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11 unique date ideas in Philadelphia and beyond, from burlesque to salsa dancing to foraging for food

From burlesque shows to making dumplings, Philly has plenty of cute date ideas to choose from.

The city offers many unique date ideas beyond boring ol' dinner and drinks.
The city offers many unique date ideas beyond boring ol' dinner and drinks.Read moreCynthia Greer / Staff

You’ve been locked in an endless cycle of swiping right and left on dating apps with no avail. But, finally, the stars have aligned and you’ve got a match. Now what?

Dinner and drinks are reliable but basic. Philly’s dining scene is diverse and eclectic, but wouldn’t it be fun to tell your friends about that date you spent dancing the salsa, shooting (Cupid’s) arrows, and pole dancing with an attractive stranger? You’re sure to learn more about each other when trying something new, together.

Here are a handful of cute date ideas that’ll make for a memorable outing.

Make dumplings

The best meals are made with love, so why not make dumplings with your special someone? At Dumpling Academy, the dumpling ingredients and appetizers are provided — all you need to bring is your partner and a container to take home leftovers. Be sure to book on Valentine’s Day from 6 to 9 p.m. to make rose-shaped dumplings. Sign up for workshops, priced at $95 per person, online.

📍 928 Race St., Ste 2B, 📞 215-352-4324, 🌐

Take a chocolate and wine tour

Stroll local vineyards holding hands with your beloved, as you sip on sipping cabernet franc and savoring chocolate truffles. Then enjoy wine flights with chocolate and wine pairings by the fire. Throughout February, Garden State Wine Growers Association is hosting wine and chocolate weekend trips to wineries like Angelico Winery in Lambertville and Terhune Orchards Vineyard and Winery in Lawrence Township. Find dates for trails up to $35 online for the New Jersey Wine & Chocolate Trail Weekends.


A Valentine burlesque

At Fabrika, marvel at the aerial artists, dancers, acrobats, and more who take the stage to perform incredible feats of strength and talent as you dive into the Mediterranean menu and cocktails featuring locally distilled spirits. On Sundays, drag queens bring the party to brunch for $30 per person.

Beginning Feb. 16, enjoy burlesque Thursdays at 8 p.m. for $30 to $100. And if you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day date, there will be line cabaret and dinner with bar specials for $75 per person. RSVP over the phone or on OpenTable.

📍 1108 Frankford Ave., 📞 215-203-0202, 🌐

Learn to salsa

Let your bodies do the talking on the dance floor as you both learn the salsa and bachata at Estilo Dance Studio in Fishtown. Sign up for a private lesson with studio owner Michael Andino for $85 per person, or six lessons for $425 per person if you’re committed. There are also group lessons for those couples looking to mingle with fellow dancers.

📍 2036 Frankford Ave., 📞 267-317-8849, 🌐

For book lovers

Inside H&H Books, a table for two decorated with wine glasses, name cards, rose petals, and twinkling candles sits among books of all genres. With a carefully curated playlist to set the mood, spend an evening with your favorite person in this Fishtown bookstore. Couples can reserve their spot from Tuesday through Sunday at 5 p.m. for an hour and a half at $85, and at 6:45 p.m. for two hours at $100.

📍2230 Frankford Ave., 🌐

» READ MORE: Inside the TikTok-famous Philly bookstore where couples spend date night

Shoot Cupid’s arrow

Impress your date by shooting a bull’s-eye at the Love and War date night at Philly’s indoor archery range Wednesdays through Sundays at 7 p.m. This February, Callowhill Archery has 90-minute sessions for $70 per person. Shoot your shot and book your spot online. Note: Sessions on Feb. 10, 11, and 12 at 5 p.m. are sold out.

📍 446 N. 12th St., 📞 267-924-6504, 🌐

» READ MORE: At his parents’ former tofu factory, he runs the city’s only indoor archery range

Take a pottery class

At Yay Clay! in Port Richmond, date night is a BYOB two-hour instructional wheel-throwing class. For $150 per couple, work together to create a piece on the potter’s wheel. The studio will fire and finish up your pieces to take home three weeks later. And if the date goes south, the pieces can be shipped to you for an additional cost of $12 per piece.

For Valentine’s Day, classes are $225 for two from Feb. 9 to 16. They come with complimentary Champagne, wine, or sparkling cider, plus plenty of chocolate kisses and a handmade vase to take home for you and your sweetheart. Book online.

📍 3237 Amber St., 📞 215-716-7176, 🌐

Go pole dancing

Feeling brave? Find yourself head over heels, literally, with a duet pole-dancing lesson at Awakenings in Manayunk. Warm up and learn how to walk, do spins on the pole, and more with fitness-forward instructors. And if you’re looking to let your love fly, then try the aerial lesson, too. It’s $135 for two-person private lessons for pole and aerial. Book via phone.

📍3901 B Suite 305 Main St., 📞 484-800-1807 (Ext. 2), 🌐

Book a hot-air balloon ride

Get to know each other as you float above the idyllic countryside of Pennsylvania on a private hot-air balloon ride. Launch from Bucks, Lancaster, or Chester Counties. Experience breathtaking views of small towns, vineyards, wildlife, and more with a complimentary Champagne toast at the end of the ride. Private two-person rides are $895; shared rides range from $275 to $300. Book online.


Attend a comedy show

You can learn a lot about someone from their sense of humor. At Punch Line Philly, attend open mic nights and check out visiting comics to find out what tickles their funny bone.

On Valentine’s Day, laugh to the Cupid’s Comedy Allstars lineup with comedians Daphne London, Emily Epstein White and others. There’s also Awkward Sex … and the City on Feb. 15. The show features embarrassing, funny, sexy encounters — from cocaine-fueled one-night stands to sexual misadventures, breaking barriers about sex and dating with hilarious stories. Tickets are online. Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 8 p.m.

📍 33 E Laurel St. 🌐

Foraging for two

Do you and your crush share a cottagecore fantasy of trading city life for something simpler and more rural? Every Sunday at 2 p.m., local herbalist and forager Dan De Lion hosts a foraging and herbalism class at his homestead in Wantage, N.J. Learn about foraging, herbalism, tracking, farming, seasonal harvesting and processing of plants into prepared foods, and recipes for a suggested donation of $25. RSVP for the class location to to join.