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Our Favorite Philly New Year’s Eve Events

Skaters at the RiverRink have a prime location for watching New Years fireworks. Photo: G.Widman for GPTMC

In case you haven’t heard, New Year’s in Philadelphia is huge.

There are two sets of spectacular free fireworks, one at 6 p.m. and one at midnight, in addition to the annual Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day and, this year, the NHL Winter Classic: Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers outdoors at Citizens Bank Park. (Psst: our friends at uwishunu are giving away tickets; enter here.)

There are plenty of New Year’s Eve dinner options and party picks. But if you’re looking for something more unexpected, more unique, we have some choices for you, as well.

Our favorite picks for New Year’s Eve celebrations are below:

Free at the Kimmel: Sing in the New Year!: Starting at 5:30 p.m., enjoy festive and tuneful chamber works by Vaughan Williams, Handel, Poulenc, Philadelphia’s own Andrea Clearfield and more. Wolfgang Puck will provide Peppermint Martinis, Snowflake Martinis, Pigs in a Blanket and Candy Cane Cocoa, something for everyone in the family.

Philadelphia Orchestra New Year’s Eve Concert: Watch Philly’s favorite orchestra perform at 7:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Head out to Commonwealth Plaza afterwards to enjoy free music and treats (see above). Tickets start at $39.

2nd Annual New Years Eve Yards Beer Dinner at Kennett: Expect a nice, intimate evening of Yards beers paired with Kennett’s delicious fare. There will be two special beers making an appearance that night: Olde Bartholomew barleywine, and the very limited Yardbird Abbey Dubbel. 4 courses for $65.

Bistro Romano’s Mystery Dinner Theatre: Here’s your chance to partake in a unique and exciting theatrical production. The cast sets the stage for intrigue, murder and mayhem. The audience holds the key to unlock the mystery and uncover the conspiracy, all while enjoying a four-course meal. Who knows? You could be the murderer! $42.95 (Dinner $32.95 and Show Admission $10) per person. Price includes show, four course dinner and hors d’oeuvre reception in the piano lounge prior to the performance.

DJ Deejay at Silk City: Celebrate the last night of 2011 and the wee hours of 2012 at this Part diner, part bar and part dance club in Northern Liberties. There’s an open bar from 9-11 p.m. plus the obligatory complimentary champagne toast at midnight. And, of course, modern and classic dance hits all night long. Tickets are $35-$40.

Anthony Jeselnik from Comedy Central Roasts at Helium: At either 8 or 10:30 p.m. you can catch the hilarious former Late Night With Jimmy Fallon writer, who has also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The 8 p.m. show includes appetizers and a ticket to a future show, and the late show includes a champagne toast at midnight, dessert and a ticket to a future show. Tickets are $10.

No Bullsh*t New Year’s Eve at City Tap House: Make this year’s last meal one to remember. Enjoy one of your Tap House Favorites or one of their New Year’s Eve Suppers and a killer beer list. Open Bar Packages are available, and everyone gets a free champagne toast at midnight.

New Year’s Eve with Philly Bloco at World Cafe Live: Philly Bloco’s 20+ members bring their raucous mash-up of Samba, Funk and Reggae to World Cafe Live for a very special New Year’s Eve dance party. One caveat: dancing is a must. Tickets start at $30.

The Second Annual New Year’s Eve Snowflake Ball at Johnny Brenda’s: Dress to impress for a night of some great local bands and special DJs, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $5. Downstairs, starting at 9 p.m., is the 2012 New Year’s Eve party with DJs Mikele & Kristie; no cover!

18th Annual New Year’s Eve Part(ies) On Ice at the Blue Cross RiverRink: The first party takes place from 5-7 p.m. to coincide with the 6 p.m. fireworks, and the second is 11 p.m.-1 a.m. to coincide with the traditional midnight fireworks. Both are great for all ages and ideal for families as a non-alcoholic way to ring in the New Year. There’s great food, fun activities, live entertainment in the heated indoor facility (free psychic readers, strolling entertainment by Mummertime) and, of course, ice-skating. You get free noise makers, New Year’s paraphernalia and photo keepsakes. Tickets are $30 for skaters and $20 for spectators.

Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker: The show is at 2 p.m. on December 31, perfect for families who want to keep the celebration early. Alternatively, you could enjoy the show and spend the rest of the afternoon and night with an awesome dinner reservation, party or other celebration.

Noel & Gertie at the Walnut Street Theatre: The evening show is at 7:30 p.m. on December 31, perfect timing to head out to dinner and a midnight toast afterwards.

Johnny Showcase’s New Years Funk Your Face Party at MilkBoy: Philly’s own Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Cabaret know how to throw an awesome NYE bash. Tickets are $15.

Be sure to make your plans early and have a very Happy New Year!

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