Las Vegas New Years Eve

Las Vegas New Years Eve - Tips & What to Do

Event Track / Las Vegas New Years Eve / Planning Guides / Las Vegas New Years Eve - Tips & What to Do

Article Summary

  • Get to Vegas early if you are going for New Year’s Eve and expect massive crowds
  • Casinos restrict access to guests only early in the evening (unless you have tickets to an event at that casino).  Same with parking.
  • Nightclubs are extremely expensive for New Year’s Eve
  • There are plenty of bars with great views of the fireworks
  • Other options include standing on the Strip, ultra-lounges, downtown and bars

Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve is one of the most unique places to ring in the New Year.   Vegas is a party whether it’s New Year’s Eve or not so you know for the biggest night of the year they are going to bring it.  In this article I go over all the options you have for the Big Night as well as some friendly tips for navigating your way through Vegas on New Year’s Eve.  I’ve gone to Vegas twice for New Year’s Eve and both times were a blast.

General Tips for New Year’s Eve in Vegas

Here are just some friendly tips and things you should know about Vegas for New Year’s Eve.  They are basically everything I wish I knew before I went to Vegas for NYE the first time.

Bellagio NYE

  • Get there early: If you can afford to get to Vegas on 12/30 instead of 12/31 that is great.  If not, try to get to your hotel before noon or so on New Year’s Eve. They shut down the Strip in the early evening and there are hoards of people coming in late.  Because the Strip is shut down the cabs have to go other routes and there is traffic so it gets pretty expensive.

  • Don’t get there too early: Don’t be the guy who is passing out at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

  • Book your NYE activity near your hotel: Obviously you don’t have to do this, but if you are staying at Casino A and celebrating the New Year at Casino B, make sure they are near each other.  Walking the Strip or getting a cab is nearly impossible.  If you need to go across the Strip for your party you are going to find it a miserable experience getting there.

  • You can only go to the casino you are staying at: Part of the fun in Vegas is drinking your way through the casinos.  Not on New Year’s Eve.  The time varies by hotels, but usually by the early afternoon there are guards checking for room keys or tickets to an event at the casino in order to enter.  There are just so many people there for New Year’s Eve that casinos are only letting the people into the casino that need to be.

  • Do NOT lose your room key: At least if you want to avoid the process of taking a lot of time to explain to security you are staying at the property, be escorted to the front desk, and wait in the long line to get another key.

  • You also cannot park at casinos without a key: Similar to the points above, you can only park at the casino you are staying at for New Year’s Eve.  Yes, they will call in and check that your name is on the reservation list if you haven’t checked in yet.  This causes the lines to the garage to be slow so again, go early.

  • The Strip Starts Filling Up Around 7/8 pm: If you are planning to go out onto the Strip for the New Year’s Eve festivities just know things start getting packed between 7 and 8 pm.  Especially if you want prime real estate near the fountains be sure to be out by this time at the latest.

  • The Monorail is still running: The monorail is the only public transportation on the strip and runs until 3 am on January 1.  If you are in desperate need to avoid walking look into this option – it’s cheap and quick at a time when cabs will not be available.

  • Know your alcohol rules: Yes you can drink everywhere essentially in Las Vegas, even on New Year’s Eve.  However, keep in mind that you cannot have glass containers or cans on the Strip.  Just go get something plastic to hold your adult beverages and you will be fine.

  • Expect crowds: If you don’t like crowds Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve is NOT for you – everywhere is packed, walking around the Strip is annoying, and everything takes a long time.  Expect it going in and it won’t be as bad.

  • Vegas is cold: Keep in mind Vegas is a desert so it gets quite cold at night, especially in the winter.  Last year when I was in Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve it was in the 30s by nighttime.  Dress warm!

Those are my biggest general tips about New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.  Now let’s look into all the different activities you can do in Vegas on NYE.

What to do in Vegas for NYE

There really is something for everyone in Vegas for NYE, and even something for every budget.  This section I break into major categories the things to do for NYE in Vegas. 

Standing on the Strip

Trying to be economical for NYE in Las Vegas? Standing on the Strip is likely your best option.  The cost? $0! This is similar to what you see in other big cities where there are massive crowds and revelry in the streets.  Vegas will put on an amazing firework show at midnight as many casinos have fireworks shoot off of their roofs.  It’s one of the best shows in the world so you are in for a treat for your suffering in the cold and crowded streets for several hours.

As I mentioned earlier, the police begin shutting down the Strip in the early evening (usually around 6 pm) for people who want to standout there for New Year’s Eve.  This turns the Strip essentially into a massive pedestrian walk way where you are free to roam.  You are also free to bring your own alcohol, just be sure to follow the rules I mentioned above. 

I haven’t done this personally but it seems like a good time.  Just be prepared for massive crowds, nearly the entire Strip is completely filled in from the center area near Bellagio down to the Wynn & Venetian.  Be sure to dress warm! Las Vegas last year was in the 30s at night went the fireworks went off for New Year’s Eve.  The best part about being on the Strip for NYE is the amazing fireworks show.  If you opt for a bar or a nightclub you are unlikely to see it, if you are on the Strip you will have an amazing view.

Omnia Las Vegas

Nightclubs

At the opposite end of the price spectrum are the nightclubs.  Let’s not beat around the bush for Las Vegas nightclubs on New Year’s Eve: they are ungodly expensive and overpriced.  You may still have a great time, just know it is going to be extremely pricey as each club is charging a premium for New Year’s Eve. Let’s go over some of the 2017 NYE options with the prices as the currently stand.

