Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

May 20 2016

Nighttime Is The Right Time To Return To Philadelphia's Historic District

Music, Dancing, Tours & More Add Modern Twists To The Original City After Dark

As day turns to dusk and museums and landmarks close for the night, Philadelphia's Historic District is just gearing up for a night of fun. Theaters, play places and ghost tours keep youngsters amused until pajama time, while beer gardens, dance clubs and live music venues entertain the over-21 crowd well into the wee hours.

Here’s how the Historic District buzzes with activity long after the clock strikes 5 p.m.:

Family Fun:
End-of-day play at Franklin Square includes an award-winning playground, eclectic carousel and 18-hole mini-golf course with scale versions of iconic Philadelphia landmarks (open until 9 or 10 p.m., depending on the day, in season). Twinkling lights dangle from trees and enliven the evening hours at Spruce Street Harbor Park, where families play ping pong, giant Jenga, oversized chess and Connect Four. Roller skating on the outdoor rink at Summerfest on Penn’s Landing is even more fun with loved ones, and the indoor arcade offers a great use for quarters (Both open until 11 p.m. during the week and until 1 a.m. on weekends). For post-dinner treats, Victorian-inspired Franklin Fountain scoops old-fashioned ice cream, sundaes and fountain drinks with timeless appeal (open until midnight during the week and until 1 a.m. on the weekends).

Twilight Touring:
The city’s evening vibe adds an interesting twist to touring Historic Philadelphia. Independence After Hours, beginning at 5:30 p.m., gives visitors a rare opportunity for paying a post-sunset call on Independence Hall to meet George Washington, Ben Franklin and other Founding Fathers, who let visitors listen in on their discussion about the future of the colonies. Dark skies set the mood for Ghost Tours that weave through centuries-old streets and alleys, where visitors might just encounter spectral beings (last tour at 9:30 p.m. on weekends in July and August). History meets hops during the Tippler’s Tour, a drinker’s crawl with educational visits (no, seriously) to local taverns to sample patriotically significant adult beverages. Tours begin at 5:30 p.m.

First Fridays:
On each First Friday evening of the month, crowds throng sidewalks to check out free art openings and special exhibits at galleries such as Wexler, Snyderman, Larry Becker, Pentimenti, Indy Hall and more than 20 other esteemed exhibitors of art, many of which serve light noshes and wine until 9 p.m. Shops get in on the act too, with Scarlett Alley, Vagabond, Third Street Habit, Mode Moderne and others welcoming dusk-time browsers and buyers alike. The night’s not complete without dinner nearby, and a fun night on the town, which could include taking in a 10:30 p.m. performance by Red 40 or another high-energy band at nearby FringeArts. After 5 p.m., metered parking spots are free between Front and 5th Streets and Walnut and Callowhill Streets on First Fridays.

On The Big Screens:
With three locations of the popular, independent movie-minded Ritz Landmark Theatres, Historic Philadelphia has long been the city’s preferred neighborhood for catching future Oscar-winning performances and the latest foreign films. But the screenings don’t stop there. The district offers unexpected alfresco venues to catch a show. Audiences bring blankets and bottles of wine to the courtyard at the Betsy Ross House, where they take in vintage budget monster flicks such as The Hideous Sun Demon, at 5 p.m. on First Fridays, June through October. Brasserie La Peg turns its outdoor beer garden into a sit-in cinema for popular classics (this year, tributes Labyrinth and Purple Rain), summer Wednesdays at 8 p.m. More favorites—Creed, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Inside Out—play outdoors to a crowd on Thursday nights, June 30 through August 25, at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.

Date Nights:
Couples really up their date game in Historic Philadelphia. Pinot Boutique’s wine classes are uniquely Philadelphian, letting drinkers pair vino with cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, Tastykakes and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews or offering casual lessons on wines of the American Revolution. The Clay Studio’s Date Night is messy, dirty and lots of fun, as couples sip on wine or beer and make pottery. Twosomes can help crack a case while feasting on four Italian courses during Bistro Romano’s Murder Mystery dinner theater or take in the acts of national and local acoustic singer-songwriters in the intimate café setting at Tin Angel. Other ideas: Monday night pig roasts at Cuba Libre, Wednesday night beer tastings at 2nd Story Brewing and billiards and darts at Buffalo Billiards, any night at all.

