Valentine’s Day planning is the pits. You want to do something original, but you don’t want to be tacky, which makes this Hallmark holiday a pain. So what are your options when you want more than just dinner for two, but less than some kind of reenactment of a Say Anything boombox tribute? Well, we’ve been struggling with this dilemma for years, and made it our goal this year to find some fantastic romantic activities in the City of Brotherly Love.
(Note: We are not against a Valentine’s Day dinner for two! Please. We are, first and foremost, foodies by nature, and we also die for an excuse to dress up… so as you probably guessed, there is a lovely curated list of restaurant suggestions below.)
Love Letters Tour
128 N. Broad Street (Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building) – Philadelphia, PA
This train tour will take you and your Valentine across Philadelphia to view a series of “love letter” murals by Steve Powers (aka ESPO).
They are offering two tours on Saturday and Sunday, February 13th and 14th, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. At just $22 per ticket, how could you pass on this inventive day-date? Plus, the early tour lets out early enough to leave you with more than enough time to get a lovely brunch somewhere (we vote for Talula’s Garden).
The Restaurant School’s DIY Valentine’s Day Workshop
4207 Walnut Street – Philadelphia, PA
Learn how to incorporate chocolate into various entrees and mouth-watering desserts with your significant other in this class. It’s $250 for two people (a deal from $150 per individual), but well worth the investment considering the culinary skills you’ll develop from these chef masters.
Cupid’s Undie Run
Xfinity Live, 1100 Pattison Avenue – Philadelphia, PA
Yes, this is another charity run that involves costumes, but before you immediately write it off, it looks pretty fun. Not to mention all of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s neurofibromatosis (or NF) research. Last year, they raised over $3.5 million from this undie-donning runners.
The Cupid’s Undie Run starts at XFinity Live at noon with a party and the one mile-ish run starts around 2:00 pm. The even is certainly more focused on partying than it is physical exertion, so if you’re looking to get down with debauchery (but debauchery with a cause) this Valentine’s Day, you should most definitely sign up for this activity.
101 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard – Philadelphia, PA
Ice skating, Garces snacks, a full bar, fire places and hot chocolate – a whole bunch of cuteness all rolled up into one big Winterfest! Grab your winter coat and head over to the RiverRink with your date from some nighttime ice skating and then warm up in The Lodge with some boozy drinks, snacks from Chef Jose Garces’ stand and delicious confections from The Franklin Fountain’s Cabin.
If you want to really wow your love, schedule a Sweethearts Skate Session at the RiverRink. The $25 ticket will get you chocolate, flowers, a skate session, photo booth and a DJ. Your date will swoon. We’re swooning, too.
1046 Tasker Street – Philadelphia, PA
This Philly Top 50 restaurant is infamous for their Nordic fare and fantastic service. Located on Easy Passyunk, Noord is a small, cozy BYO that boasts big, mouth-watering dishes. This Valentine’s Day, they’re featuring a four-course prix-fixe menu for $125 per couple. We cannot recommend this place enough!
110 S. 13th Street – Philadelphia, PA
This Philadelphia-favorite is offering a four-course prix fixe menu for $65 per person and we are drooling over it. This Mediterranean spot is one of Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s Midtown Village incredible restaurants… and is one of our personal favorites.
This homey restaurant can get pretty crowded, so make sure you reserve your table as soon as possible! Also, promise us you’ll get the caramel salted budino for dessert. It is the best dessert in the city. And possibly the world.
600 N. Broad Street – Philadelphia, PA
Southern food and jazz music? This new Philly hotspot has it going on. SOUTH will be serving a special prix fixe menu on February 13th and 14th for $45 per person and for just $20 more, you can get down to some live jazz music with Love Lori.
1617 E. Passyunk Avenue – Philadelphia, PA
The #1 restaurant for the second year in a row, Laurel is a true dining experience. The food is superb and the service is even better – if you are a foodie, you must put this small BYO on East Passyunk at the top of your list.
Laurel is offering a $125 per person tasting menu with an optional $70 wine pairing (or you can bring your own!). Reservations are most likely full, but we’ve managed to snag a reservation in the past by checking out their Twitter and Facebook accounts for last minute cancellations.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key this year, we suggest checking out some of Philadelphia’s speakeasy bars for a great cocktail in a demure setting. We love 1 Tippling Place, Hop Sing Laundromat, Ranstead Room and Franklin Mortgage.
117 S. 17th Street – Philadelphia, PA
This stylish hotel is offering you and your Valentine a very romantic night with their Turndown for What promotion, which includes a delivery of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, a sexy getaway kit and an in-room movie (of your choice!). When you’re ready, call downstairs for a nightly turndown service. Located in the heart of Rittenhouse Square, this hotel is just blocks away from some of the best shopping and restaurants in the city.