New Year’s Eve is a time for big celebrations here in New Orleans. (But when is it ever not a time for celebration?) From big, all-inclusive, hotel-hosted parties, to live music celebrations, to daytime family-friendly events, there’s something to suit everyone. This year is extra special, as New Orleans wraps up its 300th birthday celebration. Join us and toast to one of the coolest cities in America, if we do say so ourselves! Here’s some ideas below to get you started. Happy New Year’s, y’all!
Celebrate on the River
Ring in the New Year with a cruise on the river. Steamboat Natchez hosts a New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise beginning at 10:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Patrons can enjoy an open bar, holiday-themed dinner buffet, and musical entertainment by a live dance band. Board at the Toulouse Street Wharf and watch the fireworks from your seat on the boat.
For those who love the view of river but would rather remain landlocked, the city hosts its annual fleur de lis drop at midnight with an accompanying fireworks show on the riverfront. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the evening’s happenings as the evening approaches, check out the Crescent City Countdown Club.
Back in its third year is Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast live from New Orleans, including a concert beginning at 9 p.m. on the Riverfront. Past performers have included Imagine Dragons and Walk the Moon. The free show will be broadcast on ABC, but if you’d like to be a part of the crowd, we recommend getting down there early. Celebrations conclude with fireworks at midnight, ringing in the new year.
Celebrate in Style
Several upscale venues in the city host huge parties that include food, beverages, and live music. (Adults 21 and older only). The biggest party of the evening takes place at the Hyatt Regency hotel on Loyola Avenue in the CBD. Aptly titled Big Night New Orleans, this event provides a late-night celebration with live music, open bars, and a buffet.
The New Year’s Eve Countdown at the Westin Hotel, located in Canal Place, between Canal Street and the French Quarter. This also an all-inclusive party which gives way to a view of the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display. This year, the Bucktown All-Stars will be performing live.
The New Year’s Eve Moët Masquerade features champagne from Moët and Chandon and a six-course meal care of M Bistro, so come hungry! Jeremy Davenport will perform live starting at 9 p.m., followed by a champagne toast during the countdown. The event starts at 8 p.m.
The National WWII Museum is great place to ring in the new year. Head to BB’s Stage Door Canteen for New Year’s Eve celebrations beginning at 9 p.m. With entertainment from Spencer Racca, Elizabeth Floyd, and the Victory Swing Orchestra, and a midnight chocolate buffet, opt for a New Year’s Eve.
Landry’s Seafood House in the French Quarter is ringing in the new year with an unforgettable party! In the heart of Jackson Square, you’ll have the chance to dine, dance, and party with a breathtaking view of the Riverfront fireworks.
If you want to celebrate in the French Quarter, Bourbon Vieux hosts a New Year’s Eve party and features one of Bourbon Street’s largest balconies. The party ticket is all-inclusive, but be warned – Bourbon Vieux promises a wild night of celebrating. Bourbon Cowboy also offers VIP balcony access and an open bar from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Celebrate with Live Music
If you want to ring in the New Year’s with great music, you’ve come to the right place. New Orleans delivers on this in several ways. DJ Soul Sister will host her 16th annual New Year’s Eve Soul Train at the Civic Theater. Patrons can opt for the cover charge only or purchase tickets that include an open bar. The Booty Patrol Dancers and Vintage Soul Train Projections accompany DJ Soul Sister, and the night is complete with a midnight toast. Doors open at 9 p.m., and this party is for adults 21 and over only. Tickets do tend to sell out for this one.
If you want to hear some great beats, head to One Eyed Jacks in the French Quarter for a New Year’s Eve celebration with writer, rapper, and singer Boyfriend.
New Orleans favorites Galactic and Wolfman Washington will host a New Year’s Eve show at Tipitina’s. Doors open at 9 p.m. and this show is open to ages 18 and older.
If you want to ring in the new year with one of New Orleans’ finest brass-bands, check out Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band at the Howlin’ Wolf in the Warehouse District. Tickets offer open bar options until 2a.m. Doors open at 10 p.m. and patrons must be 21 or older.
You are in for a real treat with this one. The Revivalists and Tank and the Bangas will light up Mardi Gras World with their New Year’s Eve show. Every ticket for this show includes a digital download of The Revivalists’ forthcoming album, Take Good Care. Doors open at 9p.m. and this show is open to all ages.
Celebrate with the family
If you are celebrating the new year with kids in tow, there are options available for you too.
The annual Zoo Year’s Eve event at the Audubon Zoo kicks off at 10:30 a.m. and lasts until 12:30 p.m. The event takes place at the Capital One Stage and Field in the Audubon Zoo. It’s free with paid zoo admission and free to zoo members. Festivities include a toast and lots to explore from onsite exhibitors.
For those who prefer to stay closer to downtown, the Children’s Museum’s New Year’s Eve Countdown to Noon kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Perfect for kids, this party includes a countdown to noon with the Count from “Sesame Street” that ends with a confetti toss and balloon release. Kids will make their own noisemakers and party hats to wear for the countdown.
This year, in addition to the fireworks display on the Riverfront (mentioned above) the city will close out its Tricentennial year with fireworks celebrations in three locations: New Orleans East at 8:30p.m., followed by City Park at 9:30p.m. and Uptown at 10:30 p.m. Residents and locals will be able to see the fireworks from their homes, in respective neighborhoods. Be on the lookout, and be a part of wishing New Orleans one last happy 300th birthday!