Craft Beer Bars:
Centuries before water ran through homes, early Americans drank ale for breakfast. Historic Philadelphia proudly continues this tradition in a more modern fashion, in pubs such as 2nd Story Brewing, where a local farmer and her brewer-son make India pale ales, barleywine and pilsners. Across the street, Eulogy Belgian Tavern keeps 30 international choices on tap as part of their 400-item-long beer list, while beer pioneer Michael Naessens runs the program at Bierstube German Tavern. Irish Pōl uses digital screens to show off their 40 craft drafts. Hip yet old-timey National Mechanics printed the faces of Philadelphia personalities onto its craft beer pint glasses. Drinkers in the mood for moonshine, however, ought to check out the city’s only such cocktail list at Market Streets’ Silence Dogood’s Tavern.

Alfresco Sips:
When the temps heat up, so do Historic Philadelphia’s assortment of beer gardens and roof decks. Suds fans choose from more than two dozen brews at the Independence Beer Garden, with seasonal bites and a spectacular across-the-street view of Independence Hall. On the opposite side of Independence Mall, Hotel Monaco’s rooftop Stratus Lounge offers great cocktails and DJs to match. For more historic views, the second-story deck of Revolution House puts patrons nose-to-nose with the steeple of Christ Church. It’s hard to beat an evening of dinner and drinks in La Peg’s courtyard garden or watching boats sail along the Delaware River while sipping ice-cold ones at riverside spots Morgan’s Pier and Spruce Street Harbor Park. The latter boasts floating gardens; both offer food and drink from popular Philly chefs and brewers. Penn’s Landing’s SummerFest gives visitors two ways to cool off thanks to a nice selection of frosty beers and a temperature-controlled tent for enjoying them.

Dance, Dance Revolutionary:
Partiers burn up the dance floor throughout Historic Philadelphia. Fancy foot workers show off Latin moves at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, join the floating party on the Spirit of Philadelphia or take on the more impromptu club atmosphere of nearby Morgan’s Pier. Dancers who want to learn or show off ballroom and lindy hop moves hit the Friday night dance parties at Society Hill Dance Academy. Those with two left feet can polish up their Mirror Ball hopes by taking free lessons at Lucha Cartel, Brasil’s Nightclub and the Painted Bride Arts Center.

DJ Nights:
Bumping beats, chic settings and stylish crowds make for unforgettable nights out in Historic Philadelphia. The action gets going when the DJ drops the needle at the rooftop Stratus Lounge or bottle lounge Bleu Martini. The spinner at National Mechanics runs tunes that appeal to its hipster clientele. After the sun goes down, Morgan’s Pier morphs from laid-back waterfront hang into an indie music dance party. Bartenders at Positano Coast add to the festive atmosphere at this restaurant inspired by the Amalfi Coast.

Late Night Eats:

Dumplings deliciously stuffed with General Tso’s chicken, edamame or shrimp are served until midnight on weekends at Buddakan, a modern shrine to modern Asian fare. Po’ boys and bacon-fried popcorn are available alongside local craft beer until 1 a.m. at the circa 1870s Khyber Pass Pub. And Sonny’s Famous Steaks satisfies the bar crowd’s cravings for classic Philly cheesesteaks, cheese fries, burgers and onion rings until 3 a.m. on weekends.

In spring 2016, Drexel University and VISIT PHILADELPHIA® launched a new campaign—Historic Philadelphia—to celebrate America’s most historic square mile in the country’s first World Heritage City, as designated by the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Focusing on the attractions and neighborhoods of Old City, Society Hill and the Delaware River Waterfront, the campaign celebrates Philadelphia’s incomparable place in early American history and the vibrant original city neighborhoods.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, visitors can engage with costumed history makers, hear stories of the real people of independence and take part in colonial reenactments. And every day of the year, they can tour, shop, dine and drink in the area just like the founding fathers and mothers once did. For more information about all there is to see and do in Historic Philadelphia, go to visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com.

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

Related Releases

Jun 19 2017

A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Iconic Sites & Bites Give Visitors An Experience That’s Distinctly Philly

From its fascinating museums and vibrant parks to its national historic sites and famous (and delicious) food, Philadelphia offers plenty to see, do and taste. First-time visitors need to do some planning to fully experience what the City of Brotherly Love is all about. Here’s the ultimate guide for those who are new to the country’s first World Heritage City:

Historical Hotspots:

  • Independence Hall – While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence. Eleven
...
Jun 16 2017

30 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

Fact Sheet

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2016. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:
1. African American Museum in Philadelphia* – Founded in 1976, the museum is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and

...
May 10 2017

What's In Old City And Along The Delaware River Waterfront?

