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Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Washington, DC

Our list of parties, galas, shows, and events sure to help you bid adieu to 2012 in style.

Here’s where you’ll want to be when the clock strikes midnight. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Parties and Galas

Bond, James Bond

Celebrate the New Year and James Bond’s 50th anniversary at the Washington Plaza Hotel with the 11th annual Bond-themed New Year’s Eve bash. There will be mock gambling, party favors, a live band, deejays, and, of course, martinis at the open bars.

Where: Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle, NW
Doors open: 9 PM
Tickets: $129 and up

Big Night DC

Last year’s party at the Gaylord National drew more than 7,000 revelers. This year’s features 15 themed party areas, five dance floors, party favors, food, and several fully stocked open bars.

Where: Gaylord National Hotel & Resort, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD
Doors open: 9 PM
Tickets: $130 and up

Downtown Countdown

For the second year in a row the self-proclaimed largest New Year’s Eve party in DC will be at the Washington Hilton. Headlined by indie artists Grouplove and the alternative hip-hop group G. Love & Special Sauce, the party promises a full dinner buffet, one bartender for every 75 guests, a balloon drop, and party favors.

Where: Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW
Doors open: 9 PM
Tickets: $109 and up

W Washington DC 

Grandeur and Glamour is the theme of this year’s W Washington DC New Year’s bash. Deejays will be spinning all night, and there will be a Champagne toast at midnight to go along with a cash bar. 

Where: 515 15th St., NW 
Doors open: 8 PM 
Tickets: $75 per person for early booking; $100 per person at the door


ArtJamz Glitter Ball New Year’s Eve

If you are in the mood for music, art, hors d’oeuvres, and lots of glitter, this is your spot for New Year’s. Each reveler will have an individual canvas to paint, and there will be a large group canvas for everyone. Tickets include an option for an open bar.

Where: ArtJamz Dupont Studio, 1742 Connecticut Ave., NW
Doors open: 10 PM
Tickets: $60 and up

Public Bar

The festivities at Dupont Circle’s Public Bar include happy hour prices from 8 to 10 PM, when the open bar begins. A buffet of heavy appetizers runs from 10 until the ball drop and Champagne toast.

Where: Public Bar, 1214 18th St., NW
Open bar begins: 10 PM
Tickets: $90

Yuletide Ball’s Black-Tie Gala

This year marks the dance competition and New Years Eve party’s 25th anniversary. The black-tie gala will feature dinner, a Champagne toast, and a performance by the American Rhythm Champions, Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine and Liana Churilova.

Where: JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Doors open: 7:30 PM
Tickets: $180 and up

Celebration of Many Nations

With eight party rooms themed around ten world destinations including Times Square, Bollywood, Tokyo, and Paris, this party at the Omni Shoreham Hotel promises to be a international affair. There will be live bands and deejays, a high-flying circus performance, salsa lessons, karaoke, and an open bar.

Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St., NW
Doors open: 10:30 PM
Tickets: $105 and up

Fancy Schmancy New Year’s Eve Ball

Looking for something a little smaller? Check out Brightest Young Things’ Fancy Schmancy New Year’s Eve Ball at the former Spanish ambassador’s residence. There will be deejays, dancing, lasers, and, of course, a full open bar.

Where: former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence, 16th St., NW
Doors open: 8:30 PM
Tickets: $80 and up

Sin City New Year’s Eve

Enjoy the excitement of Las Vegas in DC this New Year’s at Lucky Strike, the bowling alley/nightclub/lounge. Hit up the open bar or snag some appetizers and party favors as you watch a live feed of Times Square.

Where: Lucky Strike DC, 701 Seventh St., NW
Doors open: 8 PM
Tickets: $65

Passport to the World Gala

Join 3,000 revelers at the Capitol Hilton to count down to midnight. Another party with an international theme, enjoy karaoke, hula hoops, an R-rated comedian, caricatures, deejays, and dancing.

Where: Capitol Hilton, 1001 16th St., NW
Doors open: 9 PM
Tickets: $139 and up

DC NYE Social

Enjoy an open bar with light appetizers at Penn Quarter’s Penn Social. Pass the time until the midnight balloon drop and Champagne toast drinking specialty spirits, winning prizes, or just dancing to deejay-spun tunes.

Where: Penn Social, 801 E St., NW
Doors open: 9 PM
Tickets: $49 and up

Lucky Number 13

Downtown’s Black Finn will have an open bar, a buffet, a Champagne toast at midnight, and $2,013 in prizes released during the balloon drop. Oh, and don’t forget about the $10 gift certificate that comes with the ticket.

