ABOVE PHOTO by L. Berckey for Visit Philadelphia
A festive night like New Year’s Eve calls for a festive celebration — and Philadelphia hosts many of them to welcome the new year each year.
The big show is the annual Rivers Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, featuring two spectacular shows on the Delaware River at 6 p.m. and midnight.
Elsewhere, many of the city’s restaurants plate fixed-price dinners, while Philly clubs offer late-night dancing for almost every music taste.
The best way to do New Year’s Eve in Philly is by staying over. Book the Visit Philly Overnight Package, featuring free hotel parking and choose-your-own perks, to start the new year with a wonderful winter getaway.
Then, on New Year’s Day, thousands of residents and visitors take to the streets for the annual Mummers Parade, an only-in-Philadelphia tradition dating back to 1901 where thousands of men, women and children wearing feathers and sequins dance to music and parade along Broad Street from Philadelphia City Hall.
Check out our favorite places to watch the fireworks, top celebrations for revelers of all ages, special events and more, below.
Countdown2Noon at the Please Touch Museum
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
It’s not quite the final countdown, but this kid-friendly celebration gets you home in time for a nice nap. Enjoy music, dancing, a visit from the museum’s enigmatic mascot Squiggles, and, of course, a traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop at noon. The celebration is included in regular museum admission.
Where: Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic
Disney On Ice Presents Frozen & Encanto at the Wells Fargo Center
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 10 a.m., 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
New Year’s Eve marks the final three performances of the annual Disney on Ice run at the Wells Fargo Center. During 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. performances, audiences are first transported to Arendelle to join Anna on her journey to find Elsa before joining the Madrigal family in their home in Colombia. Mickey and Minnie Mouse host the magical shows, and audiences are invited to sing along to their favorite Disney tunes. Tickets are required.
Where: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street
New Year’s Eve Buffet & Fireworks Family Celebration at Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 3:30-6 p.m.
Adults and kiddos alike can get their fill at this buffet dinner with a great view of the 6 p.m. fireworks show. The adult buffet menu features grown-up gourmet dishes like roasted pumpkin bisque and dry rub sirloin steaks while the kids’ buffet features finger food faves like chicken tenders and tater tots. Tickets are required and include face painting, balloon artists and a souvenir New Year’s Eve photo.
Where: Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, 201 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown at Franklin Square
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 5 p.m.
Wrangle up the kiddos and head to Franklin Square for an hour of free crafting activities before a ceremonial “square drop” from the top of the on-site SquareBurger at 6 p.m. Stick around to catch the 6 p.m. fireworks on the waterfront, which are visible from Franklin Square.
Where: Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
New Year’s Eve Family Party with PopUpPlay at Cherry Street Pier
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
Enjoy an evening of dancing, collaborative mural making and hands-on activities from PopUpPlay during this family-friendly event. At 6 p.m., press pause on playtime to enjoy a front row view of the riverfront fireworks. Tickets are required and include free hot chocolate and New Year’s giveaways (while supplies last). Children under two are admitted for free.
Where: Cherry Street Pier, 121 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Family Friendly First Countdown Fireworks Show at Liberty Point
Saturday, December 31, 2022 | 5-7 p.m.
Before Liberty Point shifts into party mode later in the night, catch the evening fireworks show in a family-friendly atmosphere from 5-7 p.m. Tickets are required and include a meal voucher and a drink ticket (non-alcoholic drinks for those under 21, of course). In addition to the fireworks, expect family-friendly tunes, crafting activities and a live ice sculpture demonstration.
Where: Liberty Point, 211 S. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
NEW YEAR DAY 2023 AND BEYOND
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular and The Universal Sphere
Through Sunday, January 1, 2023
The Comcast Center’s annual (and free!) super high-res LED holiday show returns this year, back in the lobby of the city’s second-tallest building on one of the world’s largest LED continuous video walls. Combining performances from the Philadelphia Ballet with classic holiday songs, the 15-minute show features a magical sleigh ride over the city. Shows run daily at the top of every hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with sensory-friendly shows on offer every Thursday and Friday at 2:30 p.m. (and upon request). Also back from 2022 is The Universal Sphere, a free cinematic experience (advanced reservations encouraged) created by Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Animation, Universal Parks & Resorts and Comcast Labs, located in the upper lobby of the Comcast Technology Center. Shows run daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the last daily show starting at 7:45 p.m.
Where: Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Visit Philadelphia Holiday Tree
Through Sunday, January 1, 2023
The city’s magnificent holiday tree stands at the Wawa Holiday Plaza (i.e. the north side of City Hall), around the corner from all the wintry fun in Dilworth Park. New Year’s Day is the last day to catch the sparkling tree this season.
Where: North apron of Philadelphia City Hall, 1400 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo
Through Saturday, January 7, 2023 (select dates)
This immersive display transforms the Philadelphia Zoo’s day-scape into a nighttime multimedia spectacle. After the animals are tucked away for the evening, the zoo lights up with more than 1 million holiday lights in 14 distinct zones. New displays for 2022 — including a 15-foot tall glowing blue gorilla and an under-the-sea-inspired holiday tree — join familiar favorites like a 100-foot-long aquarium tunnel (complete with enormous jellyfish) and a 21-foot-tall brilliantly bright snake. Seasonal fare, live performers, hot chocolate and adult beverages round out the feelings of winter spirit. Timed tickets are required.
Where: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Avenue
A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens
Through Sunday, January 8, 2023
Each holiday season, Kennett Square’s world-renowned Longwood Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland during the hugely popular A Longwood Christmas. This year’s theme, The Art of Christmas, features floating floral displays, dozens of holiday trees draped in gilded garland, enchanting treehouses and luminous outdoor light displays. Tickets are required.
Where: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square
Holiday Light Show at Shady Brook Farm
Through Saturday, January 28, 2023 (select dates)
This Bucks County farm kicks off its three-million-light Holiday Light Show with Dashin’ Thru the … Lights (November 18, 2022), a family-friendly two-miler (timed tickets required) through the attraction. The main display opens to the public on November 19, 2022, when visitors drive or, if weather permits, ride in wagons past after-dark displays: illuminated tunnels and just about every imaginable Christmas icon rendered in tiny bulbs. (Timed tickets required.) Included with admission: the walk-through Candy Cane Lane light show.
Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
Winter at Dilworth Park
Through Sunday, March 26, 2023 (dates vary by attraction)
Holiday pop ups abound in Center City’s Dilworth Park all season long (and beyond). For 2022, folks can:
–stroll through the Wintergarden on the Greenfield Lawn, an open-air wonderland of lights, topiaries and rustic décor perfect for photo ops and featuring an on-site Chaddsford Winery kiosk offering mulled wine (November 1, 2022 – March 26, 2023)
–embrace the holiday cheer by cruising around the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink, offering timed, 90-minute skating sessions (reservations encouraged) (November 4, 2022 – February 26, 2023)
–relax in the Rothman Orthopedics Cabin, where seasonal cocktails and food await in a ski chalet-inspired setup. Also: fire pits! (November 4, 2022 – February 26, 2023)
–shop the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, where more than 40 local vendors sell handmade trinkets, treats and crafts (November 19, 2022 – January 1, 2023)
–take in the free Deck the Hall Light Show, where Klip Collective’s stunning technicolor projections — synchronized to sound effects and played at the top of every hour from 5 to 9 p.m. daily — animate the western façade of City Hall nightly for another holiday season (November 21, 2022 – January 1, 2023).
Where: Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th Street