Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Jul 1 2011

15 To-Dos In Historic Philadelphia After Five

Evening Hours Abound With Entertainment Options For Couples, Families & Friends

As daylight turns to twilight, Historic Philadelphia continues to entertain and educate with after-hours fun for residents and visitors with all sorts of tastes and interests. Want to sip cocktails on the National Museum of American Jewish History’s sweeping terrace? Prefer a round of mini-golf and Cake Shakes for the family at Franklin Square? How about an exclusive, leave-the-crowds-behind tour of Independence Hall? It’s all doable on “America’s most historic square mile.” Here’s a look at what to do and where to go after the clock strikes 5:00 p.m. in Historic Philadelphia:

For History Buffs:

  1. On Thursday evenings through September 1, visitors to the National Constitution Center pay a reduced admission after 5:00 p.m. The small $5 fee—just one Abraham Lincoln for those counting presidents—includes access to the Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon feature exhibition, the Spies, Traitors & Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America feature exhibition (through August 21), the center’s main galleries, the award-winning theater production Freedom Rising, along with an array of interactive activities, guided tours and special programming. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700,
  2. Children and adults walk under the night sky during Independence After Hours, a three-hour guided tour complete with a three-course meal at City Tavern and stops at landmarks that shaped the city and the nation. Starts at 5:30 p.m. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  3. Those eager to see Independence Hall during the busy summer season can do so without a timed ticket in the evening hours. From 5:00-7:00 p.m. through Labor Day, Park Rangers offer an insider’s look at the historic building—and visitors don’t need to plan ahead in order to take advantage. Free. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (800) 537-7676,
  4. From June through Labor Day, guided Twilight Tours show off Independence National Historical Park every evening starting at 6:00 p.m. Free. 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 861-4971,

For Film Fans:

  1. The National Museum of American Jewish History celebrates its first summer in its modern new digs with Cocktails & Comedies, a Tuesday night movie series featuring classics such as The Producers, Annie Hall and The Princess Bride. The evenings, taking place July 12, 19 and 26, kick off with cocktails on the museum’s terrace, offering sweeping views of Independence Mall. Starts at 6:00 p.m. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811,
  2. Come summer, all eyes are on the Philadelphia waterfront. Throughout the season, the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing hosts festivals featuring food, music and cultures from around the world. What’s more, families can nibble on popcorn while watching all-ages flicks during the Screenings Under the Stars film series, taking place every Thursday in July and August. Movies start at 8:30 p.m. Free. Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street, (215) 922-2FUN,
  3. One of the newest additions to Historic Philadelphia, Liberty 360 surrounds visitors as they take a 3-D, 360° journey, led by none other than Benjamin Franklin, to discover our nation’s symbols of freedom. The groundbreaking, 15-minute indoor show uses the most modern technology of its kind to spotlight the most treasured American value—liberty. Open until at least 7:00 p.m.—sometimes even later. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026,

For Those Who Like To Eat, Drink & Be Merry:

  1. Center City District’s popular Center City Sips promotion keeps bars bustling on Wednesday nights in the summer, and this year the Independence Visitor Center is in on the act. From 5:00-7:00 p.m. through August 31, Independence Al Fresco patrons can enjoy prime views of Independence Mall, along with $3 glasses of wine and $2 domestic beers. 6th & Market Streets, (800) 537-7676,
  2. On the Thursday night Tippler’s Tour, participants embark on an historic pub crawl that includes 18th-century drinking songs, stories about Colonial drinking traditions and drinks and snacks at four bars: Salon 401, National Mechanics, Triumph Brewery and City Tavern. Starts at 5:30 p.m. 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026,
  3. For a cone piled high with handmade ice cream served by soda jerks dressed in their old-time-y best, The Franklin Fountain is an Old City treat for kids and grown-ups, both of whom can peruse a se12:00 midnight, it’s the perfect spot to satisfy a late-night craving. 116 Market Street, (215) 627-1899,
  4. After families finish up their twilight game of Philly Mini Golf at Franklin Square, they can head over to SquareBurger for some classic Philly summertime treats. Favorites include The Cake Shake, a magical milkshake creation made with a Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet®, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream; and the With Love, XOXO sundae, a tasty treat made with creamy vanilla ice cream topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Open until at least 9:00 p.m.—sometimes later. 6th & Race Streets, (215) 629-4026,

For Ghost Hunters:

  1. Do spectral spirits really inhabit Independence Hall, St. Peter’s Cemetery and other historic landmarks? Visitors find out when they hear the true ghost stories and visit real haunted houses during Ghost Tours of Philadelphia’s “Candlelight Walking Tour” or the “Haunted Trolley Tour of Philadelphia.” Walking tours start at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; trolley tour starts at 8:00 p.m. Signers’ Garden, 5th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 413-7000,
  2. From April through November, daring souls hear chilling stories that are one part history and two parts haunt during the Spirits of ’76 Ghost Tour’s 75-minute outdoor walking journey through the cobblestone streets of Historic Philadelphia. Tours meet at Cosí. Tours start at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 525-1776,

For Cruise Connoisseurs:

  1. Diners take off on a two-hour Delaware River voyage aboard the majestic Spirit of Philadelphia ship, offering mouthwatering buffet dinners, breathtaking views and a DJ to get the whole family dancing. Various evening departure times beginning at 5:00 p.m. Spirit of Philadelphia dock, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard, (800) 455-3866,
  2. Landlubbers and sea lovers board the Philadelphia Belle paddlewheel riverboat for sightseeing cruises that highlight landmarks along the Delaware River waterfront. Dinner, lunch, brunch and moonlight rides are also available. Various evening departure times beginning at 6:00 p.m. Penn’s Landing between Market & Chestnut Streets, (888) 868-7764,

Those who prefer drinks, dinner and maybe even a show are also in the right neighborhood. Historic Philadelphia buzzes with decidedly grown-up theaters, restaurants, nightclubs and dance spots. For more information about the dining scene, musical performances and theatrical offerings, go to

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit or, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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