On the to-do list this week: 2020 is almost — actually, really, truly — over. And we have everything you need to see this year out: Parties, punch, and a bunch of virtual ball drops to mark the moment of midnight. Oh, and we also have a compelling argument for why you should skip making a resolution this year. To a better 2021, everyone.
And remember: We’ve collected our best articles with our best Philly tips. They’re in one place here.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.
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🤑 When will I get the next stimulus check? by Erin Arvedlund
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So, New Year’s — like everything else — is different this year. No fireworks over the Delaware, no Mummers parade. But all is not lost. Our New Year’s Eve Guide has everything you need for a sparkly way to end this not-so-sparkly year.
Watch a virtual ball drop. Pennsylvania has a wealth of weird ball drops, including pants, peeps, and a giant bologna. Some have been canceled (no pickle this year), but others are hosting virtual drops, so you can watch them in your pajamas without braving the cold. Get the full list and links here.
Go to a virtual party. Think of it as a regular party, except the drinks are cheaper and you can take off your shoes when they start to hurt your feet (or skip the shoes entirely). Find a party to suit your style here.
Celebrate with the kids. Both Franklin Square and the Please Touch Museum have kiddo-friendly NYE parties planned, and they’re both virtual and early, so you can toast the New Year and still get the kids to bed on time. Details here.
Go outside. Ice skating is still on at the Blue Cross RiverRink and Dilworth Park. Both have rentable skates and designated areas for seasonal food and drinks, plus nice views of the Delaware river and City Hall, respectively. (Blue Cross RiverRink: $5 for admission, $10 for skate rental, through March 7, delawareriverwaterfront.com; Dilworth Park: $5-14 for skating; $10 for skate rental, through Feb. 28, centercityphila.org)
Make a fancy drink. Sure, you could buy some Champagne (bubbly is always nice). Or you could make punch, even if it’s for a small soiree for one or two. As W. Carrie Allan writes, “I’ve still found myself wanting to indulge in punch-making, almost as a gesture of hope.” Allan has a roundup of scaled-back punch recipes for New Year’s, including Pomegranate Fizz, Stocking Clementine, and the punniest punch of them all, A Pear-tridge in a Chai Tea. Get the recipes here.
» READ MORE: Your complete guide to New Year’s 2021 in Philly
Stay safe, do stuff
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
❄️ Wintour Scavenger Hunt in Fairmount Park (Tour / in-person / outdoors / kid-friendly / free / ongoing) Fairmount Park Conservancy adds some free entertainment to a socially distant winter. Download the free GooseChase app to embark on scavenger hunts, tours and special missions while learning about the history, art and nature throughout East and West Fairmount Park. Those who complete all 80 missions get a free membership to Fairmount Park Conservancy. (Free, through March 19, myphillypark.org, add to calendar)
Thinking about a resolution? Maybe skip it. Elizabeth Wellington has some compelling reasons why resolutions just set us up to fail, especially this year.
Because they focus more on the endgame than the journey. And we often aim too big and abstract when we make resolutions, and fail to think about taking the tiny steps we need to take to make a change stick, says Geri-Lynn Utter, a Montgomery County-based clinical psychologist.
Because our routines have been thrown into chaos. “Because we were unable to rely on the things we normally did, we used a lot of energy worrying about failing,” Hersh said. “Now we run the risk of setting resolutions that are based on life returning back to normal. But we don’t have any idea what our normal will look like a year from now, six months from now, even three months from now.”
Focus on steady self-improvement, not lofty goals. Self-improvement is an every-day thing, as in moment to moment, not year to year, said Kerri Hanlon, owner of the Conshohocken-based online yoga studio, Yoga Home. “Our future is based on what we do in the present moment.”
If you feel infused with a burst of New Year energy, what can you actually do on January 1? Here’s what’s open in the Philly region:
Grocery stores: Many are open, including Whole Foods, Acme, Giant and Sprouts. Trader Joe’s, Aldi and the Reading Market are closed.
Pharmacies: Many are open, though the pharmacy department might not be. Call first.
Liquor stores: All locations of Fine Wines and Good Spirits will be closed.
Retail: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Lowe’s will all be open. Most malls are open, though The Shops at Liberty Place will be closed.
Transit: SEPTA and PATCO are both running on reduced schedules.
There is no: mail and package delivery, trash pickup. And banks will be closed.
We’ve been answering questions about COVID-19 for 10 months now, questions like When do I replace my face mask?, Can I get the flu and the coronavirus at the same time? and How can I wear a mask and not fog up my glasses?
We break down all the answers to your questions. And we’ve collected all of our stories at inquirer.com/covid-tips