37 Best Things to Do in Philly at Night & Late Afternoon | 2024 (with Photos)

Rosalia Ignatova

Rosalia Ignatova - Travel Writer

Published: August 14, 2023

Hey there! I'm Rose, a seasoned travel enthusiast with a passion for exploring the vibrant city of Philly. Join me on an adventure as I share my personal recommendations for the most exciting nighttime and late afternoon activities in Philly, complete with captivating photos. Let's make your trip unforgettable!

Best Things to Do in Philly at Night & Late Afternoon

Philadelphia is a vibrant city that offers an array of fun experiences, both day and night. When the sun goes down, the City of Brotherly Love truly comes alive with numerous unique and fun things to do.

From strolling along the Delaware River waterfront and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to ghost tours of the historic district, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

With so many fun things to do, it can be hard to know where to start, so we've compiled a list of 38 things to do in Philly at night and late afternoon to help you make the most of your adventures in Philadelphia at night.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Independence Hall

Top Choice Hotel

The Rittenhouse Hotel

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Sunny spring, fall foliage, avoid humid summers.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Philadelphia is temperate-subhumid.

Transportation Options

Buses, trolleys, subways, trains, taxis, ride-sharing, bicycles, walk

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Begin your exploration by wandering through the cobblestone streets of Old City, where you can immerse yourself in the birthplace of America, visiting landmarks such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

For a taste of Philly's legendary food scene, head to Reading Terminal Market, a bustling hub of local vendors offering everything from cheesesteaks to artisanal chocolates. Grab a mouthwatering sandwich from one of the iconic cheesesteak stands and savor every savory bite as you picnic in picturesque Rittenhouse Square.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Weather-appropriate clothing
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Travel adapter

What Not to Miss

  1. Independence Hall
  2. Liberty Bell
  3. Philadelphia Museum of Art
  4. Reading Terminal Market
  5. Philadelphia Magic Gardens

What to Avoid

  1. Crowded tourist attractions
  2. Rush hour traffic
  3. Overpriced restaurants

1. Stroll around Spruce Street Harbor Park

Spruce Street Harbor Park

Located along the Delaware River at Penn's Landing, Spruce Street Harbor Park is an urban oasis that transforms into a magical wonderland after dark, with thousands of colorful lights illuminating the park and the surrounding area.

Visitors can stroll along the boardwalk, relax in one of the nearly 100 hammocks spread out across the park, and enjoy drinks at the beer garden and tasty treats from the various food trucks on site. The park also features numerous attractions, such as carnival games, mini-golf, and a historic carousel.

2. Enjoy a dinner cruise on the Delaware River

Delaware River

A dinner cruise on the Delaware River is a unique way to experience the beauty of Philadelphia at night. As you set sail, you'll be treated to stunning views of the Philadelphia skyline, the Ben Franklin Bridge, and other iconic landmarks.

Cruises leave Penn's Landing and offer a gourmet dining experience, accompanied by live entertainment. The calm waters and the soft glow of the city lights create a romantic ambiance, making it the perfect setting for a special occasion or a romantic night out.

3. See the lights of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge (formerly the Delaware River Bridge) is an iconic landmark in Philadelphia that spans the Delaware River and connects Philadelphia to Camden, New Jersey. 

It was named after one of America's Founding Fathers who lived in Philadelphia.

The bridge and its surrounding areas are beautifully lit up at night, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the river below. 

The bridge also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, making it a vibrant hub of activity at all hours.

4. Grab a drink at Cherry Street Pier

Cherry Street Pier

Cherry Street Pier is an urban public space on the Delaware River waterfront on Christopher Columbus Blvd, at walking distance from Franklin Square. 

Built into the shell of a century-old municipal pier, it is now home to an eclectic mix of local artists, vendors, and performers.

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the river, browse unique handmade goods at the artisan market, or catch a live music or dance performance. 

Cherry Street Pier also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as outdoor movie screenings and food festivals.

5. Sneak into Independence Hall with "Independence After Hours"

Independence After Hours

Led by costumed Colonial characters, Independence After Hours is an evening walking tour that takes visitors to landmarks where history was made. The experience is a unique way to gain a deeper appreciation for the contributions made by the Founding Fathers.

The evening begins with a delicious meal at the historic City Tavern where Colonial townspeople entertain guests. 

