10 Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve 2018 in Washington, D.C.

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    Best New Years Entertainment in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia

    Photo by Ira Heuvelman-Dobrolyubova

    No plans for New Year’s Eve? The Washington, D.C. area has lots of New Year's Eve celebrations ranging from a lively night of partying to romantic dining and entertainment to family-friendly events. Following are suggestions and details of some of the best ways to ring in the New Year in Washington, D..C, Maryland or Northern Virginia. Many events require reservations, so be sure to call ahead and check on specific schedules.

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    Take a Cruise Along the Potomac River

    Odyssey on Potomac River
    Courtesy of Spirit Cruises

    Take a cruise along the Potomac River on the Odyssey or the Spirit of Washington. Enjoy an unforgettable New Year's Eve with an evening of dining and dancing while taking in skyline views of Washington, D.C. This is a great way to enjoy a romantic evening with someone special or to gather a small group of friends to party the night away. Read more about Washington, D.C. Cruises.

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    Take the Whole Family to a First Night Event

    Kids on New Years Eve
    © Blend Images

    First Nights and family-friendly events celebrating the New Year are held in Annapolis, Maryland, and several towns in Northern Virginia: Alexandria, Falls Church, Winchester, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Williamsburg, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville.   Enjoy live music and entertainment by a wide variety of local performers and fireworks at some of the events. For all the details, see a guide to Family Friendly New Year's Eve Events Near Washington, D.C.

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    Party the Night Away at a New Year’s Eve Gala

    © CaiaImage/Getty Images

    Washington, D.C. hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs host some the region's liveliest parties, many with open bar and a wide variety of music and entertainment. Tickets may sell out so it is a good idea to plan ahead. Book a room at one of these hotels and enjoy a safe night of celebration. For all of the details, see Washington, D.C. New Year's Eve Parties and Hotel Specials.

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    Celebrate with Fireworks

    Photo © Victor Wolansky courtesy of Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association

    Start the year out with a bang! Brave the cold weather and the crowds, celebrate at one of the region's fireworks displays. Most events are family-friendly and include a full evening of activities.  For all the details, see 5 New Year's Eve Fireworks Displays Near Washington, D.C.

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    Enjoy New Year's Eve Dining Specials

    Photo © Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

    Looking for a quiet, romantic New Year's Eve? Enjoy a nice meal at one of the Washington, DC area's top restaurants. Many restaurants offer special menus and entertainment. Most require advance reservations. For all of the details, see New Years Eve Dining in Washington, D,C,, Maryland and Virginia

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    Enjoy Live Music or Theater

    Photo © DC Jazz Festival

    Washington, D.C. is a prime venue for live entertainment so why not enjoy some great music on this special night. Attend a concert such as A Jazz New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center,  a New Orleans-style performance at the Hamilton, or a lively party at Georgetown's Washington Harbour. Advanced tickets are required and often sell out. See the schedule for a variety of live performances.


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    Party the Night Away on the Georgetown Waterfront

    Georgetown WDC
    Jim Vecchione / Getty Images

    Attend a New Year's Eve party on the Georgetown Waterfront, take in awesome views of the Potomac River and enjoy a variety of food, drink, and entertainment. The restaurants along Washington Harbour join together to offer a special party package including food, drinks, music and more. Read more about Washington Harbour.


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    Dance the Night Away at a Washington, D.C. Nightclub

    Photo © Yuji Kotani/Getty Images

    The Washington, D.C. area has a wide variety of nightclubs ranging from large multi-level spaces with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems and multiple dance floors to small and cozy spots with live entertainment. All of the bars and nightclubs are buzzing with activity on New Year's Eve. Ring in the New Year while dancing the night away and if you've had too much to drink, call SoberRide to get a free ride home.

    For information on the region's hottest party spots, see a guide to Washington, D.C.’s Nightclubs.

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    Party at a Washington, D.C. Sports Bar

    Photo © ultramarinfoto/Getty Images

    Watch the clock strike 12:00, ring in the New Year while gathering around a large screen TV at one of Washington, D.C.’s sports bars. Enjoy a drink and some munchies while watching the ball drop in Times Square. For more options, see a guide to Washington, D.C. Bars and Nightlife.

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  • 11 of 11

    Party at a Casino Resort


    Enjoy the excitement of playing slots, blackjack, roulette, craps or poker and celebrate the New Year at the new MGM National Harbor or Maryland Live! Casino with a countdown to Midnight including a live viewing of the Times Square Ball Drop in New York City. The casinos have a variety of great dining venues and live entertainment.

    Would you prefer some alternate locations? See also, a guide to Casinos and Gambling Near Washington, D.C.

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