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).

Citizens Bank Park, 10th Street and Pattison Avenue. Schedule:

For a little less expensive alternative, head over to the Blue Cross RiverRink for the New Year's Eve Party on Ice. For the $9 weekend session admission and $3 skate rental, skaters can catch the fireworks shows over the Delaware for the early (5-7 p.m.) or late (11 p.m.-1 a.m.) sessions.

Blue Cross RiverRink, Columbus Boulevard and Market Street. Information: 215-925-7465,

Lighting up the skies - and other places. SugarHouse Casino is sponsoring the fireworks over the Delaware River this year, calling it Twice the Fireworks and Twice the Fun. Fireworks are scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday and then at midnight over Penn's Landing. The price is right - it's free.

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.

Christmas Light Show at Macy's, 1300 Market St. Information: 215-241-9000,

It may only be year four for the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, but it has already entered must-see-for-the-holidays status. Every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the 15-minute computerized show backed up by orchestral music will be displayed on the 2,000-square-foot wall at the Comcast Center.

Comcast Holiday Spectacular, 17th Street and JFK Boulevard. Information:

Indoors and, maybe, educational. The Independence Seaport Museum will open late Saturday, for fireworks viewing and to offer information on Philadelphia maritime history. The family event is scheduled for 4 to 6:30 p.m., with a sparkling cider toast and a chance to get up close to the fireworks on the museum's second-floor balcony. The Buccaneers Ball will begin at 8:30 p.m. with a swashbuckler-themed celebration of cocktails, dinner, dancing, and fireworks at midnight. The Rich Posmontier Band will perform. Dress is black tie optional.

Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S. Columbus Blvd. Information: 215-413-8655 for prices or go to

The Please Touch Museum has its annual Countdown to Noon for children on Saturday. The museum will be open from 9 a.m. and will have two early New Year's countdowns for those of a tender age, at noon and 1 p.m., along with the old Lit Brothers department store's Enchanted Colonial Village display.

Please Touch Museum, 4231 Avenue of the Republic. Entry with regular museum admission of $15; free for infants under age 1 and museum members. Information: 215-581-3181,

The Philadelphia Museum of Art's weekly Art After 5 goes New Year's this week, with cocktails and art in the New Year's Eve spirit. Celebrate your inner Cezanne on Friday after 5 p.m.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Entry with regular museum admission of $16; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older; $12 for students and children ages 12-18; free under age 12. Information: 215-763-8100.