The highlight of the tour is an exclusive opportunity to enter Independence Hall at night and see a reenactment of local hero Ben Franklin deliberating the signing of the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

6. Head to the Independence Beer Garden

Independence Beer Garden

The Independence Beer Garden is located next to Independence Mall, overlooking the Liberty Bell Center and Independence National Historical Park. It's an ideal spot to visit at night for a cold beer and a fun and lively atmosphere.

The Independence Beer Garden offers a variety of craft beers, cocktails, and seasonal food offerings. 

The outdoor seating area is adorned with twinkling lights, fire pits, and communal tables, creating a perfect ambiance to enjoy a Friday night with friends or even a date night.

Museum of Art in Wood

First Friday in Philly is a popular event where visitors can explore the city's art galleries and exhibitions for free. Held on the first Friday night of every month, galleries around the city open their doors to everyone and showcase the work of local artists.

This event attracts a diverse crowd, from art enthusiasts to casual visitors looking for a fun evening out. 

First Friday is a great opportunity to discover new artists, see thought-provoking cultural exhibits, and engage with the vibrant arts community in Philadelphia.

8. Watch hilarious shows at the Philly Improv Theater

Philly Improv Theater

Philly Improv Theater, or PHIT, is a comedy theater located in Center City Philadelphia. It presents and produces shows at The Adrienne Theatre. Its training center offers programs in improv comedy, sketch comedy, and stand-up comedy.

PHIT has been participating in the Philadelphia Live Arts and Philly Fringe Festival annually since 2006, and its most notable alumnus is Kent Haines, a stand-up comedian who won the 2008 Philly's Phunniest contest at Helium Comedy Club.

9. Have a fun night at The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers visitors an unparalleled experience in the heart of Philadelphia. The museum's impressive collection spans over 2,000 years of artistic achievement, with works ranging from ancient sculptures to contemporary installations.

On Wednesday nights the museum’s admission is pay-what-you-wish from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. 

There’s a different activity every week, ranging from a game of Clue to yoga sessions. Friday Nights at the Philadelphia Museum of Art offer great live music, cocktails, and food.

10. Try a genuine Philly cheesesteak

Geno's Steaks' cheesesteak

Philly Cheesesteak is a beloved sandwich that originated in Philadelphia and has gained international recognition. It is made with thinly sliced rib-eye beef, cooked on a griddle, and then topped with melted cheese (usually Cheez Whiz), and served on a soft Italian roll.

The combination of juicy meat, gooey cheese, and soft bread creates a mouthwatering and satisfying experience. 

Some of the best places to try Philly cheesesteak are Geno's Steaks, Pat's King of Steaks, Sonny's, Tony Luke's, and Jim's South Street.

11. Try a Franklin Mint Chip ice cream at Franklin Fountain

Franklin Fountain

Located in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Franklin Fountain is a Victorian-inspired ice cream parlor that lures dessert lovers of all ages with its delicious handmade ice creams, thick shakes, banana splits, and soda fountain drinks.

Franklin Fountain is also a great place to visit at night. During colder months, visitors can indulge in hot chocolate, homemade pies, and hot milkshakes, making it the perfect spot for a cozy and sweet night out.

12. Relax with a drink at Piazza Pod Park

Piazza Pod Park

Piazza Pod Park is a unique pop-up park located in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia. This former parking lot has been transformed into a vibrant community space using recycled shipping containers.

The containers have been repurposed into spaces for shopping, dining, and recreation, making for an eclectic mix of food and fun. The park is divided into four different zones, each inspired by different works of art and featuring their unique attractions.

13. Go on a ghost tour of Philadelphia's Historic District

Merchants' Exchange Building

If you're in the mood for a spooky adventure, the Ghost Tour of Philadelphia's Historic District is the perfect activity to do at night. These walking tours will take you through the historic district's darkest nooks and crannies.

The walking tour takes you through infamous back streets, haunted houses, secret gardens, and other haunted sites. 

You'll hear chilling stories of ghostly sightings and eerie happenings that have been reported throughout the city's history.

14. Take a brewery tour and sample some of Philly's best beers

Yards Brewing Company

Philadelphia has a thriving craft beer scene, with a variety of local breweries that offer unique and flavorful brews. Some breweries even offer special nighttime tours that include tastings of the brewery's flagship beers and seasonal offerings.

