Make New Year's Eve memorable with one of Philadelphia's more alternative celebrations, including a festive Philadelphia Orchestra concert, Johnny Brenda's jam, Piazza at Schmidts party and Silk City DJ bash. (Top photos by G. Widman for GPTMC, bottom left courtesy Piazza at Schmidts, bottom right courtesy Philadelphia Orchestra)
Hard to believe, but New Year’s Eve is just two weeks away.
As 2012 is about come to an end, Philadelphia is offering up plenty of New Year’s Eve activities to make sure you and 2013 get off to a good start.
To ring in the new year, there will once again be two sets of spectacular free fireworks, one at 6 p.m. and one at midnight.
But before the midnight show, or after the 6 p.m. one, if you’re looking for something a little more unexpected to celebrate, this list is just for you.
Our top picks for alternative New Year’s Eve celebrations in Philadelphia, below:
• Philadelphia Orchestra New Year’s Eve Concert: The Philadelphia Orchestra will be performing an upbeat and festive concert to put you in good spirits for 2013. The concert will take place at The Kimmel Center at 7:30 p.m. and end in time for you to grab New Year’s Eve dinner or drinks. Pop by Estia, Perch Pub, Russet, 10 Arts, XIX or a number of other nearby bars and restaurants for a bite and drink after the concert.
• New Year’s Eve at Hotel Monaco: Spend your New Year’s Eve at the city’s new Stratus Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Monaco. Enjoy the view from above while dancing to tunes spun by a DJ, a champagne toast at midnight and party favors to take home. Tickets are $65 for general admission and $50 for hotel guests. Or, if you’re going with a big group, reserve a table for $200 per person.
• New Year’s Eve at Fette Sau: Want some barbecue with your New Year’s Eve? Fishtown’s newest BBQ joint, a transplant from Brooklyn, is, er, feting the New Year with a celebration to ring in their very first New Year’s in Philly. Fette Sau will be providing guests with special meats and some live music to get you in the proper spirit. Blue Grass band The Old Fashions will be performing twice for your listening pleasure, first at 9 p.m. and then again at 11 p.m.
• Frankford Hall: Next door to Fette Sau, Frankford Hall will celebrate New Year’s Eve beer-garden-style with live music, complimentary schnapps toast at midnight and drink specials. Bonus: no cover!
• New Year’s Eve at the Piazza: Last year, not only did The Piazza’s New Year’s celebration bring together more than 3,000 people, but it also sold out. Get your tickets ASAP. What does your ticket include? Under a 25,000-square-foot tent, imbibe in a five-hour open bar from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and balance all of that alcohol out with tasty treats from numerous food buffets. No New Year’s party is complete without a DJ, so dance to the tunes of great DJs as professional dancers show their moves too. There will also be a live performance from Steamroller Picnic Live, and party favors to take home.
• Celebration NYE 2013 at XFINITY Live!: Bid farewell to 2012 and celebrate XFINITY Live’s first New Year’s Eve. Purchasing a ticket will grant you access to seven parties, all under the XFINITY Live! roof. Music will be aplenty, as there will be 10 DJs and two live bands. Get a special peek at New York City at this event, as you watch New York’s famous ball drop on a 50-foot video wall at the venue. Enjoy a five-hour open bar with more than 100 bartenders at your beck and call to make sure the lines don’t get too long. Each of XFINITY’s bars will have their own perks and surprises to make sure your night is as fun as it is varied.
• New Year’s Eve Ghost Tour — Toast With A Ghost: If you’re looking to break away from the endless holiday partying, Toast With A Ghost is far from the norm. The historic Powel House will be the site of the evening’s events. It was a spot for many high society parties and events in the 1700s and 1800s. Guests will be told eerie stories about the spot and the people who used to frequent it, and in some people’s opinion, still do. Tours start on the hour from 8-11 p.m. and last about 70 minutes. Ring in the New Year with the help of spirits past. This creepy tour is not for all, though: bear in mind it’s for ages 13 and up.
More New Year’s Eve alternative celebrations, below.
• Third Annual New Year’s Eve with Yards Brewing Company at Kennett: Back by popular demand is Kennett’s Third Annual New Year’s Eve with Yards Brewing Company event. The low key shindig will begin at 8 p.m. and provide guests with multiple courses of scrumptious meals and plenty of Yards beer to wash it down with.
• New Year’s Eve with The War on Drugs at Johnny Brenda’s: Kick it this New Year’s Eve with Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs, live at Johnny Brenda’s. $1 from every ticket will be donated to MANNA, plus they’ll be collecting cans of food to donate. Tickets, $18, are available online.
