New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and you will want to find the perfect place to share this special time with your loved ones. There are so many fantastic places in the world to visit for this celebration
. New York City, New York
Over a million people tend to show up at Times Square for this famous yearly party. You could see for yourself counting down the seconds to midnight while a huge 12-foot glittering ball is slowly dropped down from a flagpole atop the Times Square building and over a ton of confetti is dropped onto party-goers. This is always a televised event, so you might see yourself on TV. You can also expect a fantastic pyrotechnic light show, big celebrity music acts and a New Year’s Eve Wishing Wall.
Where you can write down your resolutions for the year to come.
. Edinburgh, Scotland
Thousands arrive here for the annual Hogmanay celebration, which means a celebration of the last day of the year. You can expect to see world-famous music acts and traditional ceiled dancing throughout the streets. Their fabulous fireworks show is set off at midnight and the party then continues throughout the night. Activities offered the next day include a run down the Royal Mile, a dive in the freezing cold waters of the River Forth, the Loony Dook Parade and a dog-sledding competition.
At the Eiffel Tower, you will see a truly spectacular light show and fireworks display. However, most all the streets of Paris come alive with hordes of people celebrating, making the rounds of bars and clubs and having a wonderful time with fireworks and lots of champagne. Romantic New Year’s Eve boat cruises along the Seine those who wish for a little privacy for their celebration.
Over 250,000 visitors crowd onto the banks of the Thames River and begin the countdown to Big Ben striking the hour of midnight when an elaborate light show and fireworks display takes off. The party usually continues throughout the night with activities planned for the next day including a three-hour parade complete with marching bands, colorful floats, costumed dancers and a fine procession of the Queen’s horses.
You can expect to find celebrations of all types all over this city. You must head over to South Beach for a good old-fashioned all-night dance-a-thon. A family friendly event is Miami’s answer to New York’s famous ball drop which is a 35-foot neon “Big Orange” which descends from the Inter-Continental Miami. There is a grand finale boasting a huge fireworks show at Bayfront Park and there will be family activities, musical entertainment and food available.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Always the party town, over 300,000 visitors show up here to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 6 p.m., the famous four-mile-long Strip is shut to vehicle traffic and opened up to those who wish to celebrate by walking around, drinking, mingling and watching various fireworks being shot off from surrounding rooftops. Most of the hotels, clubs and bars will be offering special shows and activities.
RIO DE JANEIRO
If Rio is best known for its Carnival festivities, its New Year’s Eve celebration comes in a close second. Iconic Copacabana Beach hosts the world’s largest (and arguably wildest) New Year’s Eve party, in which more than two million people cram onto the two-and-a-half-mile stretch of sand. Known as Réveillon, this uniquely Brazilian celebration that blends religious, traditional, and superstitious beliefs: Locals dress head to toe in white (believed to bring good luck) and toss handfuls of flowers into the ocean as gift to Yemanjá, goddess of the seas. The large oceanfront stages for live musical and dance performances, and a colorful fireworks display at midnight completes the scene.
Sydney puts on the largest fireworks display in the world, with one at 9 pm and another at midnight, with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House making for a striking setting. More than a million people attend the waterfront show, which also includes an air and water show featuring aerial acrobatics, an Aboriginal smoking ceremony that is said to cleanse bad spirits, and the Harbour of Light Parade, a flotilla of more than 50 illuminated boats in the harbor.
The world’s most dramatic skylines lights up every year with a display of fireworks that grows more impressive every year, concluding with a dazzling finale: a pyrotechnic dragon that dances across the sky. The events kick off in Hong Kong’s Times Square shopping mall, where a replica ball drop takes place in homage to New York City’s famous festivities. Victoria Harbour is the center of the evening activity, though, so savvy locals party on boats, rooftop terraces, or at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Tsa Shui for the best views of the dazzling lightshow.
New Year’s Day is just as exciting as New Year’s Eve in the Bahamas, where the locals follow Junkanoo street parades that conclude with informal beach gatherings and fireworks displays around the islands. Featuring music, street performers, and colorful costumes, these parades, a sort of Bahamian take on Mardi Gras, also take place on January 1. Their own parties, some of which are family-friendly
It may not be Mardi Gras, but New Year’s Eve in New Orleans is just as memorable. The main event is a thrilling 15-minute fireworks show on the Mississippi River, along with the Fleur de Lis drop, where “Baby New Year” is dropped from the roof of the Jax Brewery in Jackson Square. Of course the night doesn’t end there, as visitors and locals flock to Bourbon Street and the Latin Quarter, where music booms from bars and nightclubs, and the streets remain bustling until the wee hours.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World is a dream come true for families traveling over the holiday. The theme park stays open until 1 am, but it’s packed with fun activities all day long. Leading up to the midnight fireworks show, there are Cirque du Soleil performances, dance parties, live entertainers, and confetti explosions to keep visitors of all ages entertained. Disney’s Magic Kingdom is home to the Jingle Jungle Parade, while Epcot puts on an impressive lights and laser show just before midnight. It’s also a plus that WDW is less crowded at this time of year than during peak months.
The City of Light lives up to its nickname on New Year’s Eve, when the Eiffel Tower becomes the site of a spectacular lightshow and fireworks display. Nearby, Parisians ring in the Nouvelle Année on the Champs-Élysées, which hosts a massive street party, where they pop bottles of (what else?) Champagne and exchange cheek kisses and papillotes, chocolates wrapped in sparkly paper that crackles like a firecracker when opened. For an alternate area that’s less crowded, Montmarte offers equally good views of the fireworks, or you can book a dinner cruise aboard a bateau-mouche on the Seine.