Dining and Entertainment In Old City Philadelphia

What's In The Old City Philadelphia

Dining and Entertainment In Old City Philadelphia

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Philadelphia, PA - Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City still 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.Philadelphia, PA - Located just next to Independence Mall, where the country’s Founding Fathers declared liberty and built a free nation, Old City Philadelphia still 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. Especially popular are First Fridays, when art lovers fill the streets for gallery hopping.

Old City boundaries stretch from the Delaware River to 6th Street and from Walnut to Race streets. It’s located within an easy walk or cab ride for those in Center City, and SEPTA - Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority -  Market-Frankford line (“the El” to residents) stops along Market Street at 2nd and 5th streets.

Neighborhood tips, itineraries and maps are available at visitphilly.com/neighborhoods.

Restaurants & Bars:

  • 2nd Story Brewing Company – A local farmer teamed up with her son-in-law, a brewer, to open this working brewery, restaurant and bar. The menu includes fish and chips, burgers and house-made pizzas, with plenty of healthy options in the mix as well. 117 Chestnut Street, (267) 314-5770, 2ndstorybrewing.com
  • Amada – The restaurant that many consider responsible for starting the tapas trend in the city—and Jose Garces’ first Philly venture—also serves big Spanish-style plates, including a roasted suckling pig. Can’t decide what to have for dinner? Choose one of the chef’s tasting options with or without the wine pairing. 217-219 Chestnut Street, (215) 625-2450, amadarestaurant.com
  • Ariana – This family-owned bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) restaurant was the first to serve traditional Afghani food in the region and one of the first to introduce hookahs to the city. Guests rave about the kabobs and the Afghan pudding desserts. 134 Chestnut Street, (215) 922-1535, restaurantariana.com
  • Bierstube German Tavern – Classic German dishes pair with several hundred craft and imported beers, courtesy of Michael Naessens, one of the neighborhood’s staunchest and earliest advocates for quality suds. The two-floor restaurant takes pride in matching outstanding beers with outstanding German cuisine. 206 Market Street, (215) 922-2958, mybierstube.com
  • Bistro 7 – Local, organic foods are central to this white-linen French bistro-style BYOB, where the menu changes with the seasons. For $35, diners can enjoy a three-course tasting menu (offered Tuesday and Thursday). 7 N. 3rd Street, (215) 931-1560, bistro7restaurant.com
  • Buddakan – Stephen Starr’s original temple of modern Asian cuisine offers creative takes on Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian fare in a theatrical setting. During lunch, diners can enjoy bento box specials for $15 or $20. 325 Chestnut Street, (215) 574-9440, buddakan.com
  • Chloe – This tiny BYOB serves New American cuisine with an innovative flair in a comfortable, neighborhood setting. The restaurant maintains a no-reservations policy, so in-the-know diners arrive early to secure a table without a wait. 232 Arch Street, (215) 629-2337, chloebyob.com
  • City Tavern – Revolutionary renditions of 18th-century Colonial fine dining include George Washington’s original recipe for ale. Costumed servers add to the charm. 138 S. 2nd Street,
    (215) 413-1443, citytavern.com
  • The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar – Old City’s original martini bar, the Continental specializes in global tapas served in a lively, stylish setting. The kitchen stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays to satisfy the cravings of the neighborhood’s party people. 138 Market Street, (215) 923-6069, continentalmartinibar.com
  • Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar – Cuban and Latin cuisine and refreshing mojitos fit perfectly in this setting straight out of old Havana. Helmed by two-time James Beard Award-winner Guillermo Pernot, the kitchen offers the “15 Tastes of Cuba” tasting menu nightly and an unlimited tapas brunch on weekends. 10 S. 2nd Street, (215) 627-0666, cubalibrerestaurant.com
  • Drinker’s Tavern Young partiers drink 40-ounce bottles and dance to DJs in a loud and always-lively scene. When hunger strikes, they chow on classic pub grub, such as fries topped with bacon and cheddar or spicy buffalo sauce and melted jack and cheddar cheeses. 124 Market Street, (215) 351-0141, drinkersphilly.com
