Going To Vegas
New Years
New Years

New Years in Las Vegas

Wed, Apr 24, 2013

It is by far the biggest party of the year in Las Vegas, and perhaps the second largest New Years party in the world after the one in Time Square. It happens every year at midnight on December 31, but the party actually begins the day after Christmas and lasts all of January 1. If you haven’t been to Las Vegas or Time Square on New Years, then you have never seen this much (often drunken) revelry your entire life. At around 10 p.m. the entire Strip from Tropicana to Sahara is closed off completely, and celebrators are packed shoulder to shoulder up and down Las Vegas Blvd awaiting the countdown and fireworks.

Usually every hotel on the Strip has their own set of fireworks, and they are usually synchronized. Here are some things you need to know if you are coming to Las Vegas on New Years:

  1. Book your hotel weeks, or even months in advance if you do not want to pay a ridiculous premium. Even so it is going to be expensive. And if you did not book at least a week ahead of time, you may not have a place to stay.
  2. The Strip closes around 10 p.m. officially, but just expect you are not going to be doing much traveling other than by foot from around 5 p.m. until around noon the next day.
  3. You can drink alcohol on the Strip, but it must be in a plastic container. Officers on horses will remind you if you forget.
  4. Staying in a hotel and buying stuff is going to be more expensive than usual, however just hanging out and watching the countdown is free.
  5. All of the Casinos on the Strip close their doors the hours before the countdown, and you will not get back in without a room key until the next morning.
  6. There is absolutely no place to park within blocks of the Strip after about 8 p.m. If you are still in your car, find a garage off the Strip and walk, or be ready to pay a valet attendee a very hefty sum for whatever parking they have left – if there is any.
  7. People are always surprised just how cold it gets in the middle of winter in Las Vegas. Dress warm.

New Years off the Strip

Las Vegas Blvd. is definitely the main event, but if you don’t want to deal with the traffic, and if half a million people xpacked into a single space is overwhelming, the Downtown area hosts a party of its own. The Fremont Street Experience and Viva Vision in particular can be a lot of fun, Viva Vision showing a countdown and pixilated fireworks on the massive screen naturally.

Every casino in town will be hosting its own party, even if it is not locate Downtown or on the Strip. Depending on the year, Station Casinos, Red Rock, South Point, and others will all have their own firework show. If you want to avoid massive crowds but still would like to celebrate the New Year, these are all excellent choices.