New Year’s Eve 2021: Virtual parties with Please Touch and Snoop, filet mignon to-go, and new Bee Gees doc in this week’s ‘Things to Do’

Listen 3:10
Two women in a hotel celebrating with balloons

The Sofitel Philadelphia is offering special packages for New Year's Eve. (Courtesy of Sofitel)

From virtual partying with celebs to walking tours through Historic Philadelphia, there’s plenty of ways to say farewell to 2020 and commemorate the calendar turn, for kids as well as adults.

Cheers to all for a better year in 2021.

Sign of the ‘times’

Despite a pandemic, the famous ball will still drop in Times Square on Dec. 31, albeit without the huge crowds who usually witness it in person. The annual countdown comes at the end of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which starts at 8 p.m. Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale and Billy Porter, the live-streamed show will feature a variety of performances from all over the country. From NYC we’ll get Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, rapper Machine Gun Kelly and country music star Jimmie Allen. Broadcasting from New Orleans will be bounce music’s Big Freedia and singer/songwriter PJ Morton. The Los Angeles portion of the show gets its own host, Ciara, featuring acts from Brandy, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat, Lewis Capaldi, Maluma, Ella Mai, Nelly and Saweetie, as well as Jessie James Decker doing Powerball. Bonus: President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden have promised to make an appearance.

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021”
ABC-TV, the ABC app, or
Thursday, Dec. 31, 6 p.m.
(Should you happen to sleep through the New Year, the show will be available on demand from Hulu starting Jan. 1.)

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Countdown for the kids

In a normal year, parents might take their kids to the Please Touch Museum for the annual young person’s NYE countdown. For 2020, the museum hosts a virtual celebration instead. The video will be available from morning onward on the last day of the year, so you can watch whenever your little ones are ready for bed. Also available are a set of videos offering New Year’s-themed activities, like crafts, pizza and popcorn, and coloring.

Please Touch Museum Countdown at Home
Thursday, Dec. 31

Hair of the Dogg

Have you imagined attending a star-studded New Year’s Eve party, but never knew how to get an invite? Here’s your chance. This virtual fest features Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Rosario Dawson, Cody Rhodes and emcee Bert Kreischer, with DJ Cassidy, DJ Battlecat and Fredwreck spinning tunes. A tour of Snoop’s compound has been promised, along with stunts, dancing and more. The whole thing is actually a promo for an upcoming TBS competition series (The Go-Big Show) coming Jan. 7, but hey, it’s also a way to join a global audience to ring in 2021. Did we mention it’s free? (Note: It’s billed for 21 and over).

Snoop Dogg’s Virtual New Year’s Eve Special
Thursday, Dec. 31, 11 p.m.

Ghosts of New Year’s Eve past

Want to actually get out and go somewhere? Grim Philly to the rescue. The Dark Philly Adult Night Tour provides what the guides tout as a highly-researched historical tour of the Founding Fathers’ darker side. Apparently, the intrigue wasn’t just in the political arena for Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and their pals. The two-hour guided walk tells the tales and stops by Old City buildings said to host ghosts and other paranormal entities. Children are welcome at earlier times, but there’s more mature content from 8 p.m. on.

Dark Philly Adult Night Tour
Meet at Independence Visitor Center
1 N. Independence Mall
Thursday, Dec. 31, various times

Fancy NYE date night

The Sofitel Hotel in Rittenhouse Square created a suite of luxe New Year’s Eve packages. You can get an intimate dinner to go, or opt for the overnight hotel stay, with spots reservations available through Thursday evening. The three-course meal features either lobster or filet mignon, followed by a choice between chocolate pot de crème or pear frangipane tart. All COVID-19 protocols will be maintained whether you go for takeout or mini-staycation, the hotel promises.

Sofitel Philadelphia New Year’s Eve Special
Sofitel Philadelphia
120 S. 17th St.
Thursday, Dec. 31
$325 to $375 (including 20% off valet parking and complimentary breakfast if you stay over)

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Bee Gees ‘Fever’

If your idea of a New Year’s Eve celebration involves dancing in your pajamas or cuddling on your couch with someone you love, this new documentary will allow you to do all of the above. “The Bee Gees: How Do You Mend a Broken Heart,” released earlier this month, is the celebratory and sobering documentary of the British sibling trio who found their biggest fame as the kings of disco. The group’s “Saturday Night Fever” is the No. 2 top-selling soundtrack of all time and spawned multiple hit singles, including “You Should be Dancing,” “Jive Talkin,’” and “Night Fever.” The Gibb brothers experienced tragedy as well, with three of the four dying untimely deaths.

“The Bee Gees: How Do You Mend A Broken Heart”
On demand

Keep checking in with “Things To Do” as we continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our coronavirus updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal