New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and it’s never too early to prepare. If you want to spend it at one of Philadelphia’s big parties, then you better book your hotel room now — if you haven’t already. One of the best things about celebrating New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia is the amazing fireworks display over the Delaware River, with the Ben Franklin Bridge serving as an exquisite backdrop. The city offers two shows on New Year’s Eve, one at 6 p.m. and a second at midnight. Get your seat early to view the spectacular shows from some of these prime locations.
Blue Cross River Rink Penn’s Landing
201 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
There is nothing better than ice skating under a sparkling sky. You can live the moment by visiting Blue Cross River Rink’s annual New Year’s Eve party. This New Year’s Eve event is a perfect way to ring in the new year with the whole family, offering a perfect view of the fireworks as they light up the sky right over the rink. Come early with the family for the NYE Party on Ice from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., or head out later for the 11 p.m. version of the party.
401 S. Columbus Bvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
This historic cargo ship was first built in 1904 and has survived both World Wars and many owners around the world. Now, it’s living its life as a AAA four diamond-rated restaurant on Pier 34 on Penn’s Landing. Spend New Year’s Eve enjoying a four-course meal before the fireworks festivities begin, then toast in the New Year on the deck of the beautifully restored Moshulu while the fireworks explode in the sky.
Penn Treaty Park
1341 N. Delaware Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Penn Treaty Park is the perfect spot to view the fireworks, as it’s right next door to the Sugar House Casino and offers a perfect view of the Ben Franklin Bridge. But the best part about spending New Year’s Eve at Penn Treaty Park is that it’s free! The seven-acre park offers lots of space for big crowds. Bring a blanket, lawn chair, your dog and your kids to enjoy the 6 p.m. viewing or the midnight viewing of the fireworks show. It’s best to leave the alcohol at home, but it’s a BYO confetti event.
Sugar House Casino
1001 N. Delaware Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Sugar House Casino is the host of the evening’s fireworks festivities, which guarantees a spectacular party for sure. You can enjoy an open bar from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. as well as appetizers, live music and a champagne toast at midnight while you watch a private viewing of the fireworks over the Delaware River. If you just want to check out the fireworks, you can enjoy them from the riverfront walk at the casino during either display.
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Camden, NJ 08103
For our friends across the river, Wiggins Park in Camden offers an excellent vantage point for the fireworks display in Philadelphia. This location is also free, which makes it even more festive. Wiggins Park is right near Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship New Jersey, so parking is plentiful. This is the perfect way to spend New Year’s Eve with the whole family.
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Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.