COVID continues to impact holiday get-togethers which means Valentine’s Day will be celebrated a little differently this year. With events, restaurants and other venues operating under limited capacity, reservations are a must for just about everything. Many restaurants are still open, but operating in a limited capacity to comply with state rules, so reservations are a must. That doesn’t mean romance is off the table this year. With a little ingenuity, there are still plenty of ways to declare your love for your partner. With so many incredible restaurants in Philly, a nice dinner out (or in!) is always a classic way to spend Valentine’s Day. But if you’re looking for more creative ways to spend the holiday, we’ve rounded up a bunch of those, too.

(Hint: Many of these are past Happening List Winner, so you KNOW they’re favorites in the community. If you’d like to vote for your favorite spots in Philadelphia for the 2021 Happening List, click here.)

Sweetheart Skate

Grab your special someone and celebrate Valentine’s Day at the annual Sweetheart Skate at Winterfest on the Delaware River Waterfront. Tickets are $20 each and include a flower and music spun by Deejay007. Other options include staying toasty warm in a privately heated cabin or roast marshmallows over a private firepit.

Similarly, you can enjoy a Sweetheart Skate at Dilworth Park when they offer buy one, get one free rink admission and skate rental from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on February 14.

Spend the Night in a Wine Cellar

Caffe Aldo Lamberti (Photo provided by Aversa PR)

Caffe Aldo Lamberti is opening up its Tuscan Wine Cellar for an exclusive Valentine’s dinner and wine experience for two. The entire wine cellar, normally reserved for group events, can now be yours for you and your sweetheart to enjoy exclusively and privately complete with candlelight and rose petals. Enjoy the finest wines, signature seafood and pastas, Valentine’s specials and decadent desserts.

Caffe Aldo Lamberti is also open for dinner in the main dining room and takeout.

Travel Through Time

Love is in the air at the Betsy Ross House this Valentine’s Day weekend. For the most unique date in town, grab your plus one and join Betsy, herself, for “Tipsy History:  A Love Story” from Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14.

You’ll hear a love story for the ages when you meet a young Betsy Ross just after her elopement with husband John. She faces the condemnation of her Quaker community for marrying outside her religion. Will she choose faith and family or true love?

Then, couples will head into the House for a special love-themed tour and finally, a walk around the corner to Art in the Age to warm up with a delicious, handcrafted cocktail, featuring that most patriotic of ingredients in Betsy’s time … chocolate!

Evil Genius Beer (Photo provided by Aversa PR)

“The power of love is a curious thing …” Evil Genius Beer Company time travels on Saturday, February 13 with a special Back to the Future theme night and special beer release for “Marty, whatever happens, don’t ever go to 2020.” Four Humors Distilling will present a Cafe 80’s Speakeasy-themed vending area that would make a modern-day Marty McFly and Jennifer Jane Parker proud. Kick back (to the future) in the Evil Genius Beer Garden with food truck specials, drink specials and futuristic fun. Plus be on the lookout for staff dressed ready to impress plus nostalgic decorations and surprises. Live music will be provided by Tom Curtis from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. – Dress in your best 80s gear – enter to win a prize. Reservations aren’t required but are highly suggested. Wear your mask, plan to social distance, and get ready to step back in time.

Pair Your Chocolate with Beer

Keeping with the chocolate and beer theme, you can join Arch Street Meeting House for an extraordinary craft beer and Cadbury chocolate tasting on Friday, February 12th at 7 p.m. On Sunday, February 14, the Market at the Faraway, located at 8221 Germantown Avenue, is hosting a Handmade Chocolate and Craft Beer Tasting from 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Enjoy Dinner and a Show (Virtual Style)

ePOP Love Notes (Photo provided by Aversa PR)

East Passyunk Opera Project (ePOP) is teaming up with Pistola’s del Sur, Sancho Pistola’s and Jose Pistola’s for “Love Notes”, a special three course dinner and virtual concert taking place over Valentine’s Day Weekend. The dinner and concert will feature performances by Philadelphia-based opera singers Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano, and Joshua Blue, tenor. The real-life couple will perform safely from their home in South Philly. The duo will be accompanied by pianist Aurelien Eulert. In addition, several prominent opera singers will make guest appearances throughout the concert: Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sandra Piques Eddy, Joélle Harvey and her husband Alex Fletcher, Zachary James, and Will Liverman, all of whom have sung leading roles at The Metropolitan Opera and a host of other distinguished opera and concert venues throughout the world. Opera never tasted so delicious as Pistola’s Executive Chef Adan Trinidad created a special three-course dinner to pair with the concert. Love Notes runs Friday, February 12th through Sunday, February 14th. Food is available for pick-up or delivery. The virtual concert premieres on Friday night at 7:30pm and the link is live for ticket holders all weekend long. Tickets are $75 which includes three-course dinner for two and performance, or $95 for the three-course dinner for two, drink pairing for two and performance. Tickets are on sale now.