  • Fork – Owner Ellen Yin’s elegant American bistro jumpstarted the restaurant scene in Old City more than 15 years ago, and it remains a highlight in the neighborhood and the city. Seasonal ingredients make up the seemingly simple yet fabulous dishes. 306 Market Street,
    (215) 625-9425, forkrestaurant.com
  • The Gaslight – This bar and restaurant from Top Chef alum Jason Cichonski featurs interesting takes on the classics (think Kung Pao spare ribs). Cleverly named drinks and daylong brunch keep the fun going all weekend. 120 Market Street, (215) 925-7695, thegaslightphilly.com
  • Han Dynasty – With accolades from CNN and Anthony Bourdain, this contemporary Chinese restaurant puts a twist on the classics. Diners choose their spice level, numbered 1-10. 123 Chestnut Street, (215) 922-1888, handynasty.net
  • High Street on Market – Fork’s sister restaurant, High Street serves three meals a day. Morning means egg sandwiches, sweet and savory pastries and Rival Bros. small-batch coffee. Lunch brings sandwiches, market salads and artisan breads. And dinner is a sophisticated but casual affair complete with handmade and house-extruded pastas, family-style plates and a concise list of wines and spirits. 308 Market Street, (215) 625-0988, highstreetonmarket.com
  • Independence Beer Garden - Nothing celebrates freedom quite like enjoying a cold one outside, and that’s why this beer garden is an American classic. Michael Schulson’s seasonal 22,000-square-foot Old City getaway boasts 50 taps and seven cans, plus a menu of comfort-food bites (spicy shrimp rolls, beer-battered fish and chips and mac and cheese).
    100 S. Independence Mall West, (215) 922-7100, phlbeergarden.com
  • Irish P?l – With 40 craft beers on tap, this bar has established itself as a must-visit spot for beer lovers. On Monday nights, the Irish P?l plays nothing but Pearl Jam, and fans sporting the band’s gear get a discount on their bar bill. 114 Market Street, (267) 761-9532, theirishpol.com
  • Khyber Pass Pub – Known for its bacon-grease popcorn and New Orleans-style brunch, the Khyber offers an intimate experience in a friendly, no-frills setting. But don’t let the popcorn scare the non-meat eaters in the bunch; the menu also features a number of vegan and vegetarian options. 56 S. 2nd Street, (215) 238-5888, khyberpasspub.com
  • La Peg – Diners at this brasserie, which is located inside the FringeArts building, enjoy French-inspired dishes from Peter Woolsey and waterfront views. The industrial-chic design pays homage to the building’s original purpose as a pumping station. 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 375-7744, lapegbrasserie.com
  • Lucha Cartel – A Mexican bar and restaurant by the same team behind National Mechanics, Lucha Cartel features Tex-Mex appetizers and entrees, as well as Latin-inspired beverage favorites like mojitos and margaritas. Tuesday nights feature introductory salsa lessons. 207 Chestnut Street, (267) 761-9209, luchacartel.com
  • Mac’s Tavern – The producers and actors of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are behind this straightforward bar and restaurant, which serves a staggeringly large selection of draught and bottled beers from around the world. Patrons wash down Sunday brunch with $5 Bloody Mary and mimosa pints until 3:00 p.m. 226 Market Street, (267) 324-5507, macstavern.com
  • Morgan’s Pier – Just below the Ben Franklin Bridge, leafy trees, a gourmet picnic menu and a beer garden unite at this seasonal dining destination. Earlier in the evening, people enjoy brews and food during sunset, and later on, they listen to live music or DJs while taking in the waterfront view. 221 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 279-7134, morganspier.com
  • Moshulu – The breathtaking views keep diners coming back for twilight cocktails and delicious fare aboard this fully restored four-masted sailing ship, berthed on Penn’s Landing.
    401 S. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 923-2500, moshulu.com
  • National Mechanics – At this darkly stylish indie bar, housed in a former bank building, the crowd is hip and the craft beers flow. What’s more, the food is pretty impressive. Tip: Those are notable Philly personalities etched on the pint glasses. 22 S. 3rd Street, (215) 701-4883, nationalmechanics.com
  • The Plough & the Stars – This friendly spot offers well-executed American fare, a bustling bar that draws a young weekend crowd and live traditional Irish music on Sundays. If it’s nice out, patrons gravitate to the outdoor tables. 123 Chestnut Street, (215) 733-0300, ploughstars.com
