Maybe you get up the nerve to ask that English major out, but when the big day rolls around the only thing left in your wallet is your OwlCard and you spent the last of your Diamond Dollars on a late night 7-Eleven run. Or perhaps your long-time sweetheart has an expensive appetite but don’t start convincing yourself that the Student Center is just as a romantic an eatery as any. Know that Philadelphia can be navigated on a measly college student’s budget, so have a great date no matter which president is peering up at you from your wallet.
$25 Hop on the subway southbound from campus to the Tasker-Morris stop, where a round-trip for two will cost $5.20 leaving you with $19.80. Marra’s Italian restaurant, located at 1734 E. Passyunk Ave., is a short stroll from the subway and the atmosphere is pure South Philly. Its chatty staff and dated decor add to the homey feeling of this Philadelphia favorite.
Split one of its enormous mountains of pasta a la “Lady and the Tramp” or share one of its infamous thin-crust, brick oven pizzas. Skip the sodas and depending on which dishes you order, you should be left with about $5 for a tip.
$15 Ditch the subway this time and catch a ride on the TU Shuttle to City Hall for a free ride then treat yourselves! At Maron Chocolates and Scoop DeVille, 1734 Chestnut St., the motto is, “life is too short…EAT DESSERT FIRST.” The front of the store resembles an old-fashioned candy shop while the back features homemade ice cream treats.
Try a large Oreo Mudslide for just $6.50 or one of its unique Coffee Freezes with refreshing flavors like raspberry and mint. Is your date feeling under the weather? Don’t bother taking a rain check because DeVille’s delivers.
$10 Grab your laptop and let your date pick out a DVD for this romantic outdoor rendezvous. Make your way to Rittenhouse Square with a blanket and picnic basket full of simple snacks even the most bankrupt of students still has in their pantry.
Think PB and J or cheese and crackers. Don’t forget to purchase
plastic-ware and napkins. Use whatever money left over for some extravagant goodies like chocolate covered strawberries (try Shane Handcrafted Candies, 110 Market St., which is the oldest candy store in the city.) Play some music or watch the movie together.
$5 Stroll down South Street toward Penn’s Landing and share a water ice from Rita’s or a hot chocolate from Starbucks. There are countless interesting shops featuring silly knick-knacks and costume jewelry. Check out the antique shop, which has a creepy upstairs room that is worth wandering through. Take a break on the South Street Bridge over looking the waterfront. This is a perfectly romantic spot to watch the sunset.
$.50 Admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is free on Sundays, although donations of any amount are encouraged. You will be asked how much you would like to donate before receiving your admittance pin, but don’t stress about your half-dollar contribution.
Every bit counts! Make sure to visit the outdoor Rodin museum and gardens farther down the parkway.
Living in the city can mercilessly smash open your piggy bank. The cost of books alone can force you into a penniless existence, but don’t let your social life dry up just because your wallet has. This is a great city to simply take a walk with your significant other because you never know what you might find.
Try scoping out restaurants for your next big date together.
Even if it is not what your date is used to, they are sure to appreciate your creativity.
Cristina Perachio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.