Philadelphia always marks the New Year in style, with the Philly people hitting the town's massive range of bars and restaurants before watching the city's countdown and midnight fireworks over the city skyline. For visitors the city has a huge range of hotels offering anything from a simple bed for the night to 5 star parties and entertainment.
Along with the huge public fireworks display on the city's famous Penn's Landing there is a huge range of activities and parties taking place across the city, which draw visitors from miles around - we've tried to pick out the biggest and best selection to choose form, so check out our recommended selection below.
If you're in Philadelphia over the new year then we strongly recommend you hang around for the famous and historic Mummers Parade that takes place on new year's day. You can get full details on the 2016 parade, including the lineup, schedule and even a live stream to watch online here: Mummers Parade 2016
Philadelphia's main fireworks is the famous display at the city's iconic Penn's Landing on the Delaware River Waterfront, with the fantastic backdrop of the Philadelphia city skyline and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, where they hold the annual New Year's Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront. There are two main displays, set to live music; a family orientated evening show at 6pm and then the main event on the stroke of midnight. The fireworks shows are sponsored by the SugarHouse Casino.
Top free viewing points include the Penn's Landing Great Plaza, at the Blue Cross RiverRink where there are excellent panoramic views (and you can also enjoy the Waterfront Winterfest), the Sugarhouse Casino walking path and from Wiggin's Waterfront Park across the other side of the river in Camden, where you'll have great views of the Philly skyline. With all of these venues you'll need to make sure you arrive in plenty of time as they will be crowded!
There are also several vantage points for which you require tickets in advance - these include the Sugarhouse, Adventure Aquarium, Blue Cross RiverRink's Waterfront Winterfest, Independence Seaport Museum (which will be hosting it's annual Family New Years Eve Party from 4-7pm) and from onboard the Battleship New Jersey. There is also a child friendly "Square Drop" event in Franklin Park, from which you'll also get a decent view of Penn's Landing.
Elsewhere, there are big NYE parties at The Chelsea, G Lounge, Public House, Whisper, Tavern on Broad, Field House, McFaddens at Citizens Bank Ballpark, The Crystal Tea Room, Ladder 15 and Recess Lounge. Ticket details to follow.
Philadelphia's waterfront location also provides ample opportunity to see in the new year on the water, where you're guaranteed a great view of the fireworks, and there are several cruise companies offering this option. The Spirit Cruises new year's eve dinner cruise on board the luxury decks of the Spirit of Philadelphia includes premium open bar, live DJ music, grand buffet, champagne at midnight, plus of course front-row seats to the fireworks.
Another popular maritime option is to spend the evening on the Battleship New Jersey, where along with food and entertainment you can actually sleep in the bunks onboard as well as of course the best views of the fireworks from Penn's Landing.
Dining options are plentiful in Philadelphia too and the city's many bars and restaurants put on a host of special offers, parties and events to draw in the crowds. Top choices include Hip City Veg (I'll always promote the veggie option where available!), Bibou, Butcher and Singer, Caribou Cafe, Parc and Moshulu, which has the bonus of being perfectly located at Penn's Landing. Check out the full range of eating establishments here.
Places to watch live online - there are several live views around the city on a selection of cams:
This one is probably your best bet for fireworks viewing, a live cam from Society Hill capturing the river and bridge perfectly:
There is also likely to be good coverage of the evening's events on local TV news channel WPVI, which also has an online streaming option:
TV coverage is also promised by CBS3 - we'll provide any links we can find for that too.
The soundtrack to the fireworks show is also carried over the radio - tune in to 1060am to listen in.
If you're planning on visiting Philly over the New Year period, then as with all major US cities early reservation is strongly recommended. You can search, check availability and book local hotels here.
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