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Creative District Philadelphia

Where design + history inspire creative thinking

 

Located in the heart of Old City, the Creative District of Philadelphia is home to the city's premier art galleries, design shops, fashion boutiques, public art, historic landmarks and culinary experiences.

Old City's independent business owners have actively transformed this neighborhood into a vibrant destination for residents and visitors by providing the best shopping, cultural and culinary experiences within a historically significant context. The Creative District of Philadelphia focuses on the intersection of art, design, fashion and architecture to encourage experimental, creative experiences.

The backdrop for creativity in Old City is a collection of historic landmarks which led to its inclusion to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House, Christ Church, Elfreth's Alley, and Carpenter's Hall are just a few of the iconic locations that will inspire you during your visit.  

Shop

12 GATES ARTS

Non-profit showcasing international, multidisciplinary arts
bound by the sensibilities of a diasporic identity. 

36 Craven

A lifestyle shop offering a distinctly curated selection of primitive antiques, contemporary textiles and unique art for the 21st century home.

3rd Street Hardware

Old City Philadelphia Hardware Store providing quality hardware, paint, and everyday household items at reasonable prices.

ARCH ENEMY ARTS

One of Philly's freshest art venues dedicated to exhibiting emerging & established artists, both local and international

Art in the age

The experimental arm of spirits focused creative agency, Quaker City Mercantile, AITA is an artists’ collective, rooted in the traditions of American craftsmanship.

artist & craftsman supply

Art and crafts supplies, drawing, sculpture, yarn, gifts, kids art supplies and more. Employee owned and operated. 

Bella Bridesmaids

Bridesmaid boutique offering dresses for wedding attendants in a vast range of colors & styles.

Benjamin Lovell Shoes

Contemporary shoe store boasting casual & stylish footwear, plus European & USA-made brands.

BIELLO MARTIN STUDIO

Shared creative sanctuary and showroom of multidisciplinary artist Michael Biello, composer/musician/producer Dan Martin, and Kellijane – luxury bed, bath and table linens.

Bluestone Fine Art Gallery

The gallery features original works by contemporary and traditional artists in a range of mediums, including painting, ceramics and sculpture.

Brave new worlds

Offers a treasure trove of comics, games, superhero memorabilia and more.

Bulthaup

Founded in 1949, Bulthaup offers kitchen and living space systems with which you can design your living space to suit your needs.

Center for Art in Wood

The Center for Art in Wood nurtures and promotes the innovation of art in wood through collaborative residencies, exhibitions, education and documentation.  

Charlie's Jeans

Specializes in premium jean fit for women and men. Also carry a wide array of other clothing to help you complete your entire wardrobe

Chick Invitations

A small team of real, live people (trained in graphic design) to help you design the most important announcements of your life. 

Cuttalossa

Cuttalossa is a textile and home goods line founded in 2013 which strives to reignite an economy for textiles made with care and built to last.

Doggie Style Pets

Doggie Style has become a neighborhood "watering dish" for pet owners to bring their best friends and catch up on the latest in pet care.

Erdon

Recognized amongst the fashion industry as one of the "Best Boutiques," we provide a unique mix of European, Japanese, and American designers in a relaxed gallery atmosphere.

Gallery 51

The focus at Gallery51 is on the appreciation, conservation and collection of fine, antique textile art and antique oriental rugs.

Hunter Douglas design gallery 

Shop for drapes, shades & blinds, including custom & motorized options, plus furniture upholstery.

KelliJane

A home boutique focused exclusively on assembling and providing an unrivaled collection of high-end bed, bath, and table linens.

 Larry Becker contemporary art

Representing and exhibiting abstract and conceptual contemporary art in various mediums since 1988. 

Lema

Tour the sleek showroom by appointment, or try out the furniture for the weekend by renting out one of the "Lema Houses" through AirBnb.

Lost + Found

Contemporary boutique featuring unique and always affordable clothing, accessories and footwear. Don’t miss the hand-picked vintage selection. A local favorite.

Margot & Camille Optique

Provides a complete experience centered on fine eyewear that emphasizes unique expression. By connecting with each client individually, we create a retreat from the noise of the eyewear industry

 

Meadowsweet

The carefully pared-down selection is organized by style (bohemian, rocker, minimalist), so you never have to hunt. Also worth a perusal: the shop’s impressive selection of handmade lifestyle goods.

Millesime

Features collections of modern and contemporary furniture, lighting and home accessories from international designers including Ligne Roset, Poltrona Frau, and Foscarini-Diesel. 

