The dawning of 2018 is going to be lit. Tons of New Year’s Eve events in Philadelphia give you the chance to ring in 2018 any way you’d like—whether you want to rage at Philadelphia nightclubs, do something low key with the kids at a handful of early-bird events or chow down on a fancy meal at one of the best new restaurants in Philadelphia. There are a handful of cheap options for those on a budget, including parties at some of the best bars in Philadelphia that are letting folks in for a cover charge of $0. Whatever you do, just be sure to be outdoors at 6pm and midnight, when massive fireworks shows boom over the Delaware River. Find our guide to the best New Year’s Eve events in Philadelphia happening at venues across the city below.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia
Best New Year’s Eve Events in Philadelphia
For tired parents and little ones with a strict bedtime, this popular New Year’s Eve bash celebrates the dawn of 2018 with a ball drop at noon and again at 1pm—complete with a colorful confetti shower. Kids can show up well before the magic hour to play in the museum, take a snowflake-making workshop, wiggle to live music and catch live, family-friendly performances all day.
Electric Factory welcomes cover band Dark Star Orchestra into its approximately 3,000-person-capacity music venue to rock the first hours of 2018 with the sounds of the Grateful Dead. Get down to a whopping three sets of Dead faves and rarities, and fuel up on special offerings at the bar, such as a host of Tröegs Independent Brewing seasonals and an Electric Factory Anniversary ale.
The Center City dueling piano bar concludes 2017 with a four-hour open bar that includes an hors d’oeuvres buffet from 9 to 10pm, a complimentary champagne toast and party favors. A “Champagne Supernova” package for a cool $500 reserves a table for a party of four, an extra hour’s access to the buffet and two extra hours of open bar. The venue’s house band takes over the music from 7pm to 2am.
Funky South Broad Street dive bar Dolphin Tavern sticks to its theme of cheap drinks and clubbing with Easy New Year’s Eve. Prep for jams from DJ Ed Christof—known for his far-out “intergalactic” mixes—and $1 well drinks and Tecate all night long. A complimentary champagne toast accompanies the arrival of 2018.
XFINITY Live! organizes a New Year’s Eve wonderland for those wanting a little more variety in their countdown-to-midnight festivities. Hop between five bars on-premises at the complex, including Victory Beer Hall, 1100 Social, PBR Philly, Broad Street Bullies Pub and NBC Sports Arena. Split Decision, a local party band, plays Victory Beer Hall, while karaoke machines are set up at Broad Street Bullies Pub. And if that’s not enough for you, there will be buckle bunnies and a mechanical bull.
Center City’s marquee dance club Rumor, a multi-room space decked out in neon lights that pulsates from state-of-the-art speakers, celebrates the new year with a five-hour premium open bar and collection of Top 40, hip-hop, house and mash-up DJs. Celebrations culminate in a free champagne toast at midnight. Heads up, big spenders: A variety of VIP options gain you bottle service, access to the “Vault” area and, in some of the pricier packages, reserved seating.
Spend your final hours of 2017 twirling on the ice at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, which is hosting two parties on ice in conjunction with the 6pm and midnight SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks displays over the Delware River. Attendees can enjoy food and drinks from Garces Group, Chickie’s & Pete’s and Franklin Fountain in the luxe, chalet-inspired Lodge, and then snuggle around the fire pits when the shows begin. Speakers set up on-site blast music that’s perfectly synchronized with the fireworks, so you’re sure to get the whole booming experience.
For its funk-focused NYE bash, FringeArts adorns its spacious bar and performance space with balloons and fire pits. Bust a move on the dance floor to energetic South Philly hip-hop act ILL Doots and DJ Dame Luz, and hit the cash bar to choose from a limited menu from La Peg that’s available till closing time.
The spacious 12,000-square-foot Field House—certainly big enough to not feel so sardine-packed while you toast at midnight—lets patrons get down with a five-hour premium open bar and tunes from a DJ spinning the best of the ’80s, Top 40 and hip-hop. A whopping 35 TVs on-site make it easy to see the Times Square ball-drop as you indulge in a champagne toast or sip on a number of drafts: wheats like the Neshaminy Creek Punkless Dunkel, Belgians like the seasonal Funk White Christmas, and spicy brews like Troegs’ Master of Pumpkins.
Independence Seaport Museum opens its terrace to offer guests a close-up view of the first showing of the SugarHouse fireworks. The spectacle begins at 6pm with a booming light show over the Delaware River, accompanied by a soundtrack of peppy Top 40 tunes. Advance tickets grant you access to the bash, plus all-day admission to the museum, which opens at 10am.