  • Positano Coast – Diners transport to Italy’s Amalfi Coast at this restaurant and wine bar. Favorites of the Mediterranean menu include the sea urchin pasta, pan-seared branzino, gnocchi gorgonzola and, of course, grilled octopus. 212 Walnut Street, (215) 238-0499, positanocoast.net
  • Prime Stache – Owned by Eagles’ tight end Brent Celek, this American bistro serves burgers, a pulled-pork sandwich (named after Ron Burgundy) and veggie wraps, as well as larger entrees such as meatloaf and cedar-plank salmon. Don’t expect to find signed jerseys or football memorabilia surrounding the marble-topped bar—though patrons may see the owner there during the off-season. 110 Chestnut Street, (267) 886-8354, primestache.com
  • Race Street Café – Settle into this low-key rustic bistro, warmed in the winter by a wood stove and cooled in the summer by the breeze blowing through the open barn doors. The menu features seasonal, local food. 208 Race Street, (215) 627-6181, racestreetcafe.net
  • Radicchio Café – Wonderful rustic Italian cuisine and seafood make up the specialties at this fresh BYOB restaurant, situated on the outskirts of the neighborhood. Open seven days a week for dinner, it’s the perfect place to check out on a Monday night when many other restaurants are closed. 314 York Avenue, (215) 627-6850, radicchio-cafe.com
  • Red Owl Tavern – This tavern attached to the Hotel Monaco Philadelphia serves up handcrafted cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juices, along with house-cured charcuterie and classic dishes with an international twist. On weekends, brunchers enjoy a self-serve Bellini bar. 433 Chestnut Street, (215) 923-2267, redowltavern.com
  • Revolution House – Serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, this two-floor spot offers prime views of the Christ Church steeple and Benjamin Franklin Bridge, along with a playful menu of internationally influenced comfort food and Neapolitan pizza. The bar pours eight rotating local beers, cocktails and boutique wines. 200 Market Street, (215) 625-4566, revolutionhouse.com
  • Panorama – One of the most romantic Italian restaurants in Philadelphia, this gem boasts a Guinness World Record for its extensive wine-by-the-glass selection. Specialties include Gnocchi Con Provola Affumicata—that’s homemade potato and ricotta gnocchi with fresh basil and smoked mozzarella in a light San Marzano tomato sauce. 14 N. Front Street, (215) 922-7800, panoramaristorante.com
  • Rocchino’s – Brick walls, a curved bar, a coal-fired oven and booth seating complement this restaurant’s old-school Italian menu. Chef Joe Nocella dipped into family recipe books to bring diners such delights as rigatoni bolognese and risotto di mare. 239 Chestnut Street,
    (215) 238-6900, rocchinos.com
  • Sassafras – Serving Philadelphians for more than 35 years, this Old City classic offers a small but eclectic menu, along with a serious selection of single-malt scotches, whiskeys and bourbons. Not to be missed: A live jazz trio performs most Sunday through Thursday nights. 48 S. 2nd Street, (215) 925-2317, sassafrasbar.com
  • The Victoria Freehouse – The Victoria Freehouse delivers a real British experience with pub snacks, curries and a Sunday Roast. Diners wash it all down with a large assortment of wines and brews while watching a soccer match. 10 S. Front Street, (215) 543-6089, victoriafreehouse.com
  • Wedge + Fig – Cheese lovers revel in the global selections at this small bistro. Guests who bring their own beer or wine can tap into the pairing expertise of the staff. When the weather is nice, people love to sit outside in the courtyard. 160 N. 3rd Street, (267) 603-3090, wedgeandfig.com
  • Xi’an Cuisine and Bar – This three-story spot is a bar, restaurant and karaoke lounge in one. Aspiring singers fill up on Chinese comfort cuisine and cocktails before venturing into private karaoke rooms on the third level. 120 Chestnut Street, (215) 627-1688, xiancuisine.com
  • Zahav – Michael Solomonov, a James Beard Award winner, cooks food from his native Israel in his adopted home of Philadelphia. Diners can choose from a selection of raved-about hummus options, share a few small plates or order from the $45 tasting menu. 237 St. James Place, (215) 625-8800, zahavrestaurant.com
  • Zento Contemporary Japanese Cuisine – Chef/owner Sam Ho brings finesse and creativity to this top-shelf sushi and sake bar. Don’t miss the specialty Old City Roll with shrimp tempura topped with eel and avocado. 132 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-9998, zentocontemporary.com

