Guide to New Year's Eve in Seattle: Events, Parties, and Shows

Whether you're looking to celebrate early with your family or go all night with your friends, there are plenty of ways to ring in 2020 this New Year's Eve in Seattle.

From the biggest New Year's parties at the Seattle Center and Space Needle to private parties at the Pacific Science Center, Gardens and Glass, and EMP Museum, there are many options for fun and festivity on New Year's Eve 2020 in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.

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New Year’s Eve Celebration at Seattle Center

Fireworks in Seattle for new years

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The largest New Year's Eve celebration in the Seattle-area fills the spaces of Seattle Center with two big parties that converge at midnight for a spectacular set of fireworks.

The Armory stage in the Seattle Center will host Left Turn on Blue, an 11-piece band that plays blues and soul guaranteed to get everyone onto the dance floor. Meanwhile, at the International Fountain, you can dance to live electronic music and a video projection show for Fountain of Light starting at 10 p.m.

Both bands are free to enjoy, and so are the fireworks that light up the sky at midnight! Seattle Center is pretty much one big party on this night. Plan ahead on where to park or how to get there with public transportation, though, and dress for the elements.

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New Year’s Eve pARTy at Chihuly Gardens and Glass

Seattle Gardens and Glass

Rob Wynne

For one of the ritzier ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve, look to Chihuly Gardens and Glass (also within Seattle Center) where attendees will get to enjoy a night of appetizers and desserts, live music by the Michael Benson Band, and a toast as they watch the Seattle Center fireworks from one of the best vantage points in town. Bonus, admire Chihuly's handblown glass art installations throughout the facility before, during and after the party.

Doors will open at 8 p.m., and tours for the Exhibition will only be available until 10 p.m. Guests will not be allowed to exit the Glasshouse between 10 p.m. and 12:15 a.m. and no guests will be admitted after 11 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

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SPECTRA: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches

Pacific Science Center

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Seattle Center is crawling with parties. Usually, the Pacific Science Center is a place where families go to learn more about science and the world around them. For New Year's Eve, you’ll find everything from exotic animals to building your own glam robot, drinks (plus a midnight champagne toast), and live music for New Year's Eve this year.

During SPECTRA, there's plenty of special entertainment, and you can also check out the Science Center exhibits. At midnight, the view of the fireworks at the Space Needle is the closest private outdoor view you’ll find. Tickets must be purchased in advance as this event just about always sells out.

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INDULGENCE New Year’s Eve Bash at MoPOP

Exterior of MoPOP Seattle

Michael Wheatley / Getty Images

Yet another option at the Seattle Center is INDULGENCE New Year's Eve Bash at MoPOP (Museum of Popular Culture), one of the largest parties of the year. Offering several areas of live entertainment and performance stages, VIP areas and more than 20 bars.

The 19th Annual INDULGENCE New Year's Eve Bash will take place under the Space Needle at 325 5th Avenue North with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. Museum access included in the price of the party, and most exhibits will be open for the duration of the event.

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05 of 10

Tacoma’s First Night

Button for First Night Tacoma Pierce County

First Night Tacoma Pierce County

After being off for a year last year, First Night is back and better than ever! First Night is an alcohol-free, family-friendly celebration in downtown Tacoma. The events will be centered in the Theatre District of downtown Tacoma (around 9th and Broadway), and have been known to include fire performances, live music, artistic happenings of all shapes and sizes, and other fun happenings. Not only is this a great way to ring in the new year, but it's also a great way to get to know the community better. Dress for the weather as the event goes on rain, snow, or no matter how cold it is that night.

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Resolution New Year's Eve Party

WaMu Theater New Years Eve

Paul Giamou / Getty Images

This 18-and-over party has been a Seattle tradition for nearly a decade, bringing a mixed crowd of revelers together for hours and hours of dancing to a solid selection of DJs. Resolution is one of the biggest electronic dance music parties of the year.

Resolution will take place at WAMU Theater this year. Although the party allows guests who are 18+ to attend, liquor and beer will be available for purchase at several bars throughout the venue and you must have proper ID to purchase alcohol of any type.

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Slammin' Jammin' New Year's Eve Party

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Seattle Airport/Southcenter

 DoubleTree Suites

Sometimes parties are best when a hotel is attached to the party venue. This party rings in the new year with rhythm and blues, old school, hip-hop, and jazz music, and has hotel packages available with your ticket purchase if you don't want to worry about sobering up to drive home.

The Slammin' Jammin' New Year's Eve Party will take place at the Doubletree Hotel Suites in Southcenter on December 31 so there's no drive home involved. Ticket prices range in price depending on your event package (and accommodation cost); but keep in mind rooms will book up fast for this popular event.

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New Year's Eve With Ivar's Salmon House

Fireworks above the river in Seattle on New Year's Eve

Philip Kramer /Getty Images

If the crowds at Seattle Center aren't your thing, but you'd like to watch the fireworks, head to Ivar's on Northlake where you can enjoy live music, tasty food, and a view of the fireworks far away from the crowd. New Year's Eve With Ivar's Salmon House will take place from 9 p.m. on December 31 to 12:30 a.m. on January 1. Advanced reservations are required to attend and range in price depending on your selections. Check Ivar's website for more information about the entertainment lineup and holiday dinner menu.

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09 of 10

New Year’s Events at Local Children's Museums

Kids playing at the Seattle Childrens Museum

Stuart Westmorland / Getty Images 

If you've got young children, chances are the party scene is not for you, but maybe you want to start a tradition of celebrating the New Year. While Seattle Children's Museum doesn't have an event this year, you can celebrate at KidsQuest in Bellevue (events happening every hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so you don't have to stay all day); and at the Hands on Children's Museumin Olympia, where you'll find dancing, parades, door prizes and more from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Nighttime Party for Families at Imagine Children's Museum

Family at the Imagine Children's Museum's New Years Eve Celebration

Imagine Children's Museum

If you've got older children, this is the perfect New Year's Eve party for you. With comedians and other live entertainment, this family-friendly event is sure to delight young and old alike. Food and snacks will be served and kids are invited to take part in educational, hands-on activities throughout, and the fun culminates at 9 p.m. with a ball drop.

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