When it's time for a new year and new adventures, Colorado's ready to celebrate.
If you're in Colorado over New Year's Eve and looking to make it a memorable night, here are five of our favorite, annual midnight celebrations across the state. While the specifics about these parties change every year, these are some of Colorado's regular, big celebrations.
Tip: Book your tickets and especially your hotel rooms well in advance, because these parties can sell out quickly.
1. Get Indulgent in Denver
If you're in Denver, you can always find over-the-top New Year's Eve celebrations, often complete with fireworks. Tavern has held great parties in the past, such as a Seven Deadly Sins: Indulgence Party in downtown. This adult-only event included special drinks, a balloon drop, raffle prizes and more. The bar shots off fireworks from its rooftop at midnight.
Kevin Larson Productions is known for its extravagant parties that draw huge crowds. Every New Year's, Kevin Larson Productions holds the White Rose Gala, a 1920s-themed, Great Gatsby-style party. Pull out your flapper dresses and feather headbands to dance the year away to live jazz and swing music. While the era remains the same year after year (who doesn't want to time travel to a speakeasy for a night?), the entertainment is always fresh.
Don't want to dress up? This isn't the party for you. No jeans are allowed. Event organizers say 95 percent of the attendees come dressed to the nines. The costumes complement the decor; Kevin Larson is known to go all out.
Want to make the night extra special? Consider going VIP, which comes with a private bar, private bathrooms and even a separate entrance. Skip the lines and usher in the new year in ultimate style.
If you're feeling the fancy flapper style, another Gatsby-esque NYE party is not far from Denver in Boulder. The historic Hotel Boulderado holds a 1920s-themed New Year's party every year, complete with live music, food, dancing, champagne toasts and more. Make sure you dress up. If you're lucky and can score a room in this elegant hotel, request a historic room, to keep the mood. Although these rooms are even older (they're decorated in the Victorian era), they make guests feel like they've traveled back in time and it adds to the mood.
2. Say Cheers in the Ski Towns
The ski towns are especially exciting over the New Year. You can always find an assortment of parties, big and small. In the past, a restaurant in Aspen held a fun James Bond theme bash that included Bollinger Champagne (what else?) and high-end small plates in a glitzy, Bond-like atmosphere. Aspen is always classy and has been known to draw celebs.
The St. Regis in Aspen is known for its service, style and sophistication, and it also has held glamorous New Year's parties in the past. One year's Midnight Masquerade Ball included dinner, an auction, live music and famous hosts, such as Academy Award-winning screenwriter, producer and director, Paul Haggis, fashion designer Donna Karan and polo player Nacho Figueras. This high-end event required black-tie attire.
Breckenridge also does New Year's Eve big, with its annual torchlight parade from the top of Peak 9 down to the village. Even if you're not in this mountainside parade (it's run by the Breckenridge Ski & Snowboard School), you can watch the glowing skiers slice down the mountain from the slopeside bars. The lights almost look like a landslide of falling stars. It's a magical way to end the year and welcome a new one. It's not as fancy as a black-tie party in Aspen, but it's an only-in-Colorado experience that's memorable in its own ways.
3. Celebrate with Your Taste Buds
If you don't want to get raucous, you can still celebrate big. With food. Many restaurants also offer late-night dinners and New Year festivities.
One good place to start: Check out Elway's steakhouse in downtown Denver. This restaurant, named after the Bronco's player John Elway, usually features a special New Year's Eve menu that may contain the likes of lobster salad, a USDA prime filet and Maine lobster and chocolate souffle with spiced vanilla Anglaise. All served with live music. Elway's is a favorite among locals who know about great cuts of meat.
4. Go South
Traveling down south? New Year's at the exquisite Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs is always big. Galas in the past have included a champagne toast and balloon drop at the stroke of midnight, after a late-night dinner and plenty of dancing. Ask about the Broadmoor's special New Year's Eve packages, too. You can typically score a good deal, well, for this luxurious hotel. Definitely make plans far in advance, because this is where everyone wants to be.
5. Get Fancy
If fancy is how you roll, Colorado's got black tie events, too. For a classy New Year's without lengthy lines, check out the Denver New Year's Eve Black Tie Party in downtown Denver. This annual event in The Grand Ballroom of the historic Sherman Street Event Center always sells out. Expect live music and multiple DJs, casino games and a fun confetti blast at midnight. Dress to impress and capture the memories at the photo booth.