Tea, Coffee & Confections:

  • Café Ole – Free Wi-Fi, fragrant java and friendly staff define this neighborhood coffee shop. The pet-friendly café even serves breakfast, lunch and pastries. 147 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-2140
  • European Republic – Guests munch on European-style wraps and Belgian-style frites with
    20 different toppings while sipping on fresh-roasted coffee at this cozy coffee shop and cafe.
    213 Chestnut Street, (215) 627-5500
  • The Franklin Fountain – This old-fashioned ice cream saloon tempts people of all ages with its handmade ice cream, banana splits, thick shakes, sundaes and flavored soda water—all served by soda jerks. During the cold winter months, people line up for hot chocolate or a slice of fresh baked pie. Or both. 116 Market Street, (215) 627-1899, franklinfountain.com
  • Old City Coffee – Roasting 100% Arabica coffee since 1985, this friendly spot on cobblestone Church Street also serves pastries and locally sourced organic yogurt. Old City roasts its beans in small batches to ensure freshness. 221 Church Street, (215) 629-9292, oldcitycoffee.com
  • Shane Candies – Owned and operated for 99 years by the Shane Family, Shane Candies is now under the ownership of the duo behind The Franklin Fountain. All of the handcrafted candy contains 10 ingredients or less, and they’re all locally sourced. 110 Market Street,
    (215) 922-1048, shanecandies.com
  • Swiss Haus Bakery – This Philadelphia institution uses century-old European recipes to make its 30 cookie choices, custom cakes and handmade pastries. Guests can stop in to have some coffee, or order online to get the goods shipped. 313 Market Street, (267) 457-3262, swisshausbakery.com
  • Tartes Fine Cakes and Pastries – Neighbors with a sweet tooth know to head here for their daily supply of cupcakes, cookies, cakes and, of course, tarts. 212 Arch Street,
    (215) 625-2510

Clubs & Entertainment:

  • Bleu Martini – This restaurant, bar and club bathed in cobalt blue offers a VIP scene and an edgy DJ soundtrack. Daily happy hour specials run from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and include $5 select martinis from the 30 martinis on the menu. 24 S. 2nd Street, (215) 940-7900, bleumartiniphilly.com
  • Red Sky – An upscale bar menu and a variety of specialty cocktails draw a young and affluent crowd. DJs spin most nights, and the kitchen remains open as long as the DJ is going. 224 Market Street, (215) 925-8080 redskybar.com
  • Stratus Lounge – Eleven stories above the city’s most historical treasures, party people dance to the sounds of DJ-spun music every Friday and Saturday nights at this posh spot. Open year-round, this rooftop favorite serves light bites to complement the signature drink list. 433 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2889, stratuslounge.com
  • Tin Angel – National and local acoustic singer-songwriters take the stage Wednesday through Sunday nights in an intimate cafe setting. Serrano, the venue’s restaurant arm, serves international comfort food. 20 S. 2nd Street, (215) 928-0978, tinangel.com


