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6 Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Getaways to Book Right Now

Fa-la-la-la-flight deals! It’s that magical time of year again, where we find the best travel deals around the world for you to book as a holiday present to yourself. (OK, fine, you can book them for other people too). Check back each day from now through December 24 to find some of the best cheap fares, hotel discounts, and more in our annual 12 Days of Deals.

Yes, we know New Year’s Eve is in T-minus 12 days—but there are still deals to be found if you, like us, got too distracted by Christmas to make any plans. With this in mind, we teamed up with flight deal site Airfarewatchdog to find non-stop flight deals to the likes of Charleston, Chicago, and Nashville, all for less than $350 round-trip over the New Year’s Eve long weekend, from Friday, December 28 to Tuesday, January 1. If you see a deal you like, book fast—these fares won’t stick around for long.

Bring on the snow flurries in Denver.

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Seattle to Denver

From $324 round-trip, on Delta

There are a lot of reasons to spend your New Year’s Eve in chilly Denver. Two of our favorite restaurants are celebrating: Spuntino is offering a $70 tasting menu, featuring juniper-cured elk and amaro cheesecake, according to Eater, while Work & Class is celebrating early with a New Year’s brunch on December 30. If you want to ball out for the December 31 countdown, post up at Death & Co. in the Ramble Hotel (tickets are $150), where there will be a champagne lounge and cigars.

Take a break from Boston’s frigid winters on the South Carolina coast.

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Boston to Charleston

From $250 round-trip, on JetBlue

We’ve got a whole guide to what to do once you hit the ground in Charleston—stops at Husk, the “Southbound: Photographs of and About the New South” exhibit at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and a few links at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort among them. If you forget to pack your fanciest outfit for NYE, never fear: The Restoration Hotel is hosting a pajama party on its rooftop, with 360-degree views of the celebratory fireworks.

To prep for NYE in Nashville, start listening to country music now.

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Washington, D.C. to Nashville

From $295 round-trip, on American

In Nashville, live music is where it’s at on New Year’s Eve. There’s a free concert in Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park featuring Keith Urban, Brett Young, Judah & the Lion, and more. Plus, Old Crow Medicine Show is playing at the historic Ryman Auditorium and John Prine and Nathaniel Rateliff are headlining a show at the Grand Ole Opry. For dinner, Etch, Nicky’s Coal Fired, and Fort Louise are all offering prix fixe menus.

Pack your strechy pants—you’ll be eating well on New Year’s in Portland.

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Los Angeles to Portland

From $297 round-trip, on American

A number of the best hotels in Portland—like the original Ace Hotel and Jupiter Next—still have available rooms for New Year’s Eve. Once again, Eater has a list of where to snag a table for a stellar prix fixe dinner (La Moule, Kachka, Quaintrelle, and Enoteca Nostrana are a few of our faves).

Layering up for Chicago’s chilly streets is worth it on New Year’s Eve.

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Atlanta to Chicago

From $273 round-trip, on American

It’s expected to drop below 30 degrees Farenheit on New Year’s in Chicago, so pack layers accordingly. (Know that casual and comfortable, especially in the winter, are on trend, so don’t feel the need to break out your best fur.) Fat Rice and Proxi are both serving prix fixe dinners, but what you’ll really want to do is book a night at the Soho House Chicago for a chance to party at the moon landing-themed midnight countdown. Costumes are highly encourage, plus there’ll be an “Alien” casino and a photo booth with a trampoline so you can recreate your own moon landing. (Maybe stop by the photo booth before the bar.)

A long weekend in Detroit is just enough to get a taste of Motor City.

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Houston to Detroit

From $237 round-trip, on United

You’ll want to check into the Detroit Foundation Hotel for its incredible architecture and for its New Year’s Eve prix-fixe meal in The Apparatus Room, led by Michelin-starred Thomas Lents. Use our “Three Days in Detroit” guide to plan the rest of your adventure in the city’s Corktown and Marina neighborhoods. (Don’t forget a stop at Sister Pie for a slice of hot cocoa chess pie—hey, that 2019 diet can wait, right?)

This story was originally published in 2014 and has been updated with new information.

Budapest

Why go Hungary’s capital sparkles in winter and likes to party, so it’s a great place to see in the new year. There’s festive cheer on tap, with fairylight-strewn streets, chestnut sellers and ice-skating in City Park (the largest rink in Europe), to a backdrop of Vajdahunyad Castle. The Christmas markets on Vorosmarty Square and at the Basilica run until 1 January, with concerts, folk dancing and stalls selling mulled wine or pálinka (fruit brandy) and traditional chimney cake (cinnamon and sugar-coated dough). New Year’s Eve (Szilveszter) is celebrated with fireworks over the Danube, and it’s worth booking one of the many river cruises with dinner and DJs. Fisherman’s Bastion at Buda Castle offers a near-perfect panorama over the city (free and open 24/7, but likely to be crowded).

Historic thermal baths offer respite from the winter cold (and help for hangovers). Some, like Széchenyi Baths, host hedonistic spa parties – on 30 December there’s a big bash with DJs and light shows (first wave of tickets sold out, but premium tickets from €75).

With its mixture of art nouveau, baroque and neoclassical buildings, this is a city that rewards an aimless wander, with pit stops at grand cafes such as the 19th-century Művész Kavehaz. The endless choice of great drinking spots include “ruin pubs” in abandoned buildings: try the Extra in District VII for a lively night out.
Book it A four-night trip with Travel Republic costs from £449pp, departing Stansted on 28 December with Ryanair, with B&B accommodation at the central Atrium Budapest Hotel.

Madeira

Why go Madeira’s New Year’s Eve fireworks won the Guinness World Record for the biggest display in 2006, and they are still the biggest in Europe. They are set off from several points in the capital, Funchal, including the city centre and the waterfront. There are great vantage points all over the city, but Santa Catarina park has particularly good views. Watching from the sea is fun: there are lots of booze-fuelled boat trips from the harbour (such as VMT Madeira, €120 for three hours, booking essential).

Tourists can blow away the cobwebs along with locals on New Year’s Day by taking the Madeira Plunge, a charity sea swim at noon. With January temperatures in Madeira averaging 17C, it is a lot more appealing than an outdoor dip in the UK. That mild weather makes Madeira a great year-round walking destination, too – a hike along a levada(water channel) will get 2019 off to a healthy start.

Visitors staying for a week can round off the festivities with a free Twelfth Night concert in the municipal gardens: Cantar os Reis is based on the lively songs traditionally sung by troupes going from door to door (8pm, 5 January). Those staying longer can head to Santa Cruz, Madeira’s second city, for the Santo Amaro festival, marking the end of the Christmas holidays, with stalls, music, food and a candlelit procession (15 January).
Book it Tui has seven nights B&B in Funchal from £320pp, including flights from Birmingham on 31 December, staying at the three-star Dorisol Buganvilia, a five-minute bus ride from the centre.

Stockholm

Photograph: Alamy

Why go For a slightly more cerebral New Year’s Eve, Stockholm is a smart choice. The main celebration is at Skansen (skansen.se), Sweden’s oldest open-air museum, on the island of Djurgården. Entertainment starts at 8pm with singing and dancing, and culminates with a recitation of the poem Ring Out, Wild Bells by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The tradition began in 1897; these days the poem is always read by a famous Swede and broadcast live on TV.

Skansen has fantastic views over the city for the midnight fireworks, and a cafe (open until 1am) and restaurant (booking essential). Evening tickets are £14 for adults (children go free), or there are new day and evening combination tickets (£17 adult/£5 child). These give visitors the chance to visit the historical buildings decorated for Christmas, meet the reindeer and other animals, tour the gardens and stock up on Swedish textiles and ceramics at the museum shop.

On New Year’s Day, early birds can try an introduction to ice skating (8am daily, £139, iceguide.se). This six-hour experience for beginners (or rusty skaters) includes a Nordic skating lesson, followed by a tour on the frozen Baltic Sea or a frozen lake, plus lunch around an open fire. For a less energetic morning, take a stroll around the unusually deserted city, then sample Sweden’s favourite hangover cure: kebab pizza.

Book it Ryanair, Norwegian and SAS fly to Stockholm from several UK airports. Stay at the Archipelago Hostel in a 17th-century building in the old town (twin rooms from £80 over New Year, archipelagohostel.com).

Vienna

Photograph: Alamy

Why go The party starts early on New Year’s Eve with a city-wide trail from 2pm (until 2am, events.wien.info). The city centre is a giant street party, with live music zones playing styles from rock to operetta; festive food and drink stalls; and booths selling Bleigießen kits – traditional kits for telling fortunes with molten metal. Dance schools provide free outdoor waltz lessons in the afternoon and, at midnight, the main shopping street, Graben, turns into an open-air ballroom. There are firework displays in the town hall square, Rathausplatz, and Prater park.

Vienna is known for its Christmas markets, but there are several over New Year, too. They are found on Maria-Theresien-Platz (27 -31 Dec), Schönbrunn Palace, with jazz concerts every day (27 Dec to 6 Jan), Riesenradplatz (until 6 Jan), with rides and a circus. There’s also the Imperial and Royal Christmas Market on Michaelerplatz (until 1 Jan); and the covered Advent Pleasure Market at the Opera House, which sells food by Austrian producers (until 31 Dec).

Pop-up punch terraces are a Viennese trend this winter: Klyo by the Danube Canal serves mulled wine, sausages and toasted almonds (until 6 Jan); there’s also the Punch Deck on the Pool Boat (all winter), and the rooftop bar at the Lamée hotel (all winter). For more outdoor fun, Little Ice World is open until 6 Jan in Rathausplatz, and has a 3,000 sq metre ice rink. It reopens as Vienna Ice World on 18 Jan with an even bigger “ice landscape”, including skating paths and curling lanes (until 3 March).
Book it Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and Austrian fly to Vienna from several UK cities. Hotels are almost all booked up but try the 25hours Hotel Vienna, a cool circus-themed hotel in the museum district (doubles from £156 a night, minimum four-night stay over New Year.

Dubrovnik

Why go Dubrovnik is magical (and less crowded) in winter. Visitors started to cotton on to this after the launch of its winter festival five years ago. This year’s programme includes free guided tours of the old town (10am, Saturdays in Dec and Jan) and free open-air concerts on Stradun, the main street. Booths around the city streets serve festive food and drink, and all buses are free after 5pm (until 6 Jan). And whatever the weather, on Saturdays and Sundays it is guaranteed to be snowing in front of the Pile gate at noon.

Lapad, the peninsula north-west of town, has lots for families. The North Pole Station offers storytelling, dancing, crafts and cookery (to 13 Jan). There is also an ice rink and a free Advent train (until 6 Jan).

New Year celebrations start on 29 December with a gig by the Gipsy Kings; there’s also a children’s concert, traditional Croatian vocals, and a New Year’s Day classical and popular concert, accompanied by oysters and sparkling wine. On New Year’s Eve, there are carols in front of St Blaise’s Church at noon, then the party gets going on Stradun at 9pm, with fireworks at midnight and bar-hopping into the early hours.
Book it British Airways, easyJet and Jet2 fly to Dubrovnik from several UK airports. Stay in Dubrovnik Old Town Hostel, a boutique hostel in a 400-year-old building just off Stradun (twin rooms from £30, dorm beds from £15 B&B).

Copenhagen

Photograph: Getty Images

Why go Kickstart 2019 in one of Europe’s coolest capitals. Copenhagen marries the historic (medieval centre, cobbled streets and impressive palaces) with the best of contemporary Scandi chic (seriously stylish shops, a hot bar and restaurant scene and great galleries) – and it’s easily navigated on foot or by bike.

Come winter the city ramps up the fairytale vibe, particularly in Tivoli Gardens, a 19th-century amusement park, which glitters with Christmas lights and stalls selling festive doughnuts and mulled wine.

On New Year’s Eve, there’s a firework display here at 11pm (watch from the open-air stage area), while other fireworks action across town is best spied from Queen Louise’s Bridge over the rectangular lakes between the centre and Nørrebro.

At midnight, people gather in City Hall Square to hear the clock tower chime in the new year. Restaurants and bars will be buzzing – try lobster rolls at Hooked in Nørrebro (gethooked.dk) or street food such as hot dogs at Dǿp on Kobmagergade street. It’s a good idea to eat early; the Queen’s New Year’s Eve speech is at 6pm, and streets are quiet before the mayhem.

Outside the city centre, the former shipyard area of Refshaleøen island is alive with cafes, restaurants and bars – and has winter hot tubs at CopenHot for a warming post-party soak overlooking the water (cheaper on Wednesday and Sunday “hot days”, £24, copenhot.com).

Book it Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian, British Airways and SAS fly to Copenhagen from several UK airports. A&O Copenhagen Nørrebro is a hostel with dorms and double rooms, with beds over New Year from £31 (aohostels.com).

Reykjavik

Photograph: Alamy

Why go The land of fire and ice lives up to its name on New Year’s Eve, when about 90 bonfires are lit across the country. There are 15 or so in Reykjavik alone; one of the biggest and most central is on Ægissíða street, by the sea. Some bonfires are accompanied by Icelandic singing; most start about 8pm and finish by 10pm, which can be a good time to see the northern lights.

After the fires, everyone goes home to watch Áramótaskaup (Skaupið for short), a satirical TV sketch show that has been running on 31 December since 1966. But that doesn’t mean the party is over – just before midnight, they all come back out to let off an astonishing amount of fireworks, with profits going to Icelandic Search and Rescue Association, which does life-saving work, is run by volunteers and is a cause close to most Icelanders’ hearts.

One of the most popular spots for lighting and watching fireworks is in front of Hallgrímskirkja church – which is also close to plenty of bars. Other good sites include the Pearl at Öskjuhlíð; the Sun Voyager sculpture or Harpa concert hall on the waterfront; or reflected in Tjörnin, the city lake. There are organised bonfire and fireworks tours (such as £94), but Reykjavik is a small city and easy to explore independently. After the fireworks, most locals go to house parties, but bars in the centre stay open until at least 5am.

Winter is a good time to take a self-drive tour of Iceland’s ice caves, glaciers and waterfalls, with the chance to see the northern lights. See the Guide to Iceland website for itineraries.
Book it Wow Air and Wizz Air, easyJet and Icelandair fly to Reykjavik from several UK cities. Stay in Kex, a hip hostel in an old biscuit factory in central Reykjavik (dorms from £32 over New Year).

Lausanne

Photograph: Roman Babakin/Alamy

Why go On the shore of Lac Léman (the French name for Lake Geneva), the Swiss city of Lausanne offers a picturesque New Year escape, with its medieval centre and backdrop of snow-capped mountains. New Year’s Eve is the last day of Lausanne Lumières, the annual festival of lights, with installations by 12 artists, from projections to sculptures, around town (see festivallausannelumieres.ch for a map). The “burning of the cathedral” – a dramatic light display held every year since 1904 in memory of fires that devastated the city in 1368 and 1405 – is at the heart of the festivities, with crowds gathering for champagne and mulled wine.

There’s a concert at the cathedral before the show, starring the $6m Boston-made organ, and midnight fireworks over the lake. Expect great food and drink, too: the nearby Lavaux vineyards produce the best wines in the country.

Besides lakeside walks, the Olympic Museum is a must-do (Lausanne is home to the International Olympic Committee), as is trying fondue at Pinte Besson, the oldest restaurant in town. Don’t miss out on the free transport card for anyone who books a night in a city hotel – it also brings discounts on boat trips and museum entry.

Book it Geneva is the nearest airport, a short train ride away. Easyjet, British Airways and Swiss fly there from several UK airports. Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium, and its partner hotel Aquatis has doubles from £100, or the Swiss Wine Hotel & Bar opposite the cathedral, with a popular wine bar, has rooms from £122 room-only.

Palma de Mallorca

Pajarita Bomboneria Photograph: Artesia Wells/Getty Images

Why go The Mallorcan capital offers more laid-back Spanish New Year celebrations than party-hard Madrid or Barcelona – and slightly warmer weather. There are festive vibes aplenty, with light-strewn trees, market stalls selling sweet treats such as almond nougat, and the maze of streets in the old town takes on a magical air.

Start the evening snacking at tapas bars such as cavernous Cellar Sa Premsa or busy but relaxed La 5a Puñeta , whose bar is laden with fantastic pinchos. Revelry focuses on Passeig del Born, with live music, light shows and dancing, and around the town hall on Plaça de Cort, where crowds gather to hear the clock strike midnight. New Year is welcomed with the eating of one grape for each stroke – a tradition said to bring luck and prosperity – and fireworks light up the sky above the 13th-century cathedral.

The fun continues until 6 Jan, when the wise men arrive by ship and lead a colourful procession through the streets, with more fireworks and partying into the early hours (and more presents for the kids). Between festivities there are great bars, galleries and boutique shops to explore in the city and in lovely villages and beaches without the summer crowds.

Book it Love Holidays has three nights at the Palma Bellver by Melia on the seafront from £427pp room-only including flights from Gatwick on 29 Dec.

Cologne

Photograph: Michael Abid/Alamy

Why go Berlin may be a more obvious choice for New Year frolics, but Cologne, the cultural hub of north-west Germany, is a lively under-the-radar party city. The pubs and beer halls (Cologne has more per head than any German city) will be buzzing with revellers – try Peters Brauhaus for schnitzel and Kölsch.

Young party animals head to lively Zulpicher Strasse, while bars such as Roxy and Subway in the picturesque Belgian Quarter appeal to a slightly older crowd. There are over 70 nightclubs too. Odonien is one of the best-known, a many-storey junkyard and artists’ workshop-turned-clubbing mecca featuring Berlin-based house DJ Niko Schwind on New Year’s Eve (tickets €20).

For the best views of midnight fireworks over the Rhine, try the redeveloped Rheinaufhafen waterfront complex, Frankenwerft in the old town, or Deutz on the right bank for a quieter spot. By day there’s the striking twin-spired cathedral to explore, modern art at Museum Ludwig or impressive Roman artefacts at the Romano-Germanic Museum . Look out, too, for artist-designed nativity scenes at 110 sites around town, from shop windows to inside churches, until 6 Jan (tours are available too through koelner-krippenweg.de)

Book it Ryanair, Eurowings, Flybe and British Airways fly to Cologne from several UK airports. 25hours Hotel The Circle has doubles from £110 room-only. There’s a New Year’s Eve party in its Monkey Bar, which has amazing rooftop views, but it will set you back €100 a head (with three drinks and a midnight snack).

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Top 6 Last-Minute Active Getaways for New Year’s Eve

Oyster.com

You know what New Year’s Eve means: cocktail dresses, wild parties, a midnight countdown, and just hours until your New Year’s resolutions kick in. It can be tough to start in on your new diet-and-exercise regimen – especially after a night of raucous debauchery – so we’ve come up with the top five last-minute active getaways to help you jumpstart your goals for 2012! We have a destination for every kind of woman in every kind of location (with great deals to boot) so getting in shape will be fun – we promise! Whether you like to burn calories by whizzing down the slopes or want to start fresh with a detox and yoga, we have a spot for you. Check out Oyster.com’s top picks for active getaways below!

For the party girl: Canyon Ranch Miami Beach in Miami

Some of you will undoubtedly be hitting up the clubs in Miami Beach for a wild New Year’s Eve. So for all you party girls out there, the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach is the perfect choice: It has a slightly more relaxed vibe than at other Canyon Ranch resorts (so there will be no judgment for your escapades the night before) and it offers about 40 free fitness classes everyday (so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to burn off the calories from the New Year’s Eve champagne toast). The Canyon Ranch brand is synonymous with good health and the Miami Beach outlet is no different. Guests sign a waiver that they will not smoke while at the resort, the restaurant serves healthy options off of a menu with detailed nutritional information next to every item, and the massive fitness center includes dozens of cardio machines and a rock-climbing wall. Best of all, starting on January 1st, the hotel offers a four-night “Your Stay, Your Way” package for guests staying in room types of the Ocean Palm suite or higher, which entitles them to a $400 credit that can be used towards the spa, the shop, and the restaurant. So after a sunset yoga class or a beach conditioning workout, you can order an icy, alcoholic beverage by the pool (albeit low-cal and flavored with acai juice). Hey, you’re still a party girl at heart.

For the laid-back mama: Natura Cabanas in the Dominican Republic

Those looking to start their new year in a serene spot, away from the hustle and bustle of life back home, will love the serene, secluded location of Natura Cabanas in the Dominican Republic. Naturas Cabanas features eco-friendly bungalows, without AC or TVs, a clean, private beach, and a small, but luxurious, al-fresco spa. Guests come for the low-key, intimate atmosphere and Natura Cabanas is a great option for a healthy start to the new year: the beach is a nice spot for a vigorous swim (waves can be rough but not too rough that it becomes unsafe) and is just a short paddle from surfer haven Playa Encuentro, the two on-site restaurants serve up healthy treats like fruit-filled crepes and fresh seafood, and the excellent yoga studio, overlooking the ocean, offers daily yoga and Pilates classes. It even offers yoga for kids on Wednesdays and Saturdays! The hotel can also arrange excursions to nearby waterfalls and horseback riding trails for an extra dose of action. And all of this comes at remarkably reasonable rates (which include a large, healthy breakfast). Guests pay per person per night; for couples, it starts at only $90 per person per night and children (ages 2-12) are only $40 per child per night. Guests who pay with cash receive 10 percent off.

For the ski bunny: Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass Village, Colo.

Skiing is one of those activities during which you’re burning calories without even realizing it, and the slopes, especially those in Snowmass, can really be a place to see-and-be-seen during the new year! (Celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, and Zoe Saladana were all spotted in Snowmass last holiday season.) About 20 minutes from downtown Aspen, Snowmass Village is Aspen’s equally luxurious but slightly more understated neighbor. The village sits at the base of the massive Snowmass Mountain, where active types can ski, snowboard, and snowshoe. And there are slopes for every level of skier, so even if you don’t ski, why not start now? Especially since the luxurious Viceroy Snowmass, with a prime ski-in, ski-out location and a phenomenal ski valet service, offers a package for skiers that you’ll want to get your hands on. The Simply Ski package, for guests staying four or more nights, includes accommodations in a studio residence and a $175 daily resort credit, so you won’t need to worry about meals or shopping – you can spend all day skiing! And then spend your après-ski hours in the 7,000-square-foot spa or the heated outdoor pool for a little R&R.

For the wine-loving lady: Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley

So drinking a ton of wine may not be the best way to work on your health. But then again, some wine in moderation can’t hurt. In fact, studies have shown that red wine can actually be good for you. Not only is it high in antioxidants, but red wine can help reduce the risk of everything from cancer to the common cold! So this new year’s eve, why don’t you head to Napa Valley where the plentitude of wine, and the fresh outdoor air, can do a body good? Guests at the 50-room Auberge Du Soleil, a luxury inn, have access to lush and peaceful grounds, a 7,000-square-foot spa, a lovely pool (great for doing laps), tennis courts, a private yoga studio, and a large, airy fitness center with French doors opening to more equipment on a wraparound deck – plenty of options for getting a good workout in before the wine tasting. Though this luxury resort is pricey, the Suite Life package offers a lot of value, with a 2-night stay, a four-course meal for two, a free massage, and breakfast both mornings.

For the island chick: Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado on Cayo Levantado, a private Caribbean island

Here’s the active getaway for the island – that is, private island – chick. Start your new year off in style by whisking away to the Gran Bahia Principe Cavo Levantado, a luxury, all-inclusive resort on its own private island off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Once there, you can start getting yourself in shape while enjoying the sand, sun, and tropical breezes of being in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. The resort features classic amenities, like gorgeous pools, a large fitness center, and a scenic beach (with windsurfing, kayaks, catamaran rides, snorkeling, and scuba-diving lessons), but it also features a jogging circuit, tennis courts, and a studio with Pilates classes- all right at your fingertips on your private island retreat! And after a day of full-on exercise, you can dance the night away at the outdoor discotheque that stays open until 2 a.m. (the bar shuts down at midnight, but hey, you don’t need those sugary cocktails anyways). For the month of January, rates start at just $159 per night – definitely a steal for a 4-star, all-inclusive resort!For the golfer gal:The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

So what if the folks on the golf course are usually 70-year-old retired men? It simply shows that it’s a sport you can continue to enjoy for your whole life! And it’s certainly a full-body workout (especially if you skip the golf cart and carry your bags sans-caddy). Though golf can be excruciatingly frustrating, there’s a serenity to it at times – especially at the two courses at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, the Ritz-Carlton’s 18-hole Old Course, designed by Arnold Palmer, is a challenging 72-par course, and the same can be said for the Ocean Course, ranked among the top courses in California. The Legends Golf Package, offered every year, includes accommodations and unlimited golf for up to two players! You’ll really get your workout. But if you tire of the links, there are still plenty of activities to get your heart-rate going at Half Moon Bay. The resort, ranked by Tennis Magazine as one of the “Top 50 U.S. Tennis Resorts,” features tennis courts with daily clinics and the concierge can set up everything from horseback riding tours to surfing lessons.

  • By Jane Reynolds, Oyster.com

7 Romantic New Year’s Eve Getaways

Why spend New Year’s Eve sitting on the couch watching celebrations in other, faraway destinations? This year, go the extra mile, grab your partner, and celebrate the start of a brand new year with a romantic getaway. Here are a few destinations to explore with your sweetheart that won’t break the bank.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

What’s more romantic than a long walk on the beach? With temperatures in the 60s, a stroll on along the sand is a must. But that’s not all Myrtle Beach offers visitors. Take your pick of live music venues, restaurants, wine bars, brewpubs, craft brew bars, nightclubs, comedy, karaoke bars, and more. When it comes to lodging, check out The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront. The resort is located on the south end of the Grand Strand, a 60-mile stretch of beach, and is boarded by a state park, making it the perfect place for those looking for some peace and quiet. The resort’s New Year’s Eve package starts at $139 per night and includes a bottle of champagne and breakfast buffet for two at the oceanfront Ocean Blue restaurant. Just minutes from the property is The Market Common, a dining and shopping complex that will be the center of this year’s festivities. The free event, called A Southern Times Square in Valor Park, features live music, food, drinks, and fireworks.

Sanity-saving tip: You can make you trip even cheaper by taking advantage of Visit Myrtle Beach’s coupons, deals, and discounts, which can be used on restaurants, golf, dinner shows, and more.

Blaine, Washington

If you’re on the hunt for sweeping ocean views and lots of surrounding natural beauty, head to Blaine, Washington, which just is 45 minutes south of Vancouver, British Columbia and 90 minutes north of Seattle. The Semiahmoo Resort offers tons of pampering options. If you’re looking to explore the outdoors, you can also go skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing. Rooms rates start at $193 per night. When it comes to finding the perfect New Year’s Eve festivities, you don’t have to leave the property. This year, the resort is hosting an ’80s themed New Year’s Eve Bash, which, for $75 per adult, includes a cocktail reception, dinner buffet, light snacks, live music, champagne, and a sparking cider toast at midnight to ring in the new year. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, head to the on-site Packers Kitchen + Bar for dinner, drinks, and dancing. On New Year’s Day, enjoy an extravagant brunch. You can also enjoy fireworks from the beach at the annual Ring of Fire & Hope celebration, where people gather along the shores of Birch Bay with lighted flares.

Sanity-saving tip: Skip the buffet dinner and order room service instead. Then, join the party after 9 p.m. and pay just $35 per adult for the Masquerade at Midnight.

Alexandria, VA

If you’re unsure where to spend your New Year’s Eve, you may want to consider Alexandria. The city was named the best value U.S. travel destination in 2018 by Money Magazine and the third most romantic U.S. city in 2017 by Amazon. You and your partner will certainly get into the holiday spirit as you two stroll under a canopy of twinkling lights on King Street, dine in quality restaurants in historic buildings, cuddle up in front of a fireplace, catch a live performance, or enjoy a couples massage at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa. The best part? You’ll be getting lots of bang for your buck. The lowest average daily rate for hotels in December is $126 per night. The city celebrates New Year’s Eve with the annual First Night Alexandria, where you’ll find more than 150 live performances at 24 indoor venues. Once the clock strikes 10 p.m., dance at the foot of King Street and enjoy the fireworks over the Potomac River at midnight.

Sanity-saving tip: Alexandria is a short distance from Washington, D.C. Consider taking the train between these destinations to save, and skip the traffic.

Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol is a quiet seaside town, picturesque with its Gothic Revival, Romanesque, Queen Anne Italianate, and Colonial Revival architecture. The food is fantastic at places like The Lobster Pot, DeWolf Tavern, and Leo’s Ristorante — plus, it won’t cost you a fortune. Bristol is just a short drive to nearby Providence, where you might choose to ring in the New Year at One Providence Ball Drop, complete with laser lights, fireworks, food trucks, vendors, and more.

Sanity-saving tip: Stay at a B&B like the historic Bradford-Dimond-Norris House for a true New England experience (from $249 per night). Alternatively, if you want to curb costs, consider renting an Airbnb.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia’s Piton mountains are in a class by themselves. Even if the mountains don’t move you, there’s still plenty to do here, including snorkeling, sailing, or simply unwinding in a cabana on the beach. If you’re looking for further relaxation, head to The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Mineral Baths ($7 admission). At Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa, there’s a New Year’s Eve celebration complete with fireworks. In honor of the New Year, the property is offering rates as low as low as $199 per night including food and beverages. Guests staying seven nights or longer also receive a coupon book offering $1000 in resort credits redeemable for exclusive savings on spa treatments, boutique purchases, photography services, island tours, and more.

Sanity-saving tip: Don’t overpack. Save money by just traveling with a carry-on. The island is carefree and casual, so you two won’t need much — besides yourselves.

Mesa, Arizona

The vibe in Mesa is chill, but the food scene is heating up. Whether you eat in town or in nearby Phoenix, prepare to the food options are endless. Mesa’s Osteria is a rustic Italian restaurant with wood-fired meats, organic local ingredients, craft beers, wine, and cocktails. Everybody’s talking about The Glady, with its 200-plus whiskies, craft beverages, and hearty comfort food. When you aren’t eating your heart out, you can hike, golf, go on a wine tour, or take a romantic horseback ride. While the food and service here are top-notch, you won’t pay sky-high prices. You can score quality accommodations at Delta Hotels by Marriott Phoenix Mesa in downtown Phoenix. A room in this clean-lined hotel starts at around $90 per night. Plus, when you’re staying in the heart of the city, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to celebrate the New Year.

Sanity saving tip: Consider renting a townhome with a kitchen. Curb costs and cook intimate dinners for just you and your loved one.

North Lake Tahoe, California

With the nation’s largest alpine lake and largest concentration of ski resorts, North Lake Tahoe is a festive destination anytime of year, but it’s especially ideal for ringing in the new year. There are plenty of attractions to set the mood for romance, including sleigh rides through the snow on the shore of Sand Harbor Beach, or rides on gondolas to dinner at the top of a mountain. Consider staying at Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge, where room rates start at $409 per night. For New Year’s Eve, check out Granlibakken’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which includes dinner, dancing, a balloon drop, and a champagne toast for $85 per person for non-guests. However, before heading out to celebrate, watch The World’s Largest Torchlight Parade, where skiers and riders light up the night sky with colorful lights.

Sanity saving tip: Look for deals on lodging and activities on North Lake Tahoe’s website.

The BEST family getaways for New Year’s Eve around the world

Want to do something different to see in the new year? Check out these family getaways for New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve celebrations with young kids can be a challenge. Whilst the days of dancing around handbags with your mates to Prince, clutching an Archers and lemonade (or was it a Bacardi and coke?) are a thing of the past, you still want New Year’s Eve to be special.

I have to admit though, when the boys were very tiny we did have a couple of New Years watching Jules Holland on TV, curled up in our PJs on the sofa. We were running on such a ridiculous sleep deficit, but were determined to see those fireworks explode behind the London Eye.

But then in 2017 when the boys were 2 and 4 years old (and sleeping better), we looked into some family getaways for New Year’s Eve. As we were living in India at the time, we decided to visit Goa.

We had the BEST time that New Year’s Eve! The beaches were in party mode as soon as the sun set, and it was a novelty to be swimming in the warm Arabian sea whilst fireworks were going off on the beach. The boys lasted until 9 pm before needing to be tucked up in bed. But us parents felt all warm and fuzzy knowing that we had partied together to celebrate the end of the year, and were still able to see some fireworks sitting on our veranda as the boys snored away.

Family getaways for New Year’s Eve

NYE celebrations always seem so focused on the impending clock striking midnight, and it’s not always possible for little ones to stay up that late, or to even keep them from being bored. But if you are looking for family getaways for New Year’s Eve, there are quite a few destinations around the world that have early evening entertainment and are a great option for a New Year’s Eve break with children.

So I’ve reached out to some fellow bloggers for their suggestions of family friendly New Year’s Eve vacations and the best places to spend New Year’s Eve with kids. Let me know if you’ve any to add!

Aruba

(Rai from A Rai of Light)

Who wants to spend the beginning of a new year in the cold? Not me. And neither do the kids. We want amazing weather and perfect beaches. Throughout the year, the tropical climate and summer breeze guarantee great weather and sunshine in Aruba.

The time leading up to the New Year is our favourite time to visit this island. Arubans take the holiday very seriously.

A traditional ritual that happens on the days leading up to New Year is the lighting of firecrackers or pagara all over the streets of Oranjestad with the smoke believed to ward off evil spirits.

There is also a huge New Year’s Eve celebration with music and a night of endless fireworks. Fortunately, this starts early in the evening. The best place to watch the display are at the lighthouse or along any of the beaches, my favourite being Aruba Flamingo beach.

Large groups of “Dande” musicians travel around the island bestowing blessings and best wishes for the New Year through song and dance, adding to the already joyous festive atmosphere, which is always a huge hit with the kids.

Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland

(Augusta from Mini Me Explorer)

You may be surprised to learn that there are a few places in Switzerland where the New Year is celebrated twice, on different dates, and the celebrations start at 5 AM, not at midnight – actually midnight marks the end of them. One of these places is called Urnäsch (population 2270) and it is in Appenzell Ausserrhoden, where the famous Appenzell cheese comes from.

The celebrations are called Silvesterchläusen and take place on 31 December and 13 January: they are loud, folkloristic, colourful… and kids are welcome to follow the Chläusen, the protagonists of the celebrations, as they go from home to home.

Who are the Chläusen? What do they do? The Chläusen are groups of 6 men and children (rarely women) who spend the day going from house to house, or farm to farm, announcing their arrival at the sound of ringing bells. Once they reach a doorstep, the Chläusen arrange themselves in a circle and sing three times a Zäuerli, a yodel without words, then wish the landlord a Happy New Year and move on to the next house.

What is most impressive, and what kids love, is the amazing costumes. There are three types of Chläusen: the beautiful who are dressed as women, the ugly who wear terrifying rags and masks, and my son’s favourites. the beautiful/ugly ones, who are dressed as trees, with real leaves, branches, bark and moss.

As it runs all day long, you can turn up and join in the celebrations whenever you want, which is very handy if you’ve got young kids who can’t stay up late. We’ve never stayed up to midnight on the two occasions we have visited with our kids.

Lakes Entrance (Victoria), Australia

(Bec from Travels In Gippsland)

Lakes Entrance in Gippsland Australia is a sleepy seaside town with a population of around 7000 people. It has the magnificent 90 mile beach being it’s draw card in the summer months where it’s population can swell to around 40,000 people from November all the way though to February.

With miles of picturesque sandy beach, wildlife to catch a glimpse of and a system of Lakes that are perfect for boating and skiing it is a hot family destination for some serious fun in the sun.

As so many families holiday and live in the area a true family night out is organised for New Year’s Eve by the local shire. After a big day of swimming at the patrolled beach, make your way to the Esplanade (the main street in Lakes Entrance). There is a carnival on the foreshore and the main street is shut down to traffic to make the 9.00 pm kids fireworks completely safe for families. For the older kids there are fireworks at midnight as well to see in the New Year.

You can have a BBQ on the grassed area with the free shire BBQ, you can bring a picnic, or you can eat from the stalls that are set up during the night as well. Some businesses stay open and getting an ice cream from the ice creamery is an absolute must when you are there.

Edinburgh, UK

(Vanessa, Wanderlust Crew)

Edinburgh is one of the most exciting places to spend New Year’s Eve! In Scotland, they call New Year’s Eve the Gaelic “Hogmanay.” It is the most important holiday in Scotland and has become one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in Europe, and even in the world! The world-famous New Year’s Eve song, Auld Lang Syne, was even penned by a Scotsman, Robert Burns.

The Hogmanay celebrations go on for several days and include a special torchlight procession, live music, family events specifically for kids, street parties, traditional dancing, fireworks, and a costumed parade ending with an ice-cold plunge in the river!

While the street parties are not really kid-friendly, children are welcome to participate in the Torchlight Procession, and there is even a Bairns Afore where families are invited to enjoy an outdoor concert followed by fireworks.

The National Museum of Scotland also hosts some fun and free activities for families through the day of December 31. Families can also attend a Candlelit concert at the 14th Century St. Giles Cathedral.

Cuenca, Ecuador

(Ayngelina from BaconisMagic.ca)

Cuenca, Ecuador, is a colonial city and considered to be one of the prettiest in the country. It is safe to walk around and everything is quite close. Additionally it has a hop on hop off bus to explore the outskirts for only a few dollars.

But New Year’s Eve in Cuenca is also very special because there are so many traditions. Some have been influenced by Spanish colonialisation, such as eating 12 grapes. Others are more quirky, such as choosing a specific colour of underwear to bring good luck, either red for love or yellow for money.

Older children may enjoy some of the more adult activities such as jumping over a small fire 12 times, or throwing rice into the fire for abundance of food in the year coming ahead or a few coins for financial success.

People also sell masks and create effigies of things that they wish to leave in the previous year. It’s often humorous and can be scandals or jokes that people no longer want to hear. Effigies are often stuffed with fireworks and set on fire.

New Year’s Eve is really a family affair in Cuenca and people of all ages celebrate in the streets. Staying at the Casa Cuencana is a great idea. While it may be considered a hostel, it is really more of a small hotel with private rooms and a full communal kitchen. This is especially wise over the holidays as this Catholic-based city often shuts down so finding a good restaurant can be challenging.

Honolulu, Hawaii

(Noel from This Hawaii Life)

There’s nothing like celebrating New Year’s Eve in Honolulu. There are so many cool kid-friendly venues and activities to see and participate in Honolulu, along with the typical New Years celebrations, great parties, fireworks and even just walking on the beach and see all the amazing firework displays or firing off some yourself.

There are wonderful family activities from beach, snorkelling fun, going to the aquarium and zoo, along with easy adventure experiences like sailing and hiking, to just enjoying a nice day on the beach or exploring around the city and various attractions. Check out my post on the best things to do in Honolulu for more inspiration.

New Years celebrations happen at all the hotels and resorts around the city and some cater for family friendly fun and you can just check to find out about the latest in NYE celebrations in Honolulu.

Disneyland Paris, France

(Shel from Skylar Arias Adventures)

Ring in the New Year at the ‘happiest place on earth’ at Disneyland, Paris! This special ticketed event at Disneyland Paris has a special New Year’s Eve parade with all the Disney characters, as well as an amazing countdown to midnight fireworks show.

If the kiddos can’t stay up till midnight, you can still catch the regular evening fireworks show, it’s just as amazing! Rides stay open till midnight, so you have the opportunity to get on all your favourite attractions.

Make sure to reserve tickets online, and dress warm as the weather can be very cold during the winter in Paris.

Also make sure to reserve hotel rooms in advance as well. It was so crowded during our visit and most hotels were sold out. We stayed at the Explorers Hotel, which is a Disney partner hotel with free shuttles to the parks and train station.

Disney World, USA

(Kris from Nomad By Trade)

New Year’s Eve at Disney World is the ultimate celebration for kids. What kid wouldn’t want to party with Mickey and friends? All four theme parks stay open until midnight or later, with the major rides and shows open as well as dance parties throughout the evening, and special fireworks at midnight (Animal Kingdom will have a special projection show instead of fireworks).

Epcot and the Magic Kingdom also do special early performances of their fireworks for those who can’t make it until midnight, and Hollywood Studios offers Fantasmic earlier in the evening.

The Magic Kingdom has the most family-friendly celebrations as alcohol is only served in the table service restaurants, but it’s also the most crowded, typically closing for capacity well before lunchtime.

After several trips, our favourite has been Epcot for New Year’s Eve because of the parties at the different World Showcase pavilions and great dining options for a special NYE dinner.

Whichever park you choose to celebrate at, I’d highly recommend staying at a Disney World hotel that night so you can take advantage of their free transportation. It took us more than an hour just to leave Epcot’s lot after NYE one year, and we very much would rather have been on a bus to our hotel even if the line for it was long. These hotels do book up quickly though, so make your reservation as far in advance as possible.

Wisla, Poland

(Bec from Wyld Family Travel)

Having a white Christmas knee deep in snow is a bucket list travel item for many Aussies. It is such a contrast from what we are used to and celebrated in such a different way but I can tell you New Year’s Eve knee deep in snow with your own set of fireworks should definitely be number two.

We celebrated our first every snow covered New Year’s Eve in Wisla Poland. We had spent the day getting stocks of the most delicious Polish food and vodka before going home to cook it up for a very lavish dinner. We had to stop on the way home at numerous fireworks stalls on the side of the road which was an eye opener in itself as this is completely illegal in most of Australia.

We spent the afternoon sledding and snowball throwing just out the front of our friends’ ski chalet, and as the sun went down we sat down to a beautiful traditional dinner made for us by our friends. As there are ski runs near their house, the mountains were lit up but that all changed just before 12.00.

The lights went off and the countdown began in the houses around us. 5,4,3,2,1….the ridge where the ski runs started became alight with every little house, resort letting off their fireworks. The next was the valley below us and then there were ours as well. The sky was alight with so many colourful explosions it was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life. It was a layers of colour. We stayed outside right to the end, had one more quick snowball fight to start the year and then back inside for a hot drink and bedtime!

London, UK

(Karen from Travel Mad Mum)

Since becoming a parent, it has felt like NYE is a thing of the past. We live in a part of London that has a slightly elevated view so we can just about see some fireworks below. I mean we can barely see them, but it’s something right?

Well this year is going to be a lot more fun since there seems to be a few day time parties on for our younger kids. I mean, I’m pretty sure I struggled to stay up until midnight last year, never mind the kiddos managing past 8pm.

Seriously, where have the days gone when I had the stamina to pull all nighters?Talking of which, I use to love a good rave in my day. Myself and hubby love that kind of music and funnily enough so do the kids. We’ve been to a couple of day time family friendly raves in London with kids.

We were so happy to realise there are a couple taking place on New Years Eve around the city, and guess what? They are in the afternoon / evening so everyone can enjoy it without having to miss bedtime!

So whether your looking for a family friendly getaways for NYE in London or happen to be a local, this could be a really cool and festive activity for you. There are a few companies doing these parties. Check out Rave Tot events here.

I bet you’re wondering what to expect? Well imagine epic tunes, balloons. glitter, games, face painting, foam and good vibes, your kids will have such a great time and so will you!

Dubai, UAE

(Yukti from Travel With Me 24 x 7)

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Dubai is a very unique experience for all ages as the whole city glitters with special light shows and fireworks. The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, welcomes the New Year with spellbound fireworks, unique Laser show and special LED shows.

When the countdown begins to say goodbye to the present year, Dubai excitedly welcomes new year with all lavish and pompous celebrations at many places all over the city. Many families prefer to visit the family public beaches of Dubai with beautiful fireworks views over the famous buildings. But if you to avoid the crowded places to celebrate and watch fireworks, books in to one of the many hotels of Dubai that have a view of Burj Khalifa.

You can also do a day trip Desert Safari to witness the last sunset of the year, complete with Arabic performances.

Throughout the day on New Year’s Eve there are many events held inside the malls, at the beaches, and at many attractions across the city. Many people book theme parks on this day as they have special surprise events.

Sydney, Australia

(Evie, Mumpack Travel)

Sydney is one of the most iconic places in the world to see in the New Year, and a once in a lifetime experience for many. Sipping champagne on the edge of Sydney Harbour surrounded by the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and sparkling ferries and yachts as the incredible fireworks display explodes into life in front of your eyes.

Sydney City Council puts on two huge fireworks shows on New Year’s Eve – one at 9 pm for the kids and another at midnight to welcome to the new year.

If you have the funds you can buy tickets to some of the best parties of the year at the Sydney Opera House, the Opera Bar, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Shark Island and the restaurants that dot Circular Quay.

If you have the stamina you can arrive early and claim space at one of the free viewing areas around the city. But note that some are alcohol free, and most close as soon as they reach capacity.

Also consider booking a hotel room in the city, either with a good vantage point to watch the show or to save yourself the time to back out of the city. Train is the best way to get in and out of the city on New Year’s Eve but be patient as the crowds will be big and you will most likely have to queue.

Sometimes the best place to watch the fireworks is live on TV surrounded by your best friends and family. Both the 9pm and the midnight event are broadcast live with the soundtrack. Happy New Year!

Cape Town, South Africa

(Lydia from Africa Wanderlust)

Looking forward to having an African Christmas this year! Cape Town is the perfect destination for the family during the festive seasons, as there are lots of cool family activities happening.

One of the best family destinations in Cape Town is V&A Waterfront. Expect lots of delicious food, pop-up performances, and fun characters. There are a lot of activities to keep your kids occupied, such as the family-friendly dance party in the Constantia valley, a perfect way to spend New Year’s Eve.

Another fantastic thing to do for NYE is to relax at the Range, a flourishing venue located in Constantia valley countryside. Here, you can dance to classics and old favorites during New Year’s Eve. Drinks are also available in the fully stocked bar, and most importantly, there are activities for kids below 12 years, such as jumping castles and arts and crafts.

MannaBay, Taj Cape Town, and Cape Grace are some of the best hotels within close vicinity. So you can be merry and celebrate New Year’s Eve the African way with your family in Cape Town.

Bangkok, Thailand

(Lisa from Flip Flop Globetrotters)

Some New Year’s Eves you’ll never ever forget. New Year’s Eve in Bangkok with our toddler definitely falls in that category. It was one of the highlights of our year travelling around South East Asia.

The question of whether or not to wake the kids is obviously a non-issue if you’re spending New Year’s Eve somewhere in such a special location. Since our little one was still so young, we decided to let him sleep for a bit before heading out, which worked out well.

We stayed at Erawan House on Soi Rambuttri, which worked well since we brought our own toddler travel bed. Next time we’d probably choose Rambuttri Village Plaza as it has more amenities (and a swimming pool!). We love staying in this part of Bangkok. It was magical to see the area around the Democracy Monument decorated with thousands of little lights. With all the trees near the King’s Palace lit up as well it looked like a fairy tale. The vibe on the street was really good and we enjoyed simply wandering around. Our toddler was happily watching everything from the back carrier. The annual fireworks show over the Chao Phraya river near Wat Po was amazing and well worth the crowd and the wait!

San Diego, USA

(Chelsea, Explore With Me)

New Year’s Eve is one of the most magical times in San Diego, California. One of the most fun events to attend occurs at the Hotel Del Coronado. This event is perfect for both the adults and the kids!

First off, the Hotel Del is a beautiful beachfront hotel which is popular to the San Diego residents. The oceanfront ballroom is transformed into a night time dance floor for the adults. The best part is that the kids get to have a party of their own as well! From 7 pm to 12:30 am there is dinner, ice skating, games, and s’mores for the kids.

If you have a teenage child they can even go hang in their own lounge and mingle with other teenagers. Tickets to this event are required. Please go here to purchase your ticket.

If you are looking for a more relaxed event then you grab a seat on Coronado beach and watch the movie Aladdin under the stars. There will be a bonfire with smore’s as well. After the movie is over you can watch the infamous New Year’s Eve Times Square ball drop at 9 pm followed by fireworks. This is a great family friendly event. Head to the beach early as the seats are on a first come basis and go quickly. The event officially starts at 6pm.

New York, USA

(Sally from our3kidsvtheworld)

New York has to be on any list as top places to spend New Year’s Eve. However, spending New Year’s Eve in New York City with kids is very challenging. Firstly its freezing, its was -12 degrees with a chill factor of -20 degrees when we were there in 2017/2018. Most of the restaurants are closed for private prepaid parties and mostly don’t welcome kids.

Times Square is a nightmare and once you are in, you are unable to leave and there are no public toilets provided. We considered doing this and having spoken to others over there, we were advised its not very kid friendly and to steer clear of it at all costs. Many people were arriving at lunchtime and staying all day to get the best viewing spot.

So what did we do? We stayed in our hotel, then at 11.30pm we headed down to Central Park for the midnight fireworks. We had a great spot where we were able to look straight down 5th Ave and we could see the 2018 Ball Drop in the distance and we had the fireworks right behind us. Was it perfect? No. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

We went to Times Square on the evening of December 30, set up was underway for the next night festivities and just as we were standing there, they had a practice of the Ball Drop, so technically we did actually see the ball drop! The atmosphere was electric though and a big change from our NYE’s here in Australia on the beach.

So hopefully we’ve provided some food for thought with these family getaways for New Year’s Eve. This year, we’ll be seeing the New Year in with family, but we’re already planning somewhere a bit different and exciting for next year!

Whatever you have planned, I hope you’ve had a wonderful year of adventure, with lots more planned for 2020 🙂

You may also want to read:
Family adventure travel ideas for 2020
Is it worth getting a GoPro for family travel adventures?
How do we afford

Last Minute New Years Eve Plans In NYC

NEW YORK CITY — The time has come to call in 2020 and you’ve got nothing to do. Don’t panic. It’s New York City. There’s always something to do.

To help get you started planning, here are just few options for every kind of New Yorker.

Extroverts, dare to be crazy. Introverts? Dare to go to bed early.

Take Yourself Out For A Fancy Dinner

Extroverts:

These restaurants still have tables available, according to OpenTable. And GrubStreet’s round-up of New Years Eve Prix Fixes has some definite splurges, including a $1,200 per person six-course-dinner with a court side view of the ball dropping.

Whoosh.

Introverts:

Order in a $200 lasagna from Union Square Cafe because you deserve to celebrate you.

Catch a Concert

Extroverts:

See the annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace, founded by Leonard Bernstein, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 1047 Amsterdam Ave. Tickets cost $40 and the concert begins at 7 p.m.

Introverts:

Live At Lincoln Center will broadcast the New York Philharmonic’s tribute to Stephen Sondheim, hosted by Bernadette Peters, on PBS at 8 p.m. Because another hundred people just got off the train and you don’t want to deal with any of them.

Culture Vulture

Extroverts:

Attend an eight-hour poetry reading marathon that runs from 2 p.m. until midnight at the The Poetry Project at 131 E. 10th St. in Manhattan.

Introverts:

Sit in a dark room with strangers, none of whom will talk to you or look at you, and watch “Midnight” at The Film Forum.

Go Out With A Bang

Extroverts:

Catch the free fireworks with hoards of your fellow Brooklynites who’ll gather at Grand Army Plaza outside Prospect Park. Festivities run from 10:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

Introverts:

Flee. Forbes has rounded up a slew of very quiet places very far away from Times Square. Have a quaint country inn keeper make you a hot toddy before you fall asleep in front of a fireplace at 10 p.m.

The Day After

Extroverts:

Run into the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean with people who, for some reason, believe themselves to be polar bears. Plunge begins promptly at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1. on Coney Island Beach.

Introverts:

Just keep sleeping.

New York Theater

If tickets are not available through the box office, try buying tickets here

(I haven’t seen five of the shows, three of which haven’t opened yet, which explains why those have no link to my review.)

Of course, New York theater is far more than just Broadway, and some Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows are not just happening, but getting into the whole excess thing that means New Year’s Eve to so many in New York. Prime example is Sleep No More, which for New Year’s Eve adds the option of a dinner plus a party, or any combination. (“Guests are to come dressed in luxe shades of midnight blue, gold, silver, or black…) The cost is astronomical — and much of it sells out.

Similarly, XIV Company offers its “Nutcracker Rouge,” (a “baroque, burlesque” not-for-children take on Nutcracker Suite) at its theater in Bushwick, followed by a party with the cast.

FAMILY SHOWS NOT ON BROADWAY

Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular (two performances on New Year’s Eve, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m..)

Big Apple Circus> (noon.)

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NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES

AT NIGHTCLUBS & WEIRD PLACES (including home)

There’s a New York for almost any taste, so why would it be surprising that Eventbrite lists some 1,000 New Year’s Eve parties? .

You can dance at parties set up in Times Square venues, such as the Marriot Marquis and the AMC 42nd Street movie theater, “six floors of fun” for as little as $49 (that’s after 12:30 a.m. admission) and as much as $3,300. Most promote a great view of the ball dropping (which — do you mind my pointing out? — is an insane pitch, but apparently an effective one)

Then there are the super-hip parties in Brooklyn and Queens.

For the second year in a row, BangOn!NYC is presenting its annual bash to Maspeth, Queens, at the (aptly named?) Knockdown Center, with three musical stages, a silent disco, live painting, interactive art installations and performances, a bartering blackjack table, and more cosmic creations to transcend time and space.”

Many suggest throwing your own New Year’s Eve party, and offer vaguely insulting step-by-step tips on how to do so. The most memorable advice for throwing a party came from Joan Crawford, who was quite a partier in her day (see above). Her advice (see below) can be summed up as:

      1. Have a mix of people as your guests, but nobody with dirty feet.
      2. Secretly drug them.

(P.S., don’t do this.)

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CONCERTS

Some concerts that will be sold out or too expensive will be available in your home, live, depending. (See TV listings below.)

St. John the Divine Concert for Peace.

An annual FREE event since 1984, when it was founded by Leonard Bernstein. Guest performers this year include Paul Winter, Judy Collins, Jamet Pittman, Jason Robert Brown, and David Briggs. (You can pay in advance to reserve a seat. Otherwise it’s first come, first served.)

This year, the New York Philharmonic will present ‘Celebrating Sondheim” with host Bernadette Peters and Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit, soon to star in Company), with music from Company, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd. The cancert will also be broadcast Live from Lincoln Center on PBS. (See TV listings below.)

For the 13th year in a row, Phish will perform at Madison Square Garden The bad news is that their New Year’s Even concert is already sold out. “But more tickets may become available soon.”

The Strokes, with opening act Mac DeMarco, Barclays Center, Brooklyn (indie rock)

Reignwolf
Music Hall of Williamsburg (rock)

Gov’t Mule,Beacon Theatre (indie rock)

Kaskade, Terminal 5, Hell’s Kitchen (electro house music)

CABARET

With the repeal in 2017 of the hated 91-year-old Cabaret Law, which banned dancing at all but a handful of licensed venues (fewer than 100), you could argue that life is a cabaret (or at least could be) at all 25,000 eating and drinking establishments in New York City. But “cabaret” has come to define specific genres of intimate entertainment at just a few, relatively small venues, such as those below.

Tip: Most cabarets offer two seatings on New Year’s Eve. The one earlier in the evening is far less expensive. Many of these performers return to these venues every New Year’s — a wonderful tradition that makes last-minute tickets chancy, but worth trying.

Sandra Bernhard at Joe’s Pub, late show

Justin Vivian Bond, early show at Joe’s Pub

Natalie Douglas: A Very Natalie New Year at the Duplex — her 21st New Year’s there

Seth Sikes Celebrates New Year’s Eve with Twenty ’20s Songs for 2020 at Feinstein’s/54 Below (early show)

Annaleigh Ashford on New Year’s Eve at Feinstein/54 Below (late show)

Marilyn Maye at Birdland, early show

The Birdland Big Band with Vocalist Veroncia Swift, late show

FIREWORKS

Annual Prospect Park Fireworks – free. at Grand Army Plaza

HARBOR CRUISES

Big selling point of all these cruises — a close-up of the New Years Eve fireworks over the water. Most include a buffet, open bar, and dancing with a dj. Drawbacks: These cost up to hundreds of dollars (but some of the links below are to Goldstar discount deals), and many are already sold out (but there are cruises during the day on New Year’s Eve)

Circle Line New Year’s Eve Cruises

Queen of Hearts Cruise

New York Water Taxi New Year’s Eve Cruise

Fireworks Cruise at Pier 62

Moonlight New Year’s Eve Fireworks Party Cruise Aboard the Great Point

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES

A MEDITATIVE ALTERNATIVE The Kadampa Meditation Center in Chelsea, $50 for non-members, provides a way for you to “ring in the New Year “with compassion and beneficial intentions!” — hors d’oeuvres, meditation, and no alcohol. (Pre-registration is required.) WALKING AND RUNNING AND BIKING New York Road Runners’ Midnight Run in Central Park Shorewalkers Happy New Years Day Hike — Hiking the shores and parks of upper Manhattan for SEVEN MILES starting at noon on New Year’s Day, which gives you a good excuse to go to bed early. Annual Bike Ride and Party, from Time’s Up environmental action organization. The ride will begin in three different locations (one in Brooklyn) and end up at the Belvedere Castle right next to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

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WHAT’S ON TV (and other home devices)

Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale, Ciara and Billy Porter (!) present a New Year’s countdown celebration, including performances by Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini, Blanco Brown, Dan and Shay, Green Day, Dua Lipa.

CNN:

Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will be back together as hosts of CNN’s New Year’s Eve special for the third year (Cohen replaced Cooper’s decade-long partner Kathy Griffin.) They will be in Times Square live Performances and appearances this year include Christina Aguilera, Lenny Kravitz, Shania Twain, Patti Labelle, Keith Urban, 50 Cent, The Chainsmokers, and comedian and actress Dulcé Sloan. Leading up to New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen, will be All the Best, All the Worst 2019, a one-hour special hosted by Tom Foreman on the highlights and lowlights of the past twelve months in politics, pop culture, the economy and entertainment. The special airs at 7pm ET.
I can’t help quoting what Anderson Cooper said in 2013: “I don’t know anybody who has a fun time at a party at New Year’s Eve. That’s why I work on New Year’s Eve.”)

Fox:

Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square will feature performances by LL Cool J, DJ Z-Trip, The Chainsmokers, The Lumineers, Florida Georgia Line, Backstreet Boys, Tyga, The Killers, and a “WWE match with Roman Reigns.”

NBC:

New Year’s Eve with host Carson Daly will feature performances by Leslie Odom Jr. (!), X Ambassadors, Brett Eldredge, NE-YO, Blake Shelton, The Struts and Gwen Stefani.

It will be preceded by A Toast to 2019! will air from 8 to 10 with hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, and Martin Short, Kirsten Bell, Maya Rudolph on the year’s biggest pop culture moments

PBS:

Live from Lincoln Center will present the New York Philharmonic concert celebrating Sondheim from 9:30 to 11 (see Concerts above), followed by Amanpour and Company at 11, and then a repeat of the Sondheim concert at midnight.

TV Marathons

Starting on December 17th — the 30th anniversary of the premiere of The Simpsons — FXX has been showing all 661 episodes. Starting at 4:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31, FXX will air a “Best of the Marathon” marathon beginning with The Simpsons Movie and The Longest Daycare, followed by the 11 greatest The Simpsons episodes as determined by the series’ creators and viewer usage.
The Simpsons New Year’s Eve binge has been FXX’s annual tradition for a number of years, but never so extravagant.

Since 1996, WPIX has broadcast The Honeymooners marathon and this year is no different. Twenty-seven episodes of the Jackie Gleason TV series will be broadcast from 11pm to 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

This New Year’s Eve, catering to Binge Nation, there are an astounding number of additional TV marathons.
A sample:

And, in a nod to a new era, 1. SiriusXM plans to air live New Year’s Eve concerts — including that sold-out Phish concert!

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Photo: Bettmann Archive

Even if you understand how time works, you may still be shocked to learn that New Year’s Eve is just five days away. How?! Anyway, the possibilities for how to spend the evening are truly endless, which we understand can be overwhelming, but don’t worry: Grub combed through all said possibilities and came up with 37 stellar options for how to ring in 2020. Below, a procrastinator’s guide to how to celebrate NYE whether you just want to enjoy a really great meal and then conk out before the clock strikes 12 or go all out and possibly lose your phone in the process.

If you want to eat very, very well …

Chikarashi Isso
How Much: $145/person for a nine-course tasting menu, plus $75 with beverage pairings
This Fidi restaurant is less than a month old and New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to give its eclectic Japanese cuisine a spin. Chef Michael Jong Lim will serve bites from across the spectrum, including yakitori, matcha soba, tempura, wagyu, and chawanmushi. It’s like five Japanese restaurants for the price of one! Grab reservations here.

Frenchette
How Much: $200/person for a three-course meal
Through some miracle, there are still NYE reservations available for this beloved downtown restaurant, at least at the time of this posting. They will surely not last, especially when dishes like omelet soufflé with sea urchin, lobster in curry beurre fondue, and Hopping john are on menu. Throw in one of the best collections of natural wine in the city and this is a can’t-miss reservation. Grab one here.

Llama Inn
How Much: $140/person a five-course meal or $110/person for a vegetarian option
At the restaurant that launched an entire Llama empire, the kitchen will serve a five-course menu featuring dishes like smelt sashimi, oyster chowder with an optional caviar supplement, persimmon sorbet plus a DJ set, a performance from Brooklyn’s own Bub Styles and a “traditional adult piñata,” which we’re guessing will not be filled with candy. Book a reservation here.

Curaté at Chefs Club NY
How Much: $175/person for a six-course meal
Asheville chef Katie Button’s current residency at Chefs Club just so happens to coincide with the height of the holiday season, which is good news for anyone who wants to eat and party like a real Spaniard. Button, who trained under José Andrés and Ferran Adrià of El Bullí fame, will serve a six-course meal that’s heavy on the canned Spanish clams, Iberico ham, and Segovian suckling pig, so come hungry and plan on ringing in the new year with a glass of cava in hand. Find tickets here.

Le Crocodile
How Much: $125/person for a four-course meal
The restaurant that replaced Reynard is settling in quite nicely at the Wythe Hotel, where for New Year’s Eve chefs Aidan O’Neal and Jake Leiber will serve a four-course feast. Stick around until midnight and you can partake in a Champagne toast. Book reservations here.

Café Altro Paradiso
How Much: $115/person for a five-course meal
The elevated Italian New Year’s Eve you’ve been waiting for is waiting for you at this Tribeca-adjacent restaurant, where a five-course meal is on tap for the New Year. Among the selections for the night: beef tartare with brown butter and hazelnuts, roast lamb with radishes and anchovy, risotto with wild mushrooms and a golden egg yolk, and many, many bottles of Prosecco if you so choose. Grab reservations here.

Simon & the Whale
How Much: $145/person
All night long, Simon & the Whale will have its usual menu, but starting at 9 p.m. the restaurant will go full luxury with a NYE prix fixe featuring oysters, caviar, lobster, wagyu beef strip loin, and chocolate cake with banana bavarois. Afterward, you can head up to Broken Shaker for rooftop views. Make reservations here.

Mifune
How Much: $95/person or $155/person with wine and sake pairings
Two years ago, Mifune burst onto the scene with a $250 omakase meal, but you can enjoy NYE at this excellent Japanese restaurant for much less. This year, chefs Yuu Shimano and Tomohiro Urata will prepare a seven-course meal that leans heavily on French influences in the form of sole gratinée with clam beurre blanc, filet mignon topped with foie gras, and mousse fromage blanc. But don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of sashimi, soba, and sake going around to make the meal feel thoroughly Japanese as well. Make a reservation here.

Golden Diner
How Much: $78/person
Sam Yoo and the rest of the gang at Golden Diner will host a standing room only party on NYE, where the food will be served buffet style. What’s on the menu? Korean fried chicken, katsu club sandwiches, vegan grilled cheese, and the Golden Diner burger, one of the year’s best new bites of 2019. Grab reservations here. They’re sure to go fast.

Nur
How Much: À la carte
This year, the Flatiron Israeli destination is promising patrons a low-key, no-fuss New Year’s Eve, serving its regular menu, a few specials (beef scallopini with green lentils and Brussels sprouts), and the requisite Champagne toast if you make it to midnight. In other words, eat well, and be well. Lock down your reservation here.

If you want to splurge …

Mercado Little Spain
How Much: $175/person or $2,500/table
There’s no word on whether José Andrés will be there himself, but his Spanish market–cum–food hall will be throwing quite the rager on NYE, with bottomless food and drink and party favors for those who opt for general admission while VIPs will have their own server and bottle service, and will be close enough to the DJ to dance without ever having to hit the dance floor. Afterward, VIP attendees get a gift card for brunch at Spanish Diner — talk about full service. Grab tickets here.

Le Coucou
How Much: $795/person
For those who never pass on the guacamole upcharge at Chipotle, Daniel Rose’s French-inflected hot spot will once again host one of the night’s most expensive celebrations. For $800, revelers will get a lot. A Studio 54–themed party with passed canapés to start, vintage Champagne, a six-course dinner, and an as-yet-unnamed entertainer who will surely be of the Studio 54 era, right? There’s only one seating all night long, so grab tickets here, prepare to roll up at 7 p.m., and stay until the wee hours of the morning.

Wayan
How Much: $198/person
At their Franco-Indonesian spot, Cedric and Ochi Vongerichten plan on leaning even more fully into their Indonesian side, decking the restaurant out in Indonesian décor, including party favors for guests. There’ll also be a DJ on deck to spin tunes while folks dig into a prix fixe menu with caviar pairings, lobster Jimbaran, Balinese-style babi guling suckling pig, and Indonesian chocolate ganache between Champagne toasts. Find reservations here.

Valerie
How Much: $200/person, $550 to $1,650 for reserved tables, $650 to $1,300 for VIP tables
When the clock strikes midnight in two weeks, we’ll officially be living in the 20s — and, naturally, you’re going to see more than a few references to The Great Gatsby. Cocktail lounge Valerie will celebrate the occasion with a raucous 1920s-themed party featuring cocktails from the era (all from a very open bar), a six-piece jazz band, and even a magician! Grab tickets here.

The Grill
How Much: $195/person for first seating; $295/person for second seating
At the Grill folks will be invited to chow down a four-course meal of oysters with caviar and crème fraîche, scampi tortellini, filet mignon, and that not-to-be-missed dessert cart. Book reservations here.

TWA Hotel at JFK
How Much: $185/person or $2,000 for a reserved table
For its first-ever NYE, the TWA Hotel at JFK airport will turn its already-nostalgic gaze on the 1960s, specifically 1962, the same year the architectural masterpiece was first constructed. Upon arrival, guests will find a five-hour open bar, dinner stations throughout the room, live music, ice skating, and with enough forethought, a room at the hotel to crash in when it’s all said and done. Find tickets here.

Gotham
How Much: $140/person
Fresh off a killer year, chef Victoria Blamey et al. will send off 2019 with two three-course dinners featuring pillowy agnolotti, roast duck with beet kimchee, sea bream and escabeche, and live jazz to set a tone as cool as this old-school restaurant has now become. Grab a reservation here.

Il Buco Alimentari
How Much: $275/person
The folks at Il Buco Alimentari will be throwing it down over plenty of apertivi with a massive NYE fête featuring an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvre (read: Parmesan arancini, short-ribs skewers, and fried baby artichokes), a raw bar, and more crudités, charcuterie, fish, and beef than seems possible. When the party ends at 1 a.m., guests will go home with a little breakfast treat to enjoy over a cup of espresso. Get reservations here.

Kāwi
How Much: $225/person
This year, Momofuku is bringing all its best bites to bear at its Hudson Yards outpost, where guests will be bombarded with pork buns, cold fried chicken, rice cakes, and all other manner of umami-rich foods. Additionally, there will be karaoke, a DJ, and ice luges in case drinking straight out of glasses becomes arduous. Or if you’d rather just eat a great meal and call it a night, chef Jo Park will whip up a four-course family-style meal with rice cakes, bansang, hwe, and other Korean-influenced delights for just $85/person. Either way, you’re eating like a king. Find reservations here.

If you want a New Year’s Eve with a view …

701West
How Much: $1,200/person
Yes, this listing technically qualifies as a splurge, but it’s a splurge with a view. That view being Times Square, which is super fun at New Year’s — from a distance. The late seating is sold out, but there’s still plenty of space in the early seating, which includes a primo view of the ball drop without being on the ground, a six-course meal served by the man who made Times Square tolerable again (chef John Fraser), an open bar, live music, and access to the hotel’s dance club afterward. “Black Tie or Glamorous Attire Encouraged.” Grab your ticket here.

Lamalo
How Much: $150/person for first seating or $195/person for second seating, $80/person for open bar access
Lamalo, the Middle Eastern meze spot from the owner of Breads Bakery, will be transformed into a more loungy spot come New Year’s Eve when beef tartare, salmon crudo, crusted rack of lamb, and that awe-inspiring laffa bread will be on the menu alongside caviar, truffles, and Champagne. Guests will also have access to the rooftop of the Arlo Hotel, where the restaurant is located, which will have a wonderful view of the Empire State Building light show. Make reservations here.

Manhatta
How Much: No cover
Dinner reservations at this Danny Meyer restaurant with a view are long gone, but starting at 9 p.m., revelers are invited to a dance party high above Lower Manhattan in one of the space’s many rooms — no reservations or tickets required. Just show up.

Westlight at the William Vale
How Much: $250/person
There’s a reason the William Vale’s rooftop bar is called Westlight. For New Year’s Eve, the spot will not only provide unrivaled views of the Manhattan skyline, but an open bar (duh), live and not-so-live music, and light bites all around, so you may want to get dinner before you arrive. (Our suggestion: Leuca, the restaurant’s Italian-leaning in-house restaurant.) Grab tickets and table reservations here.

The Water Tower at the Williamsburg Hotel
How Much: $250/person
Starting a 9 p.m., the Water Tower will also have views of Manhattan plus an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvre, live jazz, and a DJ, which means plenty of dancing. For an extra $600, you can even book a room to pass out in (or continue to party in) when it all comes to an end at 1 a.m. Call 718-362-8100 to get your tickets.

Ophelia
How Much: $225/person
Across the way from Williamsburg and Long Island City, rooftop lounge Ophelia will host its own party in a setting that’s being described as snow-globe-like. General-admission tickets include an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvre, a dance floor, and a view of Midtown East that’ll sparkle as much as the Champagne. Find tickets here.

Top of the Standard
How Much: $245/person
Over on the far West Side, the Standard Hotel’s high-flying lounge will be turned into a disco with Sister Sledge (of “We Are Family” fame) performing while the booze flows. The party starts at 10 p.m. and black-tie attire is required. So grab your finest and get tickets here.

Last Light at Sister City
How Much: $65/person or $180/person
The rooftop bar at one of the city’s newest hotels will be transformed into a tropical paradise, with tiki cocktails pouring all night long while chicken satay, shrimp skewers, and Hawaiian pizzas make their way around the room. Guests can choose between the $65 Little Umbrella package, which includes one drink ticket, a Champagne toast, and the aforementioned bites, or the $180 Paradise Open Bar package, which is self-explanatory. Either way, you get a great view of the Lower East Side. Find tickets here.

Broken Shaker
How Much: $50/person or $120/person
Between its many venues, there will be plenty of NYE activities to choose from at the Freehand Hotel, but only cocktail lounge Broken Shaker has the rooftop views you’re looking for. Starting at 9 p.m., guests are invited to enjoy an open bar while ordering from the hot spot’s regular menu, which really runs the cultural gamut. Later on, there’ll be a live performance by brother-sister duo Wild Belle. Grab tickets here.

If you want to just want to party…

Fifth Hammer Brewing
How Much: No cover
This Long Island City brewery will host a totally free party on New Year’s Eve featuring a toast-and-jam buffet, dancing, and instead of a Champagne toast, a midnight keg drop. If you’re looking for a party that will be equal parts fun and low-key (with really good beer to boot), this is the one.

Listen Bar
How Much: $299/person
If you’re sober, you know that NYE isn’t exactly the best time of year not to be drinking. But pop-up Listen Bar is prepared to make you forget all about that with a truly insane evening of partying in Bushwick — alcohol-free. The whole evening will be personalized for the 50 guests who grab tickets and officially starts on Christmas Eve. Talk about once in a lifetime. Find tickets here.

Threes Brewing
How Much: No cover
Both the Gowanus and Greenpoint locations of this brewery will host 1920s-themed blowouts featuring Prohibition-era cocktails, giveaways, dancing, and at the Gowanus location, “Year in Review” trivia for smarties who like to party. Meanwhile, the Greenpoint location will have its own secret speakeasy — a party within the party — only accessible to folks who RSVP. Otherwise, neither party is ticketed, so just walk right in and enjoy yourself.

Bowery Hotel
How Much: $249/person or $469/couple
The real question here is what won’t they have at the Bowery Hotel. There will be an open bar, a Champagne lounge, a Patron bar, a whiskey room entirely devoted to Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, an Irish coffee bar, an outdoor cigar lounge with cigar rolling on-site, infused chocolates, roller skaters, go-go girls, a DJ, a midnight delivery from Joe’s Pizza, and more than we can possibly continue to list here. Oh, and the theme is Studio 54. Find individual and VIP table tickets here.

Elsewhere
How Much: $55/person for 2 a.m. entry
This outsize Bushwick music venue has yet to host a bad party and NYE is no exception. To ring in the New Year, it’s tapped musician Neon Indian as one of several people who will DJ throughout the night and throughout the venue, each bringing a different musical theme to their corner of Elsewhere. The party starts at 9 p.m. and, no joke, goes until 6 a.m. So, come prepared for the long haul. Purchase tickets here.

Archer & Goat
How Much: $20/person
Up in Harlem, this solid American bar and restaurant will cover both the eating — with dinner service from 5 p.m. until midnight — and the dancing as DJ G-Bo the Pro takes over at 9 p.m. and spins until 1 a.m. Throughout the night, there’ll be party favors, snacks, and, of course, a Champagne toast. Tickets will be available at the door, but reservations are recommended. Email [email protected] or call 917-261-6602 to grab yours.

Gitano Jungle Room
How Much: $150 to $2,000
This usually outdoors venue has moved inside for the winter, but that hasn’t stopped the Tulum-born restaurant and bar from carrying on the party. For New Year’s Eve, guests have the option of both a four-course dinner and dancing or just dancing, which includes an open bar, Champagne, and “gypsy disco” DJs who’ll be spinning until the wee hours of the morning. Lock down tickets here.

Amor Y Amargo, Mother of Pearl, and Honeybees
How Much: $120/person
One ticket, a crawl through three stellar bars. And these aren’t just any bars: They come from the brilliant mind of Grub favorite Sother Teague, so you know the cocktails will be some of the best you’ve ever sipped. There will also be music and hors d’oeuvres to make your one-night journey that much more enjoyable. Find tickets here.

Nowadays
How Much: $20/person to $75/person
This Ridgewood venue will host a party that starts at 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and goes until 5 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Over those 23 hours, there will be a rotating cast of DJs, food from Diner by the Izakaya (included in the price of $75 tickets), and of course, that massive, thankfully heated backyard of theirs. Guests can choose their tickets by the time they’d like to drop in: $75 for the 6 p.m. arrivals, $50 for 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., $45 for 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., and $20 for 2 p.m. to close. Blankets and pillows are welcome. Seriously. Purchase tickets here.

12 Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Getaways, For Those Who Haven’t Made Plans Yet

New Year’s Eve is one of those mystical, enigmatic types of holidays that, even though festivities virtually only last a few hours, it somehow motivates you to concoct the most ideal situation for yourself. This generally tends to disappoint due to restrictive work schedules, lack of willing participants for aforementioned ideal situation, or a range of possibilities from tight budgets to lack of childcare/petcare. Obviously, planning a trip requires time, but we’d venture to guess many of you are still sorting out your last-minute New Year’s Eve plans — if this is the case, do read on.

The very thought of cobbling together a getaway in the 11th hour may seem daunting, but that’s what the internet is for, friends. Tapping industry experts and employing some wanderlust-fueled imagination, the following roundup of ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve should be useful no matter the type of night you’re looking to have (e.g., relaxing indoors, a fancy fête, etc.) or where in the world you’d like to run off to.

Before diving into the (literal) world of possibilities, a few effective tips for hacking a smart and as-cost-effective-as-possible flight now that you’re booking a ticket a mere few weeks out. It’s not too late to kick off the new year right.

Travel Tips For New Year’s Eve

If you’re keeping your destination national, “round-trip flight prices are currently averaging about $350 round-trip in the United States,” explains Liana Corwin, consumer travel expert at Hopper. “You can save the most money by leaving on Monday, December 31 and returning Friday, January 4.”

Experts agree: President of ExpertFlyer Chris Lopinto advises that “For the best airfares, travelers should consider flying in or out on the holidays themselves as airlines typically have more seats available (same for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).”

If those days aren’t what you’re hoping for or don’t quite match up with your PTO schedule, Corwin also says you can shift your dates to stay over the weekend by departing on Saturday, December 29 and returning Wednesday, January 2 (rather than Friday, December 28 and returning Tuesday, January 1).

With money-saving tips behind, scroll down for your official guide to pulling off a last-minute New Year’s Eve getaway. Bon voyage and happy new year!

Relaxing New Year’s Eve Getaways

Andrew Roland/

Chill Out in The Cotswolds

Set off to the area of outstanding beauty, a.k.a the quaint village of Broadway in the UK. Stay at the newly-refurbished boutique property called The Lygon Arms for a two-night New Year’s Eve party including champagne afternoon tea, a five-course gala dinner with live entertainment (magician and harpist!), and plenty of cocktails, canapés, and even a decadent New Year’s Day brunch.

Escape to Tahoe

Take in the breathtaking views of the south lake shoreline from a room at Edgewood Tahoe in Lake Tahoe, California. This year, the hotel is throwing a dinner party inspired by Truman Capote’s iconic Black and White Ball, which will include an eight-piece band, a four-course wine paired meal, and old Hollywood films topped off with a round of fireworks to kick off the new year.

Cozy Up In Upstate New York

It doesn’t get much more quintessentially cozy than an upstate mid-nineteenth century candle-making factory converted into a boutique hotel. The Wick, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel located in Hudson, New York, is throwing a low-key masquerade party with hors-d’oeuvres, dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight. Easy peasy.

The Best New Year’s Eve Parties

Noradoa

Viva Mexico

Jet to Playa del Carmen, Mexico for an all-night soiree at the Thompson hotel. Fire dancers, pool performers, a live rooftop performance — all things you can expect as well as plenty of delicious food from the CATCH culinary concept and, of course, champagne and fireworks.

When In Rio

Julia B. Pirrung from Jetset World Travel recommends, “Brazil, especially Rio de Janeiro, one of the most iconic destinations to ring in the new year — in white. Expect spirited celebrations surrounded by vibrant people along Brazil’s breathtaking coast during the peak of the South American summer.” The new e-visa program that launched in early 2018 is now $40 compared to $160, making it friendlier on the wallet.

Watch the Ball Drop

If experiencing New Year’s Eve above Times Square sounds magical to you then consider New York’s Marriott Marquis. Within the hotel, there are a few different packages for the holiday including a five-course meal in its 360-degree revolving restaurant, a premium open bar, and late-night bites in the lounge to keep the evening going. There are even rooms with a view of the ball drop if you feel like staying in with your partner or a couple of friends.

Adventure Vacations Ideas For NYE

Kristina Ponomareva/

Off to Iceland

Jody Rains, travel consultant for Strong Travel, encourages jet-setters to head to Iceland for the holidays. “Reykjavik is offering many holiday activities and it is all about the Northern Lights. With more direct flights to Reykjavik, it becomes an easy and quick trip.”

Made for the Maldives

Reconnect with nature by way of a Maldivian holiday. Baros Maldives’s annual New Year Festive Program (December 22 to January 2) offers memory-making experiences such as coral reef planting, snorkeling safaris, fishing by twilight, French wine dinner on the sandbank, and of course, a luxury cocktail party on New Year’s Eve.

Adventure To Aruba

Looking to escape the chilly winter temps. Travel to this Caribbean island where the weather is warm and the festivities are aplenty. Considering Aruba is a mere 21 miles long, hitting multiple celebrations is not only a possibility, it’s a must. The “one happy island” is chock-full of daytime activities including windsurfing, Jeep tours, hikes, and, of course, beach-dwelling. But evenings are not to missed either, particularly on NYE. In addition to epic fireworks, there are endless parties to attend at one of the island’s many resorts. Settle on one or party hop around the island for night you won’t forget!.

Holiday Travel With Friends

FloridaStock/

Fall In Love With Charleston

Not only was Charleston, South Carolina recently named the top city in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, but it also happens to be a fantastic destination to ring in the new year with friends. Stay at King Charles Inn and head to a party aboard the USS Yorktown or the Snyder Grand Ball at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Wine and Dine In Sonoma

What sounds better than indulging your inner wine nerd in Sonoma, California with your friends? Visit the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove and enjoy the 200 brightly lit and decorated trees or indulge your wine-loving palette with a “Holidays in Healdsburg” Tour, a guided fine wine and foodie walking tour.

All In for Aspen

Indulge in a festive snowcapped New Year’s Eve celebration with pals by way of Aspen, Colorado. If you choose the Viceroy Snowmass New Year’s Omakase you can expect Snowcat rides along the mountain, a Champagne Butler on call (yes, that’s a thing), a personal shopper to outfit you and friends, and other party activities. Nearby at the St Regis Resort & Spa don’t miss the New Year’s Eve celebration with a dinner at the Velvet Buck as well as bottomless champagne, party favors, and a jazz quartet.

The new year brings a new wave of wanderlust; visions of bucket list destinations and experiences to check off. Wine tasting in Napa Valley? Desert safaris in Dubai? Waking up in a luxurious villa on a beautiful Caribbean beach? Yes please. Although the holidays are already upon us, there is still time to plan a last-minute escape and ring in the New Year in a fabulous place with your friends or family. There’s no denying that AirBnB can be a landmine of dicey options (especially this late in the game), so we’ve rounded up 10 stunning locations perfect for groups and that are, surprisingly, still available. Take inspiration from these high-end vacation options and kick off 2019 how you intend to continue: enjoying life in good company.

Eden Rock Villas

France has St. Tropez, Italy has Capri, and the Caribbean has St. Bart’s – the ultimate playground for those seeking seaside glamour. Given its proximity to America, the tiny island is a popular destination for the holidays, and although 2019 is just around the corner, there are still some fabulous options available for a last-minute getaway. If you’re travelling in a group, book into one of Eden Rock’s villas, which provide complete privacy along with the convenience of the five-star services at the iconic resort—which is putting the finishing touches on its top-to-bottom renovation. Here you’ll have private chefs, maid service, and butlers to arrange your setup on the beach, so racing to secure a sun lounger in the morning won’t be necessary. The palatial residences vary in size and style, but guests can typically expect to find state-of-the-art features and infinity pools overlooking the turquoise waters of St. Jean Bay. Also, this year, Nikki Beach (located next to Eden Rock) will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party with a live performance by Mariah Carey—we’d suggest booking your tickets now.

Private pool at Eden Rock Courtesy of Eden Rock St. Barths

Bulgari Resort Dubai

Dubai is quite the journey (a 15-hour flight from New York), but if you’ve got the time to spare, it’s well worth the trip—especially if you kick off the celebrations before you arrive by flying on the Emirates A380, where you can make the long haul more enjoyable by mingling in the sky bar onboard. Once you arrive, there are countless activities that are best done in groups (such as, say, venturing into the desert), glitzy beach clubs, and plenty of ultra-luxe hotels to choose from. The most opulent accommodation in the sandy city is undoubtedly the Bulgari Villa at Bulgari Resort Dubai, which has a private cinema, a nearly 5,400-square-foot garden and terrace, an oval pool, and an indoor Jacuzzi and hammam. It’s the perfect setup for a group looking to ring in the new year in a luxurious, unique environment. And, if you could use a bit more room to spread out, the resort has a total of 20 stand-alone villas, and in true Bulgari fashion, the attention to detail in each is immaculate. During December, new gastronomic concepts will be on offer (including menus based around truffles and caviar), and for New Year’s Eve, the resort will be hosting its ‘Gala Extravaganza’ at the Bulgari Marina promenade with live entertainment, champagne and fireworks.

Bulgari Villa living room Courtesy of Bulgari

Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection

Wine tasting in Napa Valley is the perfect group activity, and December is a good time to go, as it is far outside of the peak tourist season. We’d suggest checking into one of the spacious suites at the region’s longtime favorite resort, Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection, and have the concierge coordinate a guided tour around the local vineyards (Beau Wine Tours is highly recommended). There are about 500 wineries in the region, so you can spread it out over a few days and be chauffeured around in SUVs or Limo Buses for larger parties. Napa is also known for its contemporary art, with renowned galleries like the Hess Collection, Mumm Napa, Caldwell Snyder, and Auberge’s very own Sculpture Garden, which features over 100 works by 60 Californian artists.

If you’re looking for something beyond wine and art, the area has a number of activities that are great for groups, including golf, scenic hikes, the Silverado cycling trail, and al fresco pilates and yoga at the resort. Or, if you simply want to relax, Auberge du Soleil really gives you no reason to leave: it has a Michelin star restaurant, an incredible spa and wellness center, a pool framed with picturesque cabanas, and front-row views of Napa Valley’s lush olive groves and mountains.

Pool at Auberge du Soleil Trinette Reed Photography

The Setai Miami

New Year’s Eve in Miami has become as customary as a bachelor party in Las Vegas. Every year, crowds flock to South Beach for the neon-lit revelry—think fireworks, boat parties, and DJs going right through until sunrise. This year, elevate the standard NYE experience by checking in at the Setai, which has a number of two- to four-bedroom suites with panoramic views of the coast. If you’re really living large, opt for the Penthouse Suite, which spans the entire 40th floor of the hotel. It has a private 3,000 square-foot rooftop terrace with an infinity pool, a Jacuzzi, and an outdoor lounge area, providing the ideal setup for throwing your own party to ring in 2019. If you decide to venture out for New Year’s Eve, the hotel is hosting a casino-themed dinner party, with live entertainment, dancing, and a Cristal Champagne toast at midnight, so you won’t need to travel far to embrace the festivities. And, to skirt the standard holiday airport hustle, travelers from New York can book onto BLADEone – a jet service that flies from Manhattan to Miami, seating only 16 passengers.

Pool at the Setai Courtesy of Setai

The Shore Club Villas

Still unmarked by mass tourism, Turks and Caicos’ Long Bay Beach is one of the Caribbean’s most tranquil destinations where guests can soak up the sun without being surrounded by crowds. It is also home to one of the most stylish and exclusive new resorts in the region, the Shore Club, which opened in 2017 and later unveiled a collection of luxurious beachfront villas. Each villa is a sprawling 8,800 square-feet, and features six bedrooms, heated pools, expansive terraces, and private courtyards located steps away from the sand. Private chefs are available for intimate dining experiences and butlers are ready to cater to any whim, whether it’s organizing kite boarding, a tennis session, or chartering a yacht for a cruise during the last sunset of the year. The vibe here is authentic, but contemporary and sophisticated, representing a fresh new Caribbean aesthetic. To top things off, the villas also include private elevators with underground tunnels, allowing service staff to move in and out discreetly.

Shore Club Villa patio. Courtesy of The Shore Club

Amangiri

Since opening in 2009, the otherworldly landscapes of Amangiri have garnered global admiration. The resort is nestled into a protected valley in Canyon Point with sweeping views of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (a vista regularly snapped by celebrity Instagrammers). It has 34 suites that are suitable for couples and families, and for larger groups, there is the stunning Mesa Home, which has four-bedrooms, a private 50-foot pool, a courtyard, a kitchen, and expansive living areas for entertaining and relaxing in complete seclusion. For New Year’s Eve, Amangiri will be honoring the region’s Native American heritage with a series of performances celebrating Navajo culture along with special wine and cocktail tastings and festive menus by executive chef Anthony Mazarita. And, being located in the center of the Grand Circle, there are a number of adventure activities that the concierge can arrange to kick off the new year right, such as horseback riding, hot air ballooning, and kayaking around Lake Powell.

Suite at Amangiri Courtesy of Amangiri

COMO Parrot Cay

COMO Parrot Cay on Turks and Caicos has a variety of accommodation options available for groups, ranging from suites and beach villas to a collection of private homes, located a short buggy-ride away from the main resort. The largest within the COMO Parrot Cay Estates collection is the Residence, which has a sprawling master suite occupying the entire second level (better call dibs now), and four bedrooms spaced out on the ground floor, each with individual en suites. Direct beach access and infinity pools are standard across the residences, as is breezy whitewashed interior decor that complements the soothing environment. After ringing in the new year, guests can detox and reset at the resort’s Shambhala Retreat, which offers Asian-inspired holistic therapies including reflexology, Ayurveda, Javanese baths, and private yoga pavilions. For more active experiences, there are paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment, windsurfing and catamaran sailing—all of which are sure to leave you feeling invigorated and ready to take on 2019.

Como Parrot Cay Residence Courtesy of Como Parrot Cay

The Residences at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Sugar Beach is St. Lucia’s most elegant five-star destination, flanked by the iconic twin-peak Pitons that define the landscape. It’s a magical place to experience with family and friends, which can be best done so from one of the resort’s secluded residences. Framed by lush rainforest and boasting views of the sparkling Caribbean, the two- to four-bedroom residences are gorgeous white-on-white hillside cottages that come complete with infinity pools and sprawling patios. They’re completely private, but as with most decent villas in the region, there are 24-hour butlers on call to cater to any requests. For New Year’s Eve, there will be beach bonfires, fireworks, and a live band followed by a well-earned recovery brunch on New Year’s Day.

Private residence at Sugar Beach Courtesy of Sugar Beach

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection

Los Cabos has been revitalized over the last few years with a number of new high-end resorts, including Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Abuerge Resorts Collection, which snagged a nod in Robb Report’s 2017 Best of the Best list. Although the area has been known for hosting rowdy college kids, you definitely won’t find a spring break crowd here. Instead, it’s a place that attracts couples, families, and mature groups of friends seeking a low-key but luxurious getaway. There are 10 private villas available, but the real showstopper is the 4,400 square-foot four-bedroom oceanfront villa. It’s equipped with everything you could want: think plush dining and living areas, large bedrooms, a plunge pool, a spacious gourmet kitchen, and modern decor throughout. The villa is perched right over one of the area’s best beaches for swimming (many in Cabo can be notoriously choppy), and there are a range of water activities available for you to test out—though we won’t blame you if you simply want to lounge on the golden sand.

Chileno Bay’s Sky Villa Courtesy of Graciela Cattrossi/Chileno Bay

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

After a meticulous renovation, Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach is back and better than ever. Case in point? Its unique five-bedroom villa, Su Casa, has been completely reimagined by Champalimaud Design for modern travelers. The villa, which was once the home of Clara Livingston, reopened for bookings this month, just in time for groups that are seeking a special place to connect over the holidays. The1920’s Spanish-style hacienda spans 8,000 square-feet along the coastline, and has lush gardens, an infinity pool, a separate garden lap pool, and an expansive wraparound veranda facing the ocean. And if you can’t snag Su Casa, the slick five-bedroom villa (which has also received a refresh) should also do you just fine, as it’s equipped with a sparkling infiny pool and direct access to the beach. When you’re not luxuriating in your villa, experience Dorado Beach’s renewed emphasis on wellness at the five-acre Spa Botanico, which features an on-site apothecary and a new spa cuisine concept sure to appeal to health-conscious travelers.

Dorado Beach villa Courtesy of Ritz Carlton

Great Travel Destinations For New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve brings about feelings of excitement and optimism in many of us. It’s a celebration of one year ending and another beginning, an opportunity to set new goals, and a time to start fresh. And there’s no doubt: it’s cause for festivities! There are so many unique celebrations happening across the country and beyond, so we’ve compiled a list of 13 fabulous New Year’s Eve getaways to help you decide where to to ring in this New Year. While it’d be easy to put a place like New York City on the list, we wanted to spotlight some lesser known but equally special spots (but don’t worry—there re a few classic staples here, too). Whether you’re into palm tree paradises, vibrant party towns, or snowy ski villages, prepare for an unforgettable midnight countdown in one of these awesome cities.

When it’s time to book your New Year’s Eve getaway, consider a vacation rental as your accommodation. Renting gives you privacy, flexibility, and extra space, complete with convenient amenities like laundry and a full kitchen. Each of these great New Year’s Eve getaways has an abundance of rental properties available for booking, making it easy to find just what you’re looking for.

Once you decide where you’re headed, you can book your rental property, tours, and activities all right on TripAdvisor! Our new 24-hour cancellation policy (on experiences) means you can pre-book before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes.

From the Hawaiian islands to the Florida Keys (and many places in between), here are 13 destinations sure to give you an unforgettable New Year’s Eve escape!

Key West, Florida

The vibrant city of Key West is a New Year’s Eve getaway for those who love to let loose and embrace their inner party animal (responsibly, of course). While there is much to do in Key West on the night of December 31st, our favorite may be the lowering of a drag queen on Duval Street from atop one of the city’s iconic island bars. This boisterous and joyful event is even televised every year on CNN. There are plenty of other fun things to do during your stay, like a visit to Dry Tortugas National Park where you can snorkel around the reefs, swim, or lay out and relax. Experience the beautiful park by catamaran on this memorable day trip.

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Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is pretty much the mothership as far as incredible nightlife goes, making it a New Year’s Eve destination like no other. On NYE, the entire Las Vegas Strip is shut down to traffic and the streets fill up with celebrators. At midnight, the casinos launch an enormous, can’t-miss fireworks show to ring in the New Year. Of course, there is plenty more to do during your stay. The High Roller, a giant ferris wheel and the largest observation wheel in the world, offers a 30-minute Happy Hour with full bar in your own enclosed pod. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring “O” by Cirque du Soleil show at the famous Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Stay in style in one of Las Vegas’s beautiful homes or apartments available for rent.

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Orlando, Florida

There’s something magical about the start of a new year, so what better place to spend New Year’s Eve in Orlando than at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom? The resort’s “Fantasy in the Sky” celebration is complete with an incredible fireworks show over Cinderella’s Castle. While in Orlando, also consider a visit to Universal Studios, home to the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and much more). A show by the famous Blue Man Group will make for a fun and memorable night out on Orlando during your New Year’s Eve getaway. Opt for a nearby rental as your accommodation and you’ll avoid the hustle and bustle of staying directly at one of the resorts.

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Niagara Falls, Canada

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, and a New Year’s Eve destination that won’t disappoint. Every year, Queen Victoria Park throws a free New Year’s Eve concert that draws over 50,000 people for a night of music, fireworks, and celebration. During your stay, check out a “Best of Niagara Falls Tour” where you’ll hit the observation deck of Skylon Towers, then visit Journey Behind the Falls, where you’ll walk through windowed tunnels looking out to the underside of Horseshoe Falls. Escape the cold on a Half-Day Beer Cider and Wine Tour led by an experienced and friendly guide.

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Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park is a place of beauty, peace and tranquility, especially during the winter months when fewer tourists are visiting. Zion Lodge offers a great New Years Package including an overnight stay for two and a lodge social complete with a DJ, complementary champagne, and a countdown to midnight followed by fireworks. Make the most of your visit by exploring the park on a guided hike with The Wildland Trekking Company. If you plan on visiting Zion National Park from nearby Las Vegas, consider booking a Zion and Bryce Canyon Small Group Tour, where you’ll experience the immense beauty of both parks with to-and-from transportation included. Nearby cabins and homes are available for rent at Zion National Park for a private and cozy stay.

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South Lake Tahoe, California

There is lots to do in South Lake Tahoe during your New Years getaway. Guests can enjoy live music and a three-day-long New Years celebration during the SnowGlobe Music Festival, which takes place from December 28th through 31st. Check out the Heavenly Holiday New Years Celebration for its famous Gondola Ball Drop followed by an incredible fireworks display. This time of year is perfect for skiers and snowboarders, so consider renting some gear from Powder House Ski and Snowboard and ringing in the New Year on the slopes. For an intimate and authentic cabin stay in South Lake Tahoe, consider lodging in one of many available rental properties.

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Seattle, Washington

Seattle is well known for its iconic Space Needle, but the impressive and lesser known Columbia Center is actually the city’s tallest building. On New Year’s Eve you can celebrate in “high” style on its observation deck, drinking champagne and watching the fireworks from the sky. During your Seattle New Years getaway, be sure to hit historic Pike Place Market, and consider joining a Food and Cultural Walking Tour of the market to get the most out of your visit. Another can’t-miss Seattle attraction is Chihuly Garden and Glass, a fantastic display of intricate glass sculptures and demonstrations from glass blowers themselves.

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New Years Eve falls in the middle of winter, but you can leave your coats and scarves at home on a New Years getaway to Honolulu. Kick off the New Year in Honolulu at its annual “Party of the Year” celebration at Aloha Stadium, where live music will have you dancing all night. The island of Oahu is surrounded by some of the world’s most spectacular reefs, and you can get up close and personal with the colorful sea life on a Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise. Immerse yourself in Hawaii’s stunning natural beauty on a Manoa Waterfall Small Group Adventure, where you’ll be guided by a local hiking expert to Oahu’s tallest accessible waterfall and visit famous movie locations. Honolulu is an awesome destination for visitors desiring the tranquility and ease of a beautiful rental property.

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Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta’s New Years Eve claim to fame is its annual Peach Drop. The free celebration includes live music, food, and of course, the lowering of a giant peach as the clock ticks down to midnight. The Georgia Aquarium is considered one of the most extraordinary aquariums in the country, making it well worth a visit. For the travelling foodie, experience 15 food tastings and learn about the city’s history on Atlanta’s Southern Food Tour. To make the most of your stay, getting an Atlanta CityPass will save you loads on admissions prices while gaining you access to some of Atlanta’s best attractions.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Year’s Eve tradition in New Orleans is to head to Jackson Square for an epic celebration in the famed French Quarter. . This is followed by a spectacular show of fireworks over the Mississippi, making New Orleans a fabulous New Years getaway for your inner party animal. While in Nola, consider visiting one of Louisiana’s last protected wetlands on a New Orleans Swamp and Bayou Tour, where you’ll explore hard to reach areas and see a Cajun village. New Orleans has an incredible food scene, and you’ll get to experience some of the city’s most delicious eats on a Food and Walking Tour of the French Quarter. Vacation rentals are plentiful in New Orleans, whether you prefer a quaint cabin, stately manor, or something in between.

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Portland, Oregon

Portland knows a thing or two about ringing in the New Year. The annual Champagne Ball in downtown Portland is an all night party with live music, DJs, dancing, 18 bars, food, and nonstop celebration. Portland is a beautiful city with so much to see it can be hard to plan an itinerary, so consider booking a Best of Portland City Afternoon Tour. You’ll visit some of the city’s top attractions while your friendly guide handles the details (entry fees, transportation, etc.) Portland is home to incredible local wine and beer, so check out the Willamette Valley Wine-Tasting Tour or the Portland Brewery Bike Tour and enjoy some of the best the area has to offer.

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Savannah, Georgia

In Savannah, the high energy “Rockin’ New Years Eve” show at the Historic Savannah Theatre, which is followed up with champagne and an all night dance party, making this Southern city an epic New Year’s destination. The fun doesn’t stop after midnight, however, as there is so much more to experience in Savannah. Known as one of America’s most haunted cities, several ghost tours of Savannah are available to experience a thrill while diving into the area’s history and culture. Take a stroll through some of Savannah’s most interesting and historic neighborhoods on a Savannah Walking Tour, a great way for first time visitors to experience the city. Charming homes and convenient downtown apartments are available for rent for your stay in Savannah.

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Park City, Utah

Skiers, snowboarders, and mountain lovers, Park City may be the perfect New Year’s Eve destination for you. At Deer Valley Resort, 2018 marks the 55th annual Torchlight Parade, held on the night of December 30th. Sip complementary cider and hot cocoa while watching skiers descend Bald Eagle Mountain, lit up by the gorgeous glow of torches lining the run. The following night marks the annual Roaring Twenties New Years party, with dinner, dancing, and live entertainment all night long. If you left your gear at home, it’s easy to rent what you need to hit the slopes with one of these convenient ski and snowboard gear rental packages. Check out Utah Olympic Park to step back in time to the historic 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. As for lodging, end your day cozied up by the fire in your very own private rental property.

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Tags: USA

  • REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

    THE MAIN EVENT

    The Icelandic capital’s midnight fireworks are a community effort: everyone buys their own from ICE-SAR, the national search-and-rescue unit, in what is its most lucrative fundraising project of the year. The result: when the clock strikes 12, the sky explodes with hundreds of mini firework displays, lighting up the entire city. It’s a spectacular sight, but listen out for the sounds, too: fire engines and ships docked in the harbour all ring their bells and blow their horns to welcome the New Year.

    THE LOCAL VIEW

    Revelries ramp up long before the countdown, with community bonfires kicking off all over town from 4pm (a bonus of those long winter nights). A large crowd of locals gathers at landmark Hallgrímskirkja Church to launch fireworks and watch the display at midnight – offering a great vantage from its perch on Skólavörðuholt hill.

    WHERE TO STAY

    Hotel Borg has been Reykjavik’s most luxurious address forever, but for something a bit more boutiquey, try 101 Hotel: all Scandi minimalism, with a swank bar, heated oak floors and sheepskin rugs in the rooms, plus a basement proffering Japanese baths.

  • New York City, USA

    Sure, Times Square isn’t the most original recommendation. But it is the archetypal NYE in NYC. If you’re going to do it, do it from the Renaissance Hotel’s R Lounge – the bar windows offer peerless views of the famous One Times Square building due south, where the ball drops.

    Make like a real New Yorker and swap Manhattan for Brooklyn. There’s free fireworks and live music at Prospect Park or, for something edgier, head to House of Yes in up-and-coming Bushwick for an all-night rager with aerial acrobats and living sculptures. Come 5am, Burning Man’s Bubbles & Bass camp takes over with a champagne morning-after party. Want to go the full hipster? In a Williamsburg warehouse, the BangOn! NYC shindig is a space-themed rave with trippy installations.

    At our favourite New York digs right now, the recently refreshed Lowell Hotel. This stylish retreat on ritzy East 63rd Street has had a facelift, and it looks lovely. Expect an airier Pembroke Room for tea, a new, gorgeous neoclassical foyer and bedrooms that are the last word in elegance.

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  • Edinburgh, Scotland

    The Scottish capital’s famed three-day Hogmanay extravaganza kicks off on 30 December, with a Viking-style torchlight procession along the Royal Mile. The big night itself includes Concert in the Gardens, which wraps in time for gig-goers to catch unequalled views of midnight fireworks over Edinburgh Castle. Celebrations continue on New Year’s Day with live music and the traditional fancy-dress dip in the freezing Firth of Forth (known as ‘the Loony Dook’). For more information on the many events taking place, visit edinburghshogmanay.com.

    You probably won’t spot many Edinburgh natives at official Hogmanay festivities for one, entirely rational, reason: they know to be sceptical about the weather. Instead, find the Scots hedging their bets with indoor jollities before bagging a free spot to watch the castle’s midnight display. Smart, boho Stockbridge has a wealth of great pubs: The Scran & Scallie, run by Michelin-starred chefs Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack, offers laid-back pub grub, but with flair. Then it’s off for a wee dram or two and folk music at nearby basement joint The Bailie Bar, followed by a trip to Inverleith Park, which offers the best free view of the countdown fireworks in the city.

    The Balmoral is the grandest hotel in Edinburgh, and the most comfortable place to recover from Hogmanay celebrations. For something more on-point, Eden Locke, in a New Town Georgian townhouse, offers a perfect storm of millennial pink and Elephant’s Breath, brass detailing, wicker chairs and tropical plants.

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  • Sydney, Australia

    Sydney Harbour’s firework extravaganza is watched by more than a million people gathered along the foreshore – but a better idea is to join the boatfuls of revellers bobbing in the water. You can hire out a boat, bring your own bubbles and start the countdown early. Landlubbers might prefer to reserve an outside table at one of the waterfront restaurants by Sydney Harbour Bridge for a front-row seat.

    Alternatively, motor out to Cockatoo Island and set up a moonlit picnic in preparation for the show; you can even camp or glamp there for the night, as long as you book a spot in advance. New Year’s Eve without the end-of-night battle for a taxi? Yes, please.

    All about the pyrotechnics? The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney overlooks Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. For a more local feel, book the new Paramount House Hotel in inner-city foodie hub Surry Hills. An industrial concrete-and-copper aesthetic meets furniture, bathroom products – and beer – by independent Aussie makers.

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    BEST FOR: NEW YEAR’S STREET PARTIES

  • BEIRUT, LEBANON

    Beirut’s legendary party scene makes for a memorable outing any night of the year, but in 2017/2018 the city elected to put on an official shindig in its streets, and immediately landed on various ‘best of’ lists – prompting it to go even bigger the following year. If 2019/2020 is to extend that tradition, expect central square Place de l’Etoile to once again be packed with merrymakers, as live bands, DJs and fireworks ring in the next decade, and a spectacular light show beams out of the square’s 1933 Art Deco clocktower. This being Beirut, things won’t wind down until after dawn.

    The city’s nightlife scene has more than its fair share of bling-bling clubs, but to get among the Beiruti in-crowd, bar hopping in hip Gemmayzeh and neighbouring Mar Mikhael is where it’s at. The latter’s Anise is a firm favourite, where craft cocktails are concocted with Lebanese spirit arak and locally foraged herbs.

    The Albergo – by Relais & Châteaux – is steeped in a old-world charm, from its antique-furnished rooms to the orange juice in a Murano glass jug and macarons brought to your room when you arrive.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark

    When the clock strikes 12, the ordinarily restrained Danes gather at Town Hall Square for a rowdy, BYO bacchanal of popping champagne corks, whooshing rockets and fizzing Roman candles. For a slightly more orderly take, twinkly Tivoli Gardens lights up the sky with its own Firework Festival; its restaurants are all serving New Year’s dinners; and the roller coasters are open – plus, plenty of glögg stalls serve liquid courage.

    Watch how Copenhageners abandon hygge for hedonism on New Year’s Eve as thousands of merry folk take to the streets to light their own fireworks just after midnight. A favoured local spot to watch the mayhem – which is loud, raucous and just a tad nerve-wracking – is Queen Louise’s Bridge, which stretches across The Lakes, in the heart of the city.

    Sanders, on a quiet street just a short walk from ever-lively Nyhavn, is enchanting. Style-wise, it combines Danish mid-century modern and British Colonial (wickerwork here and there, palms in pots), and there’s a fifth-floor conservatory with views over the city.

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  • Barcelona, Spain

    Barcelona is a city of night owls, so the revelry doesn’t really start gearing up until about 11pm. That’s when crowds gather at Plaça d’Espanya to watch the midnight pyrotechnics on Montjuïc, the hill just above. A few yards from here, Poble Espanyol, the open-air architectural museum, hosts a huge dance party until 6am.

    One of the stranger traditions – other than eating a grape for each chime at midnight (seriously, everyone does it) – takes place at Plaça de Catalunya, in the city centre. As soon as the New Year has been rung in, the assembled thousands throw their Cava bottles into the middle of the square. If that sounds slightly frightening, head instead for the most popular club bashes: Pacha rages from 12.10am to 6.45am.

    Join the creative crowd at Soho House Barcelona, in a palm-tree-lined square just off the seafront. Along with its speakeasy bar/cinema and basement spa, don’t miss the roof terrace for poolside views of Port Vell marina.

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  • Berlin, Germany

    Berlin’s anything-goes energy is well and truly buzzing at this massive open-air party between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column. One of Europe’s largest outdoor celebrations, this jamboree sees around a million people gathering along the event’s 1.6-mile stretch. Better still, it’s free of charge and keeps pumping until 3am. Expect live music, DJs, laser shows, food and, of course, fireworks.

    Berlin’s not short of world-class clubs, but the rooftop garden at House of Weekend comes into its own on New Year’s Eve, offering astonishing views of the pyrotechnics and the city’s skyline. Plus, you don’t have to worry about that infamous Berghain bouncer.

    Make yourself at home in Gorki Apartments, on the edge of bubbling Prenzlauer Berg. These cool-looking spaces are all different, but each has its own edgy glamour: a rustic wooden dining table might be surrounded by a mix of chairs found at a flea market; in the corner there could be a piece from Dixon or Knoll.

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  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The main event

    Conveniently compact and always-down-to-party Amsterdam is an amalgam of impromptu street frolics on 31 December, but if there’s one reliable place to be at midnight, it’s the Magere Brug (‘Skinny Bridge’). Here, merrymakers gather to watch countdown fireworks bursting over the River Amstel, then continue their festivities all across town. Nieuwmarkt (Chinatown), in particular, is known for its rambunctious atmosphere.

    Amsterdam’s EDM heads go to the Awakenings party at the Gashouder. It’s yet to be confirmed that the party will take place this year, but this epic rave in an industrial gas holder built in 1902 usually features international DJs.

    Percolating its way through 25 historical buildings – from 17th-century canal-side mansions to artisans’ workshops – the Pulitzer Amsterdam has soaked up 400 years of stories from previous residents, including grand families and a friend of Rembrandt’s. Bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, but the mood is one of calm and comfort, with muted pastels and luscious touches of lime and purple. Connects with both the old bones and the vital, contemporary spirit of the city.

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  • Lisbon, Portugal

    The big blowout in Europe’s new capital of cool is at Praça do Comércio, the main square right on the Tagus River. In typically Portuguese fashion, the fiesta runs late: live music starts up at around 10pm and continues after the midnight fireworks. Plenty of locals – armed with their own fizz and plastic cups – can be found drinking and dancing in the heart of the action, so it doesn’t feel like a tourist trap.

    Lisbon’s central Bairro Alto district is always a party locale – thank the lax open-container laws – and NYE here is no exception. Partygoers often head here after the Praça do Comércio fireworks, and the neighbourhood is also home to some outstanding fado houses, where you can watch traditional Portuguese music with dinner. Popular spots include O Faia and Cafe Luso – but they’re not cheap.

    Catch 360-degree city views from the rooftop bar of Verride Palácio Santa Catarina, which stands in solitary splendour at the top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills. This new hotel, tucked behind a handsome 18th-century façade, combines heritage and contemporary with muted colours, raw linens and pale silks; bedrooms overlook the Tagus at the front.

    City break: Lisbon, Portugal

    City break: Lisbon, Portugal

    Destinations

    City break: Lisbon, Portugal

    BEST FOR: NEW YEAR’S BEACH PARTIES

  • Koh Phangan, Thailand

    There are parties on the beaches of Thailand’s islands all year round, but the wildest of them all is New Year’s Eve on Koh Phangan, home to the world’s most famous full-moon party. Revolving around Sunrise Beach in Haad Rin, the maelstrom starts as soon as it gets dark and romps on well beyond sunrise and into the following afternoon.

    Go for cocktails and a dinner of freshly caught and grilled fish over on the Sunset side of the island, and don’t even think of joining the party until just before midnight. Then head back to Sunset Beach for a dawn swim.

    The stylish Anantara resort is halfway up the east coast of Koh Phangan, some distance from the party, but the journey home, on a boat through turquoise waters as the sun is coming up, might possibly be the greatest taxi ride you’ve ever taken.

    The best of Thailand’s beaches

    The best of Thailand’s beaches

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    The best of Thailand’s beaches

  • Goa, India

    Some say Goa’s parties are not what they used to be. We say it’s still hard to beat dancing on the beach, with the sand between your toes and fairy lights strung on every palm tree, sequined sari skirts twirling under the stars. And New Year’s Eve is the best time of year to party in Goa, with fireworks and celebrations all along the coast of India’s good-time state. Inevitably, the biggest and loudest bashes tend to be centred around Anjuna, where world-class DJs play to huge crowds long into the night.

    For a more intimate party, head to Palolem, in the south. This jungle-lined bay is dotted with ramshackle beach bars that join up for a night of trance tunes, free-flowing cocktails and fireworks at midnight.

    On the beach in Candolim, not far from Anjuna, The Park Hotel is an all-white, contemporary pad with 30 bedrooms, cabanas on the poolside deck, a private beach and DJs playing Balearic beats (welcome news for anyone not a fan of Goa trance) in the open-air bar.

    Read more about Goa: India’s Latin Quarter

    Goa: India’s Latin Quarter

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    Goa: India’s Latin Quarter

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    It’s practically midsummer in Rio de Janeiro this time of year, which is why many partygoers shun sweaty indoor clubs and take the party to the beach instead. A whopping two million people gather on the 2.5-mile-long Copacabana for samba, Champagne and fireworks on New Year’s Eve – to find a good spot, start staking your place from 10pm. Note that it’s busiest in front of Rio’s landmark hotel, Copacabana Palace, as this is the location for main-stage concerts. It’s customary to wear white in Rio on NYE – said to bring luck for the New Year. But perhaps leave your favourite clothes at home, unless you don’t mind getting doused with Champagne, sprayed F1-style by rapturous crowds.

    Lifeguard stations along the beach are called ‘postos’; in-the-know types recommend setting up between Postos 5 and 6. This is the final stretch of Copacabana, so it’s not quite as crowded; plus, it’s walking distance from the parties at neighbouring Ipanema, where many revellers head after the countdown fireworks.

    To go all out, Belmond Copacabana Palace has exclusive views of the action (and a price tag to match). For something more affordable but with similarly breathtaking views, the Mama Ruisa hotel is a lovely guesthouse with a vintage, homely feel.

    These are Rio’s best beaches

    Rio’s best beaches

    Autumn Sun

    Rio’s best beaches

  • Cape Town, South Africa

    The mother of all celebrations in the Mother City is on the V&A Waterfront, where there’s everything you could possibly require in one handy spot: dinner, live music, dancing, fireworks. Plus, there are views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic shore. It’s spectacular – but if you want a party with a more local flavour, you have to head for the sand.

    A sunset picnic on Clifton 4th Beach, a gorgeous cove in the affluent Clifton neighbourhood, is a popular choice for Capetonians. Then it’s time to hit one of the city’s many glam beach clubs. The hottest ticket: Pacha’s elite soirée at Grand Africa, on the Grand’s private beach, facing Robben Island.

    Sitting atop the V&A Waterfront’s much-feted Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, The Silo is the very definition of a destination hotel. Rooms are a happy marriage of vibrant silks and velvets in deep purple and bottle green, while the ballroom-worthy bathrooms are lit by Egyptian-crystal chandeliers. There’s no other hotel like this in Cape Town right now – certainly nowhere approaching its punchy price tag or bravado.

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