In New Orleans, New Year's Eve is that happy occasion between Christmas and Twelfth Night. It’s a time to welcome in the new year with family and friends. There’s food, and – always – a band, and plenty of festivities to ring in the new year New Orleans style.
For the biggest party in the city, head to Jackson Square – the Quarter is packed with festive partygoers eager to countdown the time until the New Year arrives with the Fleur De Lis drop. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve streams live from the city as well.
If outdoor celebrations and big crowds are not for you, make a reservation at one of the city’s many fine restaurants and celebrate the evening over delectable meals and of course, lots of bubbly. Many restaurants offer special deals or packages for the evening, so make sure you check ahead to ensure the perfect night for you, your loved ones and friends. Some of our favorite celebratory meals are offered at M Bistro, Galatoire's, Landry's Seafood and Justine.
In the mood for live music? Check out whose playing the biggest shows in town. New Year's concerts feel more like parties – many offer hor d’oeuvres and open bars for a flat cover fee. Bigger name venues like Tipitina’s and the House of Blues usually throw quite the festive fete, but smaller, more intimate bars and clubs also feature amazing entertainment to make sure your New Year's celebration is unforgettable. Frenchmen Street is a fun destination to dance the night -or year- away as well. When planning your trip, make sure you check out who is playing where and since some venues sell out before the big night, check and see if you can purchase tickets ahead of time.
You can find plenty of dancing, DJs, laser shows and drag cabaret on New Years in New Orleans. Head to the 800 block of Bourbon Street to check out the LGBTQ parties. For something more laidback, Mag's 940 and the Friendly Bar are great options.
If you’re looking for a celebration the whole family can enjoy, there are fun options for kids – and it may even appeal to the young at heart. The Louisiana Children’s Museum hosts an annual Countdown to Noon – a festive celebration featuring games, entertainment and a New Year's countdown complete with balloon and confetti drops and a soda-pop toast. Festive hats and noisemakers are also included to make the evening an extra-special affair. Similarly, the Audubon Zoo hosts a “Noon Year's Eve” celebration, so your little party animal can ring in the New Year in one of the country’s top-rated zoos. This event features music, games and prizes, and a countdown with sparkling apple cider.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl takes place on New Year's Day, but the festivities start early. If you're a college football fan, catch the Allstate Sugar Bowl NYE Parade, which takes place every New Years Eve during the day.
Firework shows take place throughout the city, so step outside right before the stroke of midnight to see them in their glory.
Whether your ideal New Year's is spent in fancy cocktail attire, or comfy blue jeans, with all of your closest friends and relatives, or in a crowd full of new faces, the perfect evening awaits you in New Orleans.