December 20, 2017
The holidays drain wallets like your uncle downs eggnog. And even after dishing out cash for presents, decorations and ingredients for your favorite seasonal dishes, there's still often pressure to pony up upwards of $50 (and in some cases, much, much more) to party on New Year's Eve.
For many, this presents a conundrum. You don't want to be left out of your friends' plans, but you also don't want to pay the equivalent of a week's worth of groceries just to fight for drinks at a crowded open bar. I feel you. That's why I've compiled this list of cheap ($20 or less) or just free New Year's Eve parties in Philly.
In many cases, cheap or no cover means you'll be paying for your drinks throughout, but assuming you're the frugal type anyway, I'm confident you'll be able to find a way to ~responsibly~ consume enough alcohol.
Without further ado, here are some bargain-bin New Year's Eve parties in Philly.
What better way to celebrate the end of 2017 than with local music? Montgomery County native Kenny Vasoli (formerly of The Starting Line) will be performing with his Vacationer outfit. Opening for them will be a pair of local acts: Kings of Leon soundalikes Mo Lowda & the Humble and Commonwealth Choir. Tickets are $15, and first-come-first-serve at the door.
6 p.m.-2 a.m. | $15 per person
1210 Frankford Ave.
Get a club-like atmosphere without the club prices and a healthy dash of South Philly weirdness. The Dolphin is keeping it "very simple" with a $5 cover and $1 drinks. Oh, and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing.
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | $5
The Dolphin Tavern
1539 S. Broad St.
For you Manayunk Main Streeters, enjoy a free cover, complimentary party favors, $4 mixed drinks, $3 light beer bottles and a champagne toast at midnight.
9 p.m.-12 p.m. | Free
4301 Main St.
Seriously good pub food, two pool tables and the unique décor are usually enough to draw a crowd to the South Street bar. On NYE, there's no cover and half-priced drinks from 5-7 p.m. and from 10-11 p.m. Plus, there will be "creative" champagne cocktails.
5 p.m.-2 a.m. | Free
530 South St.
Two floors of sweaty hipster dancing for $20. DJs on both floors, with a focus on 1990s and 2000s rap and dance music upstairs. There's an open bar starting at 9 p.m. and continuing until supplies run out, and a free champagne toast at midnight. Below is a video from NYE at The Barbary from a much simpler time – 2012.
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | $20
951 Frankford Ave.
Two floors of sweaty hipster dancing for $10. Music will be mid-2000s emo (My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Brand New etc.). Oh, and $3 Citywides and $3 well drinks.
8 p.m.-2 a.m. | $10
Kun Fu Necktie
1248 N. Front St.
One floor of slightly more sophisticated, sweaty dancing for $10. The event page says "YOU drink what YOU want," which is a very dimplomatic way of saying there's no open bar but a cash one instead. There are $4 drink specials, including Yards beers, from 9-11 p.m. And of course, the diner is attached for drunk munchies.
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | $10
435 Spring Garden St.
There's no cover and there will be a DJ inside of a food cart, which is a pretty wild combination. Free Champagne at midnight. You're right across the street from Ray's Happy Birthday Bar for a post-midnight nightcap. You're also across the street from Pat's and Geno's, if that's your idea of a good cheesesteak.
9 p.m.-2 a.m. | Free
1231 E. Passyunk Ave.
Are you sensing a theme here? One floor of sweaty hipster dancing for $10. Several DJs performing throughout the night. They have Citywides!
10 p.m.-2 a.m. | $10
412 Girard Ave.