  • The A List Look – This contemporary women’s apparel boutique carries both national and local designers. The store even hosts First Friday events, such as acoustic shows and locally made fruit tastings. 228 Arch Street, (215) 309-2275, thealistlook.com
  • Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction – At this stylish boutique and gallery space, shoppers find quality curated clothing, local vendors, bar accessories and apothecary products, as well as home design items. It’s also the retail spot for Warby Parker glasses and a tasting room for Art in the Age spirits: Snap (as in ginger), Root (beer), Rhubarb and Sage. 116 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2600, artintheage.com
  • Bonejour Pet Supply – Specializing in health and wellness products, pets and their owners shop here for all-natural items, food consulting and top-notch independent food brands. The do-it-yourself dog wash supplies a tub, sprayer, shampoos, conditioners, spritzes, brushes, clippers, towels and a dryer. 53 N. 3rd Street, (215) 574-1225, bonejourpetsupply.com
  • The Book Trader – Visitors can swap their own titles for store credit or just peruse the shelves for fiction of all genres and that hard-to-find LP. 7 N. 2nd Street, (215) 925-2080
  • Brave New Worlds – Comic lovers find collectibles and the latest illustrated novels, comics and Japanese manga, as well as action figures, games and toys. Weekly emails alert customers about new books, and the helpful staff is happy to hold titles for those who can’t get there right away. 55 N. 2nd Street, (215) 925-6525, bravenewworldscomics.com
  • Briar Vintage – Perfect for dapper gents, this men’s shop fills its racks and shelves with vintage duds, collectibles and oddities from the 1800s through the 1960s. One-of-a-kind pieces include a 1901 tailcoat from William Wanamaker (John’s brother), a 1920s three-piece suit from H. Christian Schmidt (Philadelphia beer baron/Schmidt’s Brewery), straw boater hats from the 1930s and atomic fleck sport coats from the 1950s. 62 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-1990, briarvintage.com
  • Charlie’s Jeans – This one-stop shop for designer denim exclusively carries Sebastian McCall jeans, made in the USA and known for their perfect fit. Store employees pride themselves on their ability to size up customers at first glance. 233 Market Street, (215) 923-9681, charliesjeans.net
  • The Conversion Shop – This rustic, nostalgic shop carries furnishings and home accessories that include custom-made repurposed wooden tables, benches and shelving. Vintage dressers and trunks are for sale, along with the perfect accessories to place on top of them. 38 S. 3rd Street
  • Doggie Style – This haute dog emporium sells everything dogs need to be Fido-licious, including grooming services. Cat lovers are also welcome. 315 Market Street, (215) 923-4333, doggiestylepets.com
  • Erdon – Fashion is an art form in this gallery-like space. The lighting is bright in order to highlight the latest designer goods from MM6, Closed and Cotelac. 162 N. 3rd Street,
    (215) 923-0300, erdon.co
  • The Geisha House – Named the “Best Women’s Boutique for Brands You Don’t Know” by Philadelphia magazine, this spot does not disappoint. The dresses are trendy but wearable, and the jewelry is just funky enough. 149 N. 3rd Street, (267) 886-8110, hellogeisha.com
  • Lost + Found – Those who snag the indie men’s and women’s duds here get great looks at affordable prices. Accessories, jewelry and vintage pieces round out a successful shopping trip. 133 N. 3rd Street, (215) 928-1311
  • Margot & Camille Optique – Life looks brighter through the lens of this optical boutique. Customers rely on high-quality and a customized approach to keep their eyewear fresh and fashionable. 47 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-0508, margotcamille.com
  • Millesime & Ligne Roset – This new location for a high-concept design showroom features collections of modern and contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories from American and international designers. The ever-evolving merchandise includes USM modular furniture, Herman Miller, Marset, Louis Poulsen and Foscarini. 33 N. 2nd Street, (267) 455-0374, millesime.us
  • Minima – This contemporary furniture and lighting collection balances form and function. The intelligent use of materials combined with inspired design creates furniture that can last a lifetime. 118 N. 3rd Street, (215) 922-2002, minima.us
  • Mode Moderne – The 20th-century modern décor, uber-contemporary home furnishings and accessories by Herman Miller and Modernica add dazzle to any living space. The owners also curate and sell a collection of vintage pieces. 159 N. 3rd Street, (215) 627-0299, modemoderne.com
  • Momo’s Tree House – This cute and quirky shop lives up to its “toys for curious kids” tagline by offering hard-to-find, specialty toys and games. Tiny customers can test out the plush animals, scooters and train sets on display. 205 Arch Street, (267) 457-2803, momostreehouse.com
  • N3rd Collections – Savvy shoppers can browse a selection of oddities from five small businesses under one roof. Vintage finds include clothing, furniture and housewares, while candles and handmade jewelry are available too. 21 N. 3rd Street, (267) 225-5814, scoutsalvage.com
  • Never Too Spoiled – The place to go for the girl who already has everything, Never Too Spoiled carries clothes, jewelry, candles, accessories, housewares, books, stationery and even gifts for pets. 57 N. 3rd Street, (215) 928-0167
  • Philadelphia Independents – This all-local boutique makes gift-giving a cinch. Only handmade items by Philadelphia artists are offered here—think jewelry, handbags, home décor and baby gifts. 35 N. 3rd Street, (267) 773-7316, philadelphiaindependents.com
  • Pinot Boutique – This “Best of Philly” winner offers great wine, tastings and classes, private parties and more. Locals stop here for the wide selection of wines from Pennsylvania and New Jersey vineyards and accessories galore. 227 Market Street, (215) 627-WINE, pinotboutique.com
  • Sazz Vintage Clothing – Men tough enough to rock vintage disco clothes, western shirts, sharkskin suits and rayon Hawaiian shirts find everything they need here. Sazz keeps 1,000 pieces of (mostly) men’s vintage clothing in stock. 60 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-7299, sazzvintage.com
  • Scarlett Alley – Hosts and hostesses head to Scarlett Alley when throwing dinner parties. Here they score tableware, candles and home accessories. 241 Race Street, (215) 592-7898, scarlettalley.com
  • Select Shop 215 – Brand new to the scene, this home-style boutique carries a high-end selection of adornments for the home and body. Journals, apothecary products and Brooklyn-made jewelry are just a few of the varied sections. 41. S. 3rd Street, selectshop215.com
  • Smak Parlour – Take fun and flirty, and blend in a little hipster chic—that’s the look of the original designs by fashion mavens Abby Kessler and Katie Loftus. Their girl-centric boutique is so popular that it spawned a roving Fashion Truck, which hits various locations throughout the city with merchandise aplenty. 219 Market Street, (215) 625-4551, smakparlour.com
  • Sugarcube – A spacious store and small, coveted labels (Asbury Park Denim, Rag & Bone, Bridge & Burn, Lavender Brown, Won Hundred, Krisa) make for a well-edited men’s and women’s boutique. GQ gave its nod of approval by including Sugarcube in its Philly city guide. 124 N. 3rd Street, (215) 238-0825, sugarcube.us
  • Third Street Habit – Fashion fans find their way here for edgy women’s clothes by Ulla Johnson, Mara Hoffman and Frame Denim, as well as other top runway names. It’s also the only boutique in the city featuring Isabel Marant’s L’Etoile line. 153 N. 3rd Street, (215) 925-5455, thirdstreethabit.com
  • United By Blue – Part clothier, part coffee house, this flagship store features men’s and women’s fashions. For every product sold at the boutique, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company-organized and -hosted cleanups. 144 N. 2nd Street, (215) 278-7746, unitedbyblue.com
  • Vagabond – A generous smattering of indie labels, handmade knit collections and modern designs fill the racks at Vagabond. The shop also boasts its own line of fashion-forward skirts and sweaters. 37 N. 3rd Street, (267) 671-0737, vagabondboutique.com


