Las Vegas New Years Eve

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Downtown Las Vegas

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Article Summary

  •  Las Vegas New Year’s Eve can also be celebrated downtown, which is about 6 miles north of the Strip.
  • The party takes place under the Fremont Street Experience and features the same revelry and drunken debauchery as the Strip
  • Tickets start at $35

If you’ve read any of our other posts about New Year’s Eve you know there are a lot of options for how to ring in the New Year.  There is partying on the Strip, heading to egregiously overpriced megaclubs, or just gambling the night away at one of many casinos. This article focuses on another option: heading downtown to Fremont Street to celebrate the coming of the New Year there. If you’ve never been to Fremont it’s basically like the regular Strip, just not as opulent.  This article will give a brief description of Fremont Street (Downtown Las Vegas) and then give all the details of the big New Year’s Eve parties going on down there.

Where is downtown Las Vegas?

Downtown Las Vegas is about 6 miles north of the famous Las Vegas Strip.  You can pretty much just continue down Las Vegas Blvd (The Strip) past the Stratosphere and eventually you will come upon downtown Las Vegas.  From McCarran International Airport it will be about $30-$40 for a cab from the airport to downtown.  The fare from the Strip greatly varies depending on where you are staying.  From the north end of the Strip (near Wynn/Venetian) it will be about $15.  If you are on the other end near Mandalay Bay the cab fare to downtown will be roughly $25-$30.

Getting Downtown

What is downtown Las Vegas like?

A lot of people have stayed on the Strip before in Vegas, but never venture downtown.  You will find that downtown Las Vegas is pretty similar to the Strip – there’s lots of gambling, casinos, drinking and debauchery.  The main difference is it’s just not as opulent or fancy.  The Strip is known for massive and luxurious hotels like Bellagio or Wynn.  Downtown just doesn’t have these type of resorts.  There are still plenty of hotels, they just aren’t as nice.  They are going to be more smokey and not have all of the amenities of the Strip hotels.

You won’t be bored downtown though, there is plenty to do and if you want to go up to the Strip you can easily go.  Another plus is everything is much cheaper downtown.  The cost of a Vegas trip is never the hotel, it’s everything else.  The $23 cocktails on the Strip really add up over a long weekend like New Years Eve.  Food and booze will be far cheaper downtown than if you stay on the Strip for New Years Eve.

Is it Downtown or Fremont?

If you’ve never been to Vegas you may be confused why some people call it downtown and some people call it Fremont.  The main street of downtown Las Vegas is Fremont, and the main attraction of downtown is the Fremont Experience.  Thus it is colloquially as Fremont, but people are referring to the same area whether they say downtown or Fremont.

Fremont Las Vegas

What going on in downtown Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve?

The Las Vegas Strip gets all the glory but there is a big party going on in downtown Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve.  The parties even share the same name! The party on the Strip is known as “America’s Party” and the one downtown for New Year’s Eve is known as “America’s Party Downtown”. 

It’s actually a fairly similar party downtown, but instead of standing in the Strip the party takes place under the Fremont Street Experience.  If you’ve never been downtown or unaware of what this is check out this YouTube video: It’s basically a cool glass screen on the roof that plays videos synchronized to music.  I assure you once you are drunk it is pretty mesmerizing.  The party takes place under the screen and at midnight they even have a simulated firework show.  There will be drinking, food, more drinking and plenty of great people watching.  It’s your standard New Year’s Eve party where people congregate in one area.  Underneath the Experience is also lined with bars and casinos so you are sure to find ways to entertain yourself throughout the night.

How much does the downtown Las Vegas New Year’s Eve Party Cost?

If you are interested in celebrating New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas you are going to need tickets.  The party isn’t free like the party on the Las Vegas Strip.  If you want to purchase tickets you should do so through the official Downtown Countdown 2017 website. The tickets vary in price based on the package you buy.

The base tickets are $35 plus fees if you purchase before December 25th, 2016.  If you purchase the tickets after December 25th they will increase to $40 per person plus fees for the New Year’s Eve party.

Fremont Zipline

Downtown Las Vegas also has a zipline that flies you underneath the experience.  I have done it and have to say it’s pretty cool.  I am also afraid of heights and it honestly isn’t that scary – for a zipline it’s pretty mild.  Anyways, I bring this up because you can package your New Year’s Eve ticket with this zip lining experience for $100 plus fees.  If you do this option you purchase the time for your zip line.  For example, you can purchase the ticket for $100 plus fees and a 6:00 p.m. ‘Fly In’ time.  There are time slots offered every twenty minutes from 6:00 p.m. to 10:40 p.m.  Time slots are likely to fill up so if you are interested in this package for New Year’s Eve I suggest you purchase soon.

How much are the ticket fees for New Year’s Eve?

If you just purchase tickets to enter the event the ticket fees will be $3.15, which makes the total tickets $38.15 ($35 tickets plus $3.15).  The fees for the zip line package are $3.60, which makes the total ticket cost $103.60 ($100 tickets plus $3.60).

Details on New Year’s Eve Downtown

Here are some of the tips and things you should know about ringing in the New Year in downtown Las Vegas.  

  • Party Hours: The New Year’s Eve street party in downtown Las Vegas begins at 6:00 p.m. and will run until 3:30 a.m.

  • It’s Crowded: The attendance for New Year’s Eve downtown is far less than the Strip, but it is also much smaller.  There are typically around 25,000 attendees.

  • It’s Cold: You will be outside celebrating New Year’s Eve downtown.  Typically the weather is in the mid-30s during the winter so dress warmly.

  • Adults Only: The New Year’s Eve party is strictly adults only and you must be 21 years or older to attend

  • Go Early: If you are getting tickets there go early to try to avoid the large crowds and thus long lines.  You can purchase tickets at the entry gates (probably easiest) or at SlotZilla, which is located near the Walgreens downtown. Obviously the easiest option is to just purchase your New Year’s Eve tickets early and avoid this issue altogether.

  •  Know The Restricted Items: No packaged beverages, coolers, backpacks, luggages, large bags, masks, glass, aluminum or strollers. There are no exceptions.

  • Entertainment: Fremont offers some bands who play throughout the New Year’s Eve night.  There are concert stages under the Fremont Street Experience, and they will feature cover bands throughout the evening.  There are three different concert stages for New Year’s Eve: one on 1st Street, one on 3rd Street and the Main Street Stage.  You can see the list of bands that are playing the New Year’s Eve concerts here.  Typically they are cover bands, skewing older towards the 70s/80s rock genre.  They are usually good enough to be entertaining.

  • Casino/Bars: One nice thing with celebrating New Year’s Eve in downtown versus the Strip is the ease of movement and access to things besides standing around until midnight.  At the Strip you will be sandwiched in and need to claim your spot early.  Downtown Las Vegas just isn’t as busy.  If you want to go gamble for a bit there are many casinos under the Experience that you can easily access.  There are also plenty of bars and other forms of nightlife.  The gambling will also have far lower table limits than the Strip so that's a plus for most people as well.

  • Head Out to the Experience Around 11: If you do want to start securing a good spot under the Experience for the countdown to the New Year then head out from the casino or bar you are at around 11.  It does get very crowded as you get closer to midnight so you will want to head out with time to secure a good spot.

Final Words

Whether you celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Strip or in Downtown Las Vegas you will have a blast.  Each is great, they just offer different things.  The Strip is more hip and opulent.  Downtown is more laid back and less pretentious.  Decide for yourself and have a safe and fun time at New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas.

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