Celebrating New Year's Eve in USA: How and Where

Celebrating New Year's Eve in USA: How and Where

New Year’s Eve in the United States is a huge celebration across the country. Parties, fireworks displays, and all kinds of events take place in major cities as Americans say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new.

Visitors are encouraged to join in the festivities and there are many options. 

Nationals of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who are planning to spend New Year’s Eve in the US should ensure that they have their US visa and register with the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) before traveling.

Find below the best US cities for New Year's Eve.

New York on New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in New York has become a global event. Thousands of people take to Times Square to count down until the legendary ball drop and fireworks display welcome the new year to the Big Apple.

Positioned on a flagpole on top of the roof of One Times Square, the LED-studded ball falls on the stroke of midnight, following the countdown, as fireworks blaze overhead. It has been a staple of the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations since 1907 (although the original ball used incandescent light bulbs).

Times Square attracts hundreds of visitors every year. It is popular with couples to share the first kiss of the new year and is considered one of the most **romantic New Year's Eve destinations** in the USA.

New York is well known for its New Year’s Eve parties. Aside from Times Square, there are celebrations across all 5 boroughs from special club nights to black-tie events on the rooftops.

New York is incredibly festive during the holiday season and travelers may wish to spend Christmas in the USA in addition to New Year.

Do You Have to Pay to Be in Times Square on New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve in Times Square is one of the biggest events of the year and brings over a million people to the center of the city. The event is free to attend and open to everyone. With the exception of private parties held in hotels and restaurants on Times Square, tickets are not required.

Although it is free to go to Times Square for New Year’s Eve, there is limited space available and the NYPD set up checkpoints to control the number of people entering the iconic location. 

Entry is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. It is advisable to arrive early in the afternoon and be prepared to wait until midnight.

Where Can I Spend my New Years Eve in Chicago?

There are many New Year’s Eve options in Chicago

The Windy City is one of the best places to go for New Year's in the USA with family, especially for visitors with children. The Chicago Children’s Museum puts on festivities at lunchtime, dubbed “Noon Year’s Eve”.

Navy Pier features rides and attractions, making it a good choice for families with kids. At midnight, there is a huge synchronized fireworks display with music that lights up Lake Michigan.

Alternatively, visitors can take a dinner cruise on the lake, providing a spectacular view of the fireworks over Navy Pier.

Chicago’s many hotels and bars also host parties for New Year’s Eve. The city is famous for its music and the last night of the year hosts an array of jazz, blues, and dance concerts at various venues.

New Year's Eve in New Orleans

New Orleans is famed for its Mardi Gras celebrations, but New Year’s Eve is another huge occasion.

Jackson Square hosts the biggest party in the city, including live music. After the countdown to midnight, a giant fleur de lis is lowered from a pole on the rooftop—New Orleans’ answer to the famous ball drop in Times Square. In true American fashion, there is also a magnificent fireworks display in time with the music.

The parties on Bourbon Street last until the early hours of the morning. However, New Year’s Eve in Louisiana does not have to be wild. 

Visitors looking for a calmer experience can enjoy authentic cajun food in one of New Orleans’s many restaurants or visit the city’s renowned jazz clubs.

New Year's Eve in Los Angeles

International travelers spending New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles should be prepared for all-night celebrations

There are events for everyone, from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s most exclusive parties to the free live entertainment in Grand Park. The details for many events are released last-minute.

The Cleopatra’s New Year’s Eve Ball at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood is one of the most popular nights, with an LED light show and a balloon and confetti drop at midnight.

There are parties in the streets, in warehouses, and in the many clubs, for which tickets are sold that cover entry to multiple venues. 

Alternatively, visitors might choose something calmer, such as cocktails on the beach or an evening meal.

New Year's Eve in Las Vegas

Renowned as a hub of entertainment, New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is no exception. The famous Las Vegas Strip is closed to traffic, allowing the parties to spill over from the casinos into the streets.

Some of the biggest artists in the world are booked to perform in Las Vegas every year in special New Year’s Eve shows.

At midnight, various casinos launch a huge choreographed fireworks display fitting of the city’s showbiz reputation.

Clubs are open all night so that those who wish to continue partying are free to do so, while those who are ready to retire for the night can return to their Las Vegas hotel room.

How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in America

International travelers spending the new year in the United States must have the correct authorization to enter the country. For citizens of various nations, this means obtaining a US tourist visa.

Chinese nationals must also enroll with EVUS (the Electronic Visa Update System). This additional entry requirement allows travelers from China to update their visa information on subsequent trips to the US.

In order to register, each Chinese visitor must complete the online EVUS form. This is a quick and straightforward process. The form takes a matter of minutes to complete and submit. It is processed within 72 hours and is often approved much faster—frequently on the same day.

With this documentation in order, the traveler will be ready to spend New Year’s Eve in the USA.

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