As we’ve mentioned, Penn’s Landing is once again hosting two spectacular free fireworks shows this New Year’s Eve, one at 6 p.m. and one at midnight, sponsored by Sugarhouse Casino.
The displays are about 15 minutes each, set against the beautiful backdrop of the Philadelphia skyline. But where exactly is the best vantage point?
Ranging from the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware, to the New Jersey side, to right on the water, you can catch an exclusive look at the impressive fireworks from riverside attractions hosting official New Year’s Eve parties.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of places that offer great views and great times as well this New Year’s Eve. But this is just a snippet of what’s to come: stay tuned for our super thorough annual guide to where to watch the New Year’s Eve Fireworks.
• SugarHouse Casino: In addition to presenting the spectacular fireworks show at Penn’s Landing, and the Mummers Parade the next day, Sugarhouse Casino is hosting a New Year’s Eve party, making for a great spot to view the fireworks. From 10 p.m.-2 a.m. enjoy a two hour open bar, snacks, live music and a champagne toast at midnight. Attendees will get an ideal view of the fireworks at the casino’s private viewing area.
• 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 aquarium as mascot Gill teams 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 canons. Above all, guests will have special views of the fireworks at Penn’s Landing from the waterfront promenade. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children 2-12. Children under 2 are free.
• 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 right from the riverfront. Ice skaters can enjoy one of the two fireworks shows during the early party from 5-7 p.m. or late party from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Advanced tickets are required, $35 for skaters, $25 for non-skating spectators.
• 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 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.
• Moshulu: Watch the fireworks from the water on the Moshulu at their New Year’s Eve dinner. The dinner will consist of a four-course meal bound to end your year on a delicious note. There are two dinners, the first from 3:30-7 p.m. for $100 per person and the second from 7:15-10:30 p.m. at $150 per person. The full menu is available here (PDF). Children 14 and under can enjoy a three-course dinner menu for $35.
• Spirit of Philadelphia: The Spirit of Philadelphia is hosting a New Year’s Eve party boasting breathtaking views of the fireworks. Board the boat at 8:30 p.m. when a night of dancing, entertainment, food and an open bar will begin. The Spirit of Philadelphia will cruise the waterfront from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. and will finish off with a dockside party until 1 a.m. Tickets are $164.90. Head down to the ship a little earlier for a family-friendly dinner cruise from 4-6:30 p.m. with views of the 6 p.m. fireworks.
• Dave & Buster’s: Dave & Busters is celebrating New Year’s Eve with not one, but two parties. Bring the family for a fun night of games, dinner and entertainment before getting a front row seat for the early fireworks show at 6 p.m. ($45 per person — includes $40 Power Card; $25 per person without Power Card). The fun continues from 9 p.m.–1 a.m. with a New Year’s Party for adults 21-years and older. Celebrate with a four-hour open bar, dinner, dessert and dancing before watching the fireworks at midnight ($90 per person or $160 per couple; without bar $55 per person or $100 per couple).