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Archive for the ‘Anytime’ Category

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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The bowling date is a classic, and one of my personal favorites. While not generally recommended for a first date (it can be a bit stilted trying to get to know someone in alternating 30 second increments while the pins reset) it is great for a group date, or for couples who enjoy a little friendly competition every now and again. “Social bowling” has experienced a resurgence in popularity recently, giving rise to slick and cavernous enterprises which seem to cater to large parties or corporate events, complete with fancy finger food, flashing lights, and frenetic music. That’s fine, but for a date it can be a little overwhelming, not to mention expensive. That’s why I was so thrilled to discover PEP Bowl at 1200 Broad street in South Philly. Small and laid-back, this six-lane establishment opened in 2009, but dates back to the 1950’s and maintains a retro-ambiance that is both winning and romantic in its charm. At the same time, its scoring mechanism, lanes, shoes and equipment are all modern and well-maintained, guaranteed to satisfy even the most serious of recreational bowlers. It’s also 100% handicapped accessible.

How cheap we talkin’: $3.50 per game per person and $3.00 shoe rental. Tuesdays they do one better, with $2.50 shoe rental and games from 5-11pm. And it’s BYO!

Why this will impress your date: At PEP, you are also bowling for a good cause. Patronage of PEP Bowl helps support PEP’s mission to provide education, recreation, vocational training, and job placement services to people with disabilities.

Score extra points: By throwing a gutter ball at least once. Now that may seem counter-intuitive, but it depends what kind of points you are really trying to score.

The Inside Game: Because there are only 6 lanes, it’s a good idea to call ahead and reserve one. 215 952-BOWL.

Next Date: Anytime! Well, almost. Lanes are reserved some early evenings for league play hours. Check here for the complete schedule, and here for special deals.

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A lot of people think Valentine’s Day is a sham. A commercial holiday designed to make Couples (capital “C”) feel like they have to spend money on limp flowers, overpriced dinners, and pro forma cards, and make Singles (capital “S”) feel like, well — crap.

But I disagree.

I think that, regardless of your relationship status, Valentine’s Day is a opportunity and a reminder to show affection and appreciation for the special people in our lives. And for me, the best way to do that is by spending time together, not money. So here are a few ideas from yours truly, dedicated to all those whose hearts are bigger than their bank accounts, for whom this site is really for.

  • Make your own Valentines! In a twist on my Coffee and Crayons date idea, bring supplies like scissors, glue, paper, crayons, and an old magazine or two to your favorite coffeehouse, treat yourselves to a favorite pastry, and spend a few hours making Valentines for each other or for your friends.

  • Stay in and cook your own pre fixe meal! Make it special by shopping together somewhere new and different, like the Asian Market, the Italian Market, or other speciality food store.

  • Read poetry and eat chocolate! For a wintertime spin on my Magazines and Munchies date idea, pick out a book of poetry and take turns reading by moonlight in Rittenhouse square. Or hand-pick a box of your favorite chocolates and feed them to each other in Washington Square Park. Both parks have plenty of perfect-for-cuddling benches.

  • Laugh about the past! First Person Arts Story Slams are one of my favorite cheap dates. World Cafe Live is hosting this Valentine’s Day event with stories on the theme the “Ex-Files,” sure to make you cringe, laugh, and cry in equal measure.

  • Wander the world together! You may not be able to afford Paris this year, but Philadelphia is a pretty great walking city, too.  What could be nicer than strolling through historic and charming Society Hill with a hot beverage in one hand and your date’s warm grip in the other? Want to keep walking? South street is always a lively scene, as is Baltimore Avenue in West Philly, and Passayunk Avenue in South Philly.

Whatever you decide to do, and whoever you decide to do it with, here’s to doing it with all of your heart, and not all of your cash.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

With Love,

Cheap Date Philadelphia

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It’s that time of the season: the excitement of the holidays is over, the novelty of snow has worn off, it’s f*ing freezing outside, and it will be for the foreseeable future. Under these conditions it can be very hard to get excited about leaving the house for a date.  Unless it involves curling up next to a fireplace with a perfect winter beer like I did on a recent date at Hawthorne’s in Bella Vista. Click here to read the full date review at drinkphilly.com!

Cheap Date writes a monthly column for Drink Philly featuring cheap dates for drink lovers.vOr for those of us (read: me) that drink on dates just so as not to throw up from nerves…

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Meg poses with a Santa we encountered at Suburban Station

My date’s stats:

 Blog: PhilaDate — Hot Spots for Great Dates in Illadel!

Age: Started blogging in October 2010.

Likes: Walking the city, singing, jazz and blues, and being the go-to source for her friends (especially her guy friends) for date ideas sure to impress the ladies.

Dislikes: Negative Feedback. (Who doesn’t?)

Little Known Fact: Also writes Songs That Won’t Make You Vomit, where she details the ups and downs of her dating life as it relates to, and reminds her of favorite songs.

Favorite Cheap Date:  Brunch at Fitzwater Café.

