Times Square New Year's Eve

Depending on the source, between 200,000 and 1 million people pack into Times Square for New Year's Eve. (Courtesy IN New York magazine)

5 Big City New Year's Celebrations

New Year’s Eve is a guaranteed party, no matter where you are in the world, and we recommend you not watch it on TV from your couch. Getting out and enjoying a big city New Year's Eve party deserves to be on everyone's bucket list. So, this year, don’t settle for the sofa. Get out and enjoy one of these big city New Year's Parties along with a few thousand (or a few hundred thousand) of your closest friends:

New York City — Probably the first place that comes to mind on New Year's Eve is the Big Apple. It's the quintessential New Year's Party, and for good reason; the ball has been lowered over Times Square every year since 1907. This year's festivities get kicked off when the ball is lighted and raised at 6 pm. The ABC telecast, "New Year's Rockin' Eve," brings in superstars of music to headline the revelry, this year inviting Psy, Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Neon Trees live in the Square. Countdowns are held throughout the night, all leading up to the real deal at 11:59, when the 12-foot diameter crystal ball will drop. Be in the crowd by 6:20 pm to get fun handouts from the Times Square Alliance sanitation crew, including 2013 glasses and hats.

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Denver — One New Year’s Eve party in Denver just won’t do. They welcome in the new year with two fireworks displays, one at 9 pm and another at midnight, both above the 16th Street Mall. Pass the time between shows with DJs and live music, magicians and balloon artists, street performers and outdoor ice skating. Take in the mile-long pedestrian promenade from the seat of a pedi-cab or horse-drawn carriage, and count on the Regional Transportation District for free rides during regular hours.

For visitors with children in tow, visit Noon Year’s Eve at the Children’s Museum. Every hour from 9 am to 4 pm features five ball drops to let children of all ages yell the countdown and enjoy the confetti downpour in the plaza. Denver Zoo will host Bunk With The Beasts, letting children explore the Zoo Lights, learn about animals and sleepover at the zoo. Dinner, snack and breakfast are provided, so parents can enjoy a night out, too.

(Downtown Denver Partnership and CoMedia. (PRNewsFoto/VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau))

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AtlantaIf you’re in Atlanta this year for New Year’s, you won’t be disappointed. Head to Underground Atlanta early for a day packed with free activities for the whole family. Abbey Road LIVE!, a Beatles tribute band, will headline the event. From 11 am to 6 pm, Upper Alabama Street will feature carnival-style rides, face painting, balloon artists and food. Lower Alabama Street will host up-and-coming super stars, ages 18 and younger, on the Budding Peach Stage. And not to worry, sports fans—head over to Kenny’s Alley to catch every minute of the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Kenny’s Alley will be open until 4 am, and the Peach is going down rain or shine.

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Las Vegas — Make New Year’s Eve last all weekend with headline events across the city that are impossible to pass up. The Killers set it off, taking the stage at The Cosmopolitan Dec. 28 and 29, followed by The Red Hot Chili Peppers on Dec. 31. The Black Keys rock the house at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Dec. 30 and 31 while Pitbull and Celine Dion light the night at other venues.

Finally, rock in the New Year at the Fremont Street Experience’s Downtown Countdown, starting at 6 pm. The all-night street party features performances by Buckcherry and Queensryche, Quiet Riot and more. Watch the year-in-review presentation, followed by the countdown led by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

 

(©Las Vegas News Bureau)

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Nashville — Music City loves a good party, and New Year’s Eve provides the perfect excuse. This year marks the 4th annual Bash on Broadway, headlined by The Fray and featuring performances by Sixpence None the Richer, Love and Theft, and newcomers Striking Matches. In true Nashville style, a music note drops, rather than a ball. Watch the note rise and enjoy fireworks and discounted non-alcoholic beverages during family hour at 7 pm, then countdown as the Music Note falls into 2013 at midnight. New Year’s Eve also brings in the Music City Bowl game, kicking off at 11 am on Dec. 31 at LP Field. And if you’re still in town on New Year’s Day, work off all your holiday indulgences and kick start your resolution by participating in the New Year’s Resolution 5K Run/Walk.

(Courtesy Nashville Convention & Visitor's Bureau)