Ring in 2013 with any of the many family-friendly festivities around Philadelphia, including the Please Touch Museum's popular Countdown 'Til Noon event. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)
Philadelphia has a lot going on this New Year’s Eve and with SugarHouse Casino once again presenting two free fireworks shows on Penn’s Landing, one at midnight and one at a pre-bedtime 6 p.m., there are many family-friendly events that are perfect for the kids.
You can follow all our New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia coverage right here.
Below, check out our list of top family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations:
• Sugarhouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Delaware: Sugarhouse Casino’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are a big deal. They light up the city over the Delaware River with brilliant lights and fanfare, and a special musical soundtrack. The best news is that they’ll once again be happening not once, but twice. The first fireworks show is at 6 p.m., perfect for children with early bedtimes. The second show is at midnight.
• Please Touch Museum: Celebrate the New Year a few hours early at the Please Touch Museum with their “Countdown ’til Noon” event. There will be two countdowns, the first at noon and the next at 1 p.m. The museum will be full of fun times specifically made for children.
• Betsy Ross’s 261st Birthday Bash: Celebrate New Year’s Eve and Betsy’s Birthday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Betsy Ross House. Free noisemaker craft activities will be available in the courtyard and you can enjoy a slice of cake and wish Betsy a happy 261st birthday.
• Adventure Aquarium’s New Year’s Splash: Dress in your finest attire for the Adventure Aquarium’s New Year’s Eve Splash. From 5-8:30 p.m. get an exclusive look into the Adventure Aquarium. Mascot Gill will team up with the absent-minded Professor Reef to host an evening of fun, fish and fireworks. Check out the animals up close and get your dance on at the New Year’s Eve countdown dance party which will supply guests with party hats, noisemakers and confetti cannons. Above all, guests will have special views of the fireworks at Penn’s Landing from the waterfront promenade at the aquarium.
• New Year’s Eve at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia: Indulge in a tasty New Year’s family meal at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing, which will be providing a buffet for guests of all ages. Children can choose from chicken tenders, mac and cheese, apple sauce and more, while adults can indulge in salmon and filet mignon. From 5:30-6:30 p.m. treat your sweet tooth with desserts aplenty as you get a perfect view of the fireworks at Penn’s Landing. Tickets are $60 for adults and $30 for children 3-12. Children under 2 are free.
• Blue Cross RiverRink: The RiverRink is open on New Year’s Eve and is the perfect place for children and families to have fun, ice skate and watch the spectacular fireworks later in the evening. Ice skaters can enjoy one of the two fireworks shows during the early party from 5-7 p.m. and late party from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Advanced tickets are required.
• New Year’s Eve Countdown in Franklin Square: Franklin Square is hosting a party that will have kids smiling into 2013. There will be crafts, music and lots of fun in the historic park. Franklin Square is in a great spot to watch the fireworks at Penn’s Landing, so prepare yourself for the grand finale, the countdown to the “Square” Drop at 6 p.m. and views of the 6 p.m. fireworks at Penn’s Landing.
• Bucks County Children’s Museum: The Bucks County Children’s Museum will also be counting down to noon with plenty of events to make sure your last day of 2012 is fun and exciting. The museum will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and will entertain children with crafts and special guests. Look forward to countdown to noon when bunches of balloons will drop to celebrate all that was 2012.
• Family New Year’s Eve Party at the Independence Seaport Museum: Toast the New Year with sparkling cider at the Independence Seaport Museum. Enjoy a prime view of Sugarhouse’s 6 p.m. fireworks on the second floor balcony. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $10 for children, college students and military. Children under 2 are free.
• Battleship New Jersey: Head across the Delaware River to a fun New Year’s Eve party for all. Battleship New Jersey is once again hosting a party with plenty of food, music, drinks and dancing. Kids will love the chance to step aboard a real battleship as they celebrate the end of 2012. This is also a perfect spot to catch both the 6 p.m. (and midnight) fireworks at Penn’s Landing.
• New Year’s Eve at Sesame Place: Sesame Place is hosting a number of events perfect for kids on New Year’s Eve. Join the Count in his Countdown to New Year’s event. This festive afternoon will include food, drinks, music, dancing and lots of interaction with the Sesame Street friends. Pictures with the characters will be available to commemorate the event. Then, be sure to stick around for the neighborhood street party night parade and the New Year’s Eve fireworks show which will be set to tunes from Sesame Street.
• National Constitution Center: The National Constitution Center will be closing early on New Year’s Eve, but with enough time to visit the exhibits and end the year with some history knowledge. Visit the museum until it closes its doors until 2013 at 3 p.m.
• Longwood Gardens: Visit the illuminated gardens this New Year’s Eve. Longwood will be holding their much loved Longwood Christmas and garden railway events along with impressive fountain shows until 9 p.m.
• Spirit of Philadelphia: From 4-6:30 p.m., step aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia which promises spectacular views of the 6 p.m. fireworks and fun for the whole family. Enjoy a juice and soda bar, dinner buffet, a DJ and festive decorations. Tickets start at $109.90 for adults and are $69.90 for children.