New Year’s Week in Philadelphia
Tons of fun in the city during the last week of the year
From the day after Christmas until the day after the New Year, December 26, 2012 through January 2, 2013, there are plenty of exciting and entertaining things for families, couples, singles, sports fans, culture vultures and everyone in between to do day and night in the Philadelphia region.
Celebrate New Year’s all week long with live performances, incredible exhibitions, exciting sporting spectacles and much more leading up to the explosive New Year’s celebration in Philadelphia.
Check out some of the fantastic happenings throughout the week, below:
Holiday Lights, Camera, Action
A Philadelphia tradition since 1956, the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s in Center City illuminates a large wall inside the Wanamaker building, a National Historic Landmark, with almost 100,000 LED lights and finishes with sounds from the Wanamaker Organ. Through December 31.
It’s year four for Philadelphia’s high-tech holiday show, The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, at the 57-story Comcast Center. Onlookers stand in awe of the original holiday imagery set to the music of a 64-piece orchestra and shown on the 2,000-square-foot, 10 million-pixel LED wall in the building’s lobby. The 15-minute show occurs at the top of the hour, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (no show at 5 p.m.). Through January 1.
The holidays go red, white and green at Longwood Gardens during A Longwood Gardens Christmas. Hundreds of thousands of lights, strolling carolers, daily concerts, sing-alongs and ice-skating performances brighten the gardens’ vast grounds and conservatory. Through January 6.
Please Touch Museum® presents the Enchanted Colonial Village Supported by The Philadelphia Foundation, with intricately restored Colonial scenes depicting the Bakery, Blacksmith Shop, Toymaker, Tailor Shop, Watchmaker and others. The village first made its home at the Lit Brothers department store from 1962 until 1975. Through January 2.
A Brandywine Christmas takes over the Brandywine River Museum, home to a large collection of Wyeth family paintings. On view: a display of trees featuring “critters” and all-things natural, a Victorian dollhouse, a model railroad with more than 2,000 feet of track and exquisitely crafted jewelry inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s paintings. Through January 6.
Celebrate New Year’s week with a toast to the Naitonal Constitution Center’s new exhibit American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Explore the fascinating era of flappers, suffragists, bootleggers and temperance lobbyists and real-life legends like Al Capone. The Constitution Center will be uncovering New Year’s traditions from around the world like First Footing or Hogmanay, as well as traditions here at home, like Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade and the NYC Ball Drop. Through December 31.
Celebrate Kwanzaa with special exhibitions, workshops, documentary screenings and more at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Get ready for the New Year with the museum’s family-friendly Kwanzaa Celebration on December 29 and 30.
The Academy of Natural Sciences celebrates its most popular attractions with live animal shows, museum specimens, craft-making and storytelling during the four-day All Star Week, featuring days dedicated to butterflies, animals and dinosaurs. December 27-30.
Explore postwar avant-garde art and postwar America through the work and collaboration of artist greats Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham through PMA’s brand new exhibit Dancing Around the Bride. Through January 21. And don’t forget Art After 5, with festive cocktails, upbeat music and plenty of art, of course. It’s the way to get in the New Year’s Eve spirit. December 28.
Jewish? Buddhist? Happy? Snory? Whatever you are this Christmas, you are welcome to the National Museum of American Jewish History for their celebration Being ____ at Christmas. Enjoy all day family fun including a dance party by Baby Loves Disco, hands-on activities by The Clay Studio and a standup performance by The Great Holtzie, named Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Comedian for Kids. December 25.
Don’t miss out on Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition on display now. The exhibit honors the centennial anniversary of the infamous disaster by telling the real-life stories of nineteen passengers aboard the fated vessel. Perfume bottles, White Star Line china, jewelry, currency and more than 300 artifacts retrieved from the wreck site of Titanic offer poignant connections to those nineteen lives forever changed from one ship’s disastrous maiden voyage. Through April 13.
Start your New Year’s celebration on December 31 with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Enjoy the timeless music of old Vienna in an evening of music and dance inspired by the legendary waltzes before heading out to ring in the New Year. Click here for ticket information.
A Philadelphia tradition perfect for holiday lovers of all ages, the Pennsylvania Ballet dazzles at the Academy of Music during George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™. Through December 30.
