The last days of 2013 are ticking by, Philadelphia! Where will you be for the final countdown?
Ring in 2014 with either of two free fireworks shows on the Delaware River Waterfront as SugarHouse Casino once again presents a double dose of New Year’s pyrotechnics.
The first show, at 6 p.m., is titled “A Salute to America’s Great Composer and Conductor — John Williams” and set to a family-friendly musical soundtrack of music that’s be heard in film, on television and during international events, including the Olympics.
The second show, at midnight, is “Party on the Waterfront” — and for this one, you’ll need to break out the dancing shoes. Pop favorites like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Pitbull, Lorde, Ellie Goulding and Lady Gaga provide the soundtrack to the pyrotechnics.
Begin your night with the 6 p.m. show, then hit the town for dinner, drinks and merry-making. Or else, enjoy a meal and other festivities earlier in the night and plan to conclude the final night of 2013 with the classic midnight fireworks show.
Either way, it’s time to scope out the best spots for fireworks viewing.
Still need plans for dinner, hotel or more? Check out our complete New Year’s Eve and holiday coverage, and our additional guides:
New Year’s Eve Dinners
For prix-fixe dinner specials and festive culinary events, click here.
New Year’s Eve Parties & Events
For details on tons of New Years’ Eve celebrations, click here.
New Year’s Eve Parties with a View
For New Year’s Eve parties with a view of the fireworks, click here.
Read on for our guide of where to watch the dazzling display, and be sure to check out our interactive where-to-watch map below.
• Blue Cross RiverRink & Waterfront Winterfest: Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Market Street. Winter sports enthusiasts can celebrate the New Year at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s New Year’s Eve Party on Ice, a family-friendly affair that boasts one of the best views of the city’s breathtaking fireworks displays over the Delaware River. Skaters can catch one of two sparkling shows during the early (5-7 p.m.) or late (11 p.m.-1 a.m.) parties. Tickets are $35 for skaters and $25 for spectators. For the midnight show, revelers can watch from the blowout bash at The Lodge at Waterfront Winterfest, an all-night ticketed party at the seasonal pop-up winter lounge without skating, but with fare from chef George Sabatino and more.
• SugarHouse Casino: Northern Liberties, 1001 N. Delaware Avenue. As the sponsor of the evening, in addition to the Mummers Parade the next day, SugarHouse Casino is a surefire bet for watching the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., cash in on an open bar, appetizers, live music a private viewing area of the fireworks show and a champagne toast at midnight during the Funkadelphia New Year’s Eve party. Just want in on the fireworks viewing? Get a front row view from the riverfront walk for either the 6 p.m. or midnight shows.
• Independence Seaport Museum: Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street. With two parties in one evening, the Independence Seaport Museum is a sure-bet destination for viewing. For the 6 p.m. show, families are invited to take in the views at a family-style New Year’s Eve party, which is included in admission to the museum. Look forward to noisemakers, hats and a toast with sparkling cider. At 10 p.m., the Vintage New Year’s party begins. For a $100 all-inclusive ticket, partygoers are invited to don their best vintage outfits, enjoy unlimited pours, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, plus live tunes by rocking local soul and funk group The Sermon!
• Franklin Square: Old City, 200 N. 6th Street. Families can head to the brightly illuminated Franklin Square to watch the 6 p.m. fireworks show. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be party hat decorating, free entertainment, and a “Square Drop” countdown to 6 p.m. The fun continues with the the final Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show of the year at 8 p.m.
• Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing: Penn’s Landing, Chestnut Street and Columbus Boulevard. Head to the public space the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing for a front-row view of the fireworks backed by a synchronized soundtrack during the spectacular show.
• Race Street Pier: Penn’s Landing, Race Street and Delaware Avenue. The pier-turned-public park makes for an amazing vantage point, but we recommend arriving early, as it’s probably going to fill up fast. Also keep in mind that alcohol, open flame and glass containers are not permitted at the Pier.
• Front Street: The entire length of Front Street between the South Street and Market Street bridges will make for prime fireworks viewing this New Year’s Eve.
• South Street Bridge over I-95: The South Street Bridge — the one on the eastern edge of the city passing over I-95 — is a perfect spot to set up camp for fireworks viewing this New Year’s Eve. There are a few benches, so if you arrive early enough, you might even have a seat.
More prime fireworks viewing spots, below.
