Photo by Doménica Castro.
With the fall weather finally arriving, it’s prime time for some romance. West Chester is a cute, little town perfect for a dozen cute, little date spots. Whether you’ve been dating for a few years or you just met at the start of the semester, there’ll be something on this list that strikes your fancy.
Baldwin’s Book Barn
You don’t have to be a bookworm to be a satisfied guest at Baldwin’s Book Barn. There’s just something Disney-kind-of-magical about weaving through the rows and gliding up five floors of a place that holds thousands of used and new books—straight out of Belle’s dream. It’s a great experience to share with someone. Hold hands with your honey and venture into thousands of other worlds through pages of a story. You might leave with a souvenir too!
If you’re the artsy type, bring your date to the Painted Plate! You’ll have lots of fun painting pottery together—and it’s an excellent spot date because it comes with a built-in keepsake to cherish and remind you of the time you spent here together. There’s a Halloween-themed workshop on Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m. where you can learn how to paint a spooky graveyard. That’ll be great for a low-pressure atmosphere because you’ll be focused on the activity; the conversation should come naturally, and it’ll give you something to talk about.
This is a great get-to-know-you spot: perfect for West Chester’s sweet twist on a generic coffee date. Get one of their funky flavors for a unique experience here. The cramped, yet cozy space at Fenn’s Coffee allows you to relax to avoid first-date pressure—as long as you get the decaf. Have a conversation while soothing music swarms your ears to fill any awkward silences. The baristas are really friendly too—and if history is you and your lover’s cup of tea (or coffee, in this case), ask about the rich history of Fenn’s Coffee. The current owners used to be regular customers and know a ton about it!
Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire
If getting into character is something you share, then look no further than the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire! It’s about an hour away from our campus, but well worth the trip. It’s a chance to get goofy with your lover and dress for the occasion. Make a whole weekend of it! Go shopping and assemble your costumes together. When you arrive, the actors will draw you into a medieval world. My boyfriend spoke with a pirate accent for a good portion of it—if you would call it that—when we went together. Giggle side-by-side at the dirty poetry show, grab a pickle-on-a-stick that will make your lips pucker for a vinegar-y kiss and return home with ye olde bow and arrow to catch your lover cupid-style.
Rai Rai Ramen
Head down Market Street to Rai Rai Ramen for a casual, yet delicious dinner out that’s not too pricey. Slurping up hot soup is never a bad idea when the cold weather sets in. I recommend the House Ramen and Pork Buns. There’s vegetarian options too! On one of our first dates, my boyfriend taught me how to use chopsticks and moved my fingers to the correct spot on the sticks—a great way to break the touch barrier and feel a bit more comfortable going out with a new person of interest.
Sitting in the gazebo while surrounded by the autumn palette in the leaves, a gentle wind passes by: the perfect moment for a first kiss. Nature-lovers thrive here, walking through the dirt paths carved into the park. If you’re not into some outdoor exploring, you’ll certainly delight in seeing locals walking their dogs. Give those good boys a pet. Everhart is a great final spot to visit after a stroll through town, popping in and out of shops—and the best part: the beautiful view is free!
Escape the Room
If you are looking to work on your cooperation skills, escape rooms are a great opportunity to work together in a relationship. There’s an escape room right up on High Street where you’ve got an hour to work through riddles to get out of a room. There might be a little pressure to think in a high-stress situation for a first date, but you won’t have to worry about how to start and carry the conversation—that’ll come naturally as you’re focused on moving through solving puzzle after puzzle. Grab a sweet treat at Cookie Dope afterward while you’re in town, and talk about the experience!
Just a quick drive away in Exton, the Movie Tavern’s big pull is dinner and a show. Order some loaded nachos and catch the show you’re looking to see. If you’ll excuse me for being a bit cliche, thriller movies are the perfect place to snuggle up into the safety of each other’s grip. “Joker” is showing right now, if you’re looking for a classic comic book scare.
Kirsten Magas is a fourth-year majoring in English with minors in creative writing and journalism. KM867219@wcupa.edu