The Holiday Entertainment Guide 2012 features a mix of traditional New Year’s celebrations as well as off-the-beaten-track offerings for those looking for alternatives to ring in the New Year. Happy Holidays!
Grounds for Sculpture, the 42-acre sculpture park and arboretum dedicated to promoting an appreciation for contemporary sculpture and art, hosts “Warmth in Winter” this January as part of its “Winter Wonders” celebration. The new year kicks off with a Wonders of Winter photography workshop, January 5, and Chinese New Year festivities including a Chinese paper cutting workshop, January 14, a Chinese calligraphy demonstration, January 14, a Year of the Dragon performance by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company January 15, and a concert by the Yang Yi Guzheng Academy, January 29, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, NJ.
They’ve been at it for a full year – creating costumes, drilling dance numbers, finishing floats. This New Year’s Day, weather permitting, more than 10,000 will take to the streets. They are Philadelphia’s Mummers and they’ll welcome 2012 just as they have rung in just about every New Year for more than a century. Cold noses are a small price to pay to witness glockenspiels, gowns, clowns, confetti and hundreds of men in dresses strutting up Broad Street! And all the fun and fancy continues with two ticketed shows at noon and 5pm at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, $17.
It all began in Boston in 1976 with a small local group of artists who were inspired to create a new kind of New Year’s revelry emphasizing community spirit. Decades later, there will be more than seventy-five New Years Eve arts festivals celebrated in cities and towns across the nation including four in our region:
In New Jersey, Haddonfield’s festivities begin at 6pm with headliners Tommy Cash, Searson, The Amazing Kreskin plus more musical, dance, comedy and kids entertainment including fireworks at 9pm. Buttons $15.
First Night Burlington County ushers in 2012 and the Year of the Dragon with a Lunar Chinese New Year celebration, 5pm-9:30pm and a unique blend of live music, comedy, kids art workshops, Prison Museum tours, a pet parade, street performers and more including fireworks at 9:15pm, Mt. Holly. Entry buttons 2/$12 required for all indoor venues.
Celebrate on the boardwalk and beach in Ocean City with family oriented events beginning at 4pm with musical performances including Trout Fishing in America, Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues, Zydeco-A-Go-Go, Ocean City Pops, children’s activities such as Gillian’s Wonderland Pier rides, Schoolhouse Rock Live, and more, concluding with fireworks at midnight. Tickets $14.
In Pennsylvania, Newtown’s festivities kick off at 5pm with live music and entertainment for all ages and fireworks at 10:15pm. Tickets $10
For a “First Night” near you, click here.
The City of Philadelphia and SugarHouse Casino continue the tradition of two sets of fireworks on New Year’s Eve at 6pm and midnight over the Delaware River. Launched from barges in the river, the fireworks are choreographed to unique soundtracks that can be heard from Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing and Wiggins Park in Camden, NJ. Part of Philly New Year’s Week with festivities through January 2.
Atlantic City rings in the New Year with parties at most casinos and hotels and concerts including BB. King at Harrah’s, Sarah McLachlan, Caesar’s, Bobby Vinton, Resorts, Maroon 5, Showboat, Carrie Underwood & Frankie Valli, Borgata, Third Eye Blind, House of Blues, and more. Ticket prices start at $45.
Additional listings throughout the region:
The Blue Cross RiverRink celebrates the New Year with two parties coinciding with the fireworks displays, 5-7pm and 11pm-1am, with family activities, live entertainment, food and ice-skating, Columbus Blvd at Market Street, Philadelphia. $30 skaters, $20 spectators
Lantern Theater Company’s production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives extends through January 8 with a New Year’s Eve performance and party, Saturday, December 31, 8pm-midnight with desserts provided by Le Bec-Fin. St. Stephen’s Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets, Philadelphia. Tickets $48
The Delaware Symphony Orchestra ushers in 2012 with traditional Viennese waltzes and music from the big screen, Saturday, December 31, 7:30pm, The Grand, Wilmington, DE. Tickets $55-75. New Year’s festivities continue at the Delaware Art Museum, tickets $100-125. Attend one or both events.
Please Touch Museum hosts its annual Countdown to Noon celebration for families, Saturday, December 31, from 9am-3pm with musical performances, children’s activities, and dance party, including countdowns at noon and 1pm. The museum is open New Year’s Day, 11am-5pm. Tickets $15.
The annual Betsy’s Birthday Bash, a 260th birthday celebration for America’s most famous flag-maker, is Saturday, December 31, 11am-4pm at The Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street, Philadelphia with storytelling by Betsy, crafts, balloon artist, cake and more.
“Hansel and Gretel” is onstage at Storybook Musical Theater through January 14 at the Bluett Theater, St. Joseph’s University, 56th and Overbrook, Philadelphia. Tickets, children $11, adults $14.