Next to Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve is the most celebrated (party) night in the U.S. And for good reason. Reflecting and saying goodbye to the past year and welcoming in the new year is always exciting. Add atmosphere, good food, good spirits, and good people to the mix and well you get one heck of a good time.
What to expect
Many of the big cities in the U.S. do the night up big, but all celebrations are a little different. From the center of Times Square in New York to the craziness of Las Vegas. It all starts on the East Coast and the magic hour of midnight rolls to the west across the U.S., culminating in celebrations in Los Angeles on the West Coast and in Hawaii.
I have been celebrating (partying) New Year’s Eve for a good 25+ years now. Although this list is from my experiences I think I know a little something about having a good time 🙂 I’ve partied in several different cities and had a ball. Even tho I consider myself old now (45) there is no indication of me stopping the new year’s celebration.
Fun for Both Families & Couples
If you are traveling with family/kids you will always find family fun. If you are traveling solo or coupled and like more of a party atmosphere then there is that as well. In fact most big cities offer packages that will include buffet style or passed hors d’oeuvres, 4 to 5 hour open bar, and some even include 1 night hotel stays.
I’m sure you are tired of hearing about my old ass talk so here is my list…
Orlando is great for both families and party goers. Take your family to disney world. Warm Florida in December will always be a good choice. Disney world has family packages available that include hotel stay and food. You and the family will enjoy a laser show as well as fireworks and other cool events.
If you are without the family and look to have a little more adult fun then there are places for that as well. Just off the top of my head I know the popular nightlife spot “Howl at the Moon” is offering a $65 cover for a 3.5 hr open bar from 9pm to 12am along with a DJ and live performances. One80 Skytop Lounge in Orlando is also offering an open bar and seating deal which is around $89 if you act now or $109 per person at the door. These are the two popular adult parties but there definitely are more out there for you to find.
4.) Las Vegas
Yes Vegas is a wild and fun time. It is 4th on the list because of the amount of people and the insane prices. Yes I am a people person and I love crowds. However when there are thousands upon thousands of people willing to pay whatever to get in that’s just too much. It then becomes a supply and demand type thing where people pay thousands for a table and hundreds in cover charges. I still had an awesome time in Vegas nonetheless.
The roster of high-rolling activity on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is exhaustive, with blockbuster shows and loads of parties. The entire Las Vegas Strip is shut down to traffic, and it becomes like one giant block party for more than 300,000 people. At midnight, the casinos launch a choreographed fireworks display which I have to say it is pretty awesome.
One of the more popular Vegas parties is the Las Vegas Pub Crawl. Partying under the Eiffel Tower, looking over the Bellagio fountains and Las Vegas Strip, enjoying a three-hour premium open bar and fireworks in the sky! You also have a host to shuffle you from bar to bar with no line no wait and no cover. You have an exclusive 2 hour pregame with drink specials at the additional bars before ending up at Chateau nightclub. All for the low price of $129 per person. That price isn’t bad at all considering drinks are usually $20 a piece any other night.
3.) New Orleans
I love New Orleans not for the party but definitely for the food. That’s not to say it wasn’t fun because it definitely was. For the biggest party in the city, head down to Jackson Square, and then spend New Year’s Eve partying on Bourbon Street, listening to jazz music, carrying your drinks around, random make outs if you’re lucky and much more.
And because New Orleans does everything a little differently, at midnight, “Baby New Year” will drop from its perch on the top of Jax Brewery (shops and restaurant area, not beer) followed by a fireworks show over the Mississippi and continued partying in the French Quarter.
The Maison on Frenchman Street is having their signature New Years package. 3 hr open bar at this 3 floor nightlife spot. Complete with live bands downstairs and a DJ on the 3rd floor. $100 per person however the bar is only open til 1am but if you are still standing you can always make it over to Bourbon street.
2.) New York City
First let me start by saying I love NYC! I know I said earlier about the amount of people however I don’t go to Time Square for the ball drop for that specific reason. There are so many bars, clubs, rooftops to enjoy new years. But I will get to that in a moment.
New York City is, hands down, the most famous place to spend New Year’s Eve in the United States, thanks to the legendary party thrown in Times Square. Millions join in by television to watch the countdown in Times Square culminated by the New Year’s Eve ball drop. But, there are many cool ways to spend New Year’s Eve in New York, even if you aren’t standing in the middle of Times Square.
I know this sounds crazy but the biggest Applebee’s in the world is in NYC and they happen to host a pretty decent New Years Eve all inclusive party! Their party starts at 8:00 pm. Prices are high! They start at $399 for adults $250 for kids and $499 for the VIP experience. These prices include premium chef selection, premium open bar, DJ, dance floor, live entertainment and the ability to have private table service to avoid the bigger crowds.
Not everyone wants to drop that type of coin per person so there are cheaper options at other places where you’d have just as much fun. The going rate per person to enjoy New Years Eve at a bar or nightclub with open bar and VIP Access ranges between $150 – $275 per person.
1.) Los Angeles
No surprise here – I’ve lived in Southern California on and off for well over 10 years, I was a Hollywood club promoter for years. I mean hell I even had my business name legally trademarked as Hollywood Wil.
Los Angeles offers cool California breezes for ringing in the new year. It’s also the place to be if you want to check out the time-honored New Year’s Day tradition of the Tournament of Roses Parade in nearby Pasadena. Escape to L.A., and experience a warmer New Year’s Eve. There are Los Angeles New Year’s Eve Celebrations ranging from Cleopatra’s Ball at the famed Egyptian Theater to EVE at the Universal Studios in Hollywood.
Or head over to Marina del Rey for a Glow Party and fireworks. This free, family-friendly event will have fun activities like DJs, a circuit breaker robot, face painting, fun with bubbles, photo booth, giveaways, food trucks, and fireworks. You can watch the spectacular fireworks from Burton W. Chace Park where the event takes place, from Fisherman’s Village, or the many waterfront restaurants in Marina del Rey.
If you are adults wanting that party lifestyle then LA / Hollywood is the place to be. Prices start at $150 per person which guarantees you 3 to 5 hr open bar, VIP entrance, seating, and depending on the place a buffet.
One of the more popular and affordable parties (if you are on a budget) is the Hollywood NYE all access party. The registration point is at the Madame Siam on Hudson where you will sign up and enjoy access there as well as Lure, Le Jardine, Peppermint Club, Blind Dragon, and 40 Love. This price is an unbelievable $99 dollars…I know right!
The higher end “A list” parties the prices will be considerably higher. So whether you have a budget or not you will find something awesome to do in any of these 5 fun filled cities. Thank you for checking out my blog and feel free to leave a comment if ya want.
Stay tuned for more cool content such as my travel videos and top ten lists of random things/places…