From family activities to adult-only celebrations, Memphis, Tennessee, offers a great selection of New Year's Eve events to help you ring in 2020. The city hosts countdown gatherings, prix-fixe fine dining and casual meals, live entertainment, dance parties with DJs, ice skating, and even a huge guitar drop. Make sure to plan your New Year's Eve in advance so you don't miss out on the party of the year.
Visitors and locals 21 and above can enjoy the countdown in the Beale Street Entertainment District, a National Historic Landmark declared the "Home of the Blues" by an act of Congress. The Downtown area is a fun place to party with tens of thousands of people at the annual New Year's Eve celebration starting at 10 p.m. on December 31, 2019. Ring in 2020 by dancing to live music by headliners and enjoying drinks and food.
One unique part of the Beale Street celebrations is the Guitar Drop, which entails a giant guitar falling on the corner outside the Hard Rock Cafe, after which fireworks brighten up the sky at midnight.
Experience Fine Holiday Dining
Plenty of Memphis restaurants offer fine dining on New Year's Eve, typically serving prix fixe menus and with reservations required; contact the businesses in advance for all the details.
The luxe French restaurant Erling Jensen, located in a more than 100-year-old house, is a good option for New Year's, as is Restaurant Iris, serving French-Creole cuisine in midtown. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is another nice choice, and various romantic restaurants are perfect for any special occasion, including New Year's Eve.
Enjoy Casual New Year's Eve Dining
For a more relaxed dining experience, try the city's more casual New Year's Eve dinners and some of Memphis' favorite establishments.
The Irish pub Celtic Crossing will offer a four-course dinner, champagne toast, and live music on December 31, 2019.
Meanwhile, Blind Bear Speakeasy pub on South Main Street downtown will host a "Roaring 20’s Back Again" event starting at 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve 2019, featuring a regular menu with vegetarian options, Brimstone Jones performing rock and blues, and party favors from tiaras to noisemakers.
Watch Live Music
Memphis is the music city—home of the blues and the birthplace of rock 'n' roll—so it's no surprise that many of the New Year's Eve events revolve around great bands.
Lafayette's Music Room is usually busy on New Year's Eve. Celebrate the coming of 2020 with live music by Pearl and Walrus. The event for those 21 and over offers VIP tickets which get you community seating, appetizers, and a bubbly toast at midnight.
For 2019, check out Railgarten's New Year's Eve event which will feature live music by Star & Micey, and drink specials. Or watch the live performances by Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Aquarian Blood, and Hash Redactor—along with DJs Damp Velour and Dark Allie—at HiTone.
Young Avenue Deli will host Spaceface's laser rock show for New Year's Eve 2019, which will include a champagne toast at midnight and giveaways.
A special celebration will honor not only the new year but the 20th anniversary of Y2K, when it was believed by some that the world would end due and a computer flaw known as the "Millennium Bug" would wreak major havoc to computers on the last day of 1999. The Y2K New Year's Dance Party at Rec Room on December 31, 2019, will go from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and feature a live DJ, end-of-the-world themed drink specials, and plenty of dancing at this arcade bar known for its craft beer.
The Peabody—known as the "South's Grand Hotel" and one of downtown Memphis' most historic hotels dating back to 1869—hosts one of the city's biggest New Year's Eve parties every year for adults 21 and above. For 2019, the hotel will have live entertainment by Almost Famous and Seeing Red, along with DJ Epic. Expect plenty of dancing, drinks, and fun. VIP tickets include access to a VIP Lounge, unlimited champagne, appetizers, and party favors.
Some of the arts and entertainment district Overton Square's various bars, music venues, and restaurants will have individual events to ring in 2020, like Lafayette's Music Room.
In the Tower Courtyard, the cultural district itself will also host a 2019 NYE Party which attracts many people to the square. Celebrants hop in and out of the area's bars and restaurants and partake in the street countdown to midnight.
For those looking for a different way to celebrate, head about 30 minutes by car from Memphis to Olive Branch, Mississippi, where you'll find the indoor ice rink Mid-South Ice House hosting a New Year's Eve Cosmic Skate Party. Bid farewell to 2019 with your friends at this family-friendly event from 7:15 to 10:00 pm. Arriving early gives you a better chance to be one of the first 100 people who will receive free glow sticks.