8 Ways to Ring In the New Year

8 Ways to Ring In the New Year

New Year’s Eve! The occasion practically begs for silly hats, slinky dresses, champagne by the jeroboam, noisy revelry and midnight smooches. But if you want something that’s a bit different, check out the venues in our holiday round-up. Many of them include the standard party accessories, but all of them emphasize fun – a good change-of-pace from squeezing into a loud and crowded bar, or milling around someone’s living room.


They take New Year’s Eve seriously at PEEPSFEST – so much so that it takes two days to fit everything in! The family-centric festival takes place at SteelStacks, on December 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on December 31 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m..

The final day will feature Dave Fry and magician Eddy Ray; music demonstrations; fairy and wizard wand-making; face-painting; tie-dyeing; performances by the Little Rockers band; a mascot dash, and way more fun stuff than we have room to list.

But things move into high gear at 4:30 p.m. as We Kids Rock get everyone fired up for the PEEPS chick drop at 5:15 p.m.. The lighted iconic figure (standing 4-1/2 feet tall and weighing 85 pounds) slides down a pole to help send 2015 on its way. A round of fireworks caps off the evening. Check out the full schedule at steelstacks.org.

Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Pack up your skis for some family-friendly indoor and outdoor fun. Hit the slopes for open skiing until midnight (tubing until 10 p.m.), or dance the night away in the lodge, with a DJ from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., party favors, three different bars, fireworks before midnight – to accommodate families, group sales manager Jake Henschel said – party favors, and more. Ask about hotel room availability. Visit bcmountainresort.com for more information.

Downtown Allentown

Center-city will be jumping on New Year’s Eve. Miriam Huertas, senior vice president, Allentown Initiatives for event sponsor the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, welcomes everyone to this community event.

Take advantage of the many fine eateries downtown and then go to Center Square at 10 p.m. for a free performance by the B. C. Combo, featuring Bev Conklin. There will be activities for the youngsters, as well as fireworks at midnight (from the Wells Fargo building, a new location) and a Liberty Bell drop at midnight. Get up-to-date info at downtownallentown.com.


The last night of the year often presents a quandary for parents – hire a sitter? Take the kids? Just stay home and miss all the fun? KidsQuest has the solution.

While the adults enjoy all that the Sands Casino has to offer, the youngsters can romp through a winter wonderland at KidsQuest. Manager Danielle Robinson said the facility will have a “Polar Express” theme. There’s plenty to do all day and all night long – triple-story play pieces, scavenger hunts, relay races, a “snowman dress-up” relay, karaoke, arts’n’crafts, free-play arcade games and much more.

But there’s also a balloon drop at midnight, with hats, streamers, noisemakers, “snacktivities,” and other events to make the evening really special.

Robinson added that KidsQuest stresses non-violent, education-based activities, and features double-gated security and barcode ID for each guest. Rates are $11.00 per child for the first hour, and subsequent quarter-hours are billed incrementally; pay when you leave. Get more information at kidsquest.com.


Looking for a more-healthful alternative to a night of drinking and eating? Then consider signing up for ArtsQuest’s 6th annual PEEPSFEST 5K, at 1 p.m. The route begins and ends at SteelStacks, and takes you through the north and south sides of the city. Each participant gets samples of various PEEPS products; the first 500 registrants also receive a PEEPSFEST™ 5K long sleeve t-shirt. There’s also an awards ceremony, on the TD Bank community stage, at 2:15 p.m. (time approximate). Admission Fee: $30 before December 22, $35 day of the event. Runners can register in advance at active.com, or at the Bethlehem visitor center, 711 E. First St., Bethlehem. Info: steelstacks.org.

The Red Elvises New Year’s Eve Spectacular

Perennial crowd-pleasers “Igor and the Red Elvises” return to the Musikfest Café on December 31 at 9 p.m. (doors open for dinner at 8 p.m.). Fronted by Igor Yuzov, the international party band will perform its (un)usual mix of funk rock, surf, rockabilly, reggae, folk rock, disco and traditional Russian music. Expect to be surprised! For details, visit steelstacks.org.

Sands Bethlehem

While the little ones are at KidsQuest, spend your New Year’s Eve rockin’ out to the sounds of “the Geator with the Heater,” “the Big Boss with the Big Hot Sauce,” the one-and only Jerry Blavat. The legendary Philly broadcasting figure appears at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, supported by DJ Joel. The package includes a cocktail reception; a three-course dinner; dancing and open bar all night long. $125 per person. For more info, visit pasands.com.

Swim In Zone

No need to stay up late to have fun – Swim In Zone’s party runs from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A single $40 charge covers a family of five (additional guests: $7 per person), and includes swimming, pizza, beverages, kid-friendly activities, a “cannonball countdown,” party favors and more. Bring an appetizer, dessert or snack for the potluck meal at 6 p.m.. Sign-up forms and additional information are on the website: swim-inzone.com.

Photo by Ryan Hulvat

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