It’s nearly New Year’s Eve, Philadelphia. Let the countdown to 2015 begin!
To ring in the coming year, there will once again be two sets of spectacular free fireworks in Philadelphia over the Delaware River, one at 6 p.m. and one at midnight.
Leading up to the pyrotechnics, celebrate with decadent dinners, champagne, live music, buffet snacking and much, much more.
From early-bird family-friendly fun to blowout parties with sweet views of the fireworks to open-bar events at neighborhood hangouts, we’ve rounded up a slew of New Year’s Eve activities, all taking place on Wednesday, December 31.
But the New Year’s festivities last all week long, so we’ve rounded up a day-by-day guide to the celebrations.
For complete information on sumptuous dinners, awesome hotel deals, parties and celebrations for the 21-and-over crowd and more, check out our complete New Year’s Guide.
Our day-by-day breakdown of top picks for things to do New Year’s week in Philadelphia, below.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31 — New Year’s Eve
• New Year’s Eve Parties and Events
Looking for a place to party? We’ve rounded up more than 50 New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations for the 21-and-over crowd. MORE INFO
• New Year’s Eve Dinners
Revelers can ring in 2015 with a tasty dinner and a glass of champagne at one of more than 50 restaurants serving up special New Year’s Eve dinners. MORE INFO
• Where to Watch the Fireworks
Where will you be for the final countdown to the New Year? Ring in 2015 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 Eve pyrotechnics. MORE INFO
• New Year’s Eve Hotel Packages
Ring in the New Year by treating yourself to a stay at a hotel after a night of dining, drinking and dancing 2014 away. MORE INFO
• Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Bring the kids! Festivities made for youngsters are in high supply this New Year’s Eve. To allow for a kid-friendly bedtime, many parties are all set for the daytime or correlate with the 6 p.m. fireworks show over the Delaware River. MORE INFO
• Parties with a View of the Fireworks
Tons of bars and attractions along and just off the Delaware River waterfront host parties to make it easy for folks to catch the fireworks shows while simultaneously celebrating the New Year with food, music, drinks and more. MORE INFO
• Last Chance to Visit Holiday Attractions
The final stretch for many of the city’s most popular holiday attractions has arrived. New Year’s Eve brings the final day of The Nutcracker, Macy’s Christmas Light Show, the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place and more. MORE INFO
THURSDAY, JANUARY 1 — New Year’s Day
• Guide to the Mummers Parade
New Year’s Day in Philadelphia means 10,000 dressed up men and women parading the streets of Center City for the annual Mummers Parade. The family-friendly parade starts at 10 a.m. at City Hall — which is a new starting point this year! — and ends at approximately 6 p.m. MORE INFO
More New Year’s week picks, below.
• New Year’s Day at the Kimmel Center
On January 1, 2015, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts fills with New Year’s Day revelers and tons of festive energy. As the Mummers Parade makes its way down Broad Street, catch the action from inside the Kimmel Center at a slew of free family-friendly events. MORE INFO
• Last Chance to See the Comcast Holiday Spectacular
Haven’t made it to see the Comcast Holiday Spectacular yet? New Year’s Day is the final chance to see this festive film experience on one of the largest four-millimeter LED screens in the world. MORE INFO
• Make Mummers’ Masks at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
Create a Mummers Parade-worthy mask at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens’ annual New Year’s Day celebration on Thursday, January 1 from noon to 4:30 p.m. Children and adults alike are invited to get crafty and make their finest mosaicked mummers mask inspired by the sparkling walls that make up Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. MORE INFO
• Skate at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Thankfully, not all wintertime attractions wrap up with the holidays. The Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest continues at Penn’s Landing daily — including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day — through March 1. MORE INFO
FRIDAY, JANUARY 2
• First Friday in Philadelphia
On the first Friday of every month, nightlife in Philadelphia goes from lively to positively dynamic with the arrival of First Friday in neighborhoods throughout the city. To launch 2015, neighborhoods including Old City and Fishtown roll out new exhibitions, art parties and more. MORE INFO
• First Friday at the Barnes Foundation
The great bastion of Impressionist art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, The Barnes Foundation, invites art aficionados to its halls monthly for a night celebrating its collections. In addition to taking in the permanent collection, revelers can enjoy a celebration of Dr. Barnes’s birthday with the music of M’Balia Singley and Luke Carlos O’Reilly and Friends, a roots-gospel-country band. MORE INFO
• Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Every Friday night, art lovers can take in the superb collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a festive after-dark affair with live music, a cash bar and late hours. To ring in the start of 2015, Art After 5 celebrates its marquee exhibition Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography with a sneak peek performance of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers work Home; S. 9th St., which explores the diverse community of South Philadelphia’s 9th Street neighborhood and will have its world premiere at the 2015 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. MORE INFO
SATURDAY, JANUARY 3
• Skate the Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park
The new-this-year Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park remains open seven days a week (including holidays!) through the end of February, and the long holiday weekend is a perfect time to hit the ice in the shadow of City Hall. Complementing the permanent amenities at the park, the skating rink comes with its own warming tent, as well as seasonal programming. MORE INFO
• Last Chance to See the Gingerbread House Display at Peddler’s Village
During the holiday season, charming Peddler’s Village in Bucks County transforms into a festive winter wonderland with twinkling lights, family-friendly activities and a gingerbread house display. Participants compete in a variety of categories — including traditional, authentic reproduction of a significant building and unusual 3-D creations — and Saturday, January 3 is the last day to catch this season’s sweet constructions. MORE INFO
Disney on Ice Presents Frozen
Watch the story of the hit Disney movie Frozen unfold on ice while grooving to the songs and enjoying whimsical special effects. The extended-run show runs now through January 4 and tickets start at $25 per person — those seats are going fast, though, so score seats soon. MORE INFO
SUNDAY, JANUARY 4
• Last Chance to See A Brandywine Christmas
A Brandywine Christmas takes over the Brandywine River Museum annually with a display of trees featuring critter ornaments, a Victorian dollhouse, rare antique dolls and one of the largest O-gauge model railroad displays in the country. Catch this countryside display before it closes on Sunday, January 4. MORE INFO
• Last Chance to See Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Railway
Set amid the evergreens in Chestnut Hill, Morris Arboretum’s Holiday Garden Railway showcases a miniature winter wonderland complete with a quarter-mile of model-train track and Philadelphia-area landmarks adorned with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays. Hurry to the arboretum before this annual attraction wraps up on Sunday. MORE INFO
• Free First Sunday at the Barnes Foundation
On the first Sunday of every month, including this Sunday, January 4, the Barnes offers free admission, talks, performances and hands-on activities throughout the day. Tickets are limited and cannot be reserved in advance; they are available on-site starting at 9 am. MORE INFO
• Pay-What-You-Wish at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visitors need only pay what they wish (a penny? $20?) to take in the sprawling collections on the first Sunday of the month. MORE INFO