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On a recent Saturday, my date and I went to the Philadelphia Flea Market held that weekend in Headhouse Square, near the east end of South Street. Dozens of vendors were crowded under the covered walkway between Lombard and Spruce, spilling out onto the sidewalk on both sides.

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Thanks for your loyal and enthusiastic readership, Cheap Date Philadelphia is growing! In order to keep up, I am in the process of changing over to a different hosting platform with, hopefully, little to no interruption in service. But just in case you find you can’t find me when you need me, please rest assured I’ll be back very soon! I’m looking forward to sharing with you some recent cheap dates I’ve discovered including flea markets, ping pong & water ice, BYO jazz concerts, DIY sculpture and mural tours, and more!

xoxox,

CDP

One of my favorite cheap dates this time of year is to take a blanket and some treats to one of the many outdoor movie screenings that take place all over Philly all through the summer months.  I said it once, and I’ll say it again: There is something undeniably romantic about cuddling up after the sun goes down, sharing some candy and maybe a clandestine bottle of wine or beer, and taking in an outdoor movie on a hot summer night.
And from the looks of this handy-dandy list I’ve prepared − complete with titles and times! – this is a date you can enjoy almost any given night of the summer! Choose from Blockbusters at Penn’s Landing, classic favorites at Schuylkill Banks and Liberty Lands Park, Indie hits at the Piazza, films with local ties at Headhouse Square and more!  There is literally something happening almost every single night, and they are all FREE to attend.
Just BYO blankets and bottles and enjoy the show − and your date!
And if that’s not enough celluloid for you, Bistro La Minette, a quaint french bistro in Queen Village, screens French films every Monday, Thursday, and Friday in its back patio for its “Dinner and a Movie Al Fresco” series.  The shows start at 8:30pm (Fridays at 9:30pm) and reservations are recommended, but you can keep it a cheap date by sharing a pichet of wine or having desert and coffee instead of a full dinner.  There’s a different movie each week. Click here for the roster.

Last year, I recommended going to one of Philly’s many street fairs and festivals, as a great cheap date idea: There’s (usually) no cost for entry, there’s (almost always) live music or entertainment to enjoy, and there’s lots of cool stuff to look at and fun foods to try! Of course, if you don’t want to spend date money at the food stands you can always bring your own and dine picnic style – and bringing your own water anyway is a smart (and cost-saving) move.

In short, Philly’s festivals come in all shapes and sizes, and they are a great opportunity to venture out to a different park or neighborhood, mingle with a new crowd, get some sun and some exercise, see some great live music, meet up with friends, or just enjoy the company of your date.

Penn Landing's Great Plaza

Like last year, I’ve again compiled a list of upcoming street fairs and festivals for your next cheap date! As you can see, there is definitely something for everyone this summer! Mark your (2011) calendars for:

Keep checking back for updates and additions! And for a list of ALL festivals (including those with entry fees above $15, film fests, and events taking place in the greater Philadelphia area, check out this awesome festival roster from Visit Philly!

Lining up for $1 treats!

Once a month, starting tonight, June 2nd, take your date and a fistfull of dollars to Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia for the second (now) annual Dollar Stroll!

Featuring live music, street performers, sidewalk vendors and $1 deals on everything from ice cream to samosas to theater tickets, it’s going to be hard to find more bang for your buck anywhere in the city tonight.

This event turns Baltimore Avenue into a delightful open-air parade of sights, smells, and sounds, but as I learned last year, the lines do get long.  My advice for making it a great date: go early (the event runs from 5:30-8:30pm), don’t try to hit every venue, and use this handy vendor list to plan your route!

Note: If you miss tonight’s stroll, there are 3 more this season. Pencil in your next date for July 7th, August 4th, or September 1st!

Summer means t-shirts, shorts, sundresses, sandals, and sunshine. It also means the spectre of the possible date disaster – SWEATING. That’s why every cheap dater needs a go-to spot to enjoy a cool drink outside, with equal parts shade and ambiance. Read my full review at drinkphilly.com and find out where!

I admit that I was a little hesitant at first (ok, resistant may be more accurate) to the idea of trying “disc golf,” “frisbee golf,” (or “FROLF” as my date likes to call it).  But after a few hours spent flinging discs, tramping through the woods, and feigning a competitive edge, I was sold.  This game is really fun!  And being that it’s totally free to play, it’s also a cheap date!  In fact, the Sedgley Woods disc golf course is actually one of the oldest free, public pole-hole disc golf courses in the United States.  A more detailed history of the sport here in Philadelphia can be found here.

Disc golf also has the benefit of being an outdoor sport that takes place mostly under the cover of trees — a definite advantage for hot summer afternoons.  And much like standard golf, you can go at your own pace, allowing plenty of time for flirting and joking around.  You will need to invest in a specialized disc, which is flatter and smaller than a traditional frisbee and specially designed for the sport.  Never fear if you find that aspect intimidating — there are usually some kind and friendly Friends of Sedgley camped out at the entrance to the park selling discs (proceeds go to benefit the park). The best part? The satisfying clang of metal you hear every time you throw your disc into the basket.

Benches!

How cheap we talkin’?: Entrance to the course is absolutely FREE! If you are a first-timer, you may have to invest $9-12 in a disc, generally available for purchase on site.

Why this will impress your date: Because throwing a frisbee is athletic but it is also laid-back. So you can show your date that you are (importantly) both.

The Inside Game: By showing your date the “back 9” – an additional 9 holes that are more challenging than the regular 18, but will lead you into some lovely deep dark woods (read: where to MAKE OUT).

Score Extra Points: By bringing a picnic or some drinks. There are plenty of places throughout the course to stop and enjoy the view.

Next Date: Anytime! Sedgley Woods are open to the public year round, during daylight hours.  Check SEPTA for your exact route, but the 48 bus will get you within walking distance (the park is at 33rd and Oxford in East Fairmount Park).

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