The City of Brotherly Love may be one of America’s historic wonders — it is, after all, the first World Heritage City in the U.S. — but that doesn’t mean the people of Philly don’t know how to party. On the contrary, there are numerous venues that locals and visitors alike can enjoy in this city that’s deemed the second-largest in the East Coast. There’s plenty of room to celebrate, so if you’re looking for the best places for parties in Philadelphia, here are 10 venues you can check out.
Top 10 Venues for Parties in Philadelphia
- 1. City Winery
At the heart of Center City lies City Winery, a full-service event space at 10th and Filbert that offers a unique urban winery aesthetic perfect for any kind of celebration. Its experienced staff can cater to various occasions, whether they’re birthdays, weddings, meetings, gala events, and more. State-of-the-art AV production and VIP rooms are also available for corporate events that require technologically advanced presentations.
The great thing about City Winery is that they take the hassle out of planning for your big event by curating their services to reflect your ideal setup and bring your unique vision to life. With access to the best local vendors, innovative cuisine, and a sophisticated, locally produced wine selection, City Winery will surely be enjoyed by the cosmopolitan guest.
- 2. Reading Terminal Market
If you want a dash of history in your event, look no further than the 127-year-old Reading Terminal Market. As one of America’s largest and oldest public markets, the Reading Terminal Market is the go-to place for the finest homegrown and exotic meats, poultry, produce, and everything in between. With the best selection of ingredients at your fingertips, your party will surely be the talk of the town for its fresh, vibrant spread.
The community-centered atmosphere in the market will also make guests feel welcome and deeply connected with Philly’s culture.
- 3. PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts)
Philly is known for its bustling creative spirit, so it’s no surprise that the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) makes it to the list. The spaces themselves embody the characteristics of fine art — elegant, contemporary, and adaptive. You have a choice between the Historic Landmark Building, a breathtaking structure that has stood the test of time with its magnificent Victorian Gothic architecture; the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building, which consists of an exposed staircase surrounded by three galleries; and the Lenfest Plaza, a beautiful outdoor space right at the center of Philly.
As a creative events space, PAFA caters to different event setups, whether it’s a small, private dinner for 10 or a cocktail reception for a thousand guests. Aside from its personalized menus and stunning artistic backdrop, one of the best things about PAFA is that proceeds from bookings are channeled towards the academy’s mission to educate students wanting to pursue the arts.
- 4. Water Works
For the romantic at heart, Water Works will surely take your breath away with its magnificent Neoclassical architecture that exudes luxury at every turn. Visitors from all over the world, including Charles Dickens, were once captivated by Water Works’ facade, which housed revolutionary technology back in the day. Today, its dramatic setting and lavish interiors treat guests to a classic ambience with contemporary luxury.
Water Works is mostly suited to weddings but can accommodate virtually any kind of affair. You can choose between The Engine House (140 guests), The Grand Pavilion (180 guests), and The Mill House (400 guests) — all of which offer panoramic views and majestic surroundings that will transport you to a time when royalty wasn’t merely confined to storybooks.
- 5. Punch Line Philly
Punch Line Philly is more than just a laughing matter. Not only is it a stepping stone to some of America’s most beloved comics, it is also a versatile event space that can accommodate a variety of occasions, whether they’re private comedy shows, corporate meetings, social gatherings, receptions, and many more.
Situated in historic Fishtown, Punch Line Philly offers a selection of locally-sourced food and beverages, as well as custom menus that can suit the tastes of even the most discerning palate. Party planners can provide their guests access to world-class comedians for a night full of hearty laughs or find the best music to set the tone with the help of Mole Street Artists.
- 6. The Union League of Philadelphia
Ranked as the #1 City Club in the Country by Platinum Clubs of America for the fifth consecutive time, The Union League of Philadelphia is rife with history, having been founded in 1862 as a patriotic society from which other Union Leagues across the country have derived their philosophical foundations. Today, it stands as a landmark at the center of Philadelphia’s cultural and commercial district, with its French Renaissance architecture and brick and brownstone facade.
Over one quarter million square feet in size, the massive building of The League House has various amenities and function rooms spread out across eight floors. Among them are 14 private event rooms and five unique dining rooms that can cater to all types of events, complete with different menus appropriate for each occasion.
With its old-world charm, distinguished art collection, and exceptional cuisine, The Union League of Philadelphia isn’t just for history buffs, but for everyone who wants to have an experience that’s one for the books.
