The Ultimate Guide to New Year’s Eve In Philadelphia 2020

Haven’t figured out your 2020 New Year’s Eve plans yet? Need some advice on where to go and when to buy? This comprehensive guide will give you all the info you need to plan the best New Year’s Eve for you and your friends.

Where to go: Where to Celebrate NYE in Philadelphia

1. Open Bar

Open Bars are a staple of holiday celebrations in cities all over the world and for good reason. You pre-pay for your ticket and don’t have to worry about the bill at the end, bars and clubs tend to book better talent/DJs, people get dressed up and are generally in a more festive mood. Philadelphia has no lack of open bar options. From fancy options like Crystal Tea Room to your local neiborhood bar.

The Crystal Tea Room NYE Party

At the Crystal Tea Room, celebrate the new year at a lavish party with an open bar, complimentary favors, carving stations and entertainment that includes body painting and hoop dancing.
Where: Crystal Tea Room, 100 E. Penn Square
Cost: $119-$139, general admission; $139-$349, VIP and all-access

Making Time NYE Party

Music lovers may want to check out Union Transfer for New Year’s Eve. There will be five live performances. Tickets to the party are $50 and include an open bar.
Where: Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, PA 19123
Get Directions
Cost: $50

NYE at Xfinity Live!

Enjoy five venues and five party-filled hours at Xfinity Live!’s New Year’s Eve event. Tickets includes food, drink and a Champagne toast at midnight.

Split Decision and other bands will perform, plus there will be karaoke and a silent disco.
Where: Xfinity Live! 1100 Pattison Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Get Directions
Cost: Cost: $120-$135

Tinsel Winter Wonderland New Year’s Eve

Philadelphia’s holiday-themed pop-up bar Tinsel hosts it’s first New Year’s Eve bash this year. A DJ plays today’s hits and drinks flow all night long, courtesy of a five-hour open bar.

December 31, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: Tinsel, 116 S. 12th Street Philadelphia, PA 19148
Get Directions
Cost: $85

New Year’s Funkin’ Eve at FringeArts

Located just across the street from the Delaware River, FringeArts says goodbye to the year with a funky celebration featuring live music, a ton of balloons, fire pits and more. The party starts at 10 p.m., but guests can make a night of it and enjoy a prix fixe dinner at La Peg beforehand. All reservations after 8:30 p.m. include a ticket to the party! When the clock strikes midnight, attendees can hop outside to the patio to watch the fireworks, then head back inside to continue dancing the night away.

Where: Philadelphia La Peg at FringeArts, 140 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard
Get Directions

2. Fireworks

Every year, Philadelphia rings in the New Year twice during the SugarHouse Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront.
The free fireworks shows along the Delaware River take place at 6 p.m. and midnight, with attractions like Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, Penn’s Landing, the Battleship New Jersey and more offering visitors prime views of the spectacular displays.

3. Restaurant Dinner

Going out to dinner on the last day of the year can be the night’s main event, or can be something fun to do before heading to a party. Many restaurants offer special menus for a set price and complimentary Champagne at midnight. Rittenhouse is a great area for this. With tons of restaurants and nightlife options. You can hit one of the following restaurants and then visit Philadelphia’s newest nightlife destination Rec & Royal.

Barclay Prime

For New Year’s Eve, the Rittenhouse steakhouse will have menu specials, plus party favors like hats, noisemakers, and tiaras.
There will be a special soundtrack for guests to countdown to midnight, too, and complimentary sparkling wine to toast to the new year.
Where: 237 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Get Directions
Phone: 215-732-7560

Jane G’s

The Szechuan Chinese restaurant in Rittenhouse is offering a four-course menu for $80. Dinner guests can also add on lobster for $10, and a cocktail pairing for $35.
On the New Year’s Eve menu are dishes like dan dan noodles, pork lo mein, wonton soup and garlic sauce scallops.

Where: 1930 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Get Directions
Phone: 215-563-8800

Abe Fisher

Abe Fisher, part of the CookNSolo family, is offering three special tasting menus for the holiday. Welcome in 2019 with Montreal smoked short ribs, roasted chicken or dry-aged rib-eye.

