With the holidays right around the corner, treat your partner to a romantic night filled with fantastic food and even better performances! Share a few laughs or reminisce on your favorite childhood productions while you cozy up and get into the holiday spirit at these PA hot spots.
1. Cloud 9 Wine Bar & Restaurant and Erie Playhouse
Cloud 9 Wine Bar & Restaurant
Start your perfect date night with the relaxed atmosphere and delicious menu at Cloud 9 Wine Bar & Restaurant. With carefully selected artisanal wines and a from-scratch menu featuring hand-tossed pizzas, this restaurant is hard not to love. Before going to the show, make sure to order a slice of the peanut butter pie or the house-made tiramisu cheesecake!
The Erie Playhouse, one of the oldest and largest community theaters in the nation, is just a short block away in downtown Erie. Snuggle up next to your date in the 100-year-old theater and in November enjoy the “The Lighting Thief” – an adaptation of Rick Riordan’s bestselling book transformed into a dynamic Broadway musical, or in December, “Elf the Musical” – based on the beloved holiday film featuring the adventures of Buddy the Elf.
2. Allegheny Grille and Allegheny Riverstone Center
Enjoy lunch or dinner with a spectacular waterfront view at the Allegheny Grille. Perched above the Great Allegheny River just 45 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, this is an unforgettable date spot. Grab a craft cocktail at the bar, order some American-style comfort food, and cozy up with your partner next to their indoor fireplace while taking in a breathtaking sunset over the river.
Allegheny Riverstone Center
Before or after dining, stroll together down the road for about a quarter mile to take in a performance at the Allegheny Riverstone Center, a nonprofit arts organization founded in 2005. From classical to jazz to R&B to bluegrass, and even Celtic music, this concert hall offers a variety of musical shows and events. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some holiday tunes, perfect for a date night!
3. JP Edward's and Stone Arch Players
Have a relaxing date night with comfort food and bar bites at JP Edward's in Burnham. Check out their B.Y.O.B. (build your own burger) bar or their larger-than-life “mouth hugger” sandwiches. After grabbing a drink and a bite to eat, stay a while and play a few games on their full-sized shuffleboard or tune into your favorite sports game on one of their many TVs.
Stone Arch Players
Just a two-minute drive down the road from JP Edward’s you’ll find Stone Arch Players, Burnham’s community theater. For 56 years, Stone Arch Players has offered seriously fun, fast-paced, laugh-a-minute productions. This November, catch “Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses,” both a mystery and a love story set at the Lovers’ Landing Beach Hotel, to enjoy the shenanigans and some hearty laughs with your loved one.
4. Alfredo's Pizza Café and Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
Alfredo's Pizza Café
For the perfect fall evening, begin the night with a mouth-watering Italian meal at Alfredo's Pizza Café. Start with a hand-tossed salad before ordering Alfredo's delectable pan pizza topped with mushrooms and hot peppers. A casual atmosphere with authentic food, Alfredo’s is a great spot to enjoy a delectable dinner before hitting a show.
Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple
A short drive from Alfredo’s Pizza Café, the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple hosts a variety of live performances – from national Broadway tours, dance troupes, and opera shows to comedians, lecturers, and even art exhibits. Once within the majestic building, grab a drink and enjoy an entertaining performance of “On Your Feet!” – the Tony Award nominated Broadway musical based on the inspiring true story of two people whose dream to become an international sensation came true.
5. Erie Station Dinner Theater
What could be better than a delicious dinner and wonderful performance enjoyed all at the same time? The Erie Station Dinner Theater operates year-round and is the longest running medieval dinner theater in the U.S. One of the most unique experiences in Erie, the station offers a variety of comedies and musical reviews paired with Chef Susan Hamp’s fresh and fantastic cuisine. In early November, catch the theater’s signature performance, “A Canterbury Feast,” or visit after Nov. 30 to see the popular holiday production of “Christmas Memories.” Have a wholesome evening with your partner at this heart-warming musical that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.
6. Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar, Hershey Theatre
Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar
Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar is a great place to wine and dine before enjoying the show in the heart of Hershey. Settle into the dining room and enjoy a menu filled with fresh, made-from-scratch dishes, hand-crafted cocktails, and small plates. Or, grab a stool at the bar for half-off appetizers and discounted drinks during happy hour. Between their firecracker shrimp and “Fancy Fried Cheese,” you’re sure to be fully energized and ready to settle back to enjoy a fine performance.
Just steps away from Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar, the Hershey Theatre invites you to their castle-inspired theatre. Hosting touring Broadway shows, classical music and dance performances, and world-renowned entertainers, you’re bound to find a show you both love. This holiday season, performances by Harry Connick Jr., Alton Brown, and Lindsay Sterling are among the headliners. Be sure to check out the theatre’s ceiling with colored lights arranged to resemble stars and clouds, and make sure to count the number of lions “hidden” throughout the theatre. Hint: There are more than 18!
7. Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
Located in the heart of Amish Country, Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre invites you and your special someone to enjoy an evening filled with fine dining and fun entertainment. Begin with a selection of delectable items from their American buffet, then sit back to enjoy one of the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre’s top-quality productions. Through Nov. 12, enjoy a rousing production of “Saturday Night Fever” powered by the chart-breaking hits of the Bee Gees. Starting Nov. 18, follow the escapades of Buddy the Elf in “Elf the Musical,” headlining this year’s holiday season.
8. Pines Dinner Theatre
Enjoy a dinner filled with delicious American-style food and a spectacular show at one of the Lehigh Valley’s most entertaining experiences, the Pines Dinner Theatre. Choose from a full slate of appetizers, soups and salads, delectable entrees, and yummy desserts. Then, enjoy a stage performance of “At the Stroke of Midnight,” deemed “the best original musical and Christmas show in years” by the Times News. This heartwarming tale will have even the most determined Scrooge smiling!
9. McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub and TouchStone Theatre
McCarthy's Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar
Warm your bellies with authentic Irish and British Isles fare made from scratch, a full bar, and an extensive Irish and Scottish whiskey menu at McCarthy's Red Stag Pub and Whiskey Bar in the heart of Historic Bethlehem, aka “Christmas City.” Created to preserve Irish family traditions and memories passed down through generations, McCarthy’s is the place for a true Celtic meal in the Lehigh Valley.
After getting a touch of the North Side, it’s a short five-minute stroll over the bridge to the South Side and the Touchstone Theatre for a truly original and memorable performance. This December, don your best Christmas sweater and ring in the holiday season with their fan-favorite, holiday variety show of music, merriment, and seasonal joy (and jingle bells, panda bears, colorful characters, and shopping carts, of course), Christmas City Follies XXIII!
10. Gaucho Parilla Argentina and Byham Theater
Gaucho Parilla Argentina
Located in the heart of the Cultural District, Gaucho Parilla Argentina serves wood-fired delights with an Argentine flare. Make sure to order their house-made chimichurri along with the empanadas. You and your significant other can brace yourselves for an epic feast when you order their asado platter, a steak platter with more than a pound and a half of different cuts of wood-grilled steak.
After treating yourself to a fantastic meal, walk across the street to the Byham Theater, which plays host to a wide variety of performing arts, including dance, music, theater, film, and family-friendly events held throughout the year. This December, settle into your seats as dazzling special effects and treasured holiday carols make the season bright in “A Musical Christmas Carol.” This Charles Dickens inspired classic is a wonderful way to celebrate the season!
11. Gi-Jin and Benedum Center
Combining the best of two worlds, Gi-Jin‘s upscale hand-roll sushi and gin bars reimagines the sushi experience with inspired combinations of color, technique, and style. Their gin cocktails range from the traditional, London dry style Beefeater to creative combinations from around the world. Not a gin fan? No worries – their beverage menu includes beer and wine, sake, and a variety of other inspired cocktails. Located downtown, this spot is the perfect place to grab a few cocktails and a hand roll or two to sate your appetite before a show.
Just a three-minute walk down the road is the Benedum Center, a focal point of Pittsburgh's Cultural District. The theater is home to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presentations including PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh and First Night Pittsburgh. As the lights dim, get comfortable with your date as you prepare to enjoy high caliber touring Broadway shows, including the 2019 Tony award-winning “Hadestown” and the award-winning, most popular musical in the world, “Les Miserables” in November. Take in a holiday classic during the month of December ranging from “The Nutcracker”ballet, Chip Davis’s “Manheim Steamroller Christmas,” or the male a cappella group, “Straight No Chaser.”
12. Giorgio on Pine and The Wilma Theater
Giorgio on Pine
Situated in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, Giorgio on Pine is an epic downtown date-night spot. Join host, Giorgio Giuliani, for a fine-dining experience at his rustic BYOB trattoria. Savor authentic Italian cuisine in a casual atmosphere that offers seasonal, fresh, and local hand-crafted dishes. Between their house-made, 12-hour, braised beef ragout gnocchi and crispy pancetta bucatini, you’ll be sure to get a taste of classic Roman cuisine.
A quick, five-minute walk from Giorgio on Pine, couples can catch a show at the Wilma Theater. The modern, 300-seat theater has been showcasing original productions since 1973. In November, catch the new production of “School Pictures,” a warmhearted and funny portrait of modern high school life told in musical snapshots of individual teenagers, sung by their broke and hapless tutor. Productions resume in February with “Kiss,“ where you will laugh uproariously and be moved to tears as a group of American actors performing a Syrian soap opera are shocked to realize the limits of their own cultural understanding.
To find even more date-night inspirations in Pennsylvania, check out the visitPA website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don't forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.