  • The Center for Art in Wood – The center shines a spotlight on bold works in lathe-turned wood by locally and internationally known artists. The permanent collection contains 1,000 objects from around the world, ranging from functional everyday pieces to contemporary sculpture. 141 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-8000, centerforartinwood.org The Clay Studio – Dedicated to active learning, this non-profit studio and gallery offers ceramic classes for all ages and levels, outreach programs, studio space and engaging contemporary ceramics exhibitions. It’s also a good place to find handmade gifts. 137-139 N. 2nd Street,
    (215) 925-3453, theclaystudio.org
  • Moderne Gallery – The works of George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick—internationally renowned for their 20th-century furniture, lighting and accessories—and an extensive inventory of French and American Art Deco fill five floors of space. 111 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-8536, modernegallery.com
  • Muse Gallery – This artist-run gallery highlights visual arts in mixed media, ranging from painting to photography to sculpture. Group and individual shows fill the calendar.
    52 N. 2nd Street, (215) 627-5310, musegalleryphiladelphia.com
  • PII Gallery – The curator of PII (Philadelphia International Institute) rounds up works in all media by some of the most innovative emerging international artists working in textile design, printmaking, painting, sculpture and photography. The gallery premieres a new exhibit on the first Friday of every month. 242 Race Street, (215) 592-1022, piigallery.com
  • Rodger LaPelle Galleries – Visitors to this spacious gallery enjoy contemporary work ranging from abstract drawings to realistic paintings. Informative and entertaining owner Rodger LaPelle has been a fixture in the art world for decades. 122 N. 3rd Street, (215) 592-0232, rodgerlapellegalleries.com
  • The Snyderman-Works Galleries – A fixture on the Philly art scene for half a century, this gallery spotlights contemporary studio crafts in ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood and fiber.
    303 Cherry Street, (215) 238-9576, snyderman-works.com
  • Wexler Gallery – The accomplished team at Wexler believes in challenging the traditional labels that categorize art. As such, contemporary glass, studio furniture, ceramics and decorative arts coexist happily here. 201 N. 3rd Street, (215) 923-7030, wexlergallery.com