Meg Mirzoff is a 27 year old “self proclaimed dating pro” and the author of PhilaDate, a relatively new (October 2010) blog that highlights fun date spots culled from Meg’s own extensive experience with both dating and Philadelphia. A lifelong area resident, her twitter profile quips positively that “Philly is a hotbed for the singles… you just gotta put yourself out there!” And that is exactly what Meg did when she agreed to meet me for a blind date after I pitched my I’m Seeing Other Blogs idea to her via email.

Of course, as soon as we met I realized that Meg really never had a moment’s hesitation – a spirit of adventure is just a part of who she is.  Outgoing and enthusiastic, her fun-loving personality comes across in her blog as well.  For example, for a date with “heat” she recommends following a meal of tacos with a night out dancing at a salsa club, and she isn’t afraid of proposing ideas for a 24-hour long date (for some “serious” quality time).

Her idea for our Cheap Date was equally adventuresome: an afternoon Busker-hunting in and around Suburban Station, followed by drinks at Village Whiskey.  For those that don’t know (I didn’t), “Busking” is the act of performing in public while soliciting tips or gratuities (i.e. passing the hat).  Those engaged in Busking are called “Buskers,” also known as street performers, street musicians, minstrels, or troubadours.  I’ve passed by countless such performers before − on South Street, in Rittenhouse, and in the subway stations – but it hadn’t occurred to me that intentionally seeking out these performances could make for a highly entertaining afternoon and a great cheap date.

How cheap we talkin’:  $1-5 in tips for the Buskers; Approx. $6 for a beer at Village Whiskey.

Why this will impress your date: Not only does Busking have a long history dating back to at least the 1860’s, but today’s Buskers have their own culture involving unspoken but understood rules and customs about who gets to play when, and where.

Score Extra Points: By ordering tater tots to share at Village Whiskey. They are only $3 and they are delicious.

The Inside Game: All Buskers are entertainers, but not all are equally entertaining. For a nice profile of various Philly Buskers and their stomping grounds, check out this article from Penn music blog God Save the Beat, or this blog by local Busker David Richenbacher.  

Next Date: Anytime! But Saturday and Sunday afternoons are a pretty safe bet at Suburban Station, as well as early evenings weeknights (rush hour).

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Now that Baltimore Avenue’s $1 Dollar Stroll series is done for the winter, why not head down to South Street instead?  That’s what my date and I did on a recent afternoon, and as it turns out, this underappreciated thoroughfare has lots to see and do, for next to nothing.  We checked out artwork on the walls in the Bean Café, had a competition for who could find the most hilarious album cover in the fifty-cent record bins at Repo Records, made friends with the store cat at Mineralistic, browsed shops with everything from edible underwear to x-rated comic books, and stuffed ourselves with South street must-haves: slices from Lorenzo’s and ice cream (well, frozen yoghurt) from Phileo.

How cheap we talkin’: $2.75 for slices, $2 for coffee or tea, $5-7 for yoghurt (it’s sold by weight – so be careful not to overdo it!)

Why this will impress your date: Because South Street is an iconic Philly attraction that has been referenced by everyone from the Dead Milkmen to Boys II Men.

Wait for it……around 50 seconds in…Yes!

The Inside Game: Do not try this within 2 hours after an Eagles or Phillies win.  (Unless getting shoved around by crowds of cheering fans and possibly getting thrown up on is your idea of romance).

Score Extra Points: By buying your date a little gift along the way, like a $1 trinket from the dispensers in Atomic City Comics, or a folkart tchotske from Eyes Gallery.

Next date: Anytime, day or night!  Lorenzo’s serves until at least 4am most nights, the Bean Café stays open until midnight every night, and Phileo is open until 11 on weekends and 10 most weekdays. 

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There is something kind of exhilarating about having the daylights scared out of you, especially when you have a date’s hand to cling to in the dark.  In October, through Halloween, haunted houses pop up all over Philly and the surrounding area.  These spook shows are fun, for sure –  but they’re not cheap.  Tickets to Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary during off-peak hours are $20, and go up from there.  But, as I discovered on a recent date, this dilapidated prison fortress in Fairmount is pretty darn creepy all by itself, even in daylight hours.  Get your imagination going by trading ghost stories over a cup of coffee at Mugshots across the street, then go walk the long, ghostly halls of Eastern State, which many believe to be haunted. If you dare.

Why this will impress your date: Because being scared on a date is kind of sexy.  (Note: Being scared of your date is not).

The Inside Game: If you need something warmer than your date’s hand to hold onto, Eastern State will let you bring in your coffee.

Score Extra Points: By being able to give your date goose bumps with a great ghost story. Don’t have any? Borrow one fromTrue Ghost Stories or Your Ghost Stories. Both sites feature real stories of hauntings and other paranormal happenings.

Next date: Anytime. Eastern State Penitentiary is open 10-5pm, every day, year round.

How cheap we talkin’: $12 for daytime admission to Eastern State; 2$ for coffee or tea at Mugshots.

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