Best Places to Celebrate New Year's Eve in the US

New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular times of the year to go out and celebrate, saying goodbye to the past year and welcoming in the new year. 

All 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, we have ideas ​on how to celebrate New Year's Eve in the United States.

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. 

01 of 07

New York City

Crowds Celebrating New Year On Times Square
Nicolas Schild / EyeEm / Getty Images

New York City is, of course, the most famous place to spend New Year's Eve in the United States, thanks to the legendary party thrown on December 31st 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.

You can gather with friends in a glitzy or cozy bar or club. New Year's Eve at NYC's Bars and Clubs may take you to the romantic Le Budoir with Marie Antoinette-inspired decor, which was designed to look like the private chambers of the French Revolutionary queen herself. 

Or, check out the dance scene at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, offering an unpretentious dance party where you can get your groove on all night long, and come back for brunch the next day. 

There will be New Year's Eve Concerts and Shows to take in and there are even New Year's Eve Cruises. The Circle Line offers a cruise with food, drink, dancing to the DJ, and a great view of the harbor fireworks.

And, for the morning after there are great ideas for New Year's Day Brooklyn Brunch.

02 of 07

Los Angeles

A stock photo of fireworks over Downtown Los Angeles, California
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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.

03 of 07

Chicago

New Year's Eve Fireworks, Chicago
Leo Patrizi / Getty Images

Chicago is brrrrisk at New Year's, but they still throw some hot parties and offer some family fun, too. If you aren’t afraid of the chill, Chicago is a must-see on NYE.

Head to Navy Pier for family-friendly entertainment, rides, and attractions. At midnight, watch a kaleidoscope of fireworks perfectly synchronized to inspiring music over Lake Michigan.

And for something different, party at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The zoo will be decked out in millions of glittering lights. Plus, enjoy ice carving, cash bars serving beer, wine and champagne, a live DJ, giveaways, games, free carousel rides and more. Kids are welcome to the party. Tickets start at $10.

There are events in the large downtown hotels and clubs too.

04 of 07

Washington, D.C.

Traffic on the road with State Capitol Building in the background, Washington DC, USA
Panoramic Images / Getty Images

There are plenty of parties, balls, and bars for residents and visitors to enjoy in the nation's capital on New Year's Eve. Beyond the D.C. line, there are ​family-friendly First Night celebrations in Washington's nearby suburbs, including Old Town Alexandria.

New Year's Eve in Washington, D.C. is a spectacle with parties and specials at the large hotels and several fireworks displays.  

You can go out to dinner for New Year's Eve at Washington, D.C. restaurants, many of which offer tasting menus and champagne.

At the family-friendly First Night Alexandria and First Nights in Maryland and Virginia, you'll find live performances, great food, and fireworks at midnight, all with kids in mind. 

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Las Vegas

Series of fireworks in Las Vegas for a national holiday
franckreporter / Getty Images

The roster of high-rolling activity on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas is exhaustive, with blockbuster shows and loads of parties. Use this guide to the best nightclubs events, performances, and bars to check out on New Year's Eve.

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.

For an adventurous way to celebrate, Sundance Helicopters will have a limousine pick you up and take you to your helicopter, where you can toast the New Year with champagne as you fly over the Las Vegas Strip while fireworks go off below. 

06 of 07

Florida

White and gold fireworks explode over a blue and white Cinderella Castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom.
© The Walt Disney Company

Head down to Miami for a wild and glitzy New Year's Eve, or consider a New Year's Eve for the whole family at Disney World. Warm Florida is always a good choice for ringing in a new year.

If you are without the kids on New Year's Eve, you can find a New Year's Eve party in OrlandoPointe Orlando hosts adult-oriented parties at several of their venues. 

New Year's Eve at Universal Orlando Resort holds an annual New Year's Eve celebration, including non-stop dancing and entertainment throughout the night.

SeaWorld offers a musical celebration and fireworks display that's ideal for all ages. Throughout the park, you'll find interactive DJ stations, as well as craft beer and delicious food.

07 of 07

New Orleans

USA, Louisiana, New Orleans, Mississippi River and skyline illuminated at night
Henryk Sadura / Getty Images

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, and/or anticipating the Sugar Bowl. New Orleans is always up for a party, so New Year's Eve here is an easy choice.

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.

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