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CREDIT: Photo courtesy of M. Stanley for DWRC

CREDIT: J. Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

CREDIT: Photo courtesy of M. Stanley for DWRC

CREDIT: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

CREDIT: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

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20 Things to Do in Philadelphia’s Historic District After Dark

Explore the Historic District’s restaurants, bars, theaters and more after the sun goes down

Many of the museums and attractions in Philadelphia’s Historic District may close at night, but the area’s appeal doesn’t wane when the sun goes down. Nightlife across the district caters to visitors with interests ranging from craft beer to age-old ghost stories to avant-garde theater.

While eateries like The Franklin Fountain and Moshulu vividly recall history, hangouts like Mac’s Tavern offer an authentic taste of today’s local scene.

And while venues like Franklin Square and Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest offer fun for the whole family, other spots encourage an adults-only night out on the town.

No matter what you’re in the mood to do tonight, do it in one (or many) of the awesome spots in our Historic District guide below.

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Chow down on a late-night cheesesteak at Sonny's Famous Steaks.

Old City's spot to score a sandwich well into the wee hours of the morning

When post-bar hunger sets in, engage in one of Philadelphia’s favorite pastimes: late-night cheesesteaks. Sonny’s Famous Steaks serves hot, fresh sandwiches along with a hearty side of great people-watching until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
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Indulge with an old-fashioned sundae at The Franklin Fountain.

Delicious treats with clever, history-inspired twists

The old-fashioned decor and costumed servers are just part of the appeal at The Franklin Fountain, which is open until at least midnight seven days a week. Creative sundaes like the Franklin Mint (mint chip and vanilla bean ice creams, chocolate syrup, marshmallow glaze, creme de menthe and whipped cream) and the Lightning Rod (brownies with coffee ice cream, espresso, chocolate-covered espresso beans, white chocolate and a pretzel rod) honor the store’s famous namesake.
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Groove to live DJs and chill on the Delaware River at Morgan's Pier.

Summer dining and nightlife in the shadow of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Located just a few blocks from Independence National Historical Park, Morgan’s Pier feels miles away from the city. DJs spin tunes until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, allowing you to hang out and dance outdoors on the waterfront till the early hours of the morning.
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Savor beachy bites at The Seafood Shack at La Peg.

Al fresco bites and beers with a bridge-side view

The Seafood Shack, a casual, roadside-style eatery in the beer garden at La Peg, returns for a second year. The cuisine is inspired by Chef Peter Woolsey’s summers in Maine, but the spectacular views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge are distinctly Philadelphian. When you're done, grab a beer at the Haas Biergarten.
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Catch an avant-garde experience at FringeArts.

Progressive performing arts on the Delaware River Waterfront

For unique theater and special events, head to FringeArts, which is headquartered in a stunning historic building on the Delaware River waterfront. Inside, a 232-seat performance space hosts everything from cabaret to works-in-progress to acts that defy categorization. Afterward, grab a cocktail from La Peg, their inviting front-of-house bar.
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Hang out like the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Mac's Tavern invites you into a famous gastropub

Want to see where the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia hangs out when they’re in town? Head to Mac’s Tavern, an Old City gastropub co-owned by Rob and Kaitlyn McElhenney, two of the show’s stars.
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