Visit a Museum

Museums are great places for a date. The lighting is often dim, there are plenty of things to look at and spark conversation, and learning something new is always fun.

Wonderspaces: Body Paint by Memo Akten, Photo by Alison Narro

Tip: Wonderspaces, is celebrating its 1-year anniversary when it reopens on January 29th. The interactive museum located in Philadelphia’s Fashion District opened one year ago with weeks of sold out admissions and thousands of tickets sold – only to be shut down due to stay at home orders. After opening briefly again in the fall, Wonderspaces closed again when the city shut down for a second time. Wonderspaces is now back with new exhibits, new safety protocols and awe-inspiring art from around the world.

In addition, The Center for Art in Wood which was voted Best Art Gallery in the 2020 Happening List, has a new solo exhibition starting in February. Titled “Searching for Home,” it features Seattle-based, Pakistan-born artist Humaira Abid, known for her unique visual language, which blends the discipline of traditional Mughal miniature painting and sculpture in wood.

Plus, The Franklin Institute, a 2020 Happening List Finalist for Best Museum, also has a planetarium so you and your loved one can spend the night under the stars while still keeping warm. The museum is open during COVID with restrictions and is also offering Facebook presentations so the entire family can enjoy it.

Get Artistic Together

Just about everyone has attended a canvas or wood painting party these days for a “Girls Night,” but what about for a date? Getting creative together is a fun way to unwind while you show your artistic side. This is also great if you’re looking for something to do with a small group.

Tip: Painting with a Twist , which has three Philadelphia locations, was the 2020 Philly Happening List Winner for Best Celebration Location. It hosts several classes including one called Date Night. At-Home Kits and Virtual classes are also available certain locations.

Get Physical

Try a couples boxing class hosted by Maleek Jackson Fitness on North Second Street. The Northern Liberties black-owned fitness center is offering a special class for $125 a pair with five class times to pick from between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Only 20 slots are available.

If axe throwing is more your speed, visit Kick Axe Throwing. Inhonor of Valentine’s Day, this Market Street spot is offering a private range and bottle of champagne for $159.

Book a Night Away

For many people, the only time you spend a night away from home is when you’re traveling or going to an event like a wedding. But there’s really something special about getting away from the daily routines of home life, even if you’re staying somewhere nearby. (Especially after the year we’ve just had!) Treat yourself and your loved one to a night at a local hotel or bed and breakfast so you can really relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse (Photo provided by Aversa PR)

Tip: Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square is offering a special Valentine’s Overnight Package when you book the night of February 13 to February 14 that includes a private luxury 3-course dinner for two in the comfort and elegance of your own hotel room, breakfast for two the following morning, plus 20% discount on valet for Valentine’s Day.

If you prefer a venue with plenty of historic charm, Morris House Hotel is a 2020 Happening List Winner for Best Bed & Breakfast. The boutique hotel offers free breakfast, WiFi and afternoon tea.

Get Pampered

In a world where almost everyone is busy, busy, busy, taking time to relax and pamper yourselves can be a wonderful way to spend a day with your special someone. You’ll feel refreshed, more attractive and more confident. And who doesn’t want to feel like that on Valentine’s Day?!

Tip: Halcyon Floats in Philadelphia was the 2020 Happening List Winner for Day Spa. It has several COVID measures in place to be sure your flotation experience is safe and healthy.

Love is a Box of Chocolate

A little bit of sweetness can drown out a whole lot of bitterness, which might be how giving a box of chocolates to your true love came into vogue.

Tip: Try 2020 Philly Happening List Chocolatier Finalist Choc OH lat for a treat that’s sure to melt your lover’s heart.

If you’re looking for fun things to do with the kids for Valentine’s Day, be sure to read THIS article! 


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