Philadelphia is known for its bustling nightlife. Sometimes, however, you’d rather do something other than hang out at a bar, which can become stale after a while. That said, here are some late-night activities in Philly that don’t revolve around bars.
North Bowl
909 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 238-2695

Located in Northern Liberties, North Bowl stays open until 2 a.m. every night, and this place is more than just a bowling alley. Besides bowling lanes, the retro-style two-floor establishment also has a lounge area, an arcade and pool tables. The second floor offers a more private bowling experience with only four lanes. Dining is also available for those looking for a late-night meal. It can get quite crowded, so be sure to make a reservation by calling the number above.

University Pinball
4006 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 387-2561

University Pinball is a small arcade located in West Philadelphia. This little-known place is open until 12 a.m. from Sunday through Wednesday and until 2 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It brings in new games often and has a wide variety to choose from. Fighting and driving games, pinball and skeeball are just a small taste of the fun on hand. The games run off of coins, and some even give out tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes. University Pinball is a rare old-school arcade and is unique to Philadelphia. No food or drinks are served, just fun.

Pat’s and Geno’s
1237 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-1546

1219 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 389-0659

These two rival cheesesteak restaurants are open 24 hours and are located right across the street from each other. The founder of Pat’s King of Steaks, Pat Olivieri, is often credited with creating the steak sandwich in 1930, and Joey Vento opened Geno’s Steaks in 1966. According to its website, “he figured that if he was going to sell a steak, he had to be where they were already eating them.” The main difference between the two is that Pat’s chops the steak, while Geno’s does not. Try both to decide which is your favorite.

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Laff House
221 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 440-4242

If you’re looking for a night full of laughs, grab a late-night comedy show at Laff House on South Street. Laff House is rich in history and has about five shows a week, including open mic nights every Wednesday. The open mic night is free, while ticket prices vary for the other events. Be aware that there is a two-item food or drink minimum purchase requirement for each person. And if you’re still hungry after the show, there are many restaurants open late on South Street, such as Lorenzo & Sons Pizza and Jim’s Steaks.

University City Cinema
4012 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 386-9800

This University City cinema often shows movies that start after 11 p.m. or 12 a.m. on the weekend. The theaters have comfortable, reclining seats and there is a lounge area to hang out in before the film. University City Cinema also has a restaurant where you can enjoy a bite before the start of your movie. If you drive to the theater, make sure to have the theater validate your ticket for the parking garage across the street. Ticket prices are relatively cheap as well. For showtimes, check the website.

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Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on