The heart of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood may be centered on 13th and Locust Streets, but there are plenty of gay-friendly destinations throughout the region catering to crowds looking for fun. From weekly parties to annual gay pride events, visitors are sure to find something lively going on in Philly every week. Here are just 35 of the reasons to visit in 2011:
 
Get Your Nightlife Gay Seven Days A Week:
 
  1. As one of the most popular gay nightclubs in Philadelphia, Woody’s keeps the crowds coming with its sprawling dance floor and friendly downstairs bars, open from lunch until late night. 202 S. 13th Street, (215) 545-1893, woodysbar.com
  2. Sisters, Philly’s only lesbian nightclub, draws women of all ages for food, drinks, dancing and entertainment. The two-story club features two bars, a restaurant and a pool room. Popular weekly events include karaoke night on Thursdays and sweet drink deals every weeknight from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735, sistersnightclub.com
  3. Philly’s longtime leather bar, The Bike Stop is the perfect dive for a pool game or a few cocktails at the bar. The Bike Stop also hosts special events during the week such as Underwear Night on Wednesdays. 206 S. Quince Street, (215) 627-1662, thebikestop.com
  4. A popular lunch, dinner and late-night spot for the professional crowd, Knock dishes out creative entrees, a lively bar scene and special events, including karaoke every Thursday. From spring through fall, the restaurant’s alfresco scene is of the seen-and-be-seen variety. 225 S. 12thStreet, (215) 925-1166, knockphilly.com
  5. At Voyeur, Philly’s all-lifestyles after-hours nightclub, the scene heats up into the early-morning hours when well-known DJs spin club favorites. Also look for karaoke nights in the lounge and bottle service in private party rooms. 1221 Saint James Street, (215) 735-5772,voyeurnightclub.com
  6. Tavern on Camac offers three settings under one roof: an intimate fine dining restaurant on the lower level, an energetic piano bar with sing-a-longs on the main floor and a dance club and cocktail lounge featuring guest DJs, karaoke and plenty of special events upstairs. 243 S. Camac Street, (215) 545-0900, tavernoncamac.com
  7. Eating and drinking are always in season at Valanni, a gay-friendly bistro serving up cocktails and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Kinky Quizzo and live music round out the eclectic events each week. 1229 Spruce Street, (215) 790-9494, valanni.com
  8. Guys and gals flock to lesbian-owned Stir for happy hours, late-night parties and special events featuring guest DJs and creative drink specials served up by some of the friendliest bartenders in Rittenhouse Square. 1705 Chancellor Street, (215) 732-2700, stirphilly.com
Weekly & Monthly Delights:
  1. Drag superstar Mimi Imfurst (of RuPaul’s Drag Race) entertains audiences every Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. at Voyeur Nightclub, a high-tech performance space and dance club in the heart of the Gayborhood. 1221 St. James Street, voyeurnightclub.com
  2. Bob and Barbara’s legendary Thursday night drag show is a Philly tradition that gives the finest kings and queens a chance to show off, while a diverse crowd enjoys the famous Philadelphia Special, a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jim Beam for just $3.50. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511
  3. Simply Shampoo, a weekly no-cover dance party at Shampoo, features internationally known DJs spinning hip-hop and party tracks with you-call-it drinks for $4 until 11:00 p.m. Willow Street between 7th & 8th Streets, (215) 922-7500, shampooonline.com
  4. Every First Friday of the month, art galleries throughout Old City open their doors to debut new exhibitions and treat visitors to light bites and refreshments. (215) 625-9200, oldcityarts.org
  5. Openly gay DJ Robert Drake gets the New Wave party started every first Friday at Fluid Nightclub during Sex Dwarf. Each month features different themes and underground music from the 70s and 80s. 613 S. 4th Street, (215) 629-3686, fluidnightclub.com
  6. Billed as one of the biggest queer parties on the East Coast, Stimulus packs in the beautiful people every third Friday at Marathon Grill and features some of the best gay and lesbian DJs in the city. Also look for special Arouse parties each season. 10th & Walnut Streets,eatmarathon.com
  7. Gamers grab their daubers and head “straight” to Gay Bingo, a monthly fundraiser hosted by comically charged drag queens known as the BVDs (Bingo Verifying Divas) at The Gershman Y. All proceeds benefit the AIDS Fund. 401 S. Broad Street, (215) 731-9255, aidsfundphilly.org
  8. Football, soccer, basketball and baseball fans—or anyone who wants to get to know them—catch the game on the six high-def TVs at gay and lesbian sports bar Tabu. On Mondays and Thursdays, local karaoke queen Sara Sher hosts Sing Your Life Karaoke in the lounge. 200 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, tabuphilly.com
Annual Gay & Lesbian Events:
  1. Philadelphia welcomes the first day of spring with the Pink Pub Crawl, an evening bar crawl that hits some of the Gayborhood’s liveliest spots, including Stir Lounge, ICandy, Woody’s and Voyeur. Those wearing pink can join the action for $25, with registration taking place at the first location only. March 26, 2011. 1705 Chancellor Street, (215) 833-4165, nightlifegay.com
  2. The best representative of the gay community wins during Mr. Gay Philadelphia, when celebrity judges size up the competition at Voyeur Nightclub. April 16, 2011. 1221 Saint James Street, (215) 833-4165, nightlifegay.com
  3. Philadelphia Black Gay Pride kicks off as part of a week of celebrations featuring entertainment and educational events throughout the city, including a pageant, a poetry slam, bowling and speed dating. April 24-May 1, 2011.phillyblackpride.org
  4. Equality Forum, a week-long event that celebrates the cultural and political participation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, includes panels, parties and special events in collaboration with regional, national and international organizations. The festivities culminate with Sunday OUT!, a lively festival at the open-air Piazza at Schmidts. April 25-May 1, 2011. The Piazza, N. 2nd Street & Germantown Avenue, (215) 732-3378, equalityforum.com
  5. Donate to Action AIDS during the annual Dining Out for Life event. Participating restaurants around the city donate a percentage of each dinner bill to the local AIDS organization. April 28, 2011. actionaids.orgdiningoutforlife.com
  6. New Hope’s seventh annual New Hope Celebrates Pride includes the New Hope Pride Parade, Family Forum, a Decade an Hour dance and the Sing Out Loud and Proud concert. Proceeds benefit national and local charities. May 11-15, 2011. newhopecelebrates.com
  7. This year’s 22nd annual Pride Day takes place during International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month and features live music, DJs, food, drinks and more. June 12, 2011.(215) 875-9288, phillypride.org
  8. Philadelphia QFest celebrates all genres of film that pertain to or were created by members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. July 7-19, 2011.phillycinema.org
  9. The Philadelphia Phillies welcome thousands of gay and lesbian fans to Citizens Bank Park each year for Gay Day. This year, the Phils face the Marlins. August 26, 2011. 1 Citizens Bank Way,(215) 463-6000, phillygaydays.com
  10. Contestants face fierce competition during the third annual Gayborhood Games at Voyeur Nightclub, where honors are awarded to the best local gay comedian, singer, bartender, chef, drag queen and more. September 17, 2011.1221 Saint James Street, nightlifegay.com
  11. Every autumn, Philadelphia celebrates National Coming Out Day with OutFest, a block party in the heart of the Gayborhood, featuring special events for adults and families alike: drag shows, games, bar crawls and shopping. October 9, 2011.(215) 875-9288, phillypride.org
  12. Philadelphia’s ultimate costume party, the annual Henri David Halloween Ball attracts hundreds of revelers dressed in campy, glam and over-the-top getups each year. October 31, 2011. Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel, 17th & Race Streets
 
