There’s no city in the world that’s quite like Las Vegas, and no other city in the world does New Year’s Eve like Sin City! The parties are ramped up bigtime for one of the major celebrations of the year, so whether you live in Las Vegas or are traveling to the City of Lights to ring in the new year, you won’t get bored. In fact, with so many amazing options you might have trouble deciding exactly how to spend your New Year’s Eve. Check out this breakdown of some of the biggest and best New Year’s Eve events in Las Vegas.
Illuminate the Night
Every year, several hotels launch fireworks for a coordinated extravaganza. For NYE 2016 the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, the Aria and the MGM Grand staged a mesmerizing coordinated fireworks show from their rooftops with the theme “On Top of the World.” And next year’s celebration only projects to be even bigger and better! You can enjoy the views if you’re hanging out anywhere near the Strip, but the higher you go the more you’ll see (including just off the Strip at hotels like the Rio and Palms.)
Hit up a Nightclub Party
You can view the fireworks at Caesars Palace from the only rooftop pool deck in Vegas at Drai’s Night Club. Lounge under the palm trees and have a pool party under the stars as the fireworks boom literally all around you. Bundle up, though. It’s chilly out by the pool on New Year’s Eve. You’ll be able to catch live performances (they rang in 2016 with Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill, with a champagne bar from 9 to 11 pm.)
If you’re looking for more of a winter wonderland, head to the Cosmopolitan, where the Boulevard pool is transformed into an ice rink from which you can see the fireworks at Planet Hollywood. Fetty Wap and Bruno Mars performed at the latest Cosmopolitan New Year’s Eve party.
The Stratosphere holds several parties on different levels of its tower (this review does a good job of covering all of them.) Attend a frenzied nightclub bash on level 108 or enjoy fine dining on level 106. You can boogie the night away at the DJ dance party on level 107. Some of the tickets also offer complimentary entry into the VIP after parties.
Take a Helicopter Over the Fireworks
If you want to experience a (slightly) quieter, more intimate New Year’s Eve, view the fireworks from up above on a helicopter tour. Guests will take a limousine to the helicopter terminal, where they’ll climb aboard at 11:45. As the chopper soars through the air, you’ll be able to take in the almost 10-minute-long fireworks show and toast with champagne as the clock strikes midnight. You’ll need reservations, so make plans ahead of time with one of the top tour guides if you’d like to take advantage of this unique offering.
Rock the Night Away
If you’re more into musical nostalgia (or you just want to have a rockin’ party,) spend New Year’s Eve at the Fremont Street Experience. This all-night party downtown lasts from 5:30pm until 3:30am and has all the live music you can handle. But in addition to awesome live tribute bands, the party features zip line tours and a light show on the Viva Vision canopy, a 1,500-foot-long screen that hangs 90 feet in the air. You’ll be surrounded by glamour and downright eccentricity as you jam to covers of Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi and more.
If you’d rather enjoy a show by one of your favorite performers, Las Vegas also gives you the chance to catch stars like Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood or the iconic Celine Dion at Caesars Palace. Slash brought in 2016 at the House of Blues, and Maroon 5 delivered their signature serenades at Mandalay Bay.
Survival Tips for a Vegas New Year’s Eve
If you want to survive the night, be prepared for over-the-top festivities. Wherever you go, it’s going to be loud, and it’s going to be crazy. Plan to arrive at your destination early and plan to stay until well after midnight (the roads will be an unimaginable mess, and a dangerous place to be with many drivers on the road having consumed alcohol during the night.) The princess of pop herself, Britney Spears, advises following three simple rules: “Arrive together, stick together and leave together.”
Stay safe by attending a celebration with friends. Don’t lose sight of each other, and keep your phones charged in case you do get separated. If you want to hang out at a family-friendly locale off the strip, head to the Cannery in North Las Vegas or South Point Casino just a few miles south of the Strip. You’ll be able to enjoy all of the fun without the unbelievable crowds and chaos you’ll find downtown.