Once the ball drops and all the fireworks have dimmed, the first day of the New Year slowly comes into focus. Some people enjoy relaxation, while others are ready to take on the New Year with vigor. So after a night of partying, fireworks, dancing, and celebration, what does one do on New Year’s Day? In the city of brotherly love, a New Year’s Day Tour offers a continuation of fun for all! With parades set in over a century of tradition to ice skating and winter festivals, Philadelphia is an excellent destination for a New Year’s Day Tour.
The Mummers Parade
A long-held tradition in Philadelphia is the Mummer’s Parade, made up of all ages of Philadelphians. As the oldest folk festival in the U.S., the Mummer’s Parade dates back 120 years. The tradition comes from ancient Roman laborers who celebrated the festival of Saturnalia by marching in masks and exchanging gifts while poking fun at particular issues of the era.
The parade begins at City Hall and makes its way to Washington Avenue. Thousands of adults and children dress in vibrant colors and festive outfits as they dance down the main streets of Philly. There are multiple divisions of the parade, each with their own unique style, costume, and musical entrance. You don’t have to be familiar with the Mummers to enjoy what is sure to be a fun-filled parade. No New Year’s Day Tour would be complete without witnessing the fabulous Mummers strut their stuff!
Ice Skating at Dilworth Park
From November to February, Dilworth Park undergoes a transformation into a beautiful winter landscape. During the holidays, themed attractions of holiday cheer are open for the public. The Rothman Orthopedics Ice Rink is favorite among skaters looking to glide across the rink. If skating isn’t a draw, the Rothman Orthopedics Cabin offers warm seasonal beverages and delicious snacks to help get rid of the winter chill. On Wednesday evenings, cocktails and cold adult beverages are available during a fun holiday happy hour.
Another popular stop at Dilworth Park is the Wintergarden, inspired by the holidays and joyful decorations; the Wintergarden showcases seasonal plants, lights, and a lovely view of City Hall.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest
A favorite winter destination by thousands of Philadelphia natives and visitors, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, has operated for more than 25 years. The waterfront rink is open to the public seven days a week and is free for all visitors. Decorated in the theme of a winter fantasyland, the park boasts a renowned ice-skating rink, extravagant lighting, outdoor seating with fire pits to stay warm, and warming cabins full of blankets, soft pillows, heaters, fireplaces, and games for extra warmth during the chilly months.
After working up an appetite on the rink, visitors can grab a house-made hot chocolate from the Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin or delicious hot snacks from Chickie’s and Pete’s, Graces, and Portside Pizza. Most menu items are allergy and gluten-free friendly, so everyone who takes a spin on the ice will have plenty of food choices.
Spending a holiday exploring a city, whether it be new or well-traveled, can be the starting point for a fun and exciting year. Take the time out of a typically busy schedule to enjoy the season and be with family and friends. Discover new locations full of activities and decadent dining to please even the pickiest of taste buds. The fun doesn’t have to end when the clock strikes twelve. Need to explore what other fun activities that you can join in Philly? Our travel experts are here to assist you.