Whether you spend Thanksgiving Eve at a low-key bar with friends or dancing the night away to '90s hits, celebrate in style at one of the countless bars hosting events this year. (Photo credits bottom left (Photo courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, others by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)
Thanksgiving Eve is one of the busiest nights for bars and restaurants across the country as people get together with family and old friends and toast to the start of the holiday season — the night before Christmas may promise a quiet evening where “not a creature’s stirring, not even a mouse,” but the night before Thanksgiving is a whole different story.
Philadelphia jump starts the holidays with tons of Thanksgiving parties for revelers to enjoy. Think ’90s dance parties, a Gayborhood bar crawl, late-night bowling, karaoke nights and much, much more.
Put on your party hats and get out there, our picks for Thanksgiving Eve celebrations, below.
• James Murphy at The Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest: November 27, 8 p.m., Old City, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard. James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Dave P. of Philadelphia’s Making Time events, rock the Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest as part of its opening night festivities. Celebrate the unveiling of the brand-new addition to the Delaware River Waterfront and the Blue Cross RiverRink — complete with a beer garden, craft market, holiday light show and a pop-up restaurant — at its opening night party.
• It’s The Year 1997 at Johnny Brenda’s: November 27, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., Fishtown, 1201 Frankford Avenue. After recently being ranked the number one bar in Philadelphia, Johnny Brenda’s is participating in the fun that is Thanksgiving Eve. After hosting a 1988-themed party last Thanksgiving Eve, Johnny Brenda’s takes us forward in time to 1997 for a party featuring hit songs of all sort from the year 1997. The party starts at 10 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. Admission is $7 per person.
• Jive Turkey Dance Party and Thanks-A-Latke at The Trestle Inn: November 27, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., Callowhill, 339 N. 11th Street. Sip discounted Wild Turkey bourbon and groove to funk music at The Trestle Inn’s part Thanksgiving Eve party and part Hannukah celebration. The Thanksgiving Eve party kicks off at 9 p.m., and before that, beginning at 7 p.m., Hannukah takes the spotlight with potato vodka specials and a screening of The Hebrew Hammer.
• Thanksgiving Eve at Yakitori Boy: November 27, 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Chinatown, 211 N. 11th Street. For those looking to drink, dine and sing karaoke, Yakitori Boy is the place to be this Thanksgiving Eve. The Chinatown haunt offers revelers pumpkin pie shots, a “pilgrim” punch and drink specials all night long. Doors open (for no cover!) at 5 p.m. and remain open until 2 a.m.
• Pink Pub Crawl: November 27, 9 p.m., Gayborhood, Starts at 1705 Chancellor Street. Don your finest pink apparel for the annual Pink Pub Crawl, an annual gay bar crawl to four of the Gayborhood’s hottest clubs. The crawl kicks off at Stir at 9 p.m. and then makes stops at Tabu Sports Bar, Woodys and ends at Voyeur. Admission is $25 for those wearing pink and $30 for those not wearing pink. Tickets will be available at Stir and Tabu Sports Bar on Thanksgiving Eve. Tickets include three drinks and admission to the dance floors at Woodys and Voyeur.
• Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday at The Philadelphia Museum of Art: November 27, 5-8:45 p.m., Fairmount, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The Philadelphia Museum of Art keeps up its weekly pay-what-you-wish Wednesday promotion even on the night before Thanksgiving. Enjoy sips and bites from Stephen Starr events while taking in the exhibitions of the main gallery and taking part in art-centric crafts, discussions and more.
• American Sardine Bar’s 2nd Anniversary: November 27, 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Point Breeze, 1800 Federal Street. Party until the wee hours of the night at American Sardine Bar’s second anniversary bash. Beginning at 4 p.m., celebrate its namesake sardine sandwich as some of the city’s finest chefs visit the Point Breeze haunt to put their own spin on the popular menu item. In addition to plenty of sardines, sip rare brews from Ommegang, Allagash, Dogfish Head and more.
