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 2019 in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.

01 of 09

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Seattle Center

Fireworks in Seattle for new years

Harald Sund /Getty Images

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 SWAY, a rock cover band, from 8 p.m. to midnight. 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.

While the fireworks are free to enjoy, you'll need tickets to attend both parties. If you don't want to pay the cost of admission, rest assured that Seattle Center is one big party. Plan ahead on where to park or how to get there with public transportation, though, and dress for the elements.

02 of 09

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 fire sculptures, drinks (plus a midnight toast donated by Chateau Ste. Michelle), 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.

03 of 09

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 four areas of live entertainment, three performance stages, VIP areas, more than 20 bars, and a special singles cocktail hour before the party, this event has something for everyone.

The 15th 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.

04 of 09

New Year’s Countdown at the Seattle Children’s Museum

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. There’s a countdown to the New Year every hour at Seattle Children’s Museum, making this perfect if you need to work around naps or want the kids in bed well before midnight! Each countdown coincides with whatever part of the world is hitting midnight that hour. Kids and families will also get to learn about New Year’s traditions from around the world as they toast with apple juice. 

The countdowns will occur every hour from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 31. Museum admission grants you access to the festivities.

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05 of 09

Tacoma’s First Night

Button for First Night Tacoma Pierce County

First Night Tacoma Pierce County

First Night is an alcohol-free, family-friendly celebration in downtown Tacoma. Guests must buy a button to attend, which works in two ways—by day, you can get into some of Tacoma’s museums with the button for free; by night, you can enjoy a parade, live music stages, kids performances, and more.

All outdoor events are free for all, but indoor events require the button for entry. The events will be centered in the Theatre District of downtown Tacoma (around 9th and Broadway). The cost for event buttons increases as the festival gets closer, so buy yours early to save on entry fees. Dress for the weather as the event goes on rain, snow, or no matter how cold it is that night.

06 of 09

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 young revelers together for six solid hours of dancing. Presented by USC Events, 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 under 21 to attend, liquor and beer will be available for purchase at several bars throughout the venue; you must have an over-21 wristband to purchase alcohol of any type.

07 of 09

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, hat makers, balloon makers, and more, this family-friendly event is sure to delight young and old alike. 

Pizza and other 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.

Kids and families are encouraged to wear their pajamas to attend; admission to this after-hours event is slightly more expensive than regular museum admission.

08 of 09

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 20th Annual Slammin' Jammin' New Year's Eve Party will take place at the Doubletree Hotel Suites in Southcenter on December 31, starting at 8 p.m. 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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09 of 09

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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