 1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The SWEMO Experience: a Taylor + Emo Dance Party
Riot Nerd hosts an anti-Valentine’s edition of their Taylor Swift/Emo experience. Expect angsty music, a Polaroid photo booth with “crying mask” props, themed cocktails for purchase, fun visuals, and free handmade Taylor-themed friendship bracelets.
$15, February 10th, 9 p.m., Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street.

Valentine’s at the Trestle Inn
The Trestle Inn will be celebrating Valentine’s weekend in style with two special events. On February 10th, they’re hosting a rare happy-hour dance party, “Shine A Little Love,” with DJ Hardbargain and The Slinky Vagabond spinning “’70s smoochers and dance floor classics” on vinyl. Then, on February 11th, they’re hosting a Valentine’s edition of their weekly Saturnia vinyl disco party featuring love-themed disco classics from The Sound of Trestle (TSOT) DJs lil’ dave and Hardbargain. Both events will also have a themed drink special: The S&M, a Negroni Sbagliato with a chocolate-covered Maraschino cherry. There’s no cover for the happy hour, and a $10 (cash only) cover for Saturnia.
February 10th and 11th, The Trestle Inn, 339 North 11th Street.

Galentine’s Day Market
Keepin’ it Small, SOSNA, and Rex at the Royal are teaming up to showcase woman-owned small businesses for a special market where you can shop for your loved ones (and enjoy some specialty cocktails along the way). Vendors will have gifts like jewelry, self-care products, tea, flowers and more. The first 50 people will get $5 drink tickets, too.
Free, February 11th, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Rex at the Royal, 1524 South Street.

Galentine’s Brunch & Mini Flea
For another shopping event, head to The Lunar Inn for vendors, mimosas, tarot readings, and a DJ set from Juke Jive Hi-Fi.
Pay-as-you-go, February 12th, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., The Lunar Inn, 3124 Richmond Street.

Valentine’s Slay Drag Brunch
Triple Bottom Brewing is hosting a special Valentine’s event benefitting GALEI, a nonprofit that provides services, support, and advocacy for queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (QTBIPOC) communities. Tara Belle, Daisy Mae Rollin, Miss Thing, Misfit, and Avery Goodname will perform, and a special menu of brunch, cocktails and craft brews will be available for purchase. $5 from every ticket sold will be donated to GALEI.
$20 (does not include food and beverage), February 11th, noon-2 p.m., Triple Bottom Brewing, 915 Spring Garden Street.

Viktor’s Valentine at Lincoln Mill Haunted House
If the very prospect of Valentine’s Day just sounds terrifying to you, this is your event. Lean into the horror with a one-night-only pop-up event at Manayunk’s Lincoln Mill Haunted House. “Viktor’s Valentine: A Dark Love Story” is a (battery-powered) candlelight hunt that leads guests into a “blackout experience deep within the hidden chamber and rooms of the mill” featuring over 30 scare actors that will jump out at you and generally be creepy. All tickets include access before and after to the deck overlooking the Schuylkill River. Reserve your timeslot online.
$25 (or $45 per couple), February 11th, 6:30-10 p.m., Lincoln Mill Haunted House, 4100 Main Street.

Print Love-In
Fleisher Art Memorial is hosting its annual event where people of all ages can make Valentines while exploring printmaking techniques, from block print to screenprint. The first two sessions of the day are open to families — the final one is adults-only (and BYOB). No experience necessary; artists will be there to help. Register online.
$12-$30, February 12th, sessions from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 705 Christian Street. 

Clay Dates
If you’re one of the 5 people in Philadelphia who doesn’t care about the Super Bowl, you’re in luck because the evening of February 12th is the only timeslot still available at the Clay Studio for their Valentine’s date nights ($150 per couple; 1425 North American Street). If you’d like to get your hands dirty together on a different date, head to YayClay, which has Clay Date openings from February 9th through 16th, where you can make a vase together and enjoy Champagne and chocolate ($225 per couple; 3237 Amber Street).

