New Year’s family-friendly events in Philadelphia

Family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration in Franklin Square
Bring the kids to Franklin Square for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
Jeff Fusco

If you’re looking to find something to do with the kiddos to ring in 2023, here are 3 New Year’s family-friendly events in and close to Philadelphia to check out for both Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Peepfest

When New Year’s comes around, families wonder what fun activities they can do with their kids, and Peepfest is the perfect answer. The two-day event features a 4-foot, 9-inch tall, 400-pound, giant yellow light-up PEEP and plenty of the other sweet treats to go around. 

Taking place just a short drive away in the Lehigh Valley, Peepfest also features live music and entertainment, a fun run/walk, and fireworks. There are also tickets available for ice skating at the SteelStacks ice rink nearby.

And the best part? The big “Peep Drop” happens at 5:30 p.m., so plenty of time to pack it in early and still celebrate in a special way. According to a release, for those looking to spend the night, nearby accommodations include the modern Hyatt Place Bethlehem, The Sayre Mansion, the Historic Hotel Bethlehem along with nearby stays at the contemporary Renaissance Allentown among other options. 

Peepfest officially kicks off Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 from 3 – 6 p.m. Tickets are required and cost $5 per person. Kids under 12 get a Just Born Quality Confections goodie bag and a coupon for a free s’mores kit as well.

New Year's family-friendly events
Families enjoy festivities at Peepsfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Jeff Fusco/AP Images for Just Born Quality Confections

101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, steelstacks.org

White Dog Cafe Pajama Brunch

To celebrate the first day of the New Year, White Dog Cafe will bring back the annual New Year’s Day pajama brunch at their Philly and surrounding area locations. And yes, not only will the staff be adorned in their Sunday morning (and we mean very early morning) best, but patrons are also allowed to sport what they wore for bed—a fun treat for parents and kids.

As a release states, the a la carte brunch menu is the perfect place for your post-New Year’s Eve celebration whether you are enjoying the Hair of the Dog, one of their handcrafted seasonal mocktails, or a classic cage-free white omelet or avocado BLT. 

Additionally, White Dog features a seasonal menu that is based on sustainability by using ingredients from local farms no more than 50 miles from the restaurants. New Year’s Day Brunch is offered at all four White Dog Cafe locations (University City, Haverford, Wayne and Glen Mills) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Multiple locations, whitedog.com

Franklin Square 

According to a release, A Kids’ New Year’s Eve Countdown at Franklin Square might just be the most family-friendly celebration in town. On Saturday, Dec. 31, the event begins with crafts from 5 to 6 p.m. before the Square Drop at 6 p.m. and New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront will be viewable from the Square shortly after. Franklin Square will close on New Year’s Eve at 8 p.m.

While there, Philadelphians can also check out the Annual Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO. Each show will feature two songs being performed, with six options rotating. ‘All I want for Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey, ‘Feliz Navidad’ by José Feliciano and ‘A Christmas Festival’, performed by Peter Nero and The Philly POPS featuring Ann Hampton Callaway are among some of the soundtrack options. Beginning on Jan. 11 however, ‘Winter Wonderland’ by Johnny Mathis will be the solo song for each show running nightly through Feb. 26.

Jeff Fusco

200 N. 6th Street, historicphiladelphia.org

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