Looking for things to do in Las Vegas to ring in 2016? Our guide to doing the best events and parties for New Year’s Eve Las Vegas has to offer is here to help. Whether it’s a meal at one of Vegas’s best restaurants you’re after, a blowout night to rival your last bachelorette or bachelor party or you want to see an A-List star slaying it as the clock strikes 12, there’s something happening on New Year’s Eve in Vegas for you. (And if you need help the next morning, check our guide to the city’s best coffee shops.)
New Year’s Eve Las Vegas events
If you’re looking for the best vantage point from which to watch the Strip’s New Year’s spectacle, just look up. The Linq’s High Roller observation wheel, currently the tallest in the world, towers 550 feet over the casino corridor with 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Valley in all its technicolor glory. Buy an individual ticket to ride or turn one of the High Roller’s pods into your personal New Year’s party complete with open bar and midnight toast. 3545 Las Vegas Blvd S, between E Flamingo Rd and Sands Ave. 10:30pm. $250 individual tickets, $6,250 private cabin.
New Year’s Dinner at Twist
Bid adieu to 2015 with a French feast by Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire at his only U.S. outpost, Twist. With its head toque in the kitchen this December, the Mandarin Oriental restaurant is offering multiple options for epicurean end-of-year celebrations: an early evening four-course menu that includes a foie gras terrine with dried figs and quince paste or a later six-course dinner featuring black and white truffles. Looking for something extra grand? Book the chef’s table for $1,000 per person and indulge in a six-course meal, Champagne toast and conversation with the master himself. 3752 Las Vegas Blvd S, at E Harmon Ave. 6-10pm. $295-$1000.
Jam your way into 2016 courtesy of Pretty Lights, aka Derek Vincent Smith, the Colorado-based producer whose hip-hop-infused electronic beats will have the dancefloor packed well past midnight. Looking to get the night started early? Hit Brooklyn Bowl before the show for a pre-party plate of the signature fried chicken. Linq, 3545 Las Vegas Blvd S, between E Flamingo Rd and Sands Ave. 10pm. $79.95.
Stroll the Strip
More than 300,000 people head to Las Vegas every December 31st, and the Strip rolls out the welcome mat to revelers by turning the street itself into a drunken, glowing, pedestrian-only party. Bundle up and join the chaos, complete with midnight fireworks show launched simultaneously off various casino roofs that turns the desert sky into a technicolor delight. Las Vegas Blvd S, between E Mandalay Bay Rd and E Sahara Ave. 6pm. Free.
Downtown Countdown at Fremont Street Experience
There’s always a show under the Viva Vision canopy at the Fremont Street Experience, but New Year’s Eve takes the inebriated extravaganza even further. Join the crowd of bead-wearing, yard-long margarita-chugging, kiss-giving celebrants at this massive Downtown block party, and rock out to tunes from 13 different tribute acts—from Billy Idol to Bon Jovi—as you say goodbye to 2015. Fremont St, between N 4th St and N Main St. 6pm. $30 before Dec 25, $40 after Dec 25.
If you’re more into swanky soirees than raging block parties, head to the Bellagio where Hyde will be hosting a Gatsby-themed fete with passed hors d’oeuvres, hosted bar from 8-11:30pm and a soundtrack by DJ Konflikt. Down Dom Perignon while you watch fireworks explode over the Bellagio fountains and toast the start of another year with the “old sports” beside you. While tuxedos are not required, guests are encouraged to break out their West Egg best. 3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, at W Flamingo Rd. 8pm. $150.
Ever wondered what it would be like to view exploding fireworks from the same altitude where they go boom? It doesn’t get much closer than the Stratosphere’s tower, where current headliner/former Playboy playmate Claire Sinclair is hosting a New Year’s blowout on the 108th floor. For the price of admission, you get a three-hour premium open bar, go-go dancers, party favors, a Champagne toast and admission to the afterparty, hosted by burlesque bombshell Lou Lou D’Vil. 2000 Las Vegas Blvd S, at E St Louis Ave. 9:30pm. $250.
“No resolutions, just reservations.” That’s the motto behind New Year’s Eve at Herringbone, the seafood-centric eatery from chef Brian Malarkey, which opens its doors at Aria on December 28. Hit the restaurant early for a three-course prix-fixe feast or opt for the later seating’s full party package and indulge in dishes like tuna poke or bone marrow with escargot before hitting the open bar and saluting midnight with a Champagne toast. 3730 Las Vegas Blvd S, at W Harmon Ave. Early seatings beginning at 5:30pm, late seatings beginning at 9pm. $185 early seating, $295 late seating with party package.
Party nights don’t come much bigger than New Year’s Eve, so it makes sense that the MGM Grand mega-club would tap Dutch super-DJ Tiësto to man the tables on December 31. If you’re a devotee of beats and light, this is where you’ll want to worship come midnight. Expect a positively packed house and plenty of alluring strangers to kiss at countdown time. 3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, E Tropicana Ave. 8pm. $125-$225.
Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill at Drai’s
She calls out the VMAs; he has beef with Drake. The most outspoken couple in hip-hop hit the stage together to perform live at the Cromwell’s rooftop hot spot, Drai’s. Get there early for a hosted Champagne bar from 9-11pm, then let the Pinkprint powerhouse help you start your 2016 off right. 3595 Las Vegas Blvd S, at E Flamingo Rd. 8:30pm. $150-$200.
Broadway is thousands of miles away, but you can usher in the New Year to tunes from its biggest shows courtesy of local performers and visitors from the Great White Way, including Madame Secretary star (and former Las Vegan) Erich Bergen, former Phantom Norm Lewis and Newsies’ and The Civil War’s Capathia Jenkins. 361 Symphony Park Ave, at S Grand Central Pkwy. 7pm. $39-$125.
Your front row seat for the Strip fireworks awaits at the Cosmopolitan’s outdoor ice rink. Only it’s not really a seat at all. Lace up a pair of skates, grab your earmuffs and your date’s hand and take a spin around the ice while the sky goes haywire. When your ankles need a break, snag some tasty snacks and a toasty cocktail while a DJ provides the evening’s soundtrack. 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, at W Harmon Ave. 8pm. $20.
Las Vegas is the native habitat for over-the-top parties and the spendy VIP packages to match. If this is the year you want to throw down for friends and drain your bank account, Surrender has your night perfectly planned. The $60,000 VIP package starts with dinner for 12 at Andrea’s (think Maine lobster sushi, King Crab tempura and Wagyu tenderloin), then migrates to a table next to the DJ booth at Surrender where you get a boozy buffet, including a Methuselah of Dom, two bottles of Don Julio 1942 and plenty of Grey Goose. One lucky guest will even join A-list DJ Diplo behind the decks to countdown the New Year, which, as MasterCard would say, is priceless. 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, at E Desert Inn Rd. 9pm. Ultimate VIP package $60,000, regular admission $75-$125.