Galentine’s Day at the Museum of Illusions
Old City’s outpost of the international, mind-bending and interactive Museum of Illusions is hosting a special Galentine’s Day event on February 13th filled with entertainment, themed photo ops and a complimentary glass of pink, sparkling prosecco (or sparkling juice). Each timeslot is scheduled 30minutes apart, and the self-guided experience lasts approximately 45-90 minutes. Also for Valentine’s, MOI is offering a two-for-one ticket promo on February 14th.
$19-$24, February 13th, 5-8 p.m., Museum of Illusions, 401 Market Street.

Cheese Basics: Valentine’s Day Edition
Philly Cheese School will guide you through the basics of cheese as you taste five cheese with Valentine’s-themed food pairings. You’ll learn about the cheeses, their producers, styles, pairing suggestions, tasting tips and more in this hour-long class whose tagline is “Love is in Gruyere.”
$60, February 12th, 4-5 p.m., Philly Cheese School, 701 South 9th Street.

Wine flight at Jet Wine Bar / Photograph courtesy of Jet Wine Bar

“Valentine’s Day is Cheesy” Wine Flights and Pairings
Even more cheese! If you’re not feeling a whole multi-course fancy Valentine’s dinner, Jet Wine Bar is offering cheesy snacks paired with a flight of three wines for a more laidback holiday outing. There are two separate seatings (5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.), and tickets are available online.
$45, February 14th, 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Jet Wine Bar, 1525 South Street.

Sweethearts Stroll in East Fairmount Park
Take a guided 3.5-mile tour of East Fairmount Park led by public programs manager John Sigmund, who will share the park’s most romantic and scenic spots. The event will also include some Valentines-themed prizes; and it all ends with hot chocolate as the sun sets over the Schuylkill. Tickets available online.
$15-$25, February 14th, 3:30-6 p.m., meet at the Fountain of Sea Horses on Waterworks Drive.

Libertee Grounds / Photograph by Gab Bonghi

Valentine’s Day Wine Tasting and Mini Golf
Mural City Cellars is teaming up with Libertee Grounds for a prix-fixe menu with wine pairings, followed by mini golf and games. Reserve your timeslot online.
$65, February 14th, 5:30-10 p.m., Libertee Grounds, 1600 West Girard Avenue.

Pillow Talk: Pillowcase Printing Date Night
Head to Fabric Workshop and Museum to screenprint your own pair of pillowcase covers (while drinking a glass of wine). Each $50 ticket includes a set of pillowcases and a demonstration on how to screenprint using expressive monoprinting techniques with imagery inspired by Betye Saar’s “Takin’ a Chance on Luv.” Wine and light refreshments will also be served.
$50, February 14, 2023, 6:30- 8 p.m., The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 1214 Arch Street.

Photograph courtesy of Delaware River Waterfront Corporation / Blue Cross RiverRink.

Sweetheart Skate
Spend Valentine’s Day on the ice. Enjoy slow jams on the rink, sip a hot cocktail by the fire, and stroll along the thousands of sparkling lights with river views. Tickets include skating at Blue Cross RiverRink, a rose, and a keepsake photo. (You can also sample Baileys while you’re there.) Food, beer, and specialty cocktails can be purchased on site.
$27, February 14th, 7-10:30 p.m., Blue Cross RiverRink, 101 South Columbus Boulevard. 

Pup With a Twist
Craft Hall is hosting a night of “cocktails, canines, and calming vibes” for a good cause. Create a watercolor painting (all supplies are included in ticket price) and visit with puppies available for adoption from Saved Me Rescue. Leave with some art, and possibly a new best friend. All ticket-sales proceeds will be donated to Saved Me. A cash bar will be open all night, including “yappy hour” selections where $1 from each beverage purchase will be donated to an animal charity. Note: Aside from the adoptable dogs, this is an adult-human-only event.
$25, February 15th, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Craft Hall, 901 North Delaware Avenue.