By Allen Foster

New Year’s Eve is about pulling all the stops out to have a riotous rager so you can celebrate the end of the year with unrestrained gusto. It’s an epic party of global proportions. Conversely, New Year’s Day is devoted to family. It’s everything the night before is not, a relaxing moment of respite spent with those who matter the most to you. It is a gentle day that is crafted to relish family time. Here are five fun, family-friendly ways to kick off the year.

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The Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park
1 S. 15th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 440-5500

Nothing cements a forever memory like a fun-filled family outing to go skating. The Rothman Institute Ice Rink, located at City Hall, is one of Philadelphia’s most beloved holiday attractions. Enjoy gliding round and round the wintry wonderland in the outdoor park. The rink offers hour long skating sessions, a five week Learn-to-Skate program, and the option to reserve a sled for use during scheduled sessions. After you’re done skating, warm up and nosh on snacks and beverages in the Rothman Cabin just steps away from the rink or take a romp through America’s Garden Capital Maze, a living labyrinth of seasonal plants and festive lighting that is also located in Dilworth Park.

A Longwood Christmas
Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
(610) 388-1000

On January 1st, take a stroll through living splendor at Longwood Gardens’ highly acclaimed attraction, A Longwood Christmas. For the holidays, the venue’s Conservatory has been adorned to offer the grand elegance of France’s Versailles. Delight in the decorative wreaths, inspired topiaries, spellbinding mirrors, and the breathtaking array of trees that have been trimmed with a dazzling bounty of sparkling crystal ornaments. Outside, you can discover vibrant fountains, strolling carolers, and so much more. A visit to A Longwood Christmas provides lasting memories that your children will share with their grandchildren.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100

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After Rocky dashed triumphantly up those fabled steps, did he ever make it through the doors? If not, boy was he missing out! At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can connect with art in surprisingly new and memorable ways. Enjoy a family oriented tour where you can marvel at the limitless expanse of humanity’s creative spirit, or take a shot at crafting your own masterpiece in a family studio session that is offered free after the price of admission. This January 1st, don’t stop at the top. Go further. Take a step inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art and see what lies beyond the threshold of imagination.

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Mummers Parade
The parade starts on Broad Street at City Hall in Center City and travels south to Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

If Los Angeles is the “City of Angels,” then Philadelphia is the “City of Icons.” There’s the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the cheesesteak, the Philadelphia soft pretzel, the aforementioned Rocky Steps, and countless other iconic attractions. One of the biggest, most widely recognizable institutions is the Mummers Parade, an annual event that began in 1901 and is known as much for its fanciful costumes as its distinctive music and exuberant marching style. With it’s five divisions (Fancy, Comic, Wench Brigade, String Band, and Fancy Brigade), seeing this day-long parade live is a definite must-do activity for every true Philadelphian. If you haven’t been yet, make this your year for you and your family to get your strut on!

Stanley’s Dream 5K Walk/Run
15 South High St.
West Chester, PA US 19382
(610) 696-4350 (pre-registration)
(610) 696-1400 (day of the race)

Start the year off right. Run for your health… and for a great cause. Stanley Edwards was a remarkable child who battled valiantly against insurmountable odds and unthinkable challenges. His story serves as an inspiration to others who are undergoing unexpected hardships. The gifted student and promising athlete’s dream was to attend college. When he passed away at 14, his family created Stanley’s Dream, a two-pronged charity that offers scholarships to graduating seniors and supports childhood brain cancer research by awarding research grants to hospitals. The 5K charity Walk/Run begins at noon at the corner of Church and Market Streets in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Feel good about doing good.

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