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The D.E.A.L.: Philly Nightlife Shines on Waterfronts & Rooftops

by Jeanne Brei, The D.E.A.L. (Dining, Entertainment, Attractions & Lodging)

Moshulu-Night-Nightlife in Philly is a vibrant scene that seems to be in every neighborhood (but especially Center City’s walk-able downtown and The Avenue of the Arts, a.k.a., Broad Street); the riverfront (and on the scenic Delaware River aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia or on the permanently docked, historic Tall Ship Moshulu [pictured right] at Penn’s Landing); the Philadelphia’s Historic District and the parks (including Spruce Street Harbor Park and Franklin Square).

tipplers tourRooftop bars (like the Historic District’s Stratus Rooftop Lounge) and outdoor beer gardens (like Independence Beer Garden) abound and fellow time travelers might enjoy the Tippler’s Tour: Colonial Pub Crawl (pictured left). Led by a knowledgeable guide outfitted in period costume, the weekly tour lets you sing along to 18th-century drinking songs and enjoy stories of the drinking traditions of Colonial times as it visits modern-day watering holes and a colonial tavern.

Morgans_Pier_beer-garden-bridgeJust below the Ben Franklin Bridge, Morgan’s Pier (pictured right) is a seasonal beer garden with its leafy trees and gourmet picnic menu. Throughout the summer it offers live music or DJs with a waterfront view. Another seasonal waterfront park is Spruce Street Harbor Park, described by JetSetter magazine as “a summer-festival-meets-urban-beach-mash-up that brings together pop-up restaurants, a sand pit strung with hammocks and a small beach with loungers and cozy fire pits.” The magazine included it as one of the best urban beaches in America, adding, “The highlight is a traditional wooden boardwalk lined with street food stalls and arcade games in old shipping containers.”

blue-cross-riverrink-summerfest-dusk-At Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest (pictured left)/Winterfest, guests can enjoy Philadelphia’s first outdoor roller rink or ice skating rink depending on the season. Located at Penn’s Landing on the banks of the Delaware River, it also features Philly’s celebrated eatery Chickie’s and Pete’s “crab shack.”

Renowned for its live music scene, Philadelphia has many vibrant rock, rap, jazz and pop venues located in neighborhoods all across the city. Not to mention the city’s renowned classical groups, which includes the highly respected Philadelphia Orchestra.

Cuba LibreFor dancers, Cuba Libre (pictured right) and Brasil’s are two of the hottest salsa spots in the Historic District. Other celebrity hangouts include Vesper Dayclub, Hop Sing Laundromat, Raven Lounge, Harper’s Garden, The Barbary, Stratus and Harp & Crown.

Off the beaten path, The Tavern on Camac is one of the oldest piano bars in the city, and features a restaurant and dance club, too. Open since at least 1935 (under a different name), their top floor club, Ascend, is for dancing, with nights for karaoke, show tunes and DJs. The piano bar is open every night from 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Time whisky bar and restaurant has jazz on tap nightly, and there is plenty of room for dancing. Time has more than one floor, with multiple events from swing dancing to hip hop going on at the same time.

rittenhopFor fellow swing dancers, Lindy & Blues hosts Rittenhop every Sunday in October from 4-6 p.m., which is a free, outdoor swing dance fest in Rittenhouse Square. The Philadelphia Swing Society meets twice a month and there are typically about 100-200 people who attend the Cricket Club or the Commodore Barry Club-Irish Center.

Franklin square carouselAnd for kids of all ages, Franklin Square offers a Philly-themed miniature golf course, the historic Parx Liberty Carousel (pictured right) and burgers and milkshakes at SquareBurger.

This story originally appeared in the Nov./Dec. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 63. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_nov-dec_2021

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