Minima

Open since 1999, Minima is Philadelphia’s premier design showroom featuring contemporary furniture, lighting, and home accessories.

Mode Moderne

Vintage Mid-Century Modern furnishings located in Philadelphia's historic Old City. 

Modern Gallery

Specializes in 20th & 21st Century vintage and contemporary furniture, lighting, ceramics, and accessories with a strong focus on the Studio Craft Movement.

 

Momo's Treehouse

Every lawn game, art kit and ride-on the kids unearth here is handpicked, totally wholesome and — most importantly — fun.

More than Old

An eclectic blend of victorian, art deco, and retro: fine glassware, barware, period furniture, and decorative arts, from collectibles to antiques. (cat on premises!)

Mr. Bar Stool 

Family owned and operated business specializing in quality chairs, tables & bar stools for all levels of the restaurant and home. 

Muse Gallery

Muse Gallery is an artist cooperative in existence for over thirty years and is dedicated to exploring individual visions and artistic styles. 

My Little Redemption

Upscale women's fashions from Israel. The pieces are hand selected based on unique design and unconditional quality. Timeless, subtle yet striking in style.

 

Never too Spoiled 

A whimsical boutique and gift shop, Never Too Spoiled has something to spoil everyone. Named one of Philadelphia's top "awesome and affordable shopping experiences." 

Opportunity Barks

Dog behavior and training, plus everything else your furry companion needs. 

Omoi Zakka Shop

Selection of items with considerate design, affordability, and a good sense of humor. Our name means thoughtful, useful sundry goods.

Parisa Rugs & Decor

A boutique rug and design gallery in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia, featuring items that have been hand selected for palette, pattern, form and function.

Pentimenti 

Features content driven contemporary art which challenges traditional materials and aesthetics by a line of internationally established artists alongside young talent.

Petit Jardin en Ville

French-trained florists and gardeners creating garden style designs using beautiful combinations of flowers for weddings, private events and celebrations.

Phil Kramer Studio

Philadelphia commercial photographer, event photographer, portrait photographer, and wedding photographer with a concentration in fashion, beauty and sports. 

Philadelphia independentS 

Offering handmade items from the best talent in the city including jewelry, accessories, t-shirts, prints, greeting cards, home decor, baby gifts and more.

Philly Socks

Fun, vibrant, exciting environment for your sock shopping experience. Specializing in fun and edgy socks.

Poggenpohl

Born in 1892 in the heart of Germany, Poggenpohl is the oldest kitchen brand in the world.

Reform Vintage Modern

Specialize in mid-20th century modern design including furniture, art, lighting and all forms of decorating accessories, as well as unique industrial, folk and studio designed objects.

Rennes

With tidy tables of accessories, and racks of relaxed toss-on-and-go styles from Japanese lines you won’t find anywhere else in Philly, this airy  women’s boutique will fill our casual international-cool clothing void.

ROCHE BOBOIS

Celebrating French art de vivre around the world

Scarlett Alley

Philadelphia gift shop Scarlett Alley specializing in bamboo clothing for women and baby, handmade personalized pottery, and wedding registry.

Sioux Zanne messix 

One of a kind designer jewelry, new & vintage clothing and accessories.

Society Hill kitchens

A unique company which offers innovative contemporary and traditional classically designed products for the modern home. The core of our business is custom manufactured cabinetry.

STANEK GALLERY

Gives way to a new thought for art connoisseurs, bridging the gap  between artists and art collector, and creating an engaging forum where art can be seen, shared and discussed.

Sugarcube

American-made and multinational collection has a clear focus on brands of distinction, from inspiring to timeless, and emerging to iconic.

The clay studio

Internationally renowned studio offering ceramic art courses as well as a gallery showcasing the works of local and national clay masters.

The geisha house

Women's boutique inspired by the free-spirited, worry free girl, wearing what SHE loves and owning herself without second thought of what others may dare to think.

Tribal home

Local gallery specializing in authentic African artifacts, textiles and education to inspire you home and your mind. 

 

Vagabond

Boutique stocking indie designer womenswear, handmade vintage and modern designs, and the shop’s own line of fashion-forward skirts, scarves, dresses, sweaters, and coats.

United by blue

The flagship Coffeehouse and Clothier combines organic clothing and pour over coffee in a beautiful, cozy setting. For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world's oceans and waterways.

Wexler gallery

Questioning and testing the boundaries of design, fine art and contemporary glass and ceramics, the gallery presents work that consistently celebrates innovation as much as aesthetic beauty. 