Where: Black Finn, 1620 I St., NW
Doors open: 8 PM
Tickets: $75


Take to the Potomac with a New Year’s dinner cruise on the Odyssey. Indulge in a three-course dinner menu and chocolate fountain, then hit the dance floor for live music until the midnight Champagne toast.

Where: the Potomac, 600 Water St., SW
Boarding: 8 PM
Tickets: $189 and up


Capitale describes itself as “Hogwarts meets Hollywood” and will play host to DJ EPX, who will be blending Top 40, dance, and house music all night long. 

Where: 1301 K St., NW 
Doors open: 9 PM 
Tickets: $49 per person 

The Act at Howard Theatre

This is the first-ever New Year’s Eve party hosted at Howard Theatre, and it will feature pop violinists, aerialists, and fire breathers to make sure guests are entertained to start 2013.

Where: 601 T St., NW
Doors open: 9:30 PM
Tickets: $35 to $50 per person, depending on when you buy them

One Lounge 

This Dupont bar is one of Alex Ovechkin’s favorite spots. One Lounge will be giving away gifts and playing music to go along with a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight for all partygoers. 

Where: 1606 20th St., NW 
Doors open: 5 PM 
Tickets: Free

Concerts and Shows

New Year’s Eve at the Kennedy Center

Celebrate the new year by going back in time with music from the Mad Men era at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. Broadway and television star Cheyenne Jackson, along with members of the National Symphony Orchestra and Principal Pops conductor Steven Reineke, will preform hits from the ’50s and ’60s. After the show, head to the Grand Foyer for the countdown and balloon drop.

Where: the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St., NW
Show starts: 8:30 PM
Tickets: $55 and up

A Jazz New Year’s Eve at the Kennedy Center

Also at the Kennedy Center, pianist and vocalist Freddy Cole will preform two New Year’s Eve shows with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band. After the concerts there’s a countdown to the New Year and balloon drop in the center’s Grand Foyer.

Where: the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St., NW
Shows starts: 7:30 PM, 9:30 PM
Tickets: $75

New Year’s Eve Ball at Black Cat

Peaches O’Dell and her Orchestra will be performing her mix music from the 1920s through the 1950s all night on the Black Cat’s mainstage, with a lounge act providing entertainment between sets. The backstage will feature a deejay-fueled dance party.

Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th St., NW
Doors open: 8 PM
Tickets: $25

The Roots at Fillmore 

The band that now graces Late Night With Jimmy Fallon will be performing in Maryland this New Year’s Eve. The show is for all ages, but is standing room only. We’re giving away four tickets; find out how to enter

Where: The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring
Doors open: 9 PM
Tickets: $75 per person

Rock & Roll Hotel

This H Street stalwart’s New Year’s Eve party will have seven deejays spinning tracks all night. The open bar event will have five bars on three floors.

Where: Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St., NE
Doors open: 8 PM
Tickets: $80 and up

New Year’s Eve Party With Dreamgirls

Catch a special performance of Dreamgirls at Signature Theatre before enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres, a midnight Champagne toast, and music with the cast.

Where: Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington
Show starts: 8 PM
Tickets: $40 and up for the show, $100 for the afterparty

Little Feat at the Hamilton

The Hamilton hosts the rock band Little Feat for a New Year’s celebration. Little Feat’s style mixes rock, blues, boogie, folk, jazz, and more into an eclectic mix sure to get you on the dance floor.

Where: The Hamilton, 600 14th St., NW
Show starts: 9 PM
Tickets: $80 and up

The Legwarmers New Year’s Eve Party

Washington’s ’80s tribute band will have you doing the safety dance, rocking the casbah, and partying like it’s the end of the world as you know it as you ring in the New Year.

Where: The State, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church
Doors open: 7 PM
Tickets: $50

New Year’s Eve With Monty Alexander

Head to Blues Alley for two shows from jazz legend Monty Alexander, who’s performed with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, and Quincy Jones. Tickets include a three-course meal.

Where: Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Show times: 8 PM, 10 PM
Tickets: $100 and up

Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar

Chicago’s DJ Willy Joy will be spinning tracks from 10 PM until 4 AM at this H Street institution. The open bar lasts until 1, but you have to be at least 25 years old to enter.

Where: Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar, 1104 H St., NE
Show starts: 10 PM
Tickets: $65

9:30 Club

Drive-By Truckers will be performing here on New Year’s Eve. Opening for them will be North Mississippi Allstars Duo. 

Where: 815 V St., NW 
Doors open: 7 PM 
Tickets: $55 per person 

Kid-Friendly Fun

Jammin Java Rocknocerous

The 6th annual Rocknocerous New Year’s Eