When it's time for a new year and new adventures, Colorado's ready to celebrate. If you're in Colorado over New Year's Eve and looking to make it a memorable night, here are five of our favorite, annual midnight celebrations across the state. The ski towns are especially exciting over the New Year. You can always find an assortment of parties, big and small. Aspen is always classy and has been known to draw celebs. Just be sure to book your tickets and hotel rooms well in advance, because they tend to sell out quickly.
If you're in Denver, you can always find over-the-top New Year's Eve celebrations, often complete with fireworks. Tavern has held great parties in the past, such as a Seven Deadly Sins: Indulgence Party in downtown. This adult-only event included special drinks, a balloon drop, raffle prizes, and more. The bar shoots off fireworks from its rooftop at midnight.
Kevin Larson Productions is known for its extravagant parties that draw huge crowds. Every New Year's, it holds the White Rose Gala, a 1920s-themed, Great Gatsby-style party. Pull out your flapper dresses and feather headbands to dance the year away to live jazz and swing music. (Note: you must come in costume; jeans are not allowed.) While the era remains the same year after year (who doesn't want to time travel to a speakeasy for a night?), the entertainment is always fresh. Want to make the event extra special? Consider going VIP, which comes with a private bar, private bathrooms, and even a separate entrance. Skip the lines and usher in the New Year in ultimate style.
The historic Hotel Boulderado is holding its 110-year anniversary party on New Year's Eve. The black tie event will be held in the mezzanine and lobby under the sparkling stained-glass canopy. There will be a cocktail happy hour with hors d’oeuvres, a lavish buffet dinner, live music by the Mark Diamond Band, and a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. If you're lucky and can score a room in this elegant hotel, request a historic room, to keep the mood. Although these rooms are even older (they're decorated in the Victorian era), they make guests feel like they've traveled back in time and it adds to the mood.
The St. Regis in Aspen is known for its service, style and sophistication, and it also has held glamorous New Year's parties in the past. One year's Midnight Masquerade Ball included dinner, an auction, live music and famous hosts, such as Academy Award-winning screenwriter, producer and director, Paul Haggis, fashion designer Donna Karan and polo player Nacho Figueras. For the 2019 celebrations, there will be an elegant dinner menu as well as a mountain social with a DJ, cocktails, and a champagne toast overlooking the Aspen Mountain fireworks.
Breckenridge also does New Year's Eve big, with its annual torchlight parade from the top of Peak 9 down to the village. Even if you're not in this mountainside parade (it's run by the Breckenridge Ski & Snowboard School), you can watch the glowing skiers slice down the mountain from the slopeside bars. The lights almost look like a landslide of falling stars. It's a magical way to end the year and welcome a new one. It's not as fancy as a black-tie party in Aspen, but it's an only-in-Colorado experience that's memorable in its own ways.
If you don't want to get raucous, you can still celebrate big—with food. Many restaurants also offer late-night dinners and New Year festivities. One good place to start: Check out Elway's steakhouse in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Denver. This restaurant, named after the Bronco's player John Elway, will feature a special New Year's Eve menu featuring lobster bisque, Chateaubriand center cut prime filet for two, and a champagne mousse dessert with strawberries and shortbread. All served with live music. Elway's is a favorite among locals who know about great cuts of meat.
Traveling down south? New Year's at the exquisite Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs is always big. Galas in the past have included a champagne toast and balloon drop at the stroke of midnight, after a late-night dinner and plenty of dancing. Ask about the Broadmoor's special New Year's Eve packages, too. You can typically score a good discount for this luxurious hotel. Definitely make plans far in advance because this is where everyone wants to be.
If fancy is how you roll, Colorado's got black-tie events, too. For a classy New Year's without lengthy lines, check out the Denver New Year's Eve Black Tie Party in downtown Denver. This annual event—held at the The Westin Hotel in 2018—always sells out. Expect an open bar, live music, multiple DJs, casino games, and a fun confetti blast at midnight. Dress to impress and capture the memories at the photo booth.