Performing Arts & Theaters:

  • Arden Theatre Company – Noted for its premier productions, new plays and popular works, the Arden presents a mainstage series for adults, as well as productions for children each season. The theater has received numerous awards, including nine “Best of Philly” awards from Philadelphia magazine. The Arden 40 N. 2nd Street, (215) 922-1122, ardentheatre.org
  • FringeArts – This 232-seat theater (with retractable seating) hosts concerts, theater performances and other events throughout the year. The onsite restaurant, La Peg, makes the dinner-and-a-show date easy. 140 N. Columbus Boulevard, (215) 413-1318, fringearts.com
  • Painted Bride Arts Center – Connoisseurs of all art forms regard this as an important center for innovative, edgy and experimental music, art, dance, poetry and other performing arts. The Community Table features community-curated events ranging in topics. 230 Vine Street, (215) 925-9914, paintedbride.org
  • Penn’s Landing Playhouse – This 500-seat theater offers Philadelphia-area theatergoers another great option for enjoying the performing arts. The playhouse is located inside the Independence Seaport Museum. 211 S. Columbus Boulevard, (855) 448-7469, plplayhouse.com
  • Ritz Theaters – Fans of indie and international films pack the Ritz’s three Old City locations for eclectic flicks. Every Friday night at midnight, the Ritz at the Bourse plays cult classics, such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mean Girls and Die Hard. Ritz East, 125 S. 2nd Street, (215) 925-4535; Ritz Five, 214 Walnut Street, (215) 440-1184; Ritz at the Bourse,
    400 Ranstead Street, (215) 440-1181, landmarktheatres.com

Museums, History & Culture:

  • The African American Museum in Philadelphia – Visitors take a fresh and bold look at the stories of African-Americans through technology, photographs, videos and artifacts on display in the permanent Audacious Freedom exhibition. 701 Arch Street, (215) 574-0380, aampmuseum.org
  • Benjamin Franklin Museum – At Franklin Court, a revamped museum features artifacts and interactive exhibits that chronicle the inventor’s life as a citizen and statesman. Before entering the museum, they can explore the Ghost House in the courtyard. Market or Chestnut Streets between 3rd and 4th Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Betsy Ross House – America’s most famous flag maker greets guests in her interactive 18th-century upholstery shop. Visitors learn about Betsy’s life and legend from the lady herself. Summer brings a weeklong, annual Flag Fest celebration with free events daily. Also, every morning at 10:00 a.m. in the summer, kids can participate in a free flag-raising event with Betsy and a Colonial friend. 239 Arch Street, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Chemical Heritage Foundation – A library, museum and center for scholars, the Chemical Heritage Foundation fosters dialogue on science and technology in society. Its collections include rare books, fine art, artifacts and instruments related to science and technology.
    315 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-2222, chemheritage.org
  • Historic Philadelphia Center – Inside the Historic Philadelphia Center, visitors to the area can find information and purchase tickets for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.’s tours and attractions, such as the Betsy Ross House and Independence After Hours. Plus, they can catch the Liberty 360 3D Show, which uses the most modern technology of its kind to spotlight the most treasured American value—liberty. 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Independence National Historical Park (INHP) – The Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, New Hall Military Museum, Bishop White House and Declaration House are just some of the sites that make up INHP. In the summer months, the park offers Ranger-led walking tours. (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • National Constitution Center – Dedicated to the four most powerful pages in America’s history, the National Constitution Center is the only museum of the U.S. Constitution. Museumgoers explore exhibits and artifacts, take in the theatrical production Freedom Rising and walk among the 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers. 525 Arch Street, (215) 409-6700, constitutioncenter.org
  • National Museum of American Jewish History – On Independence Mall, this modern museum delves into the story and impact of Jewish people in the U.S., from early settlers to history-makers such as Albert Einstein, industry giants like Esteé Lauder and artists and entertainers including Stephen Spielberg, Irving Berlin and Jerry Seinfeld. Four floors of artifacts, memorabilia and artwork tell the narrative. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811, nmajh.org

Green Space:

  • Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest – This seasonal garden and village features an open-air Olympic-size skating rink, a cozy lodge with fireplaces, festive landscaping and a light show, plus a shop, music, food, fire pits, arcade games and beverages of the adult, hot or normal variety. Activities inside and outside of the lodge fill the winter calendar. 101 S. Columbus Boulevard (Columbus Boulevard & Chestnut Street), (215) 925-RINK, waterfrontwinterfest.com
  • Franklin Square – One of William Penn’s original five squares, Franklin Square is now a fun family park, with a Philly-themed miniature golf course, a restored marble fountain, playgrounds and an old-fashioned carousel starring some famous Philly horses. When hunger strikes, SquareBurger delivers with burgers, fries and shakes. 200 N. 6th Street, (215) 629-4026, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Race Street Pier – In the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Race Street Pier juts out into the Delaware River. The landscaped park provides two levels for recreation: The upper promenade is paved with a sustainable, synthetic decking material fashioned from reclaimed plastic, and wood is connected to the grassy lower terrace by a multi-tiered seating area that’s perfect for picnicking and watching the tide roll in. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, (215) 922-2FUN, racestreetpier.com
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park – Named one of the “World’s Best Urban Beaches” by The Huffington Post, this pop-up experience features hammocks, magical lights, games, floating barges, food, drinks and a carnival-like atmosphere. People of all ages and backgrounds gather on the Delaware River Waterfront to soak up the summertime fun. Columbus Boulevard & Spruce Street, (215) 922-2FUN, sprucestreetharborpark.com

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