Philadelphians are lucky to have a plethora of fun and exciting activities to choose from when celebrating New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. This year brings even more excitement as New Year's Day falls on a Friday, giving most folks a three-day weekend. But instead of shelling out exorbitant sums of money for an open bar party and kicking off 2016 waiting for a cab, try one of these five fresh air ways to ring in the New Year in Philly.
1. Rent a mountain house in the Poconos
One of the best ways to celebrate the season is to rent a cabin with friends in the Pocono Mountains. Only 90-minutes away from the city, the Poconos are just far enough from Philly to feel like you're away from it all, but without the super long drive. Be sure to check out some nearby trails and mountains while you're up north, and don't forget your skis and snowboards. If the snow doesn't fall, head to one of our favorite waterfall hikes in the Poconos, such as Glen Onoko Falls, Bushkill Falls, or Dingman's Falls. And definitely pack a bathing suit for the hot tub!
2. Spectate the Mummer's Parade on New Year's Day
The 116th annual Mummers' Parade takes place on New Year's Day, and is one of Philadelphia's most unique and storied traditions. Thousands of Mummers (costumed entertainers) dress up in their fanciest costumes and parade down Broad Street as generations have before them, stopping to dance and perform along the way. The parade starts at 9am, but lasts until sundown so no need to wake up early to catch the party. Afterwards, head to "2 Street" in Pennsport for some late night partying with the Mummers themselves.
3. Go Ice Skating at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest's New Years Party
In its second year, the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest transforms the Delaware waterfront into a beautiful winter wonderland, replete with a cozy lodge serving warm drinks and snacks. The New Year's Eve party is split in two sessions—5 to 8pm for families, and 10pm to 1am for adults looking to stay up and party. Skates are available for rent on-site.
4. Hit the Trail on New Year's Day
If we're lucky, we'll have some light snow around New Year's and Wissahickon Valley Park will become a quiet, peaceful winter oasis—perfect for a nice hikewith loved ones. If it doesn't snow, don't fret, the park is still a lovely escape from the New Year's chaos downtown. If hiking isn't your thing, take a bike and ride down Forbidden Drive, the wide, flat path that runs down the middle of the park. End your hike or ride with a nice brunch at the Valley Green Inn, which is located right smack dab in the middle of the park.
5. Head to Blue Mountain's Snow Tubing New Year's Eve Party
Instead of staying indoors in the city, why not head up to Blue Mountain in Palmerton for a fun night of snow tubing fun at their New Year's Eve Party? Tickets are $55 each ($25 for kids), and guests will enjoy an exciting night of snow tubing, DJ entertainment, dinner, and a champagne toast. The party goes from 8pm to 1am. If you'd rather stay off the slopes, book a seven-course dinner at the Slopeside Pub beginning at 9pm.