Soon, the old year will be out the door, and it’ll be time to ring in the new year. Most people will do so at a party with friends and family as they count down from ten while the ball drops on the TV. If you’re looking for something a little different this year, why not try a short trip to a fun city that does New Year’s Eve in its own special way? While nearly every city will do something special for the holiday, some places take it to another level.

We’ve searched around the country to find which cities have the most parties, not just for the young, but for everyone!

New York, NY

We had to start with New York City, the home of the most famous New Year’s Eve celebration, the Time Square Ball Drop. This can be neat to experience, but unless it’s something specifically on your bucket list, we wouldn’t recommend going to the Drop. It can be a nightmare. Unless you’re comfortable going hours early, standing in one spot the whole day (not even leaving for bathroom breaks), and being closely surrounded by other people, there are many better ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in New York.

Unless it’s something specifically on your bucket list, we wouldn’t recommend going to the Time Square Ball Drop.

Instead, we suggest checking out one of the many other activities scattered throughout the city. For example, you can catch a show at the Lincoln Center, a show at the Radio City Music Hall, or one of the concerts in New York. You could also spend the evening on a New York City Harbor cruise and see the festivities from the water, getting one of the best views possible. Of course, you could always go to a ticketed New Year’s Eve party, as well, though you should definitely do your research beforehand to ensure that it’s the kind of atmosphere you want to spend a few hours in. If you simply need to see the ball drop in Time Square, another option may be to get a room at one of the hotels that overlook Times Square, allowing you to see it all live in comfort.

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas isn’t only a great destination for Christmas. The glitz and glamor of Sin City pairs perfectly with the champagne and sparkle of New Year’s Eve parties. Similar to Christmas, the weather is milder than it is in the summer (possibly even cold), making it a comfortable time to visit. Now that the secret is out about winter-Vegas, you can expect it to be a bit more crowded, but this also means there will be more open and more shows. And if there’s one thing that Vegas does well, it’s their shows. Not only that, you can expect nearly every resort and casino to be throwing a party of some kind, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Simply go to your hotel’s or a casino’s website close to the date to see if they have anything planned. (They likely do.)

Check out the annual fireworks display that is set off from multiple casinos on the Las Vegas Strip!

If parties aren’t you cup of tea, Las Vegas may still have a few things to offer you. Chief among these is the annual fireworks display that is set off from multiple casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Enjoy a view from the Strip, since many of the roads will be shut down for safety. For this reason, you may also want to find a hotel on the Strip or within walking distance. While you’re in Las Vegas, don’t forget to grab a bite to eat at one of the world-class restaurants found in the casinos or along the Strip.

Chicago, IL

For those living in the middle of the country, a trip to Chicago for New Year’s Eve may be closer, but no less thrilling. Just make sure to bundle up, since the Windy City got its nickname for a good reason! Chicago boasts a surprising diversity of New Year’s events. For example, animal-lovers will enjoy the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Year’s Eve event, a special, ticketed event for adults aged 21 and over, complete with DJs, drinks, giveaways, and animal enrichment. Fans of craft beer will want to check out Brew Year’s Eve, an event with live music, games, and, of course, craft beers, wine, and cocktails.

New Year’s Eve in The Second City would be incomplete without a trip to Navy Pier.

Those looking for a more traditional party won’t be disappointed, either. The New Year’s Eve party hosted at the W Chicago City Center promises to be spectacular, with music, dancing, multiple parties, and an open bar and buffet for general admission guests. (There are extra perks for VIPs.) Other hotels and venues will be hosting parties that are also worth investigating. New Year’s Eve in The Second City would be incomplete without a trip to Navy Pier, where multiple bars and venues will be hosting events before celebrating at midnight with fireworks over Lake Michigan.


So, we’re cheating a little, but truthfully, when it comes to the holidays, there’s no place like home. Celebrating the coming new year at home allows you to celebrate with the people that matter most. If your town is throwing a New Year’s Eve event, or if someone’s hosting a party, you’re in luck. Simply show up, with food or drink, if it’s requested, and have fun with your loved ones. If you’re the one hosting, many of the tips we made in Hosting an Unforgettable Senior Christmas Party apply for throwing a New Year’s Eve event, too. At the same time, we have several healthy tweaks for classic New Year’s Eve hors d’oeuvres and dishes to serve.

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Ultimately, wherever you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve this year, we hope you’re sharing it with the people you love most. Whether you’re at home, on the shores of Lake Michigan, in the middle of the Strip in Las Vegas, or watching the ball drop in Time Square (or at home), we hope you have a safe, fun, and wonderful New Year’s Eve!