I want to retrieve a date value from a date field attached to a node with entity_metadata_wrapper.

So far:


Provides an array. Not many other methods work. So, I have to do:

$date = $node_wrapper->field_tournament_date->value();
$start_date = format_date($date['value'], 'short');

Is there a cleaner way of getting the value of a date field without breaking it up like that?

4 Answers 4


In these situations with meta_data_wrapper you could put the array-value before the value function, like this:

$date = $node_wrapper->field_tournament_date->value->value();

If your server's running PHP 5.4 you could use:

$start_date = format_date($node_wrapper->field_tournament_date->value()['value'], 'short');

since function array dereferencing has been added.

Other than that I don't think there's a way of reducing your code to be honest. If you're manipulating date fields a lot you might consider creating a small helper function, something like

function MYMODULE_format_date_field($value, $column = 'value', $format = 'short') {
  return format_date($value[$column], $format);
$start_date = MYMODULE_format_date_field($node_wrapper->field_tournament_date->value());

or similar. It's not the best but it might save a bit of time.

  • Yeah, dereferencing is a no-go. Not 5.4. I wish. That would be ultra convenient. I just figured there was some native method of retrieving it from a date field, without loading up a date wrapper. No manipulating values, just going for quick custom display renderings with no fuss.
    – Kevin
    Sep 7, 2012 at 0:01

I use the following approach:

foreach ($node_wrapper->field_tournament_date->getIterator() as $date_wrapper) {
  // dpm($date_wrapper->getPropertyInfo() // to see what properties you have
  $start_date = $date_wrapper->value->value();
  $end_date = $date_wrapper->value2->value();
  $duration = $date_wrapper->duration->value();

I used the following:

$entity->field_date->get( 0 )->value->value( );

The call to get is needed because date fields are lists.

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