There was a time in Philadelphia when speaking of New Year's Day meant only the Mummers. All things pointed that way, and there was little else save family party time.
But cultural and entertainment organizations of the city and region have changed the landscape by offering myriad things to do, inside and outside, highbrow and just plain fun.
The Mummers still sway through most of New Year's Day itself (see adjacent story), but with this year's extended weekend, there are fetes galore, and even chances for fun with friends on break for the next week.
Atlantic City. The holidays once offered little action in the casinos, but now there is a variety of headline entertainment. Here is a sampling:
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa offers Seth Meyers, head writer and Weekend Update czar on Saturday Night Live, who will make his Atlantic City debut on New Year's Eve (Saturday night) at 7 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $75 and available at 800-298-4200 or at the box office.
Caesars Atlantic City is jumping with Mary J. Blige, the hip-hop and soul singer, who will be doing her My Life album in its entirety at 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets, $65-$130. New Year's Eve (Saturday) at 11 p.m., it's the Goo Goo Dolls. Tickets: $75-$125. Information: 1-800-736-1420.
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City is offering a classic casino New Year's Eve with Don Rickles, the master put-down comic. He appears at 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $55-$85. Information: 1-800-736-1420.
Tropicana Casino and Resort has a pip of a New Year's Eve planned, with legendary singer Gladys Knight performing Saturday at 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $50-$100. Ticketmaster online.
Skating opportunities. Chances are, when Citizens Bank Park was built, no one was exactly thinking about when he or she could ice-skate there. Well, now there is the chance to skate where the Flyin' Hawaiian and J-Roll do their summer slides for the Phillies.
On Tuesday, and Saturday, Jan. 7, the Flyers will host public skating sessions (seven hour-long sessions in all) on the ice rink that has been constructed for the National Hockey League Winter Classic.
Pirouettes and hip checks will not come cheap, though. Each session costs $60, $50 for children 2 and older. (Non-skaters get in for $10.) There will be no skate rentals, so it's BYOS (Bring Your Own Skates).
Similarly, Center City's two indoor light shows will continue through Saturday, for free. Macy's has added nearly 100,000 LEDs in the 55th year of the Christmas Light Show in Center City's Wanamaker Building, accompanied by the venerable Wanamaker Organ.