LAS VEGAS, NV— Las Vegas is the “it” city when it comes to parties on New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve Las Vegas style has been the televised center of America’s Party for the past two decades and the city of neon never disappoints.
Las Vegas for New Year’s 2014 brings on the usual over-the-top display of midnight fireworks to welcome in good cheer and good luck like nowhere else. But the city that never sleeps also brings in the star power, making it the perfect city to have a fabulous dinner, see a show, catch the colorful and bizarre action on the Las Vegas Strip and be at the epicenter of celebration on the American West Coast when the clock strikes 12.
You can say you were there when Britney launched her “Piece of Me” tour or when Maroon 5 gave a performance of a lifetime in Sin City.
The following is a rundown on where to be in Las Vegas when 2013 ends.
Fireworks in Las Vegas
Fireworks light up the sky above the famed Las Vegas Strip. The pyrotechnics show launches from the rooftops of seven resorts along the iconic boulevard: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island (TI), The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and the Stratosphere.
Las Vegas Events (LVE) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) are hosting America’s Party with a fireworks display produced by Grucci of New York. The 8-minute midnight show will explode more than 88,000 fireworks.
Las Vegas Shows for New Year’s Eve
Maroon 5 will toast 2014 with two shows at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Dec. 30 and 31. Both shows start at 8 pm.
Bruno Mars takes the stage at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas at The Chelsea on Dec. 29 and 31 with the celebration beginning at 9 pm.
Britney Spears launches the premier of her show, “Piece of Me” at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Dec. 27, 28 and 30. Her New Year’s Eve show kicks off at 10 pm
The Pearl Concert Theatre inside Palms Casino Resort welcomes Robin Thicke on Dec. 29 at 8 pm.
Celine Dion rings in the New Year at Caesars Palace inside The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. This iconic show starts at 7:30 pm.
The Fremont Street Experience will rock in 2014 with their Downtown Countdown New Year’s Eve celebration that takes place from 6 pm. to 2 am. This street party includes non-stop music from Blues Traveler, Loverboy and Vince Neil. The Downtown Countdown also includes a 2013 year-in-review retrospective on the Viva Vision screen.
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts will feature Kristen Chenoweth on Dec. 31 starting at 7:30 pm.
Tony Orlando and Wes Winters come together in the Grand Ballroom at South Point Hotel & Casino for a show beginning at 8 pm.
The Pointer Sisters will play at the Eastside Cannery for a special performance with doors opening at 8:30 pm.
The Blue Man Group offers two special New Year’s Eve shows at 4 pm and 7 pm at the Monte Carlo.
Cirque du Soleil is in full swing New Year’s Eve. Show times are: KA at MGM Grand at 6 pm and 8:30 pm; Zumanity at New York New York Hotel & Casino at 6 pm and 8:30 pm; MJ One at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino at 7 pm and 9:30 pm; Mystere at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino at 7 pm and 9:30 pm; Zarkana at ARIA at 4 pm and 7 pm; The Beatles LOVE at The Mirage Hotel & Casino at 4:30 pm and 7 pm; and “O” at Bellagio at 4 pm and 6:30 pm.
Perched high above Las Vegas Boulevard, guests can lace up their ice skates for a winter treat on New Year’s Eve. The Ice Rink at Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will feature a live stream of Bruno Mars’ concert from the new performance center, The Chelsea. Guests can also enjoy an open bar along with a spectacular view of the Strip’s midnight fireworks. Guests can hit the ice from 9 pm to 1 am.
The Mandarin Bar, Tea Lounge and Sky Lobby at Mandarin Oriental will host a New Year’s Eve Gala featuring extraordinary decor, live music, spacious dance floor and multi-colored floor-to-ceiling windows framing the fireworks across the city skyline. The gala begins at 9 pm and is complimentary to hotel guests.
Join the LVH for the “Legendary New Year’s Eve Extravaganza” that includes four separate parties, all with free admission to the public. Guests are encouraged to move from party to party and these include a classic rock band, two island-style bands and Top 40 music. The first party gets started at 8 pm in the Shimmer Cabaret.