Omnia Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: Calvin Harris - $125 for Females, $200 for Males

XS Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: Major Lazer - $95 for Females, $180 for Males

Hakkasan Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: Drake - $175 for Females, $250 for Males

Drais Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: Kendrick Lamar - $175 for Females, $250 for Males

Tao Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: DJ Khaled - $78 for Females, $128 for Males

Marquee Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: The Weeknd - $128 for Females, $202 for Males

Obviously there are more options for Las Vegas nightclubs but these are some of the bigger ones.  Most of these prices are inflated 200%+ because it’s New Year’s Eve, so just know going in the nightclubs are going to be incredibly expensive and packed.  Also keep in mind that you cannot simply leave the nightclub to see the fireworks and come back in.  Be sure to check with security before you leave on New Year’s Eve or you may be stuck back in line or flat out denied re-entry.

Bars with a view for Las Vegas New Year’s Eve

Another option is trying to find a bar with a great view for the big fireworks show.  Vegas actually has quite a few bars with outstanding views of the NYE fireworks.  Here are some of the best options for bars with views in Vegas:

Ghostbar (Palms) New Year’s Eve – Ever seen people posting the cliché Vegas picture of them standing on see through glass? That’s this place.  Ghostbar is located at the Palms, which is slightly off the Strip. It’s a rooftop bar with a great view of the Las Vegas Strip.  If you want to be at a trendy bar with a great view of the Vegas NYE fireworks check out Ghostbar.  There are options for bottle service or simply general admission tickets.  Ghostbar is one of my favorite spots in Vegas so definitely give it a look for New Year’s Eve.

VooDoo Las Vegas

Voodoo Lounge (Rio) New Year’s Eve – Very similar view to Ghostbar, but closer to the Strip.  Voodoo is located on the 51st floor of the Rio casino and directly faces the Strip, which is a few blocks away.  Voodoo is a little less hip than Ghostbar but it will still be packed and offer a great view for the fireworks on NYE.  Typically the New Year’s Eve party for the Rio is $125 on presale and $150 at the door.

Top of the World (Stratosphere) New Year’s Eve – I know, I know – really, the Stratosphere? While Stratosphere is not exactly the nicest place in town they do have an awesome restaurant on the roof with an equally awesome view.  Also, because the Stratosphere is at the end of the Strip it offers an awesome view of the entire Strip and thus the NYE fireworks.  Top of the world offers a variety of packages for New Year’s Eve, all of which can be seen here. It’s a cheaper option than some of the other ones and many packages even come with open bar for a few hours.  Don’t dismiss this place just because it’s at the Stratosphere!

Foundation Room (Mandalay Bay) New Year’s Eve – Top of the World was a good option because it was on the roof of Stratosphere at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip.  Foundation Room is on the roof of the Mandalay Bay, the casino on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip,.  Foundation Room is one of my most underrated spots in Las Vegas – the views really are outstanding and I’ve always had a good time there.  For New Year’s Eve they offer two options: $150 cover or $325 for cover and open bar 9-11 pm.  So if you drink like a fish, consider the NYE option with open bar.  Keep in mind that in Vegas cocktails are going to add up quickly.

SkyFall Lounge – The other tower at Mandalay Bay is the Delano Las Vegas, which also has a rooftop bar.  It is called SkyFall Lounge and also offers a great viewing area for Las Vegas New Year’s Eve.

Other Options for Las Vegas New Year’s Eve

Obviously Las Vegas is a huge town so there are other options for New Year’s Eve that I haven’t mentioned yet.  Let’s quickly go over some other options.

Fremont Las Vegas NYE

  • Downtown / Fremont – I actually celebrated downtown once for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.  It’s a lot of fun, especially if you want to avoid some of the crowds.  They do a cool firework show on the Fremont experience, and tickets for this are reasonably priced at roughly $40.  It’s basically a big party under the Experience.  This does fill up fairly early with gates opening at 5 p.m. so be sure to head down early if you are attending this.  It does reach its capacity so don’t wait too long.  You can also pretty easily roam between casinos and bars downtown.  If you want a cheaper and less crowded option checkout downtown Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve.

  • Ultra Lounges – These are basically places that are in between nightclubs and bars.  There are dozens of them throughout the Strip so there are a lot of options.  Some of the popular ones that come to mind for New Year’s Eve are Lavo (Palazzo), Hyde (Beallgio), Fizz (Caesars Palace), and Koi (Planet Hollywood).  These will all be cheaper than nightclubs and still offer a good party environment.  For what’s it’s worth my group celebrated at Lavo for New Year’s Eve in 2016 and they were absolutely fantastic.  I could not recommend Lavo enough for New Year’s Eve.

  • Bars – If you want a more relaxed Las Vegas New Year’s Eve experience bars are definitely an option.  Just find one early and grab a spot. Every casino has multiple bars so there are plenty of options.  Most won’t charge a cover for New Year’s Eve, the problem is just finding a spot. 

  • Gambling / Casinos – Again the only issue with this is casino access is restricted to guests only early in the evening.  This is an option if you are good with gambling at the casino you booked your stay.

Final Words

Just do a little planning beforehand for Las Vegas New Year’s Eve and you will be fine.  Know where you are staying, where you are going, and what time your group is heading out and you will avoid a lot of headaches.  The crowds will be intense and the prices are all inflated, but Vegas for New Year’s Eve is always a blast.  Party safe and have a great time celebrating!

 

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