Some popular breweries to visit in Philadelphia include Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia Brewing Company, and Evil Genius Beer Company

Whether you're a beer enthusiast or just looking for a fun night out, a brewery tour of Philly is a must-try experience.

Parx Liberty Carousel

The Parx Liberty Carousel, located in Franklin Square, is a must-visit attraction in Philadelphia. This historic carousel features 30 hand-carved horses and two chariots, each with intricate details.

Franklin Square is also known for its beautiful 180-year-old fountain and a range of family-friendly activities such as the Philly Mini Golf course and SquareBurger. Park hours vary by season, so be sure to check current hours before heading out to the park after dark.

16. Have a colonial-style dinner at City Tavern

Colonial-style dinner at City Tavern

A reconstructed Colonial tavern in the historic district, City Tavern offers a unique dining experience. It is a reproduction of the original tavern which served some of America's founding fathers, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and John Adams.

Step back in time to colonial Philadelphia, where revolution was brewing, ales were flowing, and dining was an experience. 

The costumed waitstaff is ready to greet you with authentic 18th-century recipes that are sure to please your palate.

17. Dine in Moshulu on the Delaware River

Moshulu on the Delaware River

Moshulu is a unique restaurant and bar located on the permanently docked historic Tall Ship on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. The ship has been meticulously restored and transformed into a stunning dining and entertainment space.

Visitors to Moshulu can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the breathtaking views of the river and the Philadelphia skyline. 

Moshulu features an upscale seafood menu and steak meals, as well as an extensive wine list and a variety of craft beers and specialty cocktails.

18. Learn about the city on a history-filled scavenger hunt

The Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt

The Philadelphia Scavenger Hunt is an exciting way to explore the city and discover its rich history. On this fun-filled scavenger hunt, you'll make a loop around downtown in search of historic buildings, epic statues, and the landmarks that built American democracy.

Participants work in teams to learn about famous Philadelphians like William Penn and Benjamin Franklin. 

You'll explore some iconic landmarks, such as the Philadelphia City Hall, the Masonic Temple, and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the U.S. Constitution was created.

19. Have a fun class at the Jim Loewer Glass Company

Jim Loewer Glass Company

Jim Loewer Glass Company is a renowned glass studio located in Philadelphia and is a must-visit destination for those interested in glass blowing. 

The studio crafts some of the best glass pieces and art in the city and is known for its innovative designs.

In addition to their stunning glass art, the studio also offers glass-blowing classes every evening to private groups and the general public. These classes are perfect for beginners who want to try their hand at glass blowing in a fun and inviting atmosphere

20. Head to Morgan's Pier for drinks and fun

 Morgan's Pier

Morgan's Pier is a popular beer garden at Christopher Columbus Blvd, steps away from the Independence National Historical Park and right below the Ben Franklin Bridge. The venue offers stunning views of the Delaware River and an impressive lineup of beers, cocktails, and various food trucks.

With a capacity of up to 500 guests, Morgan's Pier is the perfect destination for happy hour, weekend brunch, or a night out with friends. 

The venue also hosts live music events and DJ sets on Saturday nights, making it a must-visit spot for music lovers in Philadelphia.

21. Attend a film screening at the Betsy Ross House, Old City

Betsy Ross House, Old City

The Betsy Ross House is a historic landmark in Old City Philadelphia and a must-visit destination for history buffs and those interested in American Revolution-era history. The house is the former home of Betsy Ross, who is believed to have sewn the first American flag.

The house also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including the monthly First Friday Movie Nights from June through September, which offer alfresco screenings of quirky films in the courtyard (BYOB) and admission to after-hour tours of Betsy’s house.

22. Watch a free outdoor movie on a Thursday night at Penn's Landing

Penn's Landing

Penn's Landing hosts a free outdoor movie series that runs throughout the summer and fall and offers a range of family-friendly films that are screened on a large outdoor screen against the backdrop of the Delaware River.

You can bring a picnic blanket and settle in for an evening of entertainment under the stars. In addition to the movie screening, the place also offers a range of food and drink options, as well as stunning views of the city skyline.

23. See the waterfront from the top of a Ferris wheel

Independence Blue Cross RiverRink

Independence Blue Cross RiverRink is Philadelphia's only outdoor roller skating rink in the summer and an ice skating rink/outdoor wonderland in the winter. The Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest is family-friendly and admission is free.