• DJ Deejay at Silk City: Dance the night (and year!) away with DJ Deejay at Silk City. DJ Deejay is known to get hips shaking every Saturday at Silk City. The music on New Year’s Eve is bound to keep you grooving into the New Year. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door, and include an open bar from 9-11 p.m., a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, three bars, heated outdoor tent, drink specials and party favors.
• No Bullsh*t New Year’s Eve at City Tap House: Last year’s event was such a hit, City Tap House is bringing back their No Bullsh*t New Year’s Eve this year. There are two ticket packages available: the first is $65 and includes all the booze you could imagine. There will be an open bar from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. where you can choose from 60 taps, wine, cocktails and a champagne toast at midnight. The general admission ticket, for just $10, grants you guaranteed entrance into the bar to celebrate the night away. Also, the delicious food of City Tap House will be available until 11 p.m.
• New Year’s Eve with Philly Bloco at World Cafe Live: Show off your dance moves with Philly Bloco as they celebrate the New Year at World Cafe Live. Enjoy an upbeat mix of Samba, Funk and Reggae to bring you into 2013.
• Bistro Romano’s New Year’s Eve Dinner Theater: Enjoy a full evening of delicious food and a fun performance this New Year’s Eve at Bistro Romano. Make your last meal of 2012 a unique one with a top-notch theater performance. Enjoy h’ors d’oeuvres starting at 8 p.m. followed by the performance at 9 p.m.
• City Rhythm Orchestra and Dinner Theater Performance at the Sheraton: Enjoy a unique musical performance to end 2012 at the Sheraton Society Hill. Nosh on a four-course gourmet dinner while being entertained with a supper club performance. After your meal, dance to Motown, Classic Rock, Sinatra and Swing music performed by the talented City Rhythm Orchestra. Tickets start at $129.95.
• New Year’s Eve with Brauhaus Schmitz: Check out the newly expanded Brauhaus Schmitz this New Year’s Eve. The expansion includes an additional 2,000 square feet of room and 10 brand new taps and will be open for the New Year’s Eve soiree at the South Street German beer hall. From 9 p.m.-2 a.m. enjoy a top-shelf open bar which will include exclusive German winter imports, a buffet, live entertainment and more. Tickets are $100 apiece.
• The Trestle Inn’s Go Go New Year’s Eve: For a cover of only $10, gain access to The Trestle Inn’s Go Go New Year’s Eve party. Join the Trestle Dancers as they dance to funk, disco and soul tunes. Enjoy specially made cocktails, some of the 60 plus whiskeys available, or choose from the 12 craft beers on tap. In addition to snacks all around the venue, the bar’s full menu will be available as well. Toast to 2013 at midnight with a complimentary champagne toast.
• New Year’s Eve Beer Dinner at Victory Brewing Company: Enjoy a tasty meal at Victory Brewing Company this New Year’s Eve. Each course of the six-course meal is paired with one of Victory’s unique brews. Tickets are $60 for designated drivers and $75 for those in the passenger seat.
• Walnut Street Supper Club: Get the best of both worlds at Walnut Street Supper Club this New Year’s Eve. For $95, indulge in a four-course meal, which starts with some bubbly, then includes an appetizer, your choice of four different main courses and ends with coffee and dessert. The night will be full of live music performances and singing (extremely talented!) waitstaff.
• New Year’s Eve with Gary Gulman at Helium Comedy Club: Having appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Last Comic Standing and more, Gary Gulman is bringing his comedic show to Helium Comedy Club on New Year’s Eve. He will be performing twice, first at 8 p.m. during which guests will enjoy appetizers from 6-7:30 p.m. and receive a ticket to a future show. For the night owls, Gulman will be ringing in the New Year at 10:30 p.m. The show will include a champagne toast at midnight, dessert and a ticket to a future show. Spend your night laughing into 2013.
• Lincoln Financial Field West Club: Mingle with some of Philadelphia’s finest at the Countdown for a Cause New Year’s Eve Red Carpet Affair at the West Club in Lincoln Financial Field. The star-studded night will be hosted by Eagles player LeSean McCoy. Join him and his friends as they close out 2012. Not only will this event have four DJ’s, live bands and a champagne toast at midnight, but also benefits three local charities — ALS Philadelphia, Rising Sons and Duffy’s Hope. Ring in the New Year while benefitting three great causes.