Two Historic District Neighborhoods Offer Restaurants, Art Galleries, Nightlife, Shopping—And History

Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City, part of Philadelphia’s Historic District, boasts charming cobblestone streets and plenty of 18th-century charm—along with an independent streak that’s evident in everything from its owner-operated shops to its edgy art scene.

Its proximity to the Liberty Bell, Penn’s Landing and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge make Old City a favorite for out-of-towners as much as for the residents who call it home. People love the neighborhood for its fashionable boutiques, great restaurants, eclectic galleries, boundary-pushing theaters and vibrant nightlife.

...
Feb 21 2017

New Museum Of The American Revolution To Open In Philadelphia, The Headquarters Of The Revolution

Sites Throughout The Region Recount America’s Fight For Independence

Long before the first musket shot was fired in Lexington in 1775, the seeds of the American Revolution were taking root in Philadelphia as colonists declared their independence and began preparing for war. With the April 19, 2017 opening of the Museum of the American Revolution, visitors will discover the complex and sometimes painful path to independence—a story that’s told both within the museum’s walls and at sites and attractions scattered throughout Philadelphia, the headquarters of the Revolution, and its surrounding countryside.
For visitors eager to delve into this tumultuous time in history, the Museum of the American Revolution—located in

...
Feb 16 2017

Alexander Hamilton's Legacy Remains Strong In Philadelphia's Historic District

Visitors Can Go Beyond Broadway & Follow Hamilton’s Philadelphia Footsteps

Freedom fighter, statesman, financial genius, adulterer. Fans of the blockbuster hit Hamilton know some of the story of Alexander Hamilton’s life, but there is plenty more to discover in Philadelphia’s Historic District. The new Museum of the American Revolution, opening on April 19, 2017, will offer a glimpse into the Hamilton-Washington bro-mance. A tale debuting this summer from the Once Upon A Nation storytellers will get to the root of the fatal Hamilton-Burr duel. And in Independence Hall, National Park Service rangers often regale visitors with accounts of heated debates Hamilton engaged in about the U.S. Constitution. Just beyond the

...
Jul 5 2016

A First-Timer's Guide To Philadelphia

Iconic Sites & Bites Give Visitors An Experience That’s Distinctly Philly

While Philadelphia offers a variety of authentic and top-notch attractions, exploring this vibrant city takes some planning—especially for first-time visitors. With so much to see, do and taste, it’s challenging for a novice to know where to begin in the country’s first World Heritage City. From the historic Liberty Bell to the deliciously indulgent cheesesteak, here’s a look at Philly 101:

Historical Hotspots:

  • Independence Hall – While historical attractions abound in Philly, Independence Hall has particular significance to the development of the nation. In this building in 1776, the Founding Fathers came together to sign the Declaration of Independence.
...
Jun 16 2016

Fact Sheet: 31 Top Philadelphia Region Attractions

* Note: Most attractions were listed in the Philadelphia Business Journal Book of Lists 2015. Those that were not are marked with an asterisk.

Historical Sites & Attractions:

  1. The African American Museum in Philadelphia*, founded in 1976, is the first institution built by a major U.S. city to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage and culture of African-Americans. The museum takes a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans and their role in the founding of the nation through the core exhibit Audacious Freedom. Other exhibits and programs explore the history, stories and cultures of those of African
...
May 10 2016

Iconic Landmarks Recount Philadelphia's Political History

Independence Hall, Carpenter’s Hall & Other Locations Provide The Backdrop For The 2016 Democratic National Convention

When delegates gather in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention in summer 2016, all eyes will be on the nation’s birthplace. Having hosted numerous political conventions, including the 2000 Republican gathering and the 1948 conventions for all three parties (Democratic, Republican and Progressive), Philadelphia is accustomed to being in the political spotlight. It was here where disgruntled colonists created a new form of government. Today, many of the places where those meetings, debates and activities took place still stand in Historic Philadelphia, an area that spans from the Delaware River Waterfront to 7th Street and from Vine to Lombard Streets.

...
Jul 5 2017

Philly 101: The How-Tos For Navigating Philadelphia

Primer On The City’s Layout, Accents & Very Particular Way To Drink At Dinner

Every year, 42 million travelers get to know Philadelphia’s layout, customs, food and dialect during their visits. First-timers may wonder: What’s the best way to get around (walk); why do so many restaurants refuse to serve alcohol (BYOBs); where are all the bagels (soft pretzels for breakfast); is that Ben Franklin on the top of that building (no); and is wooder ice really that big of a deal (yes)?

The reasons to visit the country’s first World Heritage City have been well-covered in U.S. News World Report, The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet and Condé

...