Guide to New Year's Eve in Phoenix: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

New Year's Eve Party
DreamPictures / Getty Images

Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is warm and sunny much of the year, making it a nice winter getaway with enticing desert landscapes to explore. Travelers will find Phoenix and nearby cities like Scottsdale, Glendale, and others offer plenty of ways to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Many resorts and restaurants in the Valley of the Sun throw a festive dinner with a champagne toast at midnight. If you're looking for a night of dancing and bubbly, family-friendly events, and alternative ways to ring in the New Year, Phoenix offers plenty to do.

Please note some of these events have been altered or canceled for 2020, so check below and event websites for details. In many cases, it is required to buy tickets online in advance.

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New Year’s Eve at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

jade bar at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
Courtesy of Sanctuary Camelback Mountain

At The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, about a 20-minute drive northeast from Phoenix, enjoy a sophisticated dinner celebration at elements restaurant. Choose from two prix fixe four-course seatings on December 31; the second includes a champagne toast at midnight. You can also welcome 2021 at the fashionable jade bar (open only to elements and resort guests). Sip on drinks by the fireplace and soak up beautiful views of Paradise Valley from the patio at jade bar.

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Comedy at Westgate Entertainment District

Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, AZ
Courtesy Westgate Entertainment District

For some holiday laughs on December 31, head to Westgate Entertainment District's Stir Crazy Comedy Club in Glendale, approximately 20 minutes northwest of Phoenix. Patrick Garrity, who has been on Comedy Night School with NBC and CBS, will perform in two shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m.

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New Year's Eve at The Royal Palms Resort and Spa

Bring in 2021 at the historic 1920s Royal Palms Resort and Spa at the base of Camelback Mountain, around 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix.

Make reservations for a great bash on December 31. Start with an elegant dinner at T. Cook’s, where you will feast on either a four-course menu or choose from the regular menu, along with a glass of champagne. Guests will also enjoy live music by the Joel Maze Trio, a jumbo clock countdown, and virtual fireworks. 

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NYE Kizomba Kultura Festival

Spend the holiday in a culturally enriching way at a lively African dance festival from December 31, 2020, through January 4, 2021, at GreenTree Inn & Suites Phoenix Sky Harbor, just 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix. The event highlights various African dance styles, including international and national kizomba, passada, semba, and coladeira. There will be workshops, social dancing, entertainers, pool parties, and other fun activities. Admission includes airport rides, breakfast each day, and wine at happy hours.

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AZ Baby Boomer's NYE Party

Those ages 21 and up can enjoy dancing to the live music of Motown, classic rock and roll, and soul while bidding farewell to 2020. If you were born between 1946 and 1964 you are a Baby Boomer who will likely remember these tunes. The party happens at the Grand Ball Room of the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley in Scottsdale and includes dinner, a cash bar, a photographer, and a cash raffle drawing right after midnight. It's about 25 minutes by car from downtown Phoenix to this Scottsdale hotel.

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R&B n CHILL New Year's Eve

Get festive at Liquid Entertainment's R&B Chill New Year's Eve at Off the Hook Restaurant in central Scottsdale. Two DJs will provide the music for the rhythm and blues-themed evening from 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve until 2 a.m. on January 1, 2021. Tickets include a balloon drop, a champagne toast at midnight, and party favors. Special table packages are available.

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Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row Scottsdale and Gilbert

Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row, an award-winning American gastropub, is offering dinner, table service, and entertainment at 8 p.m. on December 31 at the Scottsdale and Gilbert locations. The Bayou Bandits will do a live performance at the restaurant in Gilbert, a town approximately 30 minutes from downtown Phoenix. Reservations are strongly recommended.

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New Year's Eve at Uptown Alley

Head to Surprise, around 35 minutes by car from downtown Phoenix, for some bowling at Uptown Alley on New Year's Eve. The day package goes from opening until 4 p.m. and includes 1.5 hours of bowling, shoes, arcade play, pizza, and soft drinks. Those who would prefer to celebrate in the evening can play for 1.5 hours from 4 to 10 p.m. and receive bowling shoes, a charcuterie pretzel board, champagne, soft drinks, and party favors.

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Talking Stick Resort New Year's Eve Celebration

New Year's Eve
Courtesy of Talking Stick Resort

You can honor the holiday on December 31 at the Talking Stick Resort's New Year's Eve Celebration approximately 15 minutes northeast of downtown Scottsdale. The event will feature prizes of up to $500 for more than 300 people, party favors, and an emcee. Have fun while you play the slot machines. Contact the resort for additional details and schedules.

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Forever Plaid at Hale Centre Theatre

All seats are great seats at Hale Theatre
Judy Hedding

The Hale Centre Theatre in the center of Gilbert is a great place to enjoy a performance on New Year's Eve. Check out "Forever Plaid" on December 31 at 4 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. About four men who love music and form a band, the two-hour play was written by Stuart Ross.

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New Year's Eve at Hotel Valley Ho

New Year's Eve at Hotel Valley Ho
Courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

On December 31, if you reserve a private VIP table for two, four, six, or eight people at ZuZu, the chic restaurant in Hotel Valley Ho, you can party in style. VIP tables get champagne, bottomless appetizers, and a DJ playing tunes until 12:30 a.m. Early birds can also have happy hour bites and drinks specials from 3 to 6 p.m. The party is just 5 minutes southwest of downtown Scottsdale.

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80s Retro New Years Eve Party

Held at Low Key Piano Bar in Tempe on December 31, 2020, the 80s Retro NYE Party from 6 p.m. to midnight includes entry for four people, a table, and a bottle of house champagne. This venue is about 15 minutes by car from downtown Phoenix, and features a unique way to enjoy piano as players duel in a friendly, relaxed environment.

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Mesa Golfland-Sunsplash

Golfland Entertainment Centers
Courtesy of Golfland Entertainment Centers

Mesa Golfland-Sunsplash is an amusement park—a roughly 20-minute drive from Phoenix—where the whole family can celebrate the approach of 2021. On December 31, Golfland Fun Center offers mini-golf, an arcade, laser tag, and bumper cars as of 10 a.m. Race cars and bumper boats start at 11 a.m. The Sunsplash portion of the park will not open for New Year's Eve in 2020.

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Across the Years

Across The Years runners participating
Courtesy of Across The Years

The Across the Years race has been canceled for 2020, but there is a virtual Across the Globe 10-day event from December 28, 2020, through January 7, 2021.

Taking place at the Camelback Ranch-Glendale, the annual "Across the Years" challenges visitors to 24-hour, 48-hour, 72-hour, and 10-day footraces, among others.

Drawing runners and fans from across the U.S., the go-as-you-please events are popular with beginners and competitive runners, allowing them to run, socialize, eat, rest, and sleep as desired to close out the year in a healthy way.

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New Year's Eve at Symphony Hall

Phoenix Symphony Gala
Courtesy of The Phoenix Symphony

The Phoenix Symphony concerts for 2020/2021 have been canceled.

The Phoenix Symphony New Year’s Eve concert in the evenings is always popular. Enjoy famous Strauss waltzes, seasonal favorites, and Broadway tunes. A complimentary glass of champagne tops off the two-hour concert held close to downtown.