Fun Things to Do on New Year's Eve
The crowd starts to count down ("10, 9, 8, 7, 6 . . ."), the Times Square Ball starts to drop, a mass of people shout in union "Happy New Year!" and . . . you're at home, having gone to bed at 11:45 p.m.
If that scenario sounds like no fun, but you don't know what to do to ring in 2019, consult our list of fun things to do on New Year's Eve. The most important thing is to get out and have one last bit of fun before the year ends.
For cultural types
1. Attend a concert that goes past midnight.
New Year's Eve is typically chock full of shows, and they often start just late enough for a band to hit their encore right as the countdown begins.
2. Go to the theater and see a play.
. . . or a stand-up show! Both types of stages routinely hold New Year's Eve shows, and both make you feel like you've ended the year on a high note.
3. Take it easy and go catch a flick.
On New Year's Eve, the movie theater is a super laid-back spot. And since award-winning films tend to come out near the end of the year, this is a primo opportunity to watch the next Best Picture.
4. End the year with the year's best meal
One of the most obvious fun things to do on New Year's Eve is to go out for the year's last dinner. And since you won't get another chance to eat something delish in 2018, make sure you make to choose one of the better restaurants in your city.
5. Show off your logic skills at an escape room.
Great for larger groups, escape rooms let you imagine you're spending the last night of 2018 stealing top-secret documents or saving the world.
For active types
6. Try friendly competition and go bowling.
Bowling seems like an old standby, but it's sneakily one of the best New Year's Eve activities: it's leisurely, but with just enough necessary movement to keep the blood flowing and keep you awake until midnight.
7. Be romantic at the nearest ice-skating rink.
It's winter, and that means your local ice rink should be open. Spend the evening smoothly and serenely skating along the ice. It's an awfully romantic spot for a New Year's kiss with your date.
8. Practice your drive all night long
Some indoor golfing simulators stay open late on New Year's Eve, meaning you can spend the final hours of 2018 dreaming of how glorious your swing will be in 2019 . . . once it gets a little warmer.
For travel types
9. Attend the most famous New Year's party in NYC.
Yes, Times Square will be crowded. But if you can snag some sidewalk space, you'll witness one of America's great annual spectacles when the clock strikes midnight.
10. Party all night long (and the next day) in Vegas.
Las Vegas is the ideal destination for those who want to stay up waaaay past midnight. There's no shortage of things to do on NYE in Sin City, from gaming at casinos to live shows to ritzy bars to all-night buffets. Good luck going to bed before dawn.
11. Do New Year's on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
New Orleans doesn't just do Mardi Gras. It's generally a world-class party town, with plenty of bars and late-night jazz clubs to make for one crazy New Year's.
For late-night types
12. Dance the night away at a local club.
If you're looking for things to do on New Year's Eve that'll let you stay up until you're exhausted, you can't go wrong with hitting the clubs. You'll never resolve to "dance less in 2019."
13. Enjoy music 'til early morning at a jazz club.
A little different than the typical dance club, a jazz club will stay open just as late (sometimes later) and let you ring in the New Year with a live band.
14. Play billiards 'til you fall asleep at a local pool hall.
A relaxing game of pool is a chill alternative to a crazy night of drinking and dancing. Your body might thank you in the morning.
Need a good New Year's resolution? Worried because these resolutions rarely stick? We've got a few good ideas.
Why spend a bunch of cash on New Year's decor?
The Guide: we cover the coolest food, beauty, and entertainment trends happening nationwide.