Courtesy of Atlantis Paradise Cove
Courtesy of Baur au Lac
How about a Alpine feast at the rustic Chalet au Lac, followed by midnight fireworks over Lake Zurich?
You can do better than the ball: Find a fete in our global roundup of great places to raise a glass on December 31.
This has been a crazy year for travel, so we’re not surprised that 2017 came and went in the blink of an eye. If you still haven’t made New Year’s Eve plans, don’t sweat. We’ve got the lowdown on the best last-minute parties, dinners, and events of the year. From Berlin to Bangkok, here are 14 places to celebrate 2018.
Note: Ticket availability and pricing were accurate at the time of publishing.
NEW YORK CITY
The King’s Winter Masquerade. New York may be known for its theater, but Sleep No More goes beyond any level of performance we’ve ever seen. This immersive experience is located in the McKittrick Hotel, a fictional funhouse consisting of three empty warehouses in Chelsea. The audience is encouraged to roam freely around the six floors and more than 100 rooms, opening drawers, searching for clues, and following the characters through scenes of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. On New Year’s Eve, in addition to the three-hour play, there will be a feast at The Heath, a sultry speakeasy within the McKittrick Hotel, followed by The King’s Winter Masquerade party, with live music, costumed performers, and an all-night open bar. Tickets start at $150.
Bateaux Dinner Cruise. Ring in the New Year aboard the Bateaux. This elegant glass-enclosed boat cruises by the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, Governors Island, and the Statue of Liberty, providing sweeping views of the midnight fireworks display. A live jazz band will play as guests tuck into a three-course meal of dishes like filet mignon and lobster tail, jumbo crab cakes, and braised beef short rib. There is also a premium open bar, and when the clock strikes 12, a champagne toast. Tickets start at $599.
Sydney Observatory. As the first major city to see the stroke of midnight, Sydney has one of the biggest celebrations in the world, with more than one million people coming to watch the boat parade, the Sydney Harbour Bridge light show, and the fireworks over the Sydney Opera House. For the best views, head up to Observatory Hill, where there will be a “secret” soiree in the garden. This exclusive cocktail party will serve French champagne and canapés, including blue swimmer crab, grilled lamb cutlets, freshly shucked oysters, and Tasmanian smoked salmon. Tickets start at $250.
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Voyager. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Voyager spacecraft launch, this intergalactic-themed New Year’s Eve event will bring together psychedelic art installations courtesy of TRQPiTECA and AMFM Gallery, plus DJs such as Nick Monaco, MikeQ, Clap! Clap!, and Shigeto. The location is kept secret until the day of, but we predict it’ll be in an industrial warehouse around the West Loop. Tickets cost $90.
Brew Year’s Eve. If you prefer beer over bubbly, then Brew Year’s Eve is for you. The event, which sprawls across the 80,000-square-foot Architectural Artifacts space, features 20 different craft brews from 10 Chicago-based breweries, including Goose Island, Hopewell, and Pipeworks. Attendees can play games, listen to a ’90s-themed band, and eat hors d’oeuvres. There’s also a Chicago-style, late-night pizza buffet, plus a cocktail menu and a sangria bar for a change from the suds. Tickets cost $135.
Windy City Soul Club. Retro is all the rage right now, so we won’t be surprised if the Windy City Soul Club sells out fast. This dance party at Logan Square Auditorium will showcase northern soul songs, Motown tunes, and other rug-cutting hits. But don’t expect any laptops here—only vinyl is allowed in the DJ booth. Tickets cost $20.
Sting Concert. Trade the snow for sand with a trip to the Bahamas for New Year’s Eve. The Atlantis, Paradise Island resort will host a concert headlined by Sting in its Imperial Ballroom, complete with two hours of free-flowing champagne. The celebration continues the next day with Junkanoo, a colorful Bahamian tradition where costumed dancers, revelers, and drummers parade through the streets of Nassau. Tickets start at $225.
Napa Valley Wine Train. Napa’s vineyards can be overload for oenophiles, but there’s nothing quite like the wine train. This vintage caboose chugs through the wine region’s rolling countryside and scenic towns, such as Yountville, Rutherford, and St. Helena. During the three-hour trip, guests will be treated to a local cheese and charcuterie spread as well as a four-course meal, including duck breast, beef tenderloin, and Pacific smoked salmon ciabatta toast with goat cheese and caviar—all with wine pairings, of course. Tickets start at $229.
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Baur au Lac. On the shores of Lake Zurich, the palatial 19th-century Baur au Lac hotel knows how to throw a royal affair. The Michelin-starred Pavillon will serve an extravagant 11-course dinner, while Rive Gauche will serve a smaller, fixed menu of veal fillet and duck consommé with truffle ravioli. But the main highlight here is Chalet au Lac, a pop-up Alpine cabin that sits on the hotel’s private park overlooking the waterfront and the Swiss Alps. This rustic abode looks like it’s out of a winter fairy tale, all done up with garlands, wreaths, and twinkling lights, while diners cozy up on long wooden tables and dig into decadent cheese fondue. Come midnight, guests will have a front-row seat for the fireworks lighting up the lakefront. The Chalet au au Lac New Year’s Eve dinner is CHF 195 per person (about $197).
Rebirth Brass Band. After 30 years together, this Grammy Award–winning brass band has cemented its spot in NOLA’s robust music scene. Although they’re known for their legendary Tuesday night sets at the Maple Leaf, Rebirth will play a special New Year’s Eve show at Howlin’ Wolf in the Warehouse District. Don’t miss out. Tickets cost $80.
Amy Schumer Comedy Show. Following last year’s successful New Year’s Eve show, Amy Schumer is back at it again, bringing her signature stand-up to the Big Easy. The award-winning comedian and actress will entertain alongside special guest, singer Ani DiFranco, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Tickets start at $65.
The National WWII Museum. Head back in time to the 1940s at The National WWII Museum’s New Year Gala. Revellers dressed in vintage attire will dance to live music by the 20-piece Victory Swing Orchestra and indulge in a five-course meal courtesy of The American Sector Restaurant + Bar. Bellinis, champagne toasts, and a chocolate buffet also are included. Tickets start at $175.
Flûte, a Perrier-Jouët Bar. Thailand’s capital is known to throw one of Asia’s grandest New Year’s Eve parties. Both locals and tourists ascend Bangkok’s sprawling rooftops for jaw-dropping views of the city skyline and firework display. Crowning the elegant Tower Club at Lebua is Flûte, a Perrier-Jouët Bar, the highest open-air champagne bar in the world. Additionally, the 64th-floor terrace has its own Times Square-inspired ball drop to round out the evening. Tickets cost $1,000 per couple.
Kulturbrauerei. Celebrate Silvester in style at the Kulturbrauerei. This giant courtyard is home to 15 dance floors and nine clubs, all of which come together on New Year’s Eve to throw one massive rager. Here, more than 30 DJs will play a mix of ’80s, ’90s, rock, EDM, R&B, and pop music to hard-partying crowds. Tickets cost $35.
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