- 7. Down Town Club
Step into a spellbinding venue at the Down Town Club, which features floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a stupendous view that goes beyond the Old City and Delaware River. Blending American history with Georgian Revival architecture, the Down Town Club is a seamless alchemy of inlaid marble floors, moldings carved by hand, and rich mahogany paneling, among other sights and textures this venue has to offer. Similar to Water Works, Down Town Club is popular among aspiring newlyweds because of its elegant, graceful setup that evokes romance at every turn. The venue holds equal attraction for private parties and corporate events.
Cocktails are held in the Foyer or the Main Cocktail Room, while receptions are held in the Grand Ballroom — all of which treat guests to a scenic, unforgettable night in Philly.
- 8. Union Transfer
For more contemporary musically inclined events, Union Transfer is the place to be. It was named one of the “Top 20 Venues in America” by Rolling Stone Magazine and “one of the hottest venues on the US East Coast” by the BBC.
Union Transfer actually began as a luggage station that had been renovated as an event hall. Today, the beautiful building features towering ceilings, dramatic chandeliers, and stained glass designs. Along with its cutting-edge sound and lighting system, Union Transfer also has four bars and a mezzanine inclusive of a balcony and tiered seating. Events can have as many as 200 to 1,200 guests. Weddings, parties, performances, organizational events, and concerts are all welcome to be hosted at Union Transfer.
- 9. TLA (Theatre of Living Arts)
With its unique 41,000-square-foot theater, the Theatre of Living Arts can be the perfect location for a unique and more intimate gathering. As a premier small events space situated in historic South Street, TLA can host 50 to 800 guests, all of whom can enjoy custom menus and mixology tailored to their needs and expectations. Moreover, TLA also provides state-of-the-art sound and lighting that can enliven any type of event, whether it’s a wedding, private concert, corporate event, reception, business meeting, awards ceremony, or product launch.
With TLA, everyone is sure to get word of your event as the venue also features a traditional marquee that can display your event’s name in bright lights — a real attention-grabber, not to mention a form of free advertising.
- 10. The Fillmore Philadelphia
Considered a house of legends, The Fillmore was the launching pad of big-name bands and musicians, such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors and a hub for the psychedelic music scene in the ‘60s and ‘70s, The Fillmore Philadelphia stands today as a unique event space that combines rock-and-roll roots with classic elegance. It offers its guests a phenomenal venue that lives up to the legend and keeps the flame burning in the 21st century.
The Fillmore can accommodate 50 to 3,000 guests, as well as offer custom menus and beverages that are fit for a rock star!
No Party Is Complete Without Music
Of course, having a party without music is akin to playing baseball without the bat. It’s not a party if there are no sounds to put everyone in the right mood and groove. That being said, you have a choice between hiring a band or a DJ for your event — but which one is more appropriate?
When choosing which musical performer would be best, you must take into account the type of event you’re hosting and how you want your event to flow and progress throughout the night. With this in mind, here are some factors that can help you decide on the most appropriate choice:
- • Event space: Both bands and DJs can work for any type of event space, though one option will simply be more convenient and comfortable than the other. Smaller venues for parties, of course, may not be the best place for bands as they’re composed of multiple people who each have an instrument in tow. On the other hand, DJs are more flexible in terms of venue size since they’re often just one person carrying sound equipment.
- • Cost: Cost is also a primary factor in determining whether you should hire a DJ or a band. If you have a more flexible budget, you may consider hiring a band. But if you want to take the more economical route, a DJ might be the better option.
- • Musical selection: For those who want a wider musical selection that flows seamlessly throughout the event, a DJ will certainly be able to fulfill that. However, if you want a more personal touch and aren’t too concerned about the musical variety, a band is more likely to deliver a unique experience with their own musical style. Keep in mind, however, that unlike the music DJs play in events, bands will have to take breaks in between sets. So, consider this when planning for your party’s flow.
Overall, it’s best to see your prospective DJ or band’s performance beforehand to get a feel of how they would fit into your program. This way, you can gauge which option will suit your event space, budget, and musical preferences.
Book a Band or DJ for Your Party Now
Whether you choose to book a band or a DJ, what’s crucial is that you select talented artists who can deliver a memorable experience for all your guests. With Mole Street Artists, you can have access to the finest musical talents and performers who will work closely with you to achieve your ideal soundtrack.
Bring life to your event by setting up a call with our Senior Talent Buyer Sean Simmons to explore the rates and availability of our roster of performers.