New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania: Top Destinations
New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania: Top Accommodations
Best Places for Families to Spend New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania
Family-friendly activities abound in Pennsylvania, which is why it's the perfect destination to spend New Year's Eve with the kids in one of these exciting destinations.
Although it's known as The Christmas City, this destination keeps the party going even after Santa's gone home with a two-day event run by Just Born — makers of marshmallow Peeps — starting on December 30th. Peepsfest is held at the city's iconic Steel Stacks and welcomes families with a disco, games, art, and learning activities. The event culminates with the Chick Drop on December 31st, where a 400-pound illuminated Peep is dropped alongside a fireworks display.
2. State College
This university town home to Penn State holds an annual Fire Night New Year’s Eve on the university campus. Families can enjoy incredible ice sculptures, horse-drawn carriages and reindeer, and there are also craft workshops especially for kids. There is an incredible variety of delectable local food on offer, and the entire event is alcohol free.
3. Pocono Mountains
Located north of Philadelphia, these beautiful mountains offer tons to do for families on a New Year's vacation. There are family-friendly events at many resorts that usually include dinner, entertainment and a ball drop — plus champagne for the adults — and kids get discounted or free entry. The most popular celebration is the New Year’s Eve Tubing Party at Blue Mountain Resort, where kids and adults alike can hit the slopes for some snow tubing in the hours before the countdown.
Best Places to Stay for New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania
Best Places for Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania
New Year's Eve wouldn't be complete without a giant fireworks display, and Pennsylvania certainly delivers. All major cities host events, but here are some of the most popular.
Pennsylvania's second largest city doesn't skimp on the festivities, with a breathtaking fireworks display lighting up the river front and downtown to mark the first strokes of the New Year. As part of the city's First Night celebrations, visitors can spend the evening exploring over 100 events; from exhibitions to DJs to improv comedy.
The main attraction in the City of Brotherly Love is the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve fireworks display, a blockbuster 15-minute display over the Delaware River waterfront. One of the best places to view the show is from the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, a festive event with the city's largest outdoor ice skating rink. For families with young kids, there's also a smaller fireworks display on the waterfront at 6 p.m.
Pennsylvania's state capital rings the New Year in with an amazing fireworks display over the downtown area. The Hilton keeps things hot with a live DJ playing tunes outdoors until the countdown, when a giant strawberry drops from the top of the hotel.
Recommended Accommodations for New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania
Best Free Places to Visit for New Year's Eve in Pennsylvania
There's nothing better than a free event, and Pennsylvania is packed with cost-effective ways to enjoy New Year's Eve on a budget.
The most historic of Pennsylvania New Year's Eve destinations welcomes in the New Year with a great variety of programs that are all free to the public. There is a family movie screening in the early evening at The Majestic Theater before things get into full swing in Lincoln Square with DJs, rock bands, and other entertainment. From 11:20 p.m. the Gettysburg Hotel has a special countdown event, and the evening culminates with a beautiful fireworks display over Lincoln Square.
2. Kennett Square
The 'Mushroom Capital' welcomes visitors to their Midnight in the Square event with free entry for those who donate one non-perishable food item to a local charity. The event is packed with activities for kids and adults, music, entertainment, and an hourly laser-light show leading up to the countdown. Living up to the city's reputation, a 700-pound illuminated mushroom is dropped at midnight.
Things get even sweeter on New Year's Eve at the Sweetest Place on Earth with a free event at ChocolateTown Square featuring live music, delicious food, and entertainment for the whole family. During the countdown an enormous 300-pound Hershey's Kiss is raised in the center of the square.