Maybe the idea of spending the year-end holidays — those days usually reserved for home, hearth, friends and family — in a den of inequity, gambling and drinking, seems weird or sad. Then again, maybe you should buck up, since casinos are where all the action, fun and frenzy occur. And, you can bring the family — what kid doesn’t like dice and roulette?
Here’s a quick look at what casinos between Atlantic City and the Philadelphia area have prepared for your Christmas and New Year’s.
Burlesque Holiday Show
Before you start yearning for an old-fashioned Santa and some elves, the Borgata goes for an old-school showcase of its own with classic vaudeville blackout skits, variety show acts (e.g., jugglers, magicians), and risqué (but not too ribald) burlesque-themed dance production numbers with feathers and folderol.
Thursday, Dec. 27 – Monday, Dec. 31 at The Music Box at the Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ. theborgata.com
$100,000 New Year’s Eve Sweepstakes and Racing
Here’s an all-day gambling paradise: get to Parx Casino in Bensalem between now and the 31st, and you can sign upto win up to $2,000 free slot play. Then, on New Year’s Eve, from 4 pm to 1am, lucky guests will be selected every hour to win $200 free slot plays with the highest entry earner among the winning 40 guests will be selected each hour to win $2,000 free slot plays. Plus, there is live horse racing as Parx Race track starting at 12:30 pm that same day.
Monday, Dec. 31, at Parx Casino and Race Track, 2999 Street Rd, Bensalem, PA. parxcasino.com
New Year’s Eve with War
This isn’t some sort of loud battle cry, despite the ferocious fireworks on the Boardwalk that night. War, the 70s rollicking rocking R&B act famous for “Low Rider” and “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” are onboard, live, throughout the evening.
Monday, Dec. 31, Tropicana Atlantic City, 2831 Boardwalk Atlantic City, NJ. tropicana.net
Holidays at a Philly or Atlantic City casino near you
Three Days of Hard Rock Holiday
For the first holiday season of the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City since its summer’s inception, they’ve got a broad, wide ranging selection of acts and several big names to represent them. On Dec. 28, they’re commencing their run up to New Year’s Even with Philly-born comedian, actor, and one-time (for a day?!) Academy Awards host, Kevin Hart. Frankly, at this point, it doesn’t get bigger than that. On December 30, Hard Rock hosts the alternative rock-lite sounds of Breaking Benjamin. Then for the big NYE mammoo, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers and one-time recording artists for Gamble & Huff’s smooth R&B-based Philly International Records, The O’Jays, will join forces with the brickhouse funk of The Commodores for a hot lead off into 2019. Impressive, that.
Friday, Dec. 28 through Monday, Dec. 31, Hard Rock Casino and Hotel, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City. hardrockhotels.com/atlantic-city
2019 New Year’s Eve Bash
The private area VIP tickets are already sold out for this one, but don’t be too discouraged. SugarHouse Casino’s NYE bash still offers premium liquor and food options with cover band favorites, the Rockets, on board until 1 am. Plus you don’t have to be a VIP to get a premium look-see at the Penn’s Landing fireworks.
Monday, December 31 at SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia. sugarhousecasino.com
Premiere Nightclub’s Run-up to NYE
Beyond the good booze and the right company, if you wanted to pack a room for a swinging party, you’d hire a great, dynamic DJ. Well, Premiere booked four of the tops in the dance music field — from EDM to hip-hop soul – for the extended holiday. Along with the legendary Tiesto, and nightly features from RL Grimes and Gryffin, New Year’s Eve stars DJ Mustard who just happens to be on top of the world what with producing R&B sensation Ella Mai.
Thursday, Dec. 27 – Monday, Dec. 31 at Premiere Nightclub at the Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City. theborgata.com