Sweep your date off his/her/its feet with these art–inspired date itineraries
201 S. Columbus Blvd.
Getting There: Take the Market–Frankford line to 2nd.
An ellipse of ice, a breathtaking nighttime view of the river and lit up Benjamin Franklin bridge and plenty of reason to hold hands or simply hold onto someone for dear life. Take advantage of the city’s only Olympic–sized outdoor ice skating rink and have some fun this Valentine’s Day by bringing a significant other to Blue Cross River Rink’s Sweetheart Skate, where they’ll also be providing couples with complimentary flowers and photos to remember the night. Warm up afterwards with a beer or apple cider at Triumph Brewery (117 Chestnut St.)—just take the short walk over for some live music and one of their seasonally crafted concoctions.
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave.
Getting There: Take the 21 Bus toward Penn’s Landing (5 stops, get off at 20th St.), then cab to Fairmount Ave.
Not a fan of cheesy love stories? Eastern State Penitentiary might seem more associated with scary tales and Halloween adventures, but if you’re looking for a truly unusual setting for romance, then this famous historical prison and their special Valentine’s Day Love Stories tour might just make for an incredibly memorable evening. If inmates and wardens behind these prison doors could get in the mood to write love letters and exchange marriage vows, surely love can bloom anywhere. Look for a change in atmosphere after the tour and enjoy a casual couple’s meal in the painting–lined restaurant Rembrandt’s (741 N. 23rd St.), only a short walk away.
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Getting There: Cab it.
Passionate about the Impressionists? Share your love for art and bring a date to the Barnes Foundation where you’ll discover the great love stories behind masterpieces. After all, many artists’ muses provided not only visual inspiration but also love and support for their companion. There are tragedies behind these paintings, such as the story of how Jeanne Hébuterne killed herself after Modigliani’s death. Don’t despair—there are also happier examples to emulate such as Renoir immortalizing his wife in portraits and Dr. Barnes himself developing his collection with his wife. Plus, live classical music and a complimentary glass of champagne will also help set the romantic mood.
Art After Five and Fairmount Park
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Getting There: Cab it.
If you’re not quite ready to shout your love from the mountaintops, whisper it. Take a romantic stroll hand–in–hand along the picturesque paths in Fairmount Park where you’ll pass by a vast collection of monuments and a couple of historic mansions. Be sure to stop at the Smith Sculpture where you’ll be able to test out the Whispering Benches. Take a seat at one end of the curved wall and murmur something sweet with your head close to the wall because this whispering gallery will deliver your confession to the person sitting at the other end. If you’re looking for an artsy dinner after your walk in the park, then indulge and reserve a dinner at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which will also be offering a Cupid Strikes: Love and Marriage in the Art of the Renaissance tour as well as an evening DJ performance.
Starts at 1235 Market St.
Getting There: Take the Market–Frankford line to 12th.
Hop on the love train because a trio of forces have combined to offer a more offbeat direction for Valentine’s Day. Philly’s Mural Arts Program, SEPTA and Wired 96.5 radio are hosting a Love Train tour and a Singles Looking to Mingle with Tingle event—with a title like that, who could resist? The specially chartered train, adorned with Valentine’s Day decorations, will take attendees to check out the murals of Steve Powers, whose work expresses his love for his girl, his hometown and for Philadelphia. The event will be providing some food after the ride, but if you’re looking for a taste of the exotic, just walk over to Indonesia Restaurant at 1725 Snyder Ave.
139 N. Second St.
Getting There: Take the Market–Frankford Line to 2nd.
Remember “Ghost,” where Patrick Swayze helps Demi Moore craft her sculpture? The Clay Studio will be offering a Valentine’s Day date night to help you recreate your own romantic sculpture sessions. Couples can mold clay masterpieces together with instructors there to provide guidance, and after cleaning off your hands, sweeten the evening with champagne, wine, chocolate, and other aphrodisiacs.