The Summerfest is one of Philadelphia's favorite summertime traditions featuring outdoor roller skating, boardwalk games, a Ferris wheel, and great food and drinks. With soaring views of the river and Ben Franklin Bridge, the fest is the perfect place for a family outing or a meet-up with friends.

24. Dance it up like you're in Berlin

U-Bahn Nightclub and Arcade

U-Bahn Nightclub and Arcade is a cool industrial nightclub that will transport you to a dance party set in a Berlin subway station. The club draws young crowds and has a lively and fun atmosphere at night.

The trendy underground club boasts a great bar and live music. You can also enjoy a variety of local beers and ciders on tap with tasty bites. There are arcade games in the back to play when you need a break from dancing.

25. Enjoy a tropical ambiance in the middle of Pennsylvania

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre is a vibrant restaurant and bar in the heart of Old City Philadelphia. The restaurant offers a unique dining experience that combines traditional Cuban cuisine with a lively atmosphere and Latin music.

The menu features a range of classic dishes, as well as a variety of rum-based cocktails and other specialty drinks. 

Every Friday and Saturday night at 11:00 PM Cuba Libre transforms into a lively salsa dance club and is one of the most fun places in Philadelphia at night.

26. Watch a drag show at Bob and Barbara's Lounge

Bob and Barbara's Lounge

Bob and Barbara's Lounge is Philadelphia's longest-running drag show and a favorite nighttime activity for both locals and tourists. The lounge has been serving cold beer, cocktails, and live entertainment since 1969.

Every Thursday, spectators at the lounge are treated to a song and dance show paired with their cheap beer-&-a-shot special and lively atmosphere. Other drag performances to check out include the Diva Royale Drag Queen Dinner Show, Tabu, and Woody's, all located in the nearby Washington Square West neighborhood.

27. Visit the Franklin Institute for Science After Hours

Franklin Institute

Franklin Institute is a world-renowned science museum located in the heart of Philadelphia. The museum's collection includes a wide range of interactive exhibits and hands-on displays that explore the wonders of science and technology.

Visitors can learn about everything from the human body and space exploration to robotics and the history of physics. 

A popular event at the museum is the adults-only Science After Hours, which takes place quarterly and features cash bars, access to all the exhibits, and live performances.

28. See a brilliant stage production at the Arden Theatre Company

Arden Theatre Company

The ****award-winning Arden Theatre Company has been a cultural staple in the city for over 30 years, offering a wide range of classic and contemporary plays, musicals, and educational programs to artists and audiences all year round.

Ranging from William Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams, Arden Theatre never fails to deliver brilliant stage productions and children's plays. 

The theater's performances are held in two intimate and modern performance spaces, the F. Otto Haas Stage and the Arcadia Stage, both of which offer a unique and immersive theatre experience.

29. Enjoy Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is an ****underrated attraction and one of the city's hidden gems for out-of-towners to discover. The outdoor art space was created by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar using recycled and found materials.

Twilight in the Gardens is a series of special evening events taking place every fourth Friday from May to October. 

On these special evenings, you can experience PMG after hours with a live musical performance, guided art workshop, and casual mini-tours.

30. See a performance at the FringeArts


Situated in a historic pumping station beneath the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, FringeArts offers a unique and exciting venue for experiencing innovative performances that push the boundaries of traditional art.

FringeArts presents a range of avant-garde performances across various art disciplines, from theater and dance to music and comedy. 

With a focus on presenting work that challenges audiences, FringeArts is a chance to experience the newest and most innovative art in the world.

31. Hang out over the water

Spruce Street Harbor Park

One of the highlights of Spruce Street Harbor Park is its Caribbean-inspired net lounge, suspended four feet above the water. Hanging above the Delaware River and feeling the breeze off the water is one of the best ways to cool off in the city in the summer.

You can also enjoy a refreshing drink on a floating barge bar or at the Beer Garden. 

Buy a margarita, a local craft beer, or another adult beverage of choice, and let your mind wander as you watch the boats go up and down the river.

32. Have a magical night at Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row is a historical spot located just off the east bank of the Schuylkill River and north of the Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia. It's a great place to unwind, take in some fresh air, and witness the city's beauty in a unique way.

