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Where to spend New Year’s Eve in the United States 2019-20

Welcoming in the New Year is the ultimate party around the globe. Celebrated by gathering together, popping champagne, remembering the best of the previous year, making resolutions for the year to come and, of course, fantastical displays of fireworks, New Year’s Eve is the biggest event on the world’s calendar. So how best to celebrate in the US? From LA to NYC and Vegas to Chicago, we show you the best things to do on NYE 2019 across the country. Our list of the best places to spend New Year’s Eve in the US includes...

  • New York
  • LA
  • Orlando
  • Vegas
  • And more!
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New York

Probably one of the world’s most famous gatherings has to take place in New York’s legendary Times Square is the New Year’s Eve celebrations. This is where the iconic ‘ball drop’ happens, seeing in the New Year. At 11.59pm, the ball descends 141ft (43m) over 60 seconds, counting down to midnight. As it hits the bottom, fireworks erupt high above the skyscrapers and an incredible 3,000lbs (or 1.5 tons) of multi-colored confetti rain down on the crowd. Viewed nearly every year since 1907, the ball drop has become a prominent symbol of New Year in the city. Surrounded by the bright lights of billboards, penned in by over a million other partygoers, and immortalized by the famous ball drop, NYE in NYC is something you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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Winter in the Windy City is snow joke. Temperatures can plummet well into the minus figures and the glimmering lake Michigan can freeze over entirely. How better, then, to warm your soul with not just one single fireworks display to usher in the new year... but seven? In seven locations along the blue Chicago river, there will be launch points for fireworks to light up the sky at midnight, beautifully reflected in the sea of glass skyscrapers that line the river’s banks. The shores of the lake, however, might be a preferred (and less crowded spot) as you can see the display that takes off from the fabulous Navy Pier in a riot of bangs, fizzes, and color right over the lake.

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Las Vegas

Where could be better than the bright lights of Las Vegas to let your hair down in a final bash for the end of the year? Sin City is known around the world for being the place to party any night of the week all year long, but it’s the final party of the year that you won’t want to miss. The entire Strip, the infamous thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of the city, shuts off to traffic completely, turning the wide boulevard into a giant block party. At the stroke of midnight, the city’s most popular casinos launch a coordinated firework display that lights up the merriment below. Clubbing together, the Stratosphere, Treasure Island, The Venetian, Caesar’s Palace, ARIA, Planet Hollywood, and MGM Grand set off a spectacular pyrotechnic show, enjoyed by nearly 350,000 people in the streets below. What’s more, at ground level, the Bellagio fountains put on an extra special extravaganza with music and the illuminations above - you’ll hardly know where to look. This is, after all, the entertainment capital of the world...

New Orleans

New Orleans’ principal celebrations take place around Jackson Square which borders the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Over 200,000 people flock to the waterfront to watch a riveting firework display that sends an ethereal glow over the Mississippi River. There’s more too: a spectacle also takes place on the water’s surface as a barge launches special floating fireworks onto the water that fire up as though from the murky depths. And that’s not all: inspired by events in New York, NOLA has its very own drop, but here it is a giant symbol of the fleur-de-lis (a sculptural royal symbol from the city’s colonial French roots). Descending 25ft from a flagpole atop the Jax brewery, the fleur-de-lis kicks off the explosions once it hits the bottom. You don’t want to miss this classic New Orleans experience.

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This is one that all the family can enjoy - something you’ll want to keep the kids up late for! Walt Disney World is known for providing the magic every day of the year, but the most sensational show in this perpetually joyful cartoon kingdom has to be their New Year’s Eve firework show. Blasting off from the iconic Cinderella Castle, you’re guaranteed to be just as wowed by the kid-friendly show at around seven in the evening as you will be by the main event at midnight - a show that is (as you would expect) thoroughly magical.

San Francisco

To celebrate New Year like a true San Franciscan, join the crowds that throng to Dolores Park in the early evening, laden with champagne and snacks to watch the sun set over the city on the final day of the year. You could, if you like, stay up here until midnight to get a view of the pyrotechnics from a heightened position, or head down to the Embarcadero waterfront to watch the sky light up above the Ferry Building. Lots of San Franciscans take to the water by boat to get a great view of the display against the backdrop of the city’s skyline. Or, if you prefer your water frozen, why not ice skate at Union Square?

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Los Angeles

Join the crowds that gather around the magnificent 1920s City Hall building for an epic light and laser show and countdown that’s projected onto the building’s facade. As the clock strikes midnight, fireworks will erupt from in front of City Hall in Grand Park and there will be live music, food stands, and photobooths where you can make memories of the merriment. Elsewhere in the city, you could get a prime spot on the sand at Long Beach and watch the pyrotechnic display that lights up the sky over the majestic Queen Mary, the 1930s ocean liner-turned-hotel that is docked at Queensway Bay. If you have the kids in tow, why not spend a rip-roaring evening at Knott’s Merry Farm where the whole family will delight in fireworks, music, snow canons, and theme park rides!

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