• Late-Night Happy Hour at North Bowl: November 27, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Northern Liberties, 909 N 2nd Street. Bowl to your heart’s content at North Bowl’s late-night happy hour every Wednesday night (including Thanksgiving Eve). With specials like $3 Philadelphia Brewing Company draughts, $3 shoe rental, discounted games and the bowling alley’s well-loved tots, it’s a super affordable pre-Thanksgiving evening.
• Xfinity Live! Fest 2013: November 27, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., South Philadelphia, 1100 Pattison Avenue. Located mere steps from the sports stadiums of South Philadelphia, XFinity Live! kicks off the Thanksgiving holiday with six parties under its roof. From a battle of the bands at Victory Beer Hall to a craft beer garden in Broad Street Bullies, Xfinity is the place to be for an assortment of events. Choose from four ticket options, all providing guests with different drinks and services. Ticket information and ticket sales are available online.
• Thanksgiving Eve with $tuntloco at Silk City: November 27, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., Northern Liberties, 435 Spring Garden Street. Get a workout in before your super indulgent Thanksgiving dinner as Silk City invites folks to dance the night away to the upbeat tunes of $tuntloco, a staple spinner of the Silk City scene, and his DJ accomplices.
More Thanksgiving Eve celebrations, below.
• DJ Deejay’s Night Before Thanksgiving ’90s Party at The Barbary: November 27, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., Fishtown, 951 Frankford Avenue. Party like its 1999 at The Barbary this Thanksgiving Eve as it brings DJ Deejay to the stand for an evening of ’90s hits. Beginning at 10 p.m., get ready to sing and dance along to your favorite Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys and TLC songs on the night before feasting.
• Groove Philly’s Thanksgiving Eve at Voyeur: November 27, 9 p.m.-3 a.m., Gayborhood, 1221 St. James Street. The Gayborhood’s ultimate late-night spot, Voyeur, presents an all-night dance party featuring three DJs, two dance floors and $3 drink specials from 9 to 11 p.m. Access to the nighttime haunt’s music, drinks and merriment rings in at a $10 cover charge.
• Black Wednesday at Howl at the Moon: November 27, 4-10 p.m., Center City, 258 S. 15th Street. Philadelphia’s newest dueling piano bar, Howl at the Moon, serves up drinks upon drinks at its Black Wednesday event. From 4 to 10 p.m., indulge in $3 Shock Top seasonal bottles, $4 Skyy cocktails, $5 American Honey shots and more all while singing and dancing to tunes from its ever-popular dueling pianos.
• Gobble Off at Kildare’s Manayunk: November 27, 5 p.m.-midnight, Manayunk, 4417 Main Street. Can you gobble like a turkey? Prove it as Kildare’s Manayunk hosts its annual gobble-off on Thanksgiving Eve. The best gobbler receives a grand prize of $100. Guests have three separate chances to gobble throughout the evening, at 6, 9 and 11 p.m. Also, from 5 to 7 p.m., sip $3 draught beer.
• Cooler By A Mile at Field House: November 27, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Center City, 1150 Filbert Street. Gear up for all of the Thanksgiving football you can handle at one of Philadelphia’s well-loved sports bars, Field House. On Thanksgiving Eve, enjoy discounted drinks including $4 Yards and Victory draughts and select $5 cocktails and shots. Cheers!
• Hanukkah at Zahav: November 27, Society Hill, 237 St. James Place. For all of the foodies out there, two holidays come together on Thanksgiving Eve at Zahav with a combination of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Imagine classic Thanksgiving items with a Hanukkah twist at this one-of-a-kind dinner. Think hummus with braised brisket, green bean and lentil salad, honey baked lamb, cornbread and cranberry stuffing and fried challah donuts complete with burnt marshmallow and sweet potato. The meal is $39 per person, and reservations are required. How’s that for Thanksgiving Eve?
• Low-Key Bars: While the revelry that is Thanksgiving Eve is appealing to some, it’s not how everyone wants to spend their night. Philadelphia is full of countless bars that are keeping their doors open on Thanksgiving Eve — minus the dance parties and shot specials. Tons of neighborhood bars from Manayunk to South Philadelphia to Fishtown are great places to grab a drink (or two) with friends. Our picks? Head to Frankford Hall, Fette Sau or Garage for a low key evening in a top-notch environment.