New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest celebrations of the year in Philadelphia with two fireworks shows on the Delaware River at 6 p.m. and midnight presented by SugarHouse Casino, dozens of fabulous parties and celebratory dinners.
For those looking for New Year’s fun that is easy on bedtime, there are plenty of family-friendly celebrations in and around Philadelphia. Revelers of all ages can “Countdown to Noon” instead of midnight, watch the Square Drop in Historic Philadelphia, or party with the fishes before the evening fireworks show at Penn’s Landing.
New Year’s Dinners
For prix-fixe dinner specials and festive culinary events, click here.
New Year’s Eve Parties with a View
For details on parties with spectacular views of the fireworks shows, click here.
New Year’s Eve Hotel Packages
For deals on New Year’s Eve hotel rooms, click here.
Check out more of our top family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations, below.
• Blue Cross RiverRink & Waterfront Winterfest: Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard and Market Street, 215-925-RINK. Winter sports enthusiasts celebrate at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s New Year’s Eve Parties 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.) and late (11 p.m.-1 a.m.) parties complete with snacks, beverages, live entertainment and party favors. Be sure to check out the Waterfront Winterfest, a pop-up holiday village at Penn’s Landing. Tickets for the New Year’s Parties on Ice cost $35 for skaters and $25 for spectators. Purchase tickets online.
• Square Drop at Franklin Square: Old City, 6th and Race streets, 215-629-4026. Franklin Square is celebrating New Year’s Eve with a free, kid-friendly Square Drop in lieu of the famous ball. Take a spin on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, putt through the Liberty Bell at Philly Mini Golf, enjoy SquareBurger’s hearty winter menu and celebrate with a kids dance party in the indoor pavilion before watching the Penn’s Landing’s Fireworks early show at 6 p.m. The fun continues with the the final Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show of the year at 8 p.m.
• Betsy Ross’s 262nd Birthday Bash: Old City, 239 Arch Street, 215-629-4026. Celebrate New Year’s Eve and Betsy’s Birthday at the Betsy Ross House from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31. Spend the afternoon crafting with Betsy and enjoy a slice of cake in honor of her 262nd birthday.
• Countdown to Noon at the Please Touch Museum: Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, 215-581-3181. Ring in 2014 with a lunchtime celebration at the Please Touch Museum Countdown 2 Noon® on December 31 with King Countdown, the museum’s official Marshal of the New Year, and enjoy music and fun activities at noon and again at 1 p.m.
• Independence Seaport Museum: Penn’s Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Walnut Street, 215-413-8655. A maritime New Year’s Eve celebration is on deck at the Independence Seaport Museum. The museum will be open late on New Year’s Eve, allowing families to celebrate the New Year from 4-7 p.m. Grab a complimentary party hat and noisemaker before heading outside for a sparkling cider toast to the New Year during the fireworks spectacular at 6 p.m. Best of all, the festivities are included with your admission to the museum.
• Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing: Penn’s Landing, 201 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard, 215-928-1234. The Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing hosts an incredible all-ages celebrations to celebrate 2014. Kids and adults can enjoy a family buffet, face painting, activities and more before heading to Keatings’s River Grill for a front-row view of the New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River at 6 p.m. and an explosion of desserts and sweets. Guests will receive free parking from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Garage. For more information and a complete menu, click here.
• Spirit of Philadelphia: Penn’s Landing, 401 S. Columbus Boulevard, 866-455-3866. Those in the mood to celebrate the New Year on the open water can set sail on the Spirit of Philadelphia. Families can enjoy an early cruise aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Celebrate with a soda and juice bar, dinner buffed, dancing and spectacular views of the 6 p.m. fireworks on the Delaware River. Tickets from $99.90 per adult; $59.90 for children 3 to 12. Make your reservations online.
• New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks Cruise: Penn’s Landing, 401 North Columbus Boulevard, 215-629-8687. All aboard The Ben Franklin Yacht for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Cruise on the Delaware River. Revelers of all ages can enjoy tasty treats, beverages for all ages, and three warm levels to watch the New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $58 for adults, $33 for children (ages 3-12). Make your reservations online.
• Dave & Buster’s: Penn’s Landing, 325 N. Columbus Boulevard, 215-413-1951. Game your way into 2014 at Dave & Busters on the Delaware River Waterfront. 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. ($50 per person — includes $40 Power Card; $25 per person without Power Card). Buy tickets in advance online.
• Adventure Aquarium: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ, 856-365-3300. Party with the fishes at Adventure Aquarium’s second annual New Year’s Eve Splash. Families can celebrate the New Year with the Aquarium’s shark mascot Gill while enjoying a special New Year’s Eve “Countdown” Dance Party from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Guests also get exclusive access to the entire aquarium, family-friendly music and activities, up-close animal encounters and a free gift for children under 12. Head out on to the Aquarium’s Waterfront promenade for a spectacular view of the New Year’s Eve fireworks at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for adults, $25 for children 2 to 12 (children under two get in free) and can be purchased online.
• Battleship New Jersey: 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ, 856-966-1652. Celebrate the New Year from the decks of the Battleship New Jersey, the nation’s largest battleship. Featuring spectacular views of the New Year’s Eve Fireworks at 6 p.m. and midnight, the Battleship New Jersey is ringing in the New Year with music, dancing, food and beverages for just a $10 donation per person. Guests can also enter for a chance to fire the Battleship’s five-inch portside gun after each fireworks show! Call 1-866-877-6262 ext. 107 or visit the Battleship New Jersey ticket office for advance tickets.
• Philadelphia Orchestra New Year’s Eve Celebration: Rittenhouse, 300 S. Broad Street, 215-893-1999. The Philadelphia Orchestra says goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014 with the timeless music of Strauss. Grammy Award-winning guest conductor Bramwell Tovy leads the New Year’s Eve concert starting at 7:30 p.m., giving you plenty of time to countdown to midnight after the show.
• Toast with a Ghost at the Powel House: Old City, 244 S. 3rd Street, 215-413-1997. Looking for something a little different this New Year’s? Celebrate with past revelers at the historic Powel House during the fourth annual New Year’s Eve Ghost Tour on December 31. Take a candlelight tour of the Colonial-era home before enjoying a champagne (or sparkling cider) Toast with a Ghost. Tours leave every hour from 7 to 11 p.m. and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. Reserve your tickets online.
• New Year’s Eve at Longwood Gardens: Chester County, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square, 610-388-1000. Enjoy a musical celebration to end the year at Longwood Gardens. The picturesque gardens will be filled with the sounds of the season with special New Year’s Eve performances from 3 to 9 p.m. Advance reservations are required. Click here for more information and to make reservations.
• The Count’s Countdown to New Year’s Celebration at Sesame Place: Bucks County, 100 Sesame Road, Langhorne, 866-GO-4-ELMO (866-464-3566). Join the Count and all of his furry friends as they count down to the New Year at Sesame Place! Families can enjoy a celebratory meal and get photographs with all of their Sesame Street friends as they get set to ring in 2014. Reserve your spot online.