Whether you’re a night owl or just looking to enjoy an evening on the town, there are plenty of after-dinner experiences awaiting you in Philadelphia.
Catch a concert
In the mood for live music? Don’t look far to find national touring acts or local bands performing at one of Philadelphia’s many concert halls. Live Nation’s venues include The Met Philadelphia, Fillmore, and Theatre of the Living Arts and regularly welcome some of the nation’s top performers from a wide variety of genres. For up-and-coming indie artists and local musicians, seek out Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown or Union Transfer along Spring Garden Street. Head to the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Fairmount Park or the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion just across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey, for open-air concert experiences, including summer music festivals. TIP: If comedy is more your style, check out Punch Line Philly, which sits adjacent to the Fillmore in Fishtown.
Immerse yourself in Philadelphia’s performing arts community
Consider taking in a concert or production by one of the city’s celebrated performing arts companies. The renowned Philadelphia Orchestra regularly fills the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center with mesmerizing renditions of classics and new compositions under Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, while Opera Philadelphia presents contemporary, often genre-defying works in the Perelman Theater (also in the Kimmel Center) or nearby Academy of Music. You can also visit the historic Walnut Street Theatre – the oldest continuously operating theatre in the nation – for a wide-range of stage productions including many family-friendly shows. To learn more about performing arts in Philadelphia, including the Philadelphia Ballet and Curtis Institute of Music, click here. NOTE: Though currently not welcoming fans for in-person concerts, many of Philadelphia’s performing arts companies are presenting virtual experiences to be enjoyed safely at home.
Hang out along the Delaware River
End the evening by enjoying the cool breeze of the Delaware River at one of the several waterfront attractions. There’s perhaps no place better for summer evenings than Spruce Street Harbor Park, whose colorful canopy of LED lights illuminates a collection of cozy hammocks hanging underneath. Stroll the boardwalk for late-night snacks and grab a drink on a floating barge. Nearby, the BlueCross River Rink activates annually in the summer and winter months, with a large riverside ice- or roller-skating rink and indoor Lodge serving local snacks and cocktails. Don’t miss Cherry Street Pier with a rotating collection of art exhibits, pop-up markets, and other events in a part covered, part open-air setting, open year-round. Grab an evening drink or snack on the deck of Morgan’s Pier beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which is open each spring through fall.
Attend a sporting event
There is perhaps no better way to acquaint yourself with Philadelphia’s renowned sports fandom than enjoying a live sporting event in person. When it is once again safe to do so, join thousands of fans in an E-A-G-L-E-S chant at Lincoln Financial Field, cheer on the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, or root for the Flyers or Sixers at the Wells Fargo Center – all part of the South Philadelphia Stadium District. A short drive away in Chester, Pennsylvania, you can watch the Philadelphia Union – Philadelphia’s Major League Soccer team – compete as the rowdy Sons of Ben supporter group cheers the team on for duration of the match at Subaru Park.
If snagging tickets for a game or match is proving to be difficult, you can still get the Philadelphia sports experience by grabbing a seat at a local sports bar, like Xfinity Live! (also in the Stadium District), Chickie’s & Pete’s or historic McGillin’s in Center City.
Try your luck at a casino
Feeling lucky? Philadelphia has two casinos within city limits that are open 24/7 and are perfect for late-night gaming. Near Fishtown along the Delaware River, Rivers Casino features an impressive collection of slots and table games, as well as a 5,700-square-foot sportsbook for sports betting. Rivers also boasts an impressive collection of Asian-inspired games like Baccarat and Pai Gow, perfectly complemented by the authentic Asian cuisine offered by on-site, quick serve restaurant Mian. Back in the Stadium District, the new Live! Casino & Hotel offers over 2,100 state-of-the-art slot machines, 121 live action table games, a FanDuel Sportsbook and Lounge, and multiple dining options including popular Philadelphia favorites like The Prime Rib, Lorenzo and Sons Pizza, and Termini Brothers Bakery.
Satisfy your late-night cravings with a cheesesteak
Several of Philadelphia’s popular cheesesteak shops are open all night with warm, delicious cheesesteaks awaiting whenever hunger hits. Two of the most iconic options are the neighboring Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks in South Philadelphia, easily distinguished by the bright neon lights emitting from the intersection of 9th and Passyunk. A few blocks north, South Street’s evening eateries include Jim’s South Street and nearby Ishkabibbles.
NOTE: Jim’s is temporarily closed for renovations and projected to reopen Labor Day weekend 2023.
Join a ghost tour to learn about Philadelphia’s spooky past
Popular around Halloween but also year-round, several evening walking tours have you navigate the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia’s historic district and pass by buildings closely tied to the founding of the nation while learning of haunting tales tied to former inhabitants. One option, Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, shares macabre details of the city’s history on nightly walking tours with stops outside of historic landmarks like Independence Hall and trips to secret gardens and graveyards that surround Independence National Historical Park.
Cover photo by M. Stanley.