Sure, the classic dinner-and-a-movie is fun, but once you throw in a couple of entrees, some drinks and (increasingly expensive) movie tickets, the total adds up fast...and it can get kind of boring. Next time you're planning a night or afternoon out, try one of these cheap date ideas instead. Whether you're looking to save some cash or just try something new, these free and cheap dates in Philadelphia will provide a great time for less.
See a Half-Price Show
If you subscribe to Philly Fun Guide's Funsavers newsletter
, you'll receive a weekly email offering half-price tickets for everything from performances at the Wilma to historical walking tours.
Do a DIY Beer Tasting
Instead of paying high mark-ups for a beer flight at a restaurant or professional tasting event, head to the Foodery
in Northern Liberties and design your own. The Foodery features hundreds of different beers sold by the bottle, allowing you to try everything from Belgian lambics to mega-hopped IPAs and much more.
Visit a Park
As urban areas go, Greater Philadelphia might've won the outdoor-space lottery. The Fairmount Park system offers 9,200 acres of public parks with opportunities to hike, bike, walk, play Frisbee, picnic and barbecue all for free. If that's not enough outdoors options for you, try one of the area's other gardens and arboretums
ranging from the Brandywine Valley's Winterthur Estate to the Philadelphia Zoo to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, which is open all year long.
Wander Around on First Friday
On the first Friday of every month, art galleries across Greater Philadelphia open their doors in the early evening, offering patrons free food and drink while they browse the new shows. Old City is the biggest hub of First Friday activity, but there are also First Friday celebrations in Mt. Airy
, the Main Line
and at galleries all across Philadelphia.
Grab Atypical Eats
Going on a date that centers around food doesn't have to mean oodles of pricey tapas and wine. Get gourmet grub from a much-loved food truck like Magic Carpet
, visit an inexpensive BYOB like Pura Vida
or if you've had your eye on dinner at a fancy romantic restaurant
, try it for lunch or brunch instead.
Yeah, volunteering is a staple of cheap-date lists, but it's worth repeating. Helping out at a hunger-relief organization
, cleaning up a park or doing whatever other volunteering activity you please are great ways to spend time with someone for free — and you get to give back.
Check out a Comedy Show
Several groups, including The N Crowd
and the Philly Improv Theatre
offer regular improv and sketch comedy shows for less than you'd pay at a typical comedy club, usually between $5 and $10. Or, if you want to see stand up, attend an open mic night like Tuesdays at Helium
, Wednesdays at the Laff House
or Thursdays at the Raven Lounge
. Charging no cover, these events allow audience members to see comedians ranging from first-timers to some of Philly's best.