Where: 1623 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Get Directions
Phone: 215-867-0088

Lolita

Get four courses of Mexican-inspired dishes — plus an order of wild mushroom and corn fundido to start — for $55 per person at Lolita. See the menu here and make your reservation here.
Where: 106 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Get Directions
Phone: 215-546-7100

Oloroso

Send off 2018 with a four-course Spanish tasting menu with oysters, tuna crudo, and Wagyu culotte steak for $65 per person (pair sherry with your meal for an additional $35 or wine and sherry for $50).
Where: 1121 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Get Directions
Phone: 267-324-3014

Little Nonna’s

Didn’t get enough of grandma’s cooking over Christmas? Grab seats for a $75 four-course Italian-American tasting menu of dishes like parsnip ravioli, meatballs, veal osso buco, and pistachio cannoli at Little Nonna’s. Check out the full New Years’ menu here, and you can make your reservations here.

Where: 1234 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Get Directions
Phone: 215-546-2100

4. Hosting Party

A more intimate approach to NYE, the house party. House parties on NYE can be great but also come with added responsibility if you’re hosting. Purchasing suffecient food and booze, figuring our invitation, and decorating. Your property or possessions may be damaged by your guests, you are responsible for the cleanup of the party and it can be difficult to control when guests leave the party.

Hosting a house party means you’re totally in control, and although this comes with some form of responsibility, it means you can do things your way.

5. Stay Home

Just staying home on NYE can be cost-effective, cozy, and convenient. The best part of staying in is free reign. Don’t want to get dressed up or deal with drunk people. You get to decide exactly what you want to do and how to do it, but usually this means watching the countdown on television. A very comfortable way to slip into the new year indeed.

When to Buy: 5 Reasons to Buy Your NYE Ticket Now

  1. Money! Let’s get straight to it, the number one reason you should be buying that ticket to your New Years Eve party is simply that it saves your money.
  2. Let’s use Rec & Royal’s Vision 2020 | NYE Party as an example. If you and 3 friends buy early bird ticket, starts at $79 that’s a total of $316 ($79×4) for a glorious 5-hour open bar, champagne all night and a ridiculous amount of fun for you and your friends. Now let’s say you wait until the last minute and tickets go up $129. That’s $516 ($129×4). You could have saved $200 just by purchasing your tickets a few weeks early. Now go think about all the cool things you can buy with an extra $200.

  3. Ease of Mind. Ever had that feeling of comfort and warm fuzziness inside when you finish a big project or complete a to do list. You know what I’m talking about the “I’m free to do whatever I want” feeling. New Year’s is basically a project and finishing this task will give you that same feeling.
  4. Time to Research. One of the best reasons to look into buying your ticket early is because it gives you time to research. You can find out which party is going to be the talk of the town or which is going to give you the best bang for your buck. After you’ve done your research, selected the best party for you and your friends and had the best night of your life you will be known as the all-powerful party leader amongst your tribe. ALL HAIL you most benevolent sovereign of fun.
  5. Great Events Sell Out. If you did your research and found the best party around town it’s no surprise that other people will figure out that this is the place to be. Word WILL get out, people will start talking about where they are going, you’ll see it posted online, maybe even hear about it on the radio. The masses will start buying tickets and before you know it the event will be sold out. Now, you are left to find a sub-par party. PSA: Friends don’t let friends go to sub-par New Year’s Eve parties.
  6. The Unknown. This last one looks mysterious but it’s really not. Life happens, things come up as they always do. Especially during the holiday season. Shopping, holiday parties, travel, etc., all these things give you an excuse to put buying your tickets until later. Get ahead of the unknown and purchase those tickets before prices go up or worse the event sells out!

The History of New Year’s Eve

Now that we know where to go and when to buy let’s discuss why we celebrate New Year’s Eve in the first place.

The earliest recorded New Year’s celebration is thought to be in Mesopotamia around 4000 years ago. While the celebrations actually occurred in March during the vernal equinox as this was considered the start of the new year by the calendar at the time. an eleven-day festival was held that would probably put our current parties to shame.

Today we celebrate in the New Year in January due in part to the emperor Julius Caesar The Ancient Roman calendar used to follow the lunar cycle, and had the new year beginning in March but over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. Sosigenes, an astronomer convinced Julius Caesar to follow the solar year, instead. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today.

Starting the new year in January was partially done to honor the god Janus, for whom the month was named. Since Janus had two faces, he was able to look back into the past and forward into the future simultaneously, making him a great spokesperson for the holiday we celebrate today. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties. In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII re-established January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

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