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Posts Tagged ‘cheap dates philly’

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!

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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 undeniably romantic about curling up on a blanket, sharing some candy, and maybe a brown-bagged bottle of cold beer, and taking in an outdoor movie on a hot summer night.  Every Wednesday through September 1st, the Headhouse District Indie Film Series screens an independent film in Headhouse Square (2nd street between Pine and Lombard).  All films in the series have a connection to Philly (whether the film was shot in the area or the filmmakers are natives) and the directors are usually on hand to discuss their films or answer questions after the show.  If you don’t want to take a chance on an unknown indie flick, Thursday evenings through August 26, the River Stage at Penn’s Landing (Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut) also hosts a series of “Screenings Under the Stars” featuring popular films, such as Star Trek and, this Thursday July 15th, the Secret Lives of Bees.  Importantly, however, both of these screenings are located within walking distance of the Sweettooth Candy Storeon 4th and Bainbridge, a delightful old-fashioned bulk candy store (reviewed recently by uwishunu), where we had fun assembling a grab bag of treats before the film.

How cheap we talkin’: Per person, $3.50 for candy at Sweettooth. Optional $4.50 for falafel at Maoz and/or $2 beer or beverage.

Why this will impress your date: Because you can bond over your shared love of snowcaps and other obscure confectionaries.

Score extra points: By bringing a couple of cold brews, cleverly disguised, ofcourse, in brown paper bags.

The inside game: If you forget to bring a blanket, Headhouse has thick pillars along both sides to lean up against, which may offer a more comfortable position than indian style on cement.

Next date: Every Wednesday at Headhouse Square through September 1st. Every Thursday (except July 29th) at Penn’s Landing (Through August 26th, 2010).

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Lining up for $1 treats!

The stretch of commerce along Baltimore Avenue between 50th and 43rd streets in West Philly offers a fantastic variety of restaurants, stores, and services.  At least, that is the conclusion I came to after checking out the Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll on a recent date.  Tonight (July 8th) and again on August 12th, from 5:30 until 8:30 pm, participating merchants will be showcasing their wares and enticing passerby with special, one-night-only offerings for $1.  Starting off with $1 pizza slices at Dock Street Brewing Co. and ending with $1 ice cream cones at Milk & Honey (with $1 theater tickets and cat toys in between), we had a great time: discovered some new places to put on the we-should-come-back-here-sometime list, picked up some free books (that we probably should have just put down), and ended the evening by watching the fireflies light up nearby Clark Park.

How cheap we talkin’: With 15 vendors at last count, you could spend up to the budget on $1 coffee, cookies, sandwiches, beer, records, clothes, etc.  We spent about $8 each, and still ended the night full and happy.

Why this will impress your date: Because of the confidence with which you can pick up the tab and say, “I got this.”

Score extra points: By coming up with a game to play to pass the time while waiting in line. Rock, paper, scissors is a good one. Or I-spy.

The inside game: If there is something you know you want to try, go there first. In some places supplies were limited.

Next date: The 2010 season is over. Hopefully they will reprise this event in 2011!

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Host Eric Thomas reading the rules

Last Tuesday night, my date and I went to a Story Slam, a unique event sponsored by First Person Arts that is part theater, part stand-up comedy, part open-mic, and part game show. Ten volunteer contestants each vie to be named best storyteller of the night by regaling the audience with personal tales related to a predetermined theme.  Each story must be less than five minutes in length, and Judges award points for content and delivery.  Between sets, we were kept well entertained by quick-witted host Eric Thomas, who at one point put on a t-shirt bearing the slogan “I did Justin Three Times” and explained that — although he had bought the shirt for Justin Timberlake —  it had become very awkward for him to wear the shirt ever since the ascent of Justin Beiber because, in his words, “Bieber is a 15 year old lesbian.” That was only one of the many laughs my date and I shared as Thomas and the rest of the storytellers each took their turns on the stage.

After the Slam, which took place at L’Etage, a swank nightclub on the corner of 6th and Bainbridge in Queen Village, we meandered downstairs to Beau Monde, a cozy french-style crêperie that proved to be the perfect spot to indulge in a little post-show dessert.

How cheap we talkin’: $10 per person entry to the Story Slam.  One shared crepe at Beau Monde: $7-8, including tax and tip.

Why this will impress your date: I did mention that Beau Monde has Nutella, right?

The Inside Game: If you decide to order anything during the Slam, pay in cash so you don’t have to wait for your check at the end.

Score Extra Points: By putting your name in the bucket!  Nothing is sexier than an abject willingness to expose oneself to public humiliation.  (Remember, most of the shows are taped for You Tube).

Next Date: L’Etage hosts a slam every fourth Tuesday of the month.  There are also Story Slams every second Monday at World Café Live, which are open to all ages (L’Etage is 21+).  Check the First Person Arts web calendar to confirm upcoming dates.

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Corner stools - best seats in the house

Every Wednesday, the Ritz theaters in Old City reduce rates on all shows to an amazingly affordable $6. The Ritz are good “date-movie” theaters because there is always something interesting/stimulating/artsy/educational/foreign/award-winning showing (i.e. you can generally avoid the cheesy romcoms and lame studio blockbusters which can be date-movie disasters, trust me).

There are 3 Ritz theatres all within walking distance of one another, but the Ritz Five at 214 Walnut Street is the closest to Zahav, a “modern Israeli” restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere, an elegant bar, and an outstanding happy hour from 5-7pm.  Be warned, however; the Lemonnanas at Zahav are so delicious, you may end up ditching the movie and ordering another round instead.

How cheap we talkin’: Admittedly, this date cuts it close, but $15 per person should get you 2 theatre tickets, 2 Lemonnana cocktails, and one order of half-price hummus to share, including tax and tip.  But if your bartender was as nice as ours, you should pony up the extra buck or two and tip handsomely.  I will not stand accused of being a Rachel Ray.

Why this will impress your date: The Ritz Five has history (it has been in operation over 30 years and was one of the first “arthouse” theaters in Philadelaphia), and Zahav has class (afterall, it was reviewed in Gourmet magazine).

The Inside Game: Demonstrate you possess the twin turn-ons of planning and foresight by picking up movie tickets on your way to Zahav. That way you won’t have to wait in line later, and you’re guaranteed a seat.

Score Extra Points: By actually knowing how to find Zahav.

Next Date: Any Wednesday!

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Come summertime, it seems like every Philadelphia neighborhood throws down block party style with a neighborhood festival or street fair.  Providing a full day of live music to listen to, vendors’ wares to peruse, yummy treats to try, and in most cases, green space to camp out on, these events make great dates because there’s a lot to see, a lot to do, and a little something for everybody.

How cheap we talkin’: FREE plus the (optional) cost of food, which could be very little, but could run you up to the budget if you decide you just have to get ice cream, and kettle corn, and funnel cake…

Why this will impress your date: Because you also look good in daylight.

The Inside Game: Bring your own water.  Bottled water will be overpriced, and you could spend your whole day in line for it.  Also, take public transportation or walk if you can – parking at and around these festivals can be a huge hassle.

Score Extra Points: Meet up with your friends or your date’s friends and make some introductions.  These kinds of events are a great, low-key way to casually see how your date mingles with a crowd.  Or, more specifically, with your crowd.

Next date: There are festivals all year long!  I will continue to update this post as I hear about more festivals, so check back!  In the meantime, mark your (2010) calendar for:

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