Urban Artisan

Specializes in handmade leather products – crafting wallets, wristlets, totes, toiletry and make-up bags, purses and bags, as well as women’s apparel and  jewelry.


events

 

FREE Yoga on race street pier: apr 28 - nov 11

Re-connect with nature and history for a more conscious lifestyle. Recharge, refresh and relieve stress in this peaceful green setting while looking toward the Delaware River and Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

 

Labor Day Fireworks on the Delaware River: Sep 1

Make the holiday weekend extra festive by catching a grand fireworks show outside the Independence Seaport Museum. The museum will open up its second-floor terrace and third-story rotunda balcony, where guests can enjoy live music and refreshments in addition to the evening’s colorful display set to sweep the skies at 9:30 p.m.

 

Early American pets - squirrels, deer, and bears, oh my!: sep 1-3 

During the Colonial and the Revolutionary War periods, all types of wild animals were captured and domesticated. New cages and accessories were created for a fashionable, rather than practical, pet. Join us for a ranger-led tour of the Second Bank Portrait Gallery, where you will discover the common, yet bizarre, pets of the 18th and early 19th century.

 
 

2nd ANNUAL WATERFRONT DAY: SEP 2

Spirit of Philadelphia and Delaware River Waterfront partners present this day-long celebration of life along the river with a pop-up Rooftop Beer Garden, live entertainment, and deals from several local attractions.

 

Labor Day on Elfreth's Alley: SEP 3

Elfreth’s Alley will celebrate Labor Day by honoring the generations of working people who have lived on the street by offering free admission to its house museum from 12-3 pm. Visitors will also have the opportunity to interact with a History Maker portraying Sarah Melton -- a colonial businesswoman who worked as a “mantua maker” designing one- of-a-kind dresses for her clients in Philadelphia. She lived in the museum house beginning in the 1760s until her death of yellow fever in 1793.

 

SPACELAB: through Sep 7

One-of-a-kind showcase of glass art that explores the great unknown – outer space. This collection of artwork examines human relationships with the universe, including space travel; extraterrestrial beings and intergalactic discoveries; the vastness and mystery of space; and much more. The innovative nature of glassmaking makes it the perfect medium for this subject, which has captured imaginations since the dawn of humankind. The featured work ranges from whimsical and mystical to elegant and awe-inspiring.

 

Fringe Festival: Sep 4-29

FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectation. Each September, the organization presents the annual Fringe Festival, a 17-day celebration that fills the city’s neighborhoods with more than 1,000 curated and independently produced performances.

 

Farmer's Market: Every wed may thru nov

Join us on the Beligium blocks outside the Christ Church gates and just a block away from the site of Philadelphia's original 18th-century farmers market on High (now Market) Street. Fresh produce, baked goods, hand-crafted items and plants directly from the producers. Every Wednesday from 2-7pm, May - November.

 

Who got the jazz, A Tribute to Jazz: Sep 5, 5:30-8pM

Every Wednesday night from June 6 through September 5, Who Got the Jazz hits the Historic District, reviving a locally loved jazz tribute series.Master jazz musicians and soul vocalists jam out to send up greats like Nina Simone, Duke Ellington and Stevie Wonder. Look out for artists including Suzann Christine, Chill Moody and Brianna Cash. Independence Visitor Center, 5:30-8 p.m.

 

First Friday: Every first friday of the month

On the first Friday of each month, Old City's galleries, studios, shops and restaurants open their doors for First Friday, in an epic exhibition of the neighborhood's vibrant arts scene. Old City Arts Association launched First Friday in 1991 to re-introduce Philadelphia to the Old City neighborhood, along with the artists and designers who brought it back to life.

 

We got the beats: September 7, 6-10pM

On the first Friday of the month in June, July, August and September, the We Got the Beats DJ Series brings out two DJs to play two different genres of tunes at locations including FringeArts, the Philadelphia History Museum and Spruce Street Harbor Park. Among those lined up to spin: Rich Medina, DJ Sylo and DJ Royale. Philadelphia History Musuem at the Atwater Kent.

 

Movie Night Under the Stars & Stripes: sep 7, oct 5

The Betsy Ross House hosts a screening of classic movies during First Friday's all summer long. The $5 admission also includes a tour of the Betsy Ross House, pre-show activities and quizzo. Plan a picnic – food and wine are allowed – and get ready for a fun evening al fresco in Philadelphia’s Historic District.

