How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia
The ultimate guide to ringing in 2022.
The dawn of a new year holds so much promise—and after the 2020 we collectively had, it’s safe to say hopes were high for 2021. Sure, the year had glimmers of niceness and normalcy, and while it wasn’t quite the dumpster fire that 2020 was, 2021 is yet another year we’re happy to see go. Contrary to last year though is this year’s wealth of opportunities to send off 2021 in style—full-bellied, open bar, dancing style. Not only are the parties back, but the city’s New Year’s Day pride and glory, the Mummers Parade, makes a grand return for 2022. If you’re in need of a little inspiration for New Year’s plans, look no further: Here are the top ways to spend NYE in Philly this year.
Cherry Street Pier
Right down the street from Winterfest, Cherry Street Pier hosts its own waterfront dance party. The space will be decorated in its holiday best and sparkling lights and a DJ will be spinning all night. Sure, the pier is subject to some crosswinds, but there will be warming rooms for you to defrost your buns while waiting for the fireworks show, to which you’ll have a front-row seat. Tickets include one complimentary beverage, but otherwise, food and drink are pay-as-you-go.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
Not only are the Rivers Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks back after a year hiatus, but the New Year’s Eve Parties on Ice at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest have also returned. Timed to coincide with both the early and late pyrotechnics shows, attendees can pick from one of two parties starting at either 5 pm or 10 pm. On the docket: plenty of ice skating; ferris wheel rides; boardwalk and arcade games; food from Chickie’s & Pete’s, Skelly’s Pizza, and Black Iron BBQ by Craft Hall; a cash bar; music from a DJ; and, of course, ace views of the fireworks.
For yet another waterfront party, the tall ship restaurant and club Moshulu will invite partiers to hit the deck for a banger with, you guessed it, prime fireworks views. Expect four dance floors with a variety of musical styles: New York City DJ Herbert Holler playing contemporary hits on the main dance floor, DJs Oskar and Chris playing throwback hits on the second dance floor, The Greg Farnese full jazz band in the ballroom, and Katy and Ed playing acoustic hits in the dining room. To sweeten the deal, there’ll be a five-hour open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, a taco station, cheese and meat station, and desserts.
Kung Fu Necktie
Welcome to the Black Parade—err, 2022. Fishtown venue Kung Fu Necktie knows the best way to move forward in life is to look back at the music of your youth. The organizers of Emo Prom and Halloweemo throw the ultimate NYE event with songs from Panic! At The Disco, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, and so many more. Get the eyeliner ready.
If you’re sticking around Fishtown for the evening, The Barbary’s NYE party is another great option for an open bar (of Miller Lite pounders, Tecate, House 1&1s like vodka cranberry, gin and tonic, and rum and coke), a midnight toast, and dancing. DJ Ian St. Laurent provides the tunes, you provide the moves.
Eleven floors above the bustling streets of Old City, Mr. Hollywood DJ will be spinning on the roof of the Hotel Monaco. Enjoy a five-hour open bar, hors d’oeuvres, signature New Year’s Eve cocktails, and groove-worthy music.
End your year with a French disco party at Forsythia, complete with pay-as-you-go steak frites, oysters, caviar bao buns, and escargot. Also on offer are $10 glasses of Champagne and sparkling rosé, cocktails, and a disco soundtrack all night—and costumes are highly encouraged.
Cost: $50 entry
For another French-inspired menu, Royal Boucherie serves up a la carte roasted foie gras, ribeye for two, and branzino with caviar for two, plus French wines and Champagne while burlesque performers Mika Romantic and Sophie Sucre put on the show of the year, starting at 10 pm. Cap your evening off with a complimentary toast and party on.
Another burlesque option will be hosted at Headhouse Square’s Twisted Tail, where, starting at 9 pm in the upstairs space, Mikey Junior Band will perform blues tunes, followed by elaborate burlesque performances. Snag a reservation for a Southern-inspired, prix-fixe dinner downstairs beforehand.
For the ultimate club experience, Callowhill’s NOTO rolls out the red carpet for a night of DJs, dancing, and a five-hour open bar. For the VIPs among us, you’ll be treated to table and bottle service.
DJ Chris Urban spins all night on the upper level of Midtown Village’s Franky Bradley’s, starting at 10 pm. The bar will be stacked with beers and the makings for specialty cocktails to help you feel a little more festive. Plus, a midnight Champagne toast.
Down by the sports arenas, a labyrinthian multi-venue party will take place at the legendary entertainment complex Xfinity Live! Each of the bars within the space features unique entertainment, like a DJ in the NBC Sports Arena, a silent disco in 1100 Social, and bull riding in PBR Philly. Food, like marinated skirt steak and Geno’s cheesesteaks, will be available, as will an open bar. If you upgrade to VIP, you’ll have designated seating and private restrooms, too.
Separatist South Philly
It’s a beer and pizza lover’s delight just off of East Passyunk at Separatist Beer Project. Pizza purveyors Hook and Master will provide the doughy pies all night, plus $3 Classic Cream Ales, New Year’s themed draft cocktails, and a complimentary midnight toast. DJ BIG SIR and DJ ARM18 pull out the vinyl, playing hip hop, funk, and soul.
Treat yourself to a decadent meal
What would New Year’s Eve be without fancy dinner reservations? Tons of local restaurants are unveiling special menus for the occasion, so take your pick. Le Caveau & The Good King Tavern will offer a prix-fixe menu that includes scallop crudo and dry-aged veal loin, and a build-your-own Manhattan option. Upstairs, at Le Caveau, hot dogs and caviar will be served until midnight, with champagne by-the-glass. Barbuzzo, Little Nonna's, and Bud & Marilyn's will also offer pre-fixe menus. Heritage has some decadent menu additions, like lobster toast, filet mignon, and shrimp pasta, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight along with live music from Tom Moon and The Dan Kaplowitz Trio. If you’re more interested in getting in some quality sips, Vintage Wine Bar is doling out sparkling wine flights alongside a menu that features grilled langoustine, truffled mushroom and potato croquette, and butternut squash ravioli.
Broad Street from City Hall to Washington Avenue
The Mummers Parade is back! The five divisions of strutters and string bands—comprising of Comics, Wench Brigades, Fancies, String Bands, and Fancy Brigades—in elaborate get-ups return to Broad Street for a day of revelry. Watch the parade from anywhere along South Broad Street from City Hall to Washington Avenue, or pay for a ticket for bleacher seating at City Hall and for the Fancy Brigade finale performances at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Cost: Free; $20-38 for ticketed seating/performances