Where to Celebrate New Year’s Day in Philly
From Mummers to free concerts, here's where to start your 2019 off right.
Happy 2019! You closed out 2018 with a bang, counting down to noon, watching evening fireworks, hiring a babysitter for your own party, or maybe just passing out on the couch with some champagne after the kids went to sleep.
But no matter how cold it is, there are Mummers strutting out there and half of South Philly has been drinking since 5 am in preparation! You owe it to them and yourselves to start the New Year off right. Here’s all the family fun to be had on New Year’s Day — the kids go back to school tomorrow, so make the most of January 1.
9 am — 5 pm
Of course the centerpiece of New Year’s Day in Philly is the Mummers Parade. The music, the ornate costumes, the revelry — this Philly tradition is the most iconic and colorful of them all. You can catch them strutting south on Broad Street from City Hall all day long, so you’re sure to see something entertaining no matter when you get there.
After the parade, you can get tickets to watch the Fancy Brigades perform their finales at the Convention Center (there’s also a family-friendly performance at 11:30 am, if your little ones can’t make it to the evening show). You can snag a bleacher seat by City Hall if you get a chance to buy them at Independence Visitor Center in advance. We prefer to pop in and out so we’re not standing out in the cold for hours, which brings us to the perfect opportunity to do that…
300 S. Broad St.
10 am — 5 pm
The Kimmel Center opens its doors for a free all-day New Year’s party with fun for the whole family. There are live performances all day, including kids’ concerts. Kids will have plenty to do, including watching jugglers, hula hoopers, and an organ demonstration.
And in between watching the Mummers out in the cold, you can warm up at the Garces Hot Chocolate Lounge all day. If you want more than hot chocolate, you can buy tickets for the delectable Garces Broad Street Bash brunch on the balcony. You’ll get an amazing bird’s eye view of the parade, and parents can have Bloody Marys!
3420 Sansom St.
9 am — 3 pm
Another great brunch option away from the clamor of the parade is White Dog’s annual pajama brunch. It’s a fun way to have a lazy New Year’s. Good news for our Main Line readers: White Dog’s Wayne and Haverford locations are also participating in this fun tradition!
3500 Reservoir Drive
10 am–4 pm
Smith is open for play all day in the playhouse (playground is weather permitting), plus fireworks painting throughout the day.
Photographs by Laura Swartz.