Performing Arts:
  1. Twenty of Philly’s most memorable drag queens transform themselves for Dragapalooza: Broadway Divas, a tribute to the greatest musical numbers of all times, hosted by Brittany Lynn. March 12, 2011. Voyeur, 1221 Saint James Street, nightlifegay.com
  2. Each year, dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet produce Shut Up & Dance, a one-night-only benefit performance for local non-profit MANNA at the Forrest Theatre—complete with an after-party at Voyeur Nightclub. May 24, 2011. Forrest, 1114 Walnut Street, (215) 496-2662; Voyeur, 1221 Saint James Street, mannapa.org
  3. The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus celebrates pop culture in Mmm-Bop: The Best of the Boy Bands. June 18, 2011. Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad Street,(215) 731-9230, pgmc.org
 
Gay Interest:
  1. Art lovers can experience The Peacock Male: Exuberance and Extremes in Masculine Dress at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Perelman Building. January 22-June 2011. Fairmount & Pennsylvania Avenues, (215) 763-8100, philamuseum.org
  2. The Pennsylvania Convention Center is the site of the Philadelphia International Flower Show, the oldest and largest indoor show of its kind. Themed “Springtime in Paris,” the gardening celebration features top-of-the-line horticulture and landscape design, entertainment and more than 180 vendors. March 6-13, 2011. 12th & Arch Streets, (215)988-8800, theflowershow.com
  3. For two weeks of artistic pleasure, avant-garde performance meets street theater throughout the city during the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. September 2-17, 2011. (215) 413-9006, livearts-fringe.org
  4. Each year, the 12-kilometer AIDS Walk begins and ends at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event raises money and awareness for the fight against the disease. October 16, 2011. 26th Street& the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 731-9255, aidswalkphilly.org
The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.
 
 For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to Hear Philly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676. 

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