Phila. offers many options for New Year's Eve

December 31, 2011 4:30:25 PM PST
There is a lot going on in and around the city over the holiday weekend, and beyond - and the folks in the tourism industry are loving it.

The city really sparkles on New Year's Eve," said Cara Schneider of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation.

Philadelphia is already packed with overnight guests and day trippers. And it helps that New Year's Eve falls on a Saturday night. Hotel rooms are hard to find.

"Hotel bookings are strong. Doesn't hurt that this is a Saturday night, but Philadelphia is a place that people want to be, and New Year's Eve is almost sold out," said Schneider.

As for places to go Saturday night , the Tavern on Broad in Center City offered packages starting at $80, but they've quickly sold out.

If you desire something more intimate than an open bar with 1000 people, tourism experts suggest Amis at 13th and Waverly streets.

Prime times are booked but if you are flexible, you may be able to find a time that fits.

"You can walk into a lot of places early, you can walk in here around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m," said Mark Vetri.

Among the many options down at the shore, Caesars Casino in Atlantic City is gearing up for its big bash.

Revelers will enjoy grand decorated ballrooms with a winter tribute theme and live shows including the band the Goo-Goo Dolls.

Along with the parties and other festivities, the big splash is always fireworks on the Delaware.

On the river at the iconic Moshulu they still have openings for their early seating from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Diners will be able to go topside to catch the 6:00 p.m. fireworks and the cost $100 per person for a four course meal.

When the midnight fireworks pop off, cruise the Spirit of Philadelphia. For $226, attendees get dinner, open bar and a four hour cruise starting at 8:30 p.m.

Perhaps the most remarkable seat to be had is aboard a chopper belonging to Independence Helicopters.

For roughly an hour in the air, you can get a birds eye view of the city and the fireworks, all for a hefty price tag of $800 for three people.

Topping things off on New Year's Day, the Mummer's Parade is always the biggest draw with visitors coming from near and far.

And that's exactly what the city is hoping for, happy visitors spreading the word.