 

Who got the jazz, A Tribute to Duke Ellington & Marvin Gaye: Sep 12, 5:30-8PM

very Wednesday night from June 6 through September 5, Who Got the Jazz hits the Historic District, reviving a locally loved jazz tribute series.Master jazz musicians and soul vocalists jam out to send up greats like Nina Simone, Duke Ellington and Stevie Wonder. Look out for artists including Suzann Christine, Chill Moody and Brianna Cash. Spruce Street Harbor Park, 5:30-8 p.m. 

 

Opera on the Mall: Sep 29, 7pm

"We shall not be moved' presented through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and PNC Arts Alive. Tickets are FREE but registration is recommended. Register Here.

 

Design Philadelphia: oct 3-13

DesignPhiladelphia highlights the work of thousands of local designers, architects, and creative professionals to demonstrate Philadelphia’s reemergence as a 21st century city shaped by thoughtful design, collaborative business practices, and community engagement. 

 

Old City Fest: Oct 7

Old City Fest is a celebration of art and design, fashion and food, creativity and culture on the streets of America’s most historic square mile— Old City, Philadelphia. Activities include live music, runway fashion shows, a family fun zone, pop-up street performances and a wide array of food, beverages, art, craft and retail shopping.

 

Small business Saturday: Nov 24

Small Business Saturday, held on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, started in 2010 as a way to promote small and local stores during the busiest shopping season. This November 24th, support the small businesses of Old City and ‘shop local.’

 

 

Historic Holiday nights

Celebrate the holiday season in America’s most historic square mile with Historic Holiday Nights in Old City. More than 50 participating boutiques, shops, art galleries, museums, salons, spas, restaurants and cafes around the neighborhood will treat visitors to special sales, discounts, promotions, seasonal cocktails, added menu items, special events and extended hours. 

 

New Year's Eve Fireworks: Dec 31

Every year, Philadelphia rings in the New Year twice with fireworks shows along the Delaware River at 6 p.m. and midnight, so you’ll have plenty of time to find the perfect spot to watch the spectacular displays. Get a front-row view from the Blue Cross RiverRink WinterFest, Penn’s Landing, the Battleship New Jersey and more.

 

Old City Eats

A summer-long food-centric “happy hour” at Nearly 30 Old City restaurants. Every Thursday night enjoy $5 cocktails, $4 beers and half off at least one appetizer at each restaurant, from 5-8 pm. Launch party Jun 20th. 

 

clear the shelters: aug 20, 2019

Adoption fees will be waived at all PAWS adoption locations as part of a region-wide effort to find homes for shelter pets. Get a head start by completing the adoption application ahead of time (email adoptions@phillypaws.org for an online version).

Explore

The Creative District of Philadelphia is home to some of the city's more inspiring destinations from historic landmarks and 18th century gardens, to modern sculpture and some of the city's most interesting new constitution. Come see what inspires the city's most creative modern day Makers.

 

  The Painted Bride Art Center

The Painted Bride Art Center

  Christ Church

Christ Church

  Elfreth's Alley

Elfreth's Alley

  Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House

  First Friday

First Friday

  National Musuem of American Jewish History

National Musuem of American Jewish History

  Benjamin Franklin Ghost House

Benjamin Franklin Ghost House

  Second National Bank

Second National Bank

  Independence Hall

Independence Hall

  Merchant's Exchange

Merchant's Exchange

  Race Street Pier

Race Street Pier

  Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

eat

Philadelphia’s restaurant renaissance began in the Creative District of Philadelphia. Since then Old City's chef-driven dining experience has never been more exciting.  More than 80 Old City restaurants offer great American fare and international cuisine, from fine dining to Philly’s best cheesesteaks. Hang out in great coffee shops and cafes, and enjoy delicious ice cream, pastries and confections to live for.

Airis Roll & Rice

Serving a la carte sushi, bento boxes, teriyakis, sushi rolls & more delicious Japanese cuisine. 

Ardiente

Chino Latino street flavors served across two floors in Old City. 

Cafe ole

Cozy coffee shop serving snacks & Mediterranean fare within cheerful, brightly colored space.

Campo's

Located just three blocks from Independence Mall, Campo's has been serving up classics like cheesesteaks and meatballs since 1947.

Capofitto Forno

Doing our part to contribute to the Pizza Evolution and serving our award winning gelato in Philadelphia.

Chez Ben

All-day Bistro serving French classics with contemporary American twists located in the Franklin Hotel. 

Fezziwig's

Philadelphia's best ice cream, famous Kettle Korn, ice cream desserts, burgers and fries to shakes and pies.

Fork 

Sophisticated New American cuisine that includes a popular brunch served amid sleek modern decor.

Franklin Fountain

Bow-tie-wearing staff dispense classic ice cream parlor/soda fountain treats in an old-timey space.