Las Vegas New Year’s Nightclub Parties
Revelers cab ring in 2014 in style with a VIP package from Surrender Nightclub inside Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Packages may also include a dinner tasting menu at the adjoining Asian dining hot spot Andrea’s. Kaskade will headline at XS Nightclub while Lil Jon will rock Tryst. Hakkasan, inside MGM Grand, welcomes Calvin Harris for the New Year’s Eve celebration in the main room while DJ Ross One turns tables in the Ling Ling Club.
It’s hors d’oeuvres from 9 pm to midnight with a premium open bar from 9 pm to 11 pm at Marquee inside The Cosmopolitan.
LIGHT, inside Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, presents “Phase 2: The Journey,” featuring a performance from DJ Sebestian Ingrosso. Doors open at 9 pm.
The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio will count down the end of 2013 with a live performance from Common. The two-hour open bar starts at 9 pm.
Hip-hop artist J. Cole performs at 1OAK inside The Mirage Hotel & Casino. Festivities kick off with an open bar at 9 pm.
Body English, inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, hosts a night that starts at 9 pm with an open bar until 1 am. Guests can relive grunge rock, flannel shirts and ripped jeans with Empire Records’ “All 90′s Experience” at Vinyl beginning at 9 pm.
Jeremih makes a live performance Chateau Nightclub & Gardens inside Paris Hotel & Casino. There’s an open bar from 9 pm and bubbly at midnight.
LAVO, inside The Palazzo, welcomes VICE for New Year’s Eve. Guests can enjoy a two-hour premium open bar from 9-11 pm along with passed hors d’oeuvres. Miguel takes the stage for a live performance at TAO inside The Venetian, with a premium open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres starting at 9 pm
Las Vegas New Year’s Eve: Last Suppers
Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant inside MGM Grand offers an exclusive seven-course pre-fixe menu on New Year’s Eve. The meal features savory Cantonese selections, including wok-braised Australian lobster, seared Boston live scallops, Mongolian-grilled lamb chop and other decadent choices.
An unforgettable meal on New Year’s Eve happens at La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway inside Wynn Las Vegas. The restaurant offers an early seating menu from 5-6:30 pm and a late seating menu from 7-10 pm Menu includes crudités, pumpkin ravioli, beef Wellington, butter-poached lobster tail and the chef’s selection of tasting desserts.
A specialty menu will be offered tat Culinary Dropout inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. This a la carte four-course menu includes the restaurant’s signature appetizers and antipasti, salads, entrees and desserts.
Tacos & Tequila inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino will celebrate New Year’s Eve with an East Coast countdown party featuring the ladies of Fantasy. Drink specials include $14 tequila flights, $5 Dos Equis bottled beer and a $10 beer and shot special.
Sushi lovers can enjoy a six-course omakase menu at Sushi Roku Las Vegas at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Reservations begin at 4 pm along with the offering of festival drinks like the Milk & Cookie and Once a Pama Time Cocktails.
Remember: Las Vegas Boulevard – The Strip – closes to traffic around 10 pm and does not reopen again to automobiles and taxis until after 2 am. Drivers can get around town by using secondary streets that run parallel to the Strip to the east and west. For pedestrians this means there is plenty of room to revel and socialize comfortably under the towering specter of some of the largest hotels in the world.
For those who want to add some speed to their navigation, The Las Vegas Monorail and various free tram systems from City Center to TI are easy to use, although you’ll have to hike between the Strip and the train platforms – which will take you through crowded casinos and often prove to be a longer walk than from point to point.
Final caveat: Las Vegas fills up fast on New Year’s and that includes its hotel rooms, which can be booked at prices that range from double to five times the usual rate. Doing Vegas takes planning for best results. But for those using a spontaneous approach, a street position somewhere on the Strip promises decent fireworks visibility at the midnight hour. A high-rise window from the South side of The Strip looking north over Las Vegas Blvd. ensures a show only Las Vegas could offer.
Lark Gould is an author of eight books on travel and a journalist who has been covering the travel industry for more than two decades.
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