So what is the difference between Grim Philly pub crawls and regular, plain old Philadelphia walking tours?
Anthony Bourdain fell in love with the educational but gritty adults only tours with talks of serial killers, vampires, sex, aphrodisiacs, ghost hunting, grave robbing, gangsters, 1920’s speakeasies, pirates, the Jersey Devil and other darker subjects for “The Layover” on Travel Chanel.
Themed pub crawls such as “Bootleggers Ball Prohibition Pub Crawl,” and “Grim Philly’s: Nightmare Before Christmas” pub crawl are a little more social than the other tours and run considerably longer to allow time for both information, as well as socialization. While you will generally find regular walking tours to be overflowing with non-stop information, pub crawls are designed to include information over a much more lengthy period of time to allow for maximum socialization within an inviting and guided environment to mingle with friends old and new through organized fun, trivia and of course information sprinkled throughout.
Begin most Grim Philly’s tours from Independence Visitor Center (see calendar for time) and spend about an hour delving into material upfront including a few historic and famous Philadelphia sightseeing attractions such as the Liberty Bell, homes of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Benedict Arnold and others before heading in to our taverns for complimentary drinks, narration, and prize giveaways. The “Moonshine & Valentine Tavern Tour of Blood, Sex, & Magick” will begin at the stated time (see calendar). At the end of the informational portion, additional prizes will be often given away.
The beginning of Grim Philly’s Pub Crawls and Tavern Tours are always top heavy on information to lay a good foundation of the history and evenings theme while evolving to lighter narration as the drinks flow and socialization increases as the night progresses. Pub crawls are designed to be spectacular evenings out learning and socializing with food and beverage, as well as giveaways, and sometimes additional drinks for discount that we can occasionally negotiate – with friends old and new.
To purchase a ticket for the tour, go to GrimPhilly.com and click on the “Book Now” icon on the home page. From there you will be able to scroll through the interactive calendar to select the tour, date, quantity and time of your choice. Private tours are also available. No refunds or exchanges will be given so plan to attend!
Developed by a university professor with dark and frequently sarcastic inclinations coupled with academic training this has created what Grim Philly has become: sensational, yet meticulously researched material delivered in irreverent style by college professors, published authors, and other professionals you can trust for accuracy and entertainment.
We went on the Grim Philly Octoberfest tour on a cold, rainy night when I had just purchased my shiny new Nikon and didn’t want to get it wet (now it’s no biggie but you know… so pardon the lack of outdoor shots). We started at an Old City restaurant which looked creepy in the back and were told tales with pints and some food to keep us going.
We stopped outside of this sake bar for some outdoor tales and some shots of sake, of course.
Then on to Bootleggers which has changed names so many times for some shots of moonshine, because why not?
We also got some stick to your ribs food for the cold weather which were pretty tasty, the meatloaf and mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries and shrimp tacos. Our tour guide had deals with the restaurants however I’m pretty sure we got special treatment that night so don’t assume you will eat your face off during the tours but you will get drinks… slowly.
One of the tours brought out these Ghostbusters before the new movie even came out.
Here is tour guide/creator Joe Wojie with Anthony Bourdain, his claim to fame as the travel expert was just in Philly performing at the Kimmel Center. Joe is also Professor of History at Rider University.
Everyone likes to see tons of beer glasses with perhaps more pour. Don’t assume you will get drunk during this tour, you are actually supposed to retain the information learned.
Speaking of learning things, here’s a stop along the tour way with a cocktail of course.
People learning stuff in the cemetery downtown. Be careful not to wake the dead and bring home a ghoul of your own!
Just in case you ever wanted to experience a leach stuck to your body, Joe offers that option on some of his tours.
Or you can be like this lady and just leave them in the container for a photo opp.
Some ivy has overtaken the stones in the cemetery making for a nice, creepy photo.
One of Joe’s packed tours on a sunny day are a mixed bag of ages, faces and races. That’s why we love keeping Philly creepy! There is no end and we have a feeling Joe will keep doing these tours even with a cane.