Whether you're looking for live music, museum tours, happy hours or an outdoor space to enjoy the fresh air, summer nights in Philadelphia have your answer. (Photo credits clockwise from top left, courtesy Schuylkill Banks, courtesy Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, J. Fusco for GPMTC, Penn Museum)
Looking for something cool to do on a hot summer night?
You’re in luck. Each night of the week brings a great deal of entertainment to those looking for daily diversions in Philadelphia.
It’s tough to know where to begin, but don’t sweat it. We’ve rounded up the top happenings in and around Philadelphia occurring on each day of the week.
And note, too, that while most summer events occur on just one particular evening, certain venues bring nightly good times to the masses.
The PHS Pop-Up Garden blooms for the rest of the summer on South Broad Street with a plethora of frosty brews and delicious bites every night. The Porch at 30th Street Station offers free mini-golf every day of the week until July 31, and The Oval, the Parkway’s exciting summer addition offers visitors something to do Tuesday through Sunday through mid-August.
Our top picks for balmy summer night entertainment, below.
• Locals Only at Morgan’s Pier: Mondays through September, 8 p.m., Pay as you go. Only folks who truly know the ins-and-outs of Philadelphia will be found at Morgan’s Pier on a Monday night. Locals Only, a weekly summer event boasts live (and local) music and no cover from 8 p.m. to close. Drinks and grub are available on a pay as you go basis.
• French Movie Nights at Bistrot La Minette: Mondays, Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. and Fridays at 9 p.m. through July 26, Pay as you go. Bistrot La Minette’s popular french movie nights are winding to a close this July, stop by this month for one last peek at the outdoor space turned into a Francophile’s dream. Enjoy French eats and French wine while viewing a blockbuster hailing from the European country.
• PHS Pop-Up Garden: Monday-Thursday 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 1-11 p.m., Sunday noon-10 p.m. through mid-October, Pay as you go. South Broad Street blooms for the rest of the summer and into early fall thanks to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The PHS Pop-Up garden brings food and beer to a once empty lot. Cool off with root beer, sangria and local craft beer from Philly favorites Victory Brewing Company, Yards Brewing Company and Philadelphia Brewing Company. Pair your beverages with with bites from the Garces Group. Stop by on Monday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 1 to 11 p.m. and and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.
• Independence National Historical Park Twilight Tours: Monday-Sunday, 6 p.m., through Labor Day, Free. The Friends of the Independence National Historical Park present free twilight tours every night of the week. Tours embark at 6 p.m. from the Independence Visitor Center and are led by volunteer history buffs who each put their own spin on the story of America’s Independence.
• Quizzo at the PHS Pop-Up Garden: Tuesdays, July 23 and August 6, 6-8 p.m., Pay as you go. The super-popular PHS Pop-Up garden puts your knowledge to the test on two Tuesdays this summer. On Tuesday, July 23 and Tuesday, August 6, quizzo rounds out the pop-up garden’s daily entertainment. DJ Quizzy Jeff will provide attendees with the questions for a lively round of quizzo, and winners will be awarded surprise prizes.
• Adult Learn to Ride Bike Classes at The Oval: Tuesdays, July 23-August 13, 5:30-8 p.m., $10. For $10, adults who never learned how to ride a bicycle are invited to take part in cycling lessons at The Oval. The classes are led by the experts at the Bicycle Coalition. Classes begin at Lloyd Hall on Kelly Drive, from there participants head to The Oval for an evening of learning. Interested parties, register here. Bikes will be provided for participants.
• Premier Tours at the Barnes Foundation: Tuesdays through September 24, 4-5:30 p.m., $60 for non-members, $30 for members. Experience the Barnes Foundation without the crowds at its summer-long premier tours — exclusive guided evening tours focusing on a different artist each month. This month, learn about the work of Henri Matisse and his 59 pieces of work currently on display at the Barnes. Tours are 90-minutes each and begin at 4 p.m. Register here to secure your spot.
• Independence After Hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays through August 10, 5:30 p.m., Adults $85; Seniors, Students, Military $80; Children 12 and under $55. Every Tuesday through Saturday evening through Saturday, August 10, guests are invited to explore Independence Hall at an after hours tour, mingle with colonial re-enactors, enjoy a dinner at the historic City Tavern and listen to a rousing debate of the Declaration of Independence at the Independence After Hours event. The recurring event occurs at 5:30 p.m. each evening, and tickets are available online.