One of the original favorite high school musicals, The Music Man is fun family fare that’s full of memorable tunes, including lovely ballads “Till There Was You” and “Goodnight My Someone” as well as high-spirited foot-stompers like “Shipoopi” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.” Through January 6.
Excite your New Year’s week with stars and thrills. American Idol star and Tony® Award nominee Constantine Maroulis joins with Grammy® Award nominee and R&B star Deborah Cox in a chilling and thrilling, dark and dangerous revival of Jekyll & Hyde. December 26 – December 30
The story of Cinderella gets a fresh spin when Arden Children’s Theatre presents this classic tale. In this version, Cinderella is extremely feisty, the stepsisters are twins, the prince plays a larger role than usual and Mozart makes an appearance. The Arden’s take on the tale comes wrapped in an enchanting atmosphere where special effects include shadow puppetry and a magic lantern set. Through January 27
Go backstage and uncover the secret behind the strut. MummersFest at the Pennsylvania Convention Center welcomes you to take a behind-the-scene look at Mummers Fancy Brigade Finale during a 50 minute tour. December 28 – 31.
New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day
This year, partiers along Penn’s Landing ring in 2013 two times during the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront illuminating the night sky at 6 p.m. and 12 midnight. December 31.
Please Touch Museum® celebrates 2013 early with Countdown to Noon on December 31. The museum opens at 9:00 a.m. and holds “Noon Year” party activities with music and confetti. Countdowns take place two times this year at 12 noon and 1 p.m.
Those with early bedtimes can still enjoy an evening New Year’s Eve party at Franklin Square’s Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown, with festivities and a 6 p.m. “square” drop, topped off with the early fireworks show from Penn’s Landing. December 31.
Maritime merriment abounds when the Independence Seaport Museum stays open late for the Annual Family Fireworks Viewing Party (4:00-6:30 p.m.) on the museum’s second-floor balcony, complete with a sparkling cider toast and panoramic views of the sparkling sky. December 31.
Ring in the new year with a splash at Adventure Aquarium. This family-oriented event features appearances by mascots and characters, music and activities, up-close animal encounters and a New Year’s Eve “Countdown” dance party with great views of the fireworks. December 31.
Hunker down abroad Battleship New Jersey for the party of a life time. Enjoy overnight accommodations completely with a chow-line style dinner and breakfast, a ride on the 4D simulation, a tour of the Battleship and of course an amazing view of the midnight fireworks for the deck. December 31.
Winter sports enthusiasts celebrate 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 both of the sparkling shows during the early (5 – 7 p.m.) and late (11 p.m. – 1 a.m.) parties. December 31.
One ticket gets you access to five parties at PYT, Gunners Run, Max’s Brew Bar, Kings Oak and a 25,000-square-foot heated tent covering the Piazza, a special performance by Steamroller Picnic and a five-hour open bar, you’ll have everything you need to welcome 2013 Philly style. December 31.
The Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing kicking off the New Year with not one, but two celebrations. Enjoy a delicious New Year’s Eve Family Buffet starting at 4 p.m. Save from for the Desert Explosion at 5:30 p.m. followed by the 6 p.m. fireworks show at Penn’s Landing.Grown-ups can ring in 2013 during a special New Year’s buffet in the Columbus Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia followed by a dance party, dessert buffet and champagne toast at midnight.
Sail into 2013 with up-close views of the fireworks aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia. You’ll also enjoy a premium open bar, bountiful dining, a DJ dance part and a champagne toast as the clock strikes midnight. There’s also fun for the whole family aboard the early sailing from 4:30 – 6:30. December 31.
As synonymous with Philadelphia as the cheesesteak and the hoagie, the Mummers Parade welcomes 2013 with sequins, feathers, music and revelry. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Broad Street and Snyder Avenue and proceeds to City Hall, followed by a ticketed competition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Spectators should purchase tickets ahead of time to sit in the judging stand or get there early to find a spot along the parade route. January 1.
The Fancy Brigades will face off during a judged competition at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Families can enjoy a seated performance at noon just hours before the official competition begins at 5 p.m.
No need to brave the cold this year: stay warm and toasty inside the Kimmel Center during the Mummers Parade on Broad Street. Celebrate the New Year with a day-long celebration featuring performances, family-friendly activities and festive treats from Wolfgang Puck. January 1