Thinking about taking someone on a special first date, and want to avoid the typical coffee shop or movie and a dinner ordeal? We explored some of the best (and worst) places in Philadelphia to take future potential love interests on a first date this Valentine's Day.
1. Le Cat Cafe: If you’re looking for a *paws*itively fun place to take a special someone, look no *fur*ther than Le Cat Cafe. Show them how good (or not so good) you are with animals and make them think you’re the cat’s meow. Cuddle and play with kitties and then when you inevitably get scratched, use the sympathy card! All cats at the cat cafe are rescues and ready to be adopted, and you know what that means … And for those who want to level up their dating out of their comfort zone, Le Cat Cafe also offers yoga classes … with cats! (Tiffany Pham and Davide Zhou)
2. The Franklin Institute: The Franklin Institute has some great exhibits you can shell out $30 for, but there's also a lot of hands-on stuff you can do for free. There's a whole exhibit on the human heart, including a giant one that you and your Valentine's Day-te can climb around in, an exhibit on space travel that'll make you see stars and an IMAX theater to catch a movie at the end of the night. Who says museums are boring? (Guyrandy Jean-Gilles and Pranay Vemulamada)
3. Philadelphia's Magic Gardens: This place is as close as you can get to the fairy tale magic in real life - and who wouldn’t want to explore some magic with that special someone? Walk with your date through the maze of mosaics and broken glass, and see if your special someone can appreciate the beauty of this visionary art environment filled with empty beer bottles and old bicycle wheels. Or, just take cute selfies in the mirror shards to be posted on Instagram at a later time. (Idil Demirdag and Arabella Uhry)
4. The Biopond: Don't let the dead trees and vacant pond (RIP Turtles — but not actually) fool you — the Biopond is a great romantic getaway for that one pre-med couple looking to get to know each other better this Valentine's Day. Its eerie solitude sets the stage for a wonderfully conversational outing. The Biopond also allows for a variety of other activities, such as squirrel watching and getting mud on your shoes. (Julio Sosa and Gio Paz)
5. Watching the sunset on the Fresh Grocer's rooftop: Sitting atop Fresh Grocer’s parking lot, enjoying a picnic between the two of you, and gazing out at the sun setting behind the clouds in a burst of reds and oranges and yellows … Doesn’t that sound like the perfect first date? Fresh Grocer’s rooftop not only provides a romantic and soothing atmosphere for you and your Valentine, but it’s also the perfect spot to catch the sunset if you’re on campus. (Cindy Chen and Griff Fitzsimmons)
6. The Schuylkill River Dog Park: Get your fix of puppy love at the dog park on the Schuylkill River Trail. The beautiful natural setting and adorable puppers will be sure to make your first date the beginning of a long and romantic "tail." (Zach Sheldon and Natalie Kahn)
7. Franklin Fountain: Do you love ice cream? Soda fountains? Chinese takeout boxes? Paper straws? For a romantic getaway, take a step back in time at the historic Franklin Fountain. (Joy Lee and Raquel Levitt)