• Center City Sips: Wednesdays through August 28, 5-7 p.m. Pay as you go. The seriously popular weekly happy hour event, Center City Sips is in full swing. Nearly 100 of Center City’s bars and restaurants wish Center City dwellers a happy Wednesday with discounted drinks and appetizers every Wednesday evening this summer. From 5 to 7 p.m., indulge in $5 cocktails, $4 wine, $3 beer and half-priced appetizers at participating restaurants. Many spots even offer a dinner discount of 15 percent to Center City Sips-ers. Check out the full list of participants here.
• The Terrace Bar at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Wednesdays and Fridays, 5-8:45 p.m., Pay as you go. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s new Terrace Bar is a solid addition to the Parkway. Enjoy inventive cocktails, beer, wine and fare inspired by Starr restaurants (thanks to Stephen Starr Events, the museum’s catering office). Visit the Terrace Bar as it pops-up for Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesdays and Art After 5 on Fridays.
• Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesdays at the National Museum of American Jewish History: Wednesdays through August 28, 5-8 p.m., Pay-What-You-Wish. For the first time ever, the National Museum of American Jewish History introduced Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesdays for museum goers. Enter the Old City museum for free, or for whatever sized donation you desire, every Wednesday this summer. Visit the museum’s temporary and permanent exhibits and take part in themed tours around the the museum. Weekly themes include Creativity, Art, and Design; Jews and the Law; Women in American Jewish History; and American Jewish Writers. Also sip and snack on complimentary wine and small bites from the museum’s Pomegranates Cafe.
More picks for entertainment on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, below.
• R5 Productions’ Free Summer Concerts at Morgan’s Pier: Wednesdays though August 28, 9 or 10 p.m., Free. The 21-plus crowd flocks to Morgan’s Pier for R5 Productions’ Free Summer Concerts in the summer. The concerts bring indie bands to the stage for free performances beginning at 9 or 10 p.m. on Wednesday evenings in the warmer months.
• P.M. at the Penn Museum: Wednesdays through September 11, 5-8 p.m., $5 per person. The Penn Museum hosts an eclectic group of concerts this summer as part of its P.M. at the Penn Museum Summer Nights Concert Series. Admission is $5 per person and includes full access to the museum’s collection until 8 p.m., and full access to a varied music performance each week.
• Hawthorne Park Jazz Series: Third Wednesdays of the month through September 19, 7 p.m., Free. Hawthorne Park invites the masses to enjoy live jazz on the third Wednesday of each month this summer. The recently redesigned park, now is home to a stage, brick paved walkways and a few giant orange chairs, brings renowned jazz musicians in association with Jazz Bridge, a jazz-promoting organization based outside of Philadelphia. Concerts begin at 7 p.m., and attendees are invited to bring blankets, beach chairs and their favorite picnic food.
• Sol Unlimited Jazz & Arts at Cliveden: Wednesdays, July 31, August 14 and 28, 6-8 p.m., Adults $5, Students $3, Free for children under 12. From 6 to 8 p.m. on selected Wednesdays in July and August, Cliveden in Gemantown hosts live jazz and local vendors for its Sol Unlimited Jazz and Arts event. Bring blankets and friends, and head out to listen to an assortment of jazz musicians this summer.
• Pastorius Park Free Summer Concert Series: Wednesdays through July 31, 7:30 p.m., Free. Pastorius Park in Chestnut Hill comes alive with live jazz on Wednesday evenings through July. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., and are all completely free!
• North Bowl $3 Wednesdays: Wednesdays through summer, noon-2 a.m., $3 per game, $3 shoe rental. In the summer months, North Bowl provides Philadelphians with a fun place to cool off every day of the week — especially on Wednesdays which offer $3 Philadelphia Brewing Company brews, $3 bowling games, $3 award-winning tater tots and $3 shoe rental. From noon to close (2 a.m.) on Wednesdays, the bowling hot spot welcomes guests for majorly discounted rates.
• The Awesome Fest Outdoor Film Screenings at Drexel Park: Thursdays through August 15, 8 p.m. in July, 8:30 p.m. in August, Free. Drexel Park screens some of the ’80s biggest film hits this summer as part of The Awesome Fest, think Die Hard and Batman. Films begin at dusk, 8 p.m in July and 8:30 p.m. in August. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and snag your beach chairs for the evening event.
