Baltimore, Maryland, is a fabulous place to celebrate New Year's Eve, whether you prefer a lively night on the town, a romantic evening for two, or a laid-back celebration with the kids.
Ring in the new year in style with all kinds of festivities that entail fireworks, live music and dancing, family-friendly events, and more. Make your plans early, as some celebrations require reservations.
Many New Year's Eve events are scaled back or canceled in 2020–2021. Be sure to confirm the most up-to-date details with individual event organizers.
Duck the Dropping Ducks
There's a very different take on the holiday at Concord Point Park in Havre de Grace, Maryland, about a 45-minute drive from Baltimore. Havre de Grace hosts an annual Duck Drop celebration, in which a big wooden duck—in honor of the local waterfowl—is dropped into the water. The event also features fireworks and outdoor dancing to music by a local DJ.
For New Year's Eve 2020–2021, the entire event is happening virtually and revelers can join in from home. Watch the firework show, dance around your living to the music, and, of course, watch the duck drop in this uniquely local tradition.
Celebrate During the Day With Your Kids
For family-focused events specially designed for kids, try the Port Discovery Children's Museum's Noon Time New Year. The children's museum counts down to the new year—albeit 12 hours early—with activities including a juice and cookie toast, celebratory tunes, and more. With three floors of hands-on experiences, this is a great place to spend the afternoon with the kids.
The Maryland Science Center is also throwing a Midnight Noon celebration to help the kids ring in the new year. All of the exhibits at the Science Center are open to enjoy, plus special holiday activities leading up to the midday "countdown."
Entrance into either event is included with general admission into the respective museum. For New Year's Eve 2020–2021, tickets must be purchased online in advance with a reserved time slot.
Cruise the Harbor
Hornblower Cruises are canceled as of December 2020 until further notice.
One great way to spend New Year's Eve is aboard a boat on the Chesapeake Bay, the country's biggest estuary. These cruises typically offer a prime view of the fireworks at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Hornblower Cruises ventures through the harbor for the countdown to the new year with a holiday buffet, open bar, champagne, live DJ entertainment, and dancing. Guests must be 21 or older, and advance reservations are required.
Party the Night Away
The NYE Live! event at the Power Plant is canceled for 2020–2021.
NYE Live! at the Power Plant keeps partygoers busy until the ball drops. This event for ages 21 and up includes several bars, food, champagne toasts, music, party favors, laser shows, dancing, and a midnight showing of the Times Square Ball Drop on two 20-foot LED screens.
The Power Plant complex is located next to the Inner Harbor, so guests have convenient access to transportation, parking, restaurants, and hotels.
Ring in the New Year With Fireworks
Baltimore's New Year's Eve Spectacular is canceled for 2020–2021.
After having a late dinner at one of the city's great restaurants, head over to the Inner Harbor to watch the free show. Ring in the new year at Baltimore's New Year's Eve Spectacular with family and friends watching the colorful fireworks fill the sky above downtown Baltimore and enjoying live entertainment.
Metro SubwayLink and Light RailLink service are usually extended for one hour after the fireworks display.
Join an Enchanted Forest Moonlight Masquerade
The New Year's Eve Gala Masquerade Ball is canceled for 2020–2021.
Charm City Countdown at the Hilton BWI Airport Hotel in Linthicum Heights (about a 15-minute drive from Baltimore) has a masquerade-themed party for New Year's Eve.
Those 21 and up can enjoy tasty food, drinks from multiple bars, a balloon drop, a champagne toast, live entertainment, karaoke, and beyond. Guests can experience a Venetian Masquerade Ball with music and dance, with everything elaborately decorated in the year's theme. Dress elegantly for the red carpet in cocktail attire or just wear your favorite mask or costume.
Thrill to a Murder Mystery
As of December 2020, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is closed until further notice.
Though you'll have to travel about two hours by car to get to Cumberland from Baltimore, the New Year's Eve Murder Mystery Trains are a special treat. Guests aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad watch a show, have dinner, and be part of a free champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight, all while trying to solve a murder mystery puzzle.
Party on at Big Night Baltimore
Big Night Baltimore is canceled for New Year's Eve 2020–2021.
Also on the Inner Harbor, Big Night Baltimore at The Radisson Baltimore Inner Harbor, is an all-inclusive event with multiple party rooms, food and drink, bands, DJs, dancers, body painters, and a massive midnight celebration. Room discounts are available.