The ultimate guide to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas
Las Vegas – Sin City, City of Lights, The Silver City and perhaps your next New Year’s Eve city. Las Vegas is famous for its casinos, hotels, bright neon lights at night but have you experienced the New Year’s Eve atmosphere in Las Vegas? You may want to because it is nothing short of fun.
Las Vegas is one city with beautiful attractions like the Neon signs, Fountains, Parks amongst others. It gets even more beautiful towards the end of the year and on New Year’s Eve, Las Vegas is super attractive. Unsurprisingly, last New Year’s Eve saw over 300 thousand people visit the city for the celebration. This year’s celebration is expected to be bigger and attract more people.
There’s less than 50 days before New Year’s Eve and say you are in Las Vegas for celebration for the first time, with so many people in one place at the same time, how do you get by without getting stranded or missing out on the most amazing events? Well, read through this article for a concise yet detailed guide to doing New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas way.
It is usually very cold on New Year’s Eve in Vegas with temperature falling as low 30 degree Fahrenheit. Thus it is very important to dress to keep warm. You may also check out the weather forecast for that day from verified sources to know what exactly to expect. A sweater or a jacket, a head warmer and a pair of gloves would come in handy.
Getting around – Roads and Transportation
The traffic on this day can be hellish. Thus it is very important that you try to get to wherever you want to be as early as you can because as time tends towards midnight, the traffic gets worse. Some roads will also be shut from different times in the evening on this day – with so many people on the road trying to get to different places and with some roads shut, one can imagine how bad the traffic would be. The easiest way to avoid this traffic if you will be partying outdoors is to set out early.
Some of the roads that will be closed are:
- Carson Avenue to Ogden Avenue and Fourth Street to Main Street will not be open to vehicles from 7 am and will remain shut for 22 hours.
- The I-15 highway off-ramps leading to Flamingo Road, Tropicana Avenue and Spring mountain road will be closed by 5 pm.
- The Fremont Street Experience will be closed by 5pm but opened to guest with tixkets by 6pm.
- The roads from Koval Lane between Sahara Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road leading to Las Vegas Boulevard will be shut by 5:45 pm
- The roads leading to the Las Vegas Boulevard (The Las Vegas Strip) from between Sahara Avenue and Russell Road and from between Sahara Avenue and Mandalay Bay Road will be blocked from 6 pm (could even be as early as 4pm). The traffic officers will start making attempts to rid traffic off these roads from 6:15 pm. By 6:45 pm, all the roads that lead to the Las Vegas Boulevard will be completely shut but the Boulevard will open to pedestrians at this time.
All public transport except the Las Vegas Monorail will be unavailable on the strip. It is best to move around the strip with a taxi or the monorail. However, you may go with your car but make sure you park it in one of the garages at the extremities to allow you get out easily. If you are sure to drink during the celebration, make sure you have a designated driver.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), the local bus system, lets people ride for free across their routes (about 39 routes) spanning the Las Vegas Valley so you probably should take this advantage.
Some of the casinos have connecting streetcars and they offer this service for free. Rather than walk or spend on a taxi or drive your car, you may take this opportunity instead. Note that the Free streetcar connection stops at Park MGM.
Where you should be
The famous Las Vegas Strip – this is where most of the fun goes down with different people injecting different types of festive atmosphere into the environment. The Strip houses hundreds of thousand people during the celebration and things may get sense but the good thing is there will police officers of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police (LVMP) in their hundreds on ground to ensure order.
This year, expect the over 8 minute fireworks show from midnight (more than 80,000 fireworks explosions). The fireworks can be seen from places like the pedestrian bridges around the strip, the Sky Fall lounge of Delano Las Vegas, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, ARIA Main Porte Cochere, the high roller wheel at The LINQ promenade, 63rd floor of the Mandalay Bay and the at the Nine Fine Irishmen.
The Fremont Street Experience – the Fremont street experience, a pedestrian mall, located downtown Las Vegas is one of the many exciting places to be on this night. Their New Year’s Eve party is always lit – featuring top performers, dancers and acrobats. This year, the renovated Viva Vision videos screen will be revealed. The Viva Vision is one of the many free attractions in Las Vegas. It is a delightful light show spanning a length of 1500 ft. and 90 ft. wide.
The Fremont Street Experience’s party is for adults from 21 years, get your tickets early and get to the venue early, the mall closes to the public by 5 pm on this day then opens at 6 pm for those with tickets and valid wristbands. The prohibitions in this place are in accordance with the prohibitions by the Clark County Ordinance. Guests are to gain entry through the 3rd street, 4th street and main street.
