New Year's Eve in Philly

Celebrate the end of 2009 by doing something besides the same auld thing.

By Erica Palan
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Dec. 15, 2009

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Sex Dwarf

Listen up, all you party people: There are approximately 400 different shindigs going down to ring in 2010. Here’s a few places we think will be poppin’ at midnight, but check back for the next two weeks for info on more Philly New Year’s celebrations.

For dudes in skinny jeans and girls who wear DayGlo unitards, Silk City (435 Spring Garden St. 215.592.8838. silkcity hosts its regular Thursday night programming, the Mo Money, No Problems party with DJs Sammy Slice and Cool Hand Luke and special guest emcee Tu Phace. By the grace of all that is hip, there’s a cheap cover—$12—a rarity among even the grungiest of holiday soirées.

Girls and boys who like to dress up (and not in the black-tie kind of way) should rig up a glam-rock costume for Ant Music for Sex People, a special New Year’s Eve edition of Sex Dwarf. DJs Robert Drake and Marilyn Thomas will spin tons of New Wave, including a tribute to Adam and the Ants. The party kicks off at 8 p.m. at Fluid (613 S. Fourth St. and 25 bucks gets you access to two hours of open bar and munchies from the Latest Dish (fingers crossed for their crab and cheese wontons!). Only 200 tickets are available, so reserve ’em now.

Bros, hos and anyone else looking for a cheap cover can upgrade from cheap cans of Natty Ice to McGillin’s 1860 IPA, a crisp, hoppy, unfiltered beer brewed by Stoudt’s especially for the city’s oldest pub’s 150th anniversary. McGillin’s Olde Ale House (1310 Drury St. 215.735.5562. party kicks off at 9 p.m. for just $5 (plus the cost of drinks).

If you attended last year’s New Year’s throwdown at Raven Lounge (1718 Sansom St. 215.840.3577. raven, you know there were some very special guests—members of the masked metal band Slipknot. Weird, right? Turns out, they’d been hanging at the bar earlier in the year and had a blast playing board games in Raven’s first-floor bar. When they found out they’d be in Philly to ring in 2009, the band called owner Jonathan Hunter and made plans to surprise partygoers. Hunter promises more surprise guests at this year’s bash—and the return of his mom’s famous artichoke dip, so delish that DJ Chris Bretz is contractually guaranteed his own supply.

Those seeking to fulfill last year’s resolution to be more adventurous should sign up for a New Year’s Eve-themed scavenger hunt, courtesy of Ravenchase Adventures. The Quest for Father Time (888.702.9039. kicks off in Rittenhouse, where teams get clues to help them unravel a New Year’s mystery by racing to different Center City locations based on clues and hints. The race ends at an undisclosed location where participants can ring in the New Year (and celebrate victory) with the usual Champagne and appetizer spread.

ComedySportz , one of Philly’s leading improv groups, is taking its cues from Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett, who famously noted that it’s always five o’clock somewhere. Philly’s funniest offers two different sendoffs to 2009. The first, New Year’s in Brazil , is a family-friendly romp beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time—hey, it’s got to be midnight somewhere. The second show, New Year’s On Ice Spectacular (That’s-Not-Really-On-Ice) employs ComedySportz’s usual tactics of audience involvement. Two teams of improvisers battle for points by playing improv games. There’s a ref to manage the action, calling fouls and keeping the match moving for fast-paced hilarity. Bonus: This is the only New Year’s Eve event that includes pizza in the ticket price.

And finally: fireworks. There’s no logical reason you shouldn’t catch a glimpse of the shiny stuff one last time before 2010. For the first time, Penn’s Landing will host two separate displays—one at 6 p.m. and another at midnight. The important decision here is not which fireworks show you’ll go see (clearly the answer should be both), but which location will afford you the best view. Obvious choices include the Battleship New Jersey (62 Battleship Place. 856.966.1652., which hosts a yearly party, and the Blue Cross River Rink (531 N. Columbus Blvd. 215.925.7465. where you can watch while dragging your uncoordinated ass around a slab of ice. A warmer option for the evening show is the Independence Seaport Museum (211 S. Columbus Blvd. 215.413.8655. open from 10 a.m. till 7 p.m. In addition to fun holiday activities for kiddos, they’ll open their second-floor terrace for fireworks viewing. (Our tip: Catch the 6 p.m. show from the pedestrian walkway of the Ben Franklin Bridge —open till 8 p.m. daily.) ■

Doing something fun on New Year’s Eve? Email tips to Erica Palan at

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