Traveling with the auld gang to New Year’s Eve events is one of the best ways to make sure you’re in excellent company for a midnight toast. The hottest spots to ring in the new year span the globe, from Sydney, the first major city in the world where the New Year arrives, to London, with Big Ben ringing in the New Year, and Las Vegas.
Here’s a round-up of our favorite celebrations the whole squad will love.
Sydney Spectacular — First in 2018
Your crew will be the first to post photos from 2018, thanks to the time zone in Sydney, Australia. Sydney’s so into ringing in the new year the hashtag #sydNYE is already posted on its celebration countdown page.
More than a million people attend the fireworks display, one of the most spectacular in the world, with the soaring Sydney Opera House and Harbor of Light Boat Parade as the backdrop. There’s a family-friendly 9 p.m. fireworks show, so come early and get two shows in one night.
An excellent viewing option is the celebration at Barangaroo Reserve with its view of Sydney Harbour Bridge, with food and cocktails sold. Or head to the Royal Botanic Gardens prime vantage point, with dinner and cocktails included.
Bright Lights, Big Fireworks in Vegas
Las Vegas shuts down the Sunset Strip to traffic at sundown on New Year’s Eve, so your auld gang and a few hundred thousand of your new best friends can ring in the New Year.
Fremont Street‘s “America’s Party Downtown” is the city’s official New Year’s Eve Party, where you can dance to 15 bands on three stages and view a massive light show before the fireworks on the world’s largest video screen. Fremont is just off Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as the Strip. There’s also a zip line overhead if your team is in “What Happens in Vegas” mode.
For vocal fireworks, your party can catch mega-stars like Celine Dion at The Colosseum. And go sky high for a rooftop bash at the Marriott’s Grand Chateau off Sunset Strip and have prime viewing as casinos synchronize their massive fireworks shows. Use hotel wristbands to come and go from your suite to the Strip’s massive party because in Vegas it’s all about pacing yourself.
Times Square’s Marriott Marquis for Rockin’ NYE
Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve is the most iconic New Year’s Eve Celebration in the world. Your crew can experience it front and center at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square in New York City.
Wristbands will get you in and out of the building and to the gala where host Ryan Seacrest counts down the national broadcast overlooking Times Square. There’s an open bar, dinner and dessert buffet, so pace yourself unless you’re trying to get in the last of your pre-resolution excess.
VIP tickets include a red carpet walk and photos and give your party patio access for a view of the iconic New Year’s Eve ball drop and to get showered in confetti along with the rest of Times Square.
Ring in NYE with London’s Grandfather of Clocks
No clock can compete with Big Ben for ringing in midnight. Have a majestic New Year’s Eve in London when the final “bonnnnng” from the iconic clock tower precedes the biggest fireworks display in the U.K. at a celebration presided over by London’s mayor.
The official party is at Westminster Palace’s Victoria Embankment, near The London Eye and within view of Big Ben, so you’ll hear the chimes ushering in the New Year at close range. Soak it in because the iconic clock is under repair until at least 2021, so for now it only rings on New Year’s Eve. Purchase tickets in advance.
You can see the NYE buildup from the London Eye but no fireworks; the wheel’s last spin is at 3 p.m. Not one for crowds? Get the gang on the river in a Thamesjet or a City Cruise including dinner and cocktails for a perfect fireworks view. Some levels are already sold out, so the clock is ticking.
All That Jazz in New Orleans
The Big Easy is one of the few U.S. cities where walking with open liquor is legal, so bring some bubbly in plastic flutes (glass is forbidden) to toast with your crew while strolling through the French Quarter to Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square.
New Orleans’ Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Countdown will feature a stage with live music (courtesy of a new affiliation with Dick Clark Productions) and a fleur-de-lis drop from Jax Brewery.
For a fireworks closeup, grab the auld gang and walk across Decatur Street and over the levee to the Mississippi River’s shore for the closest view of the fireworks, if you don’t mind tight crowds.
After ringing in the New Year, grab coffee and beignets (square donuts covered in powdered sugar) at open-air Café Dumonde. There will be a line, but people watching is prime New Orleans entertainment. You’re guaranteed to hear street music, so bring some cash to tip for Auld Lang Syne unplugged.