One of the main attractions is to row down the Schuylkill River and take in the stunning light display and reflections on the river of the different houses that make up Boathouse Row. 

The picturesque nocturnal scene continues to make Boathouse Row one of the most popular places to go in Philadelphia at night.

33. Enjoy bowling and much more at Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike is a bowling alley and a lively entertainment hub in Philadelphia that features a DJ booth, dance floor, billiards, and table tennis. The atmosphere resembles more of a Las Vegas club than a traditional bowling alley, making it an excellent spot for a fun night out.

Lucky Strike's Northern Liberties and Center City locations are open until 2 AM, so make sure to pace yourself to enjoy a full night of entertainment. 

Whether you're a bowling pro or just looking for a unique night out, Lucky Strike is a great place to visit in Philadelphia at night.

34. Bounce and dance at Philly’s best trampoline nightclub 

Skyzone Trampoline Park at Philly

GLOW is a cool trampoline nightclub located in Northeast Philly. This transformed Skyzone Trampoline Park boasts an incredible blacklight dance party with neon décor and an energetic atmosphere that will have you bouncing, flipping, and dancing all night long.

Jumping up and down on trampolines is a great way to burn calories while having a blast. For just $25, you can enjoy a fun workout and dance party with friends, making GLOW a great option for those looking for an unusual clubbing experience in Philadelphia at night.

35. Snap a photo with Rocky

The Rocky Balboa statue

The Rocky Balboa statue is an iconic bronze sculpture at the bottom of the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was originally created for the movie Rocky III in 1982 and has since become a popular tourist attraction in Philadelphia.

You can channel your inner Rocky by running up the 72 steps to the museum entrance and pumping your fists in the air just like the famous character. 

The statue is a must-see attraction for any Rocky fan or anyone looking for a fun photo opportunity.

36. Attend a concert at the Fillmore Philadelphia

Fillmore Philadelphia

The Fillmore Philadelphia is one of the city's most iconic concert venues, situated in the lively Fishtown neighborhood. The venue has a rich musical history, hosting legendary performers such as Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and Janis Joplin.

Today, the Fillmore continues to attract top-tier artists and up-and-coming acts alike. With a capacity of over 2,500, the venue provides an intimate yet energetic atmosphere that's perfect for catching a live show.

37. See famous comedians at Helium Comedy Club

Helium Comedy Club

Helium Comedy Club is a must-visit destination for those looking to enjoy some laughs in Philadelphia. This popular comedy club has hosted some of the biggest names in comedy, including Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, and Kevin Hart.

With a cozy and intimate atmosphere, Helium is the perfect place to enjoy some stand-up comedy from both local and national comedians. They offer a full bar and a menu of delicious food to enjoy during the show.

FAQs relating to Fun Things to Do in Philly at Night

Let's also look at some of the most common questions relating to the fun things to do in Philly at night.

Does Philly have a good nightlife?

Yes, Philadelphia has a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues catering to a diverse range of tastes and preferences.

Whether you're into jazz, hip-hop, indie, or electronic music, you're sure to find something that suits your style in Philly.

What part of Philly has the best nightlife?

Center City, Old City, and Northern Liberties are some of the neighborhoods in Philadelphia that are known for having a lively and diverse nightlife scene.

Each of these areas has its unique vibe and atmosphere, with a variety of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and music venues to choose from.

What is Philly by night?

The city takes on a different character at night, with its brightly lit skyscrapers, bustling streets, and vibrant nightlife scene.

Whether you're exploring the city's historical landmarks or enjoying a night out with friends in a bar or a club, there's always something to see and do in Philly by night.

Can you walk at night in Philadelphia?

Yes, it is generally safe to walk around Philadelphia at night, especially in the popular tourist areas, such as the Independence Mall, the Delaware River Waterfront, and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

However, it is always a good idea to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings, particularly if you're in an unfamiliar area and avoid walking alone in secluded or poorly lit areas.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Philly at Night

In conclusion, visiting Philadelphia at night can be a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

From delicious treats at The Franklin Fountain to fun activities in Spruce Street Harbor Park or a scavenger hunt in Philadelphia's historic district, there are so many fun things to enjoy in Philly after the sun goes down.

Whatever you choose to do, make the most of your time by opting for the best things to do in Philly at night during your visit. It's easy to create unforgettable memories in this vibrant city.