• Washington Avenue Green: Pennsport, 1301 S. Columbus Boulevard. This is another great park spot on the Delaware River Waterfront — formerly Pier 53 — where you can set up with a lawn chair and picnic blanket to cozy up with friends and family and feast your eyes on the night sky.
• Hyatt Regency Philadelphia: Penn’s Landing, 201 S. Columbus Boulevard. The Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing kicks off the New Year with not one, but three celebrations. Enjoy a New Year’s Eve family buffet starting at 4 p.m. Save room for the Dessert Explosion before the 6 p.m. fireworks show at Penn’s Landing. Starting at 8 p.m., adults can take a seat for the Keating’s New Year’s Eve Dinner at 9 p.m., or join in the VIP New Years Eve Affair in the Columbus ballroom featuring a dinner buffet followed by drinks and dancing, all leading up to the fireworks spectacular at midnight.
• Ristorante La Veranda: Penn’s Landing, 30 North Columbus Boulevard. This historic Northern Italian restaurant located on Pier 3 Penn’s Landing offers prime fireworks viewing on two levels. Ristorante La Veranda will be offering a special four-course, New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner for $75 per person to celebrate the New Year.
• Moshulu: Penn’s Landing, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard. Watch the fireworks from the water on the Moshulu at its New Year’s Eve dinner. The dinner consists of a four-course meal bound to end your year on a delicious note. There are two dinners, the first from 3:30 to 7 p.m. for $100 per person and the second from 7:15 to 10:30 p.m. at $150 per person. Note that children 14 and under can enjoy a three-course dinner menu for $35.
• Revolution House: Old City, 200 Market Street. The Revolution House roof deck, festooned with colorful foliage and heated, will be open on New Year’s Eve, overlooking the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Celebrate with drink specials, music and a champagne toast at midnight with no cover.
• Ristorante Panorama at the Penn’s View Hotel: Old City, Front and Market streets. Ristorante Panorama at the Penn’s View Hotel will be opening at 4 p.m. for dinner prior to the New Year’s fireworks show at 6 p.m. For $85 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., enjoy a special four-course meal and complementary sparkling toast at midnight at Panorama, not to mention a spectacular view of the fireworks on the Delaware Waterfront. Prior to the prix-fixe meal, indulge in selections from the à la carte menu.
• Dave & Buster’s: Old City, 325 N. Columbus Boulevard. At waterfront arcade and gaming funhouse Dave & Buster’s, the New Year’s Eve parties rock all evening. After a family-friendly affair at from 4 to 7 p.m., the 21 and up crowd parties from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Celebrate with a four-hour open bar, dinner, dessert and dancing before watching the fireworks at midnight for $90 per person or $160 per couple; without the open bar $55 per person or $100 per couple. Tickets are available online.
• Spirit of Philadelphia: Penn’s Landing, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard. The Spirit of Philadelphia hosts two New Year’s Eve parties aboard its Delaware River cruiser. For the 21 and over crowd, an 8:30 p.m. boarding brings a night of dancing, entertainment, food and an open bar. The Spirit of Philadelphia will cruise the waterfront from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and will finish off with a dockside party until 1 a.m. Tickets start at $174.90. Head down to the ship a little earlier for a family-friendly dinner cruise from 4 to 6:30 p.m. with views of the 6 p.m. fireworks.
• Ritz East parking lot: Old City, 125 S. 2nd Street. After catching a New Year’s Eve flick, stick around and stake out a spot in the parking lot outside movie theater, prime real estate for fireworks watching.
• Battleship New Jersey: 62 Battleship Place, Camden. Over on the other side of the river, revelers can test their sea legs on the Battleship New Jersey, docked on the Camden waterfront. Enjoy music, food and bar concessions, as well as a unique view of both fireworks shows at 6 p.m. and midnight.
• Adventure Aquarium: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden. Party with the fishes at Adventure Aquarium’s Deep Sea Splash. After enjoying the underwater animals, guests can dive into the hors d’oeuvres, food stations and open bar and catch a great view of the fireworks from the promenade while toasting with champagne. Music and entertainment round out the New Year’s adventure. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children 2 to 12.
• Wiggins Park: Mickle Boulevard at the River, Camden. Across the river in Camden, get an equally spectacular view of the fireworks from Wiggins Park, located near Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship New Jersey. Viewers will be treated to a synchronized soundtrack for the fireworks display from speakers at the park.
Check out Visit Philly’s Where to Watch the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Philadelphia guide for more.
MAP — Best Places To Watch The New Year’s Eve Fireworks