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New Year’s Eve Parties for Families in Philly

Get 2019 started a little early at one of these fun events.

We’re winding down 2018, and you want to celebrate in style and still get the kids down for their nap! We’ve rounded up our top picks for New Year’s fun around town, so no matter how young your kids are, there’s something festive to do as a family. Happy New Year!

Countdown 2 Noon at the Please Touch Museum

4231 Avenue of the Republic
9 am — 3 pm


This massive party has not one, but two, ball drops to bring in the New Year (one at noon, the other at 1 pm). There is also live music courtesy of the Avalon String Band, a creation station where kids can make their own New Year’s Eve Confetti Bags for the big countdown, meet-and-greets with the museum’s new mascot Squiggles, and more! Tickets available online.

NOON Year’s Eve Bash at the Franklin Institute

222 North 20th Street

10 am—2 pm


Celebrate New Year’s early with fiery live science shows, “magic milk fireworks,” make-and-take noisemakers, and other surprises. At noon, welcome in the New Year with a massive ball pit explosion! Free with museum admission.

 Fireworks on the Waterfront

Penn’s Landing

6 pm


The SugarHouse Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the waterfront features a kid-friendly early show at 6 pm for families and kids who can’t make it until midnight. There are so many options by the river to view this magnificent display.


First off, you can buy tickets to one of the New Year’s Eve Parties on Ice and skate on the RiverRink (or just enjoy the rest of Winterfest with food, music, and other entertainment) as you watch the fireworks.


Or you can do a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia (the early one starts at 4:30 pm) to enjoy a buffet and on-board DJ entertainment while you watch the fireworks. The Moshulu also provides a prime viewing spot from the water. The Hilton at Penn’s Landing also has a family-friendly buffet and party.


There’s also a great party hosted by Independence Seaport Museum, complete with noisemakers, party hats, and a ginger ale toast before the fireworks.

Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown at Franklin Square

200 N. Sixth St.
3 — 8 pm


New Year’s Eve craft-making starts at 3 pm. Then, at 6 pm there’s a countdown to the “Square Drop” from atop SquareBurger and watching the New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront (they’ll be viewable from the Square). Afterwards, the indoor Franklin Square Pavilion will host a kids’ dance party until 8 pm, when you can take in the final “Electrical Spectacle” light show of the year.

NEST’s Countdown to Noon

Nest Center City, 1301 Locust St.

11 am—12:30 pm


Your littlest party-goers (ages 6 months to 6 years) will get their wiggles out with music and playtime, make New Year’s themed crafts, and enjoy snacks and sparkling beverages. At noon, they’ll go nuts with a celebratory balloon drop! This event is free for Nest members or with purchase of a Playspace Day Pass.

PlayArts’ Countdown to Noon

1241 N. Front Street

10 am—noon


Ring in the new year at noon with a balloon drop and noise makers! There will be DJ music, playtime, and champagne for the grownups, too! Buy tickets online.

Almost New Year’s Eve Celebration at Palace Rollerskating

11586 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia
2 — 6 pm

There’ll be skating, party favors, music, pizza, and more as you skate in the New Year at this old school Northeast institution. There’s also a later (8 pm) party that night for older kids.

New Year’s Eve Family Bash at North Bowl

909 North Second St., Philadelphia

5 — 8 pm


Muscle Tough will be rocking out at NoLibs’ North Bowl for the evening! And that is in addition to bowling, games, face painting, balloon art, food, and more! And to close things out, there will be a mock ball drop for all of the kids who won’t be staying up until midnight.

Bar Amis

4503 S. Broad St.

6—9 pm


Enjoy a buffet (with lots of kid friendly options), games and activities, and a 9 pm ball drop. Tickets available online.

New Year’s Eve Kids Karaoke Party at Red Rooster Inn

7960 Dungan Rd.

Noon—4 pm


DJ Jamie O’Donnell will be hosting kids’ karaoke from noon to 4pm. There will also be a countdown and apple juice toast at 1 pm and 3 pm. Call for reservations 215-745-1919.

New Year’s Eve Splash at Adventure Aquarium

1 Riverside Dr., Camden
10 am — 6 pm


This special extended-hours event invites your family to visit with your favorite sea creatures, get down at a DJ “Shell-ebration” dance party, and then watch the early fireworks display over the Delaware River. New this year, the aquarium is also presenting “New Year’s Around the World” where they will celebrate a different country every hour and talk about traditions from that country.


Lead photograph by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia. 

Philadelphia Assistant Editor | Email tips to laura@familyfocus.org



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