The LINQ Promenade – at over 500 feet higher than the Strip, the LINQ Promenade’s high roller (the world’s tallest observation wheel) is one of the best places to observe the events of the Strip from especially the fireworks at midnight and the surrounding vale. Each pod of the high roller can house about 40 people and each pod has an air conditioner too.
Asides the high roller, the 3535 Cocktail lounge is another part of the LINQ to look forward to with their rare cocktails to tickle your taste buds in unique ways. The LINQ also has a tattoo place, Club Tattoo, where you can get a “New Year Tattoo” by some of the best tattoo artists around.
There is also a virtual reality arena at the LINQ – with some of the best techs they could get you to Asia and back to Vegas in the shortest time. The Virtual Reality center exposes visitors to certain Asian experiences like the markets, temples, the streets and many more. The LINQ has this and many other indoor activities if you would like to celebrate indoors.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – the cosmopolitan has one of the best sceneries with the skating, the open bar and the music all at the rooftop Ice Rink. You get to party and skate while you watch the midnight fireworks go off beautifully.
Cabo Wantina – you may also want to checkout the Cabo Wantina where you can see fireworks display and drink all you want for as low as 200 dollars.
The STRAT – the Stratosphere hotel also known as the Strat is one of the top hotels in the Strip. The Strat Towers offers one of the best aerial views in the Strip. This year, the will be 2 parties at the Strat, one will hold in the SkyPod Observation Deck while the other will hold at the 107 SkyLounge. Both parties will feature sufficient music and drinks and both will have a limited time open bar. The SkyPod party is scheduled to start earlier and end before the SkyLounge party.
Mandalay Bay – the Mandalay Bay’s 63rd floor offers one of the clearest view of the midnight fireworks at the Strip. The Mandalay Bay also holds New Year Eve’s party and this year the world famous pop band, Maroon 5, will be performing at the Mandalay bay events Center.
Park MGM Resort – the MGM resort is one of the top casino hotels with multiple bars and restaurants that offer services of varying costs, from high cost to low cost.
Plaza Hotel & Casino – One other place to be is at the Plaza hotel and Casino where there will a firework display on New Year’s day.
Lake Las Vegas – at Lake Las Vegas, there is sure to be many cuisines from different restaurants, live music from live bands. There are even village restaurants available and there will be a fireworks display that can be seen from the MonteLago village and the resort and spa.
Of course as you celebrate, you will need something to fill your belly too. We shall go over some of the restaurants with not just any meal but the best menu in Las Vegas.
Some of these restaurants have been mentioned in the earlier sections but others include:
Baba Gump shrimp co for shrimp recipes such as shrimper’s heaven, shrimp is the fruit of the sea and appetizers, soups & salads and sandwiches.
Bacchanal Buffet with their nine kitchens offers 500 dishes per day including tasty lobster and different rice recipe like seafood risotto amongst others. Bacchanal Buffet can be found at Caesars Palace. They have a sitting capacity of 600 so if you really want to eat in this place, make your reservations early.
Black Sheep serves chilled corn bisque, braised oxtail, the chef’s special risotto of the night amongst loads of other meals. They also have a cocktail menu of about 18 different cocktails some of which are the Yuzu Margarita, Spicy Juice, Hakutake, the misnomer Penicllin and more.
Then there is Bistro 57 with their appetizers like the calamari, mussels; their soups & salads like the Caesar salad and they serve pizzas too plus you can build your pizza. They also serve red and white wine, beer, and their specialty drinks like Sangria, classic Mojito, Negroni and many more.
If you plan to stay in a hotel for New year’s eve in Las Vegas, there is one thing you must remember : BOOK IN ADVANCE! BUT, REALLY!
New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is a real experience and it’s definitely a very popular one, so the prices skyrock as the day gets closer and spaces get sold out.
What is acceptable and what is unacceptable
There are certain things that are not acceptable during the celebration in according to the Clark County ordinance.
Some of these are:
- No metal or glass containers allowed in the strip from 6 pm December 31st until 6 am the following morning. Plastic containers are permitted.
- Backpacks, camera bags, briefcases, fanny pack, cinch bags or any bag with dimensions higher than 12” x 6” x 12” are not permitted in the Strip.
- Other prohibited items during this period include strollers, carts and similar vehicle, coolers are also banned.
- The Strip curfew for children not in the company of their parent or a legal guardian that normally starts by 9 pm, starts at 6 pm on New Year’s Eve and lasts till 5 am the following morning.
- Discharging firearms is prohibited as it is considered extremely dangerous and is illegal. Anyone who is caught discharging weapons of any kind will be arrested and charged.
Other Survival Tips
- This has been mentioned severally but it is that important. Get to where you want to be very early.
- Park your car in a park closest to where you will be. You may go as far as taking a picture as evidence just in case.
- There will be people kissing people randomly so look out for that.