• Third Thursdays Live and Local at Race Street Pier: Thursdays through September 19, 6-9 p.m., Free. Race Street Pier hosts evening concerts on the third Thursday of each summer month. The event, entitled Third Thursdays Live and Local at Race Street Pier brings some of Philly’s most talented local artists to the stage for an evening of free performances. The concerts feature both established and up-and-coming talent and is presented by the good people at the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
• Screenings Under the Stars: Thursdays through August 29., between 8-8:30 p.m., Free. The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing hosts recent box office hits for its Screenings Under the Stars event. On Thursday evenings, head out to the waterfront for free films and general merriment. Look forward to screenings of The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Pitch Perfect and much more.
• Beer Garden at The Oval: Thursdays through August 8, 5-9 p.m., Pay as you go. The Oval, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway’s newest outdoor addition, brings a slew of daily programming to Philadelphia, including a weekly beer garden through August 8. Sip on alfresco brews, listen to live music curated by the Trocadero and play any number of The Oval’s games.
• Schuylkill Banks Movie Nights: Thursdays through September 5, Films begin at dusk, between 7:45 and 8:30 p.m., Free. At three locations along the Schuylkill River, free films are presented for your viewing pleasure. The Schuylkill Banks by the Walnut Street Bridge, the Grays Ferry Crescent and the new Paine’s Park host films to strike anyone’s fancy. Everything from Clueless, to Rocky, to Moonrise Kingdom are slated to fill an inflatable outdoor screen. The full list of films and locations is available here.
• City Tap House Summer Movie Series: Thursdays through September 5, 8 p.m., Pay as you go. Every Thursday evening though August, indulge in a plethora of craft brews, movie snacks and a screening of a classic summer flick at City Tap House. The University City restaurant’s patio, hosts classic films, a craft brewery pair up and movie snacks as a Thursday evening treat. Admission is free, but drinks and snacks are pay as you go.
• The Dell Music Center’s Essence of Entertainment Summer Concerts: Thursdays through August 29, 7 or 8 p.m., $25-$60. The Dell Music Center, East Fairmount Park’s expansive open-air concert venue, brings a number of notable musicians to its outdoor stage for the Essence of Entertainment concerts, a series of eight rocking performances throughout July and August. Performances ranging from gospel to R&B are slated to wow audiences.
• Pairings on the Parkway: Thursdays through September 26, 5-8 p.m., Pay as you go. Pack your favorite bottle of wine for an evening of food pairings led by the knowledgable people at Milk and Honey Market. Browse a selection of cheese and other small bites that will compliment your wine perfectly. Pairings on the Parkway ushers in live music and fine food every Thursday evening.
• Friday Night Jazz in Cedar Park: Fridays through July 26, 6-8 p.m., Free. West Philly’s Cedar Park brings jazz musicians to the forefront on Friday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. As the recurring event comes to an end, be sure to pay a visit to the park, at 49th Street and Baltimore Avenue, for a fun jazz performance.
• Smooth Jazz Summer Nights and Friday Night Lights at Penn’s Landing: Fridays, August 2-30, Concerts at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:15 p.m., Free. Every Friday night in August at 7:30 p.m., Penn’s Landing welcomes jazz tunes to the Great Plaza. Smooth Jazz Summer Nights kick off on Friday, August 2 with a performance by Alex Bugnon, a pianist and composer. All concerts are free and end with Friday Night Lights, a spectacular fireworks show beginning directly after the concerts at 9:15 p.m.
• Hawthorne Park Free Movies: Friday July 26, August 6, August 23 and September 27, 7 p.m., Free. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on certain Fridays throughout the summer, Hawthorne Park at 12th and Catharine Streets presents free family-friendly activities followed by a family-friendly film at dusk. Over the next few months, certain films are accompanied by special guests, too. On Friday, July 26, watch a screening of Lady and the Tramp and enjoy a visit from PAWS. On Friday, August 6, Sister Act will be shown followed by Rocky (a Philly favorite!) on Friday, August 23. The event ends on September 27 with a screening of The Karate Kid featuring live karate demos. Rain dates are one week after the scheduled day.
• Sugarhouse Casino’s Waterfront Concert Series: Fridays and Saturdays through September 7, 5 p.m.-midnight, Pay as you go. Every Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Sugarhouse Casino ushers in musical groups for an evening of outdoor music, dancing and dining. Local bands from a variety of genres entertain guests each week. This summer, Sugarhouse also welcomes two new outdoor bars so guests can indulge in eats and beverages without leaving the outdoor music oasis.
• The Awesome Fest Film Series at Liberty Lands Park: Fridays, August 2-16, 8 p.m. in July, 8:30 p.m. in August, Free. Three films are slated to take over Liberty Lands Park, the Northern Liberties’ green space this summer. Start your weekend strong with an awesomely ’80s movie at the park. As soon as dusk hits on the first three Friday nights in August, pack up your blankets and snacks for evening films.
• The Trestle Inn Backyard BBQ: Fridays through September 27, 5-9 p.m., Pay as you go. Spend you Friday evenings at The Trestle Inn as it celebrates go-go dancing with a backyard BBQ full of live music, drink specials and even a rotating food truck schedule.
• Moonlight Movies and Dining Under The Stars: Fridays through August 16, Food Trucks, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Film, 8:30 p.m., Food is pay as you go, Film is free. Free film screenings and food truck fare join forces on Friday evenings at Mt. Airy’s Moonlight Movies and Dining Under the Stars event. From classic films to recent blockbusters, the event screens an assortment of feature films. All films begin at 8:30 p.m. In case of rain, the Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church plays host.
• Movies at the Logan Parklet: Fridays through September 6, 7 p.m., Free. The Logan Parklet hosts recent box office hits every Friday night through September 6. On certain nights, attendees will benefit from an added movie-related surprise, the full schedule of upcoming film screenings is available here.
• The Awesome Fest Film Series at Parx Casino: Saturdays through August 17, Between 8 and 8:30 p.m., Free. Head out to Picnic Grove at the Parx Casino for your ’80s movie fix. Films include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Killer Clowns from Outer Space and Back to the Future. In addition to outdoor films, ’80s games, giveaways and more are on the schedule. Performances, ’80s-themed parties and guest appearances round out the series of events. Outdoor movies occur every Saturday through August 17. Be sure to catch the double feature on August 3.
• Independence After Hours: Fridays and Saturdays, August 16-October 26, 5:30 p.m., $85 Adults, $80 Seniors, students and military, $55 for children under 12. After the nearly nightly early-summer Independence After Hours tours come to a close, the event continues on Friday and Saturday evenings in the late-summer and early-fall. Discover Independence Hall after dark, meet colonial re-enactors and enjoy a meal at City Tavern at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
• Live Music Presented by the Trocadero at The Oval: Saturdays, August 3-17, 6-8 p.m., Free. The Trocadero curated a top-notch lineup of musical performers set for the first three Saturdays in August at The Oval. Spend your Saturday evening enjoying a variety of music from a number of indie bands.
• Carillon Concerts at Longwood Gardens: Sundays through September 15 except August 11, 3 p.m., Included in admission. On almost every Sunday throughout the summer months, folks are invited out to Longwood Gardens for a series of peaceful concerts. The Carillon Concerts at Longwood Gardens begin at 3 p.m., and are located at the Chimes Tower. Each week, a different bell musical group is featured. Before or after the concerts explore the impressive gardens, concerts are included in the price of general admission.
• Mini-Golf at the Porch: Monday-Sunday through July 31, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Free. Free entertainment abounds at the Porch, located right outside of 30th Street Station. Every day this month, pick up a golf club for a free round of mini-golf. To play, just hand over a valid ID in exchange for a score card, golf ball and golf club. No need to fret, as soon as you return the golf-related items, your ID will be returned to you safe and sound.
• Sundae at Morgan’s Pier: Sundays through September, 8 p.m., $5. End your weekend on a high note at Morgan’s Pier. On August 4 and 11, Sundae, a recurring summer event, brings live music and crowds to the waterfront bar and restaurant. Events begin at 8 p.m., and keep folks grooving until 2 a.m. Admission is $5 per person and food and drinks are available on a pay as you go basis.
• Techmobile, Presented by the Free Library of Philadelphia at The Oval: Sundays, July 21-August 18, noon-4 p.m., Free. Sunday afternoons are for tech at The Oval. The Free Library of Philadelphia brings the latest technology to the park via the Techmobile, a mobile computer lab. Inside the lab, guests will find laptops, iPads, a printer, books, eBooks and receive helpful tips on cover letters, resumes and job searching.
• Sunday Sessions at The Cambridge: Sundays, August 11, 25 and September 1; 9:30 p.m. in August, 8:30 p.m. in September, Free. South Street’s gastropub, The Cambridge, presents live music on select Sunday evenings in the summer. Enjoy craft brews and live music for no cover charge — just pay for the drinks and bites to accompany the performance. August shows begin at 9:30 p.m., and the final show, on September 1, begins at 8:30 p.m.