Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Welcome back to lovely Swarthmore and to those of you who spent break in sunshine and seventy degree weather, you have my condolences. However, so long as we have winter we may as well enjoy it and just because the temperature drops doesn’t mean you can’t still go out and explore. To that end, what follows are a few ideas for a fancy night out on the town.
First off, the annual Swarthmore tradition of Ice Skating at Penn’s Landing is this weekend. Ice, stars, the river, mittens, and the occasional black-and-blue bruise, make it a very worthwhile and popular event. Tomorrow is also expected to heat up to a lovely forty-five degrees which means an adventure is just that much more bearable.
Among destinations to consider is the National Constitution Center, currently holding a celebration of African American history in honor of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Altenrately, for those willing to work out transportation issues, a visit to the Barnes Museum and arboretum is a great way to while away a few hours. The Barnes has a world class collection of impressionists and moderns as well as an eclectic mix of medieval manuscripts, Native American ceramics, and African sculpture.
Though Saturday and Sunday are colder you can always warm up to the possibility of a really nice dinner out. Sunday starts off another round of Restaurant Week. To those unfamiliar, during restaurant week you pay $35 per person for a prix fixe menu. What exactly will that get you? An example menu from the French-Rococo Philadelphia staple, Le Bec Fin, includes smoked salmon savarin, hangar steak with creamy polenta, and crÃ¨me brulee; while the funky Mexican charms of El Vez include tortilla soup, carne asada a la parilla and tres leche cake. Hungry yet?
If you really want to make it a night out, catch a show. The Perelman is showing “La Fiamma” a dark opera by Han Weirs-Jenssen about witch trials in seventh century Ravenna. Meanwhile if you’re really hungry you can check out the Arden Theatre Company’s “James and the Giant Peach.” Not quite high brow enough? You can always argue that you’re interested in its subversive messages (allegedly) advocating magic and communism which got the Roald Dahl children’s book banned.