New Year's Eve is so much fun in Denver that it is celebrated twice! To ring in the New Year, there are two spectacular firework displays, one at 9 p.m. for families and a traditional second party at midnight. The dazzling displays explode above the 16th Street Mall, the Mile High City’s famous mile-long pedestrian promenade.
Tens of thousands of people jam the Mall, which is lined with 40 outdoor cafes, many of them open with heat lamps for the rockin’ party. Between the fireworks there are DJs, live music, magicians, balloon artists, buskers, and outdoor ice skating, all while horse-drawn carriages clatter up and down the street. It’s no wonder that Denver was ranked this year as one of the most popular U.S. destinations to spend New Year’s Eve, according to Orbitz.com.
Best of all, there are 8,400 hotel rooms and 300 restaurants within walking distance of the fireworks, making it possible to have a safe, pedestrian friendly New Year’s Eve to remember. For information on New Year’s Eve packages and deals at some of Denver’s finest hotels, ranging from the luxurious to the budget friendly, go to:MileHighHolidays.com.
There are many other events throughout Denver to celebrate the New Year.
THE MAIN EVENT
The sky will once again sparkle over the 16th Street Mall with two spectacular shows at 9 p.m. and midnight. Costumed entertainers will interact with crowds between shows, including magicians, mascots, balloon artists, stilt walkers, comedians and more. Free.
· The Regional Transportation District (RTD) once again wants to be your designated driver by offering free rides on all regularly scheduled bus and train service, as well as Access-a-Ride and SkyRide service on New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31,from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1. Although the rides will be free, scheduled service hours will not be extended.
· Please note, between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., RTD Light Rail trains will not cross the 16th Street Mall and mall ride shuttles will stop temporarily during the two fireworks shows. For full details go to rtd-denver.com.
· Be safe! If you are celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, plan ahead before you party. Park your car in an overnight lot, take a cab or public transportation or designate a sober driver before anyone takes a sip.
FOR KIDS – ALL THE FUN WITHOUT THE LATE BEDTIME
The Children's Museum of Denver is ringing in New Year's Eve just like Times Square! With five ball drops every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., children of all ages can yell the countdown, watch colorful confetti splash the plaza and make fireworks with their feet when they jump on massive sheets of bubble wrap. Free with admission.
Kids spend the holiday at the zoo exploring Zoo Lights, learning about animals and celebrating sleepover-style in a safe and fun environment. Parents get a night out on the town. Includes pizza dinner, evening snack and full breakfast. $65 per member; $75 per non-member.
A TOUCH OF CLASS
Colorado Symphony Orchestra keeps New Year’s Eve classy at Boettcher Concert Hall, with a Vienna-themed selection of the beloved waltzes, polkas and classics. The show starts early at 6:30 p.m., and ends in time for you to catch the first downtown fireworks display at 9 p.m. $25 - $88.
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY AT NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTIES
Enjoy an open bar with premium pour, buffet supper, champagne toast at midnight, party hats and favors and balloon drops galore. Revel in three parties in one as you move from one ballroom to another. The entertainment lineup includes The Nacho Men and Denver’s Best Dueling Pianos. $399 (includes 2 party tickets and overnight hotel accommodations). $139 per person for party ticket only.
This extravagant event will be held at Colorado's largest hotel event space, the Crowne Plaza, located just east of downtown Denver. NYE Block Party 2012 will host up to 6,000 people in one multi-room event space and feature the complete takeover of seven hotels within walking distance. $49 - $79.
You are cordially invited to ring in the New Year in a world of secret exclusivity at this one-night only speakeasy, right in the heart of Denver, at the newly renovated, historic McNichols Building. All ticket proceeds go to the S.O.U.L. Foundation’s projects in Uganda. $75.
Get ready for a night of lavish self-indulgence as you dance in the New Year at this massive celebration in the biggest and most extravagant venue in Denver. When the clock strikes midnight and we enter a new year, we make vows to leave our sinful habits behind. So be naughty while you can! $50 - $150.
A high end, elegant event that still retains a vibe and energy, the White Rose Gala offers a night of living theater, where you are a part of a wondrous musical and theatrical performance. This entire hotel takeover will leave you breathless. $59 - $499.
Enjoy a holiday weekend excursion and take advantage of deals from some of Denver’s best hotels, with rates starting as low as the “mile high” price of $52.80* (Denver is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level). Go to MileHighHolidays.com for more information.
*Rates are based on availability and subject to change. Additional restrictions may apply. Hotel rates valid through January 27, except New Year's Eve Packages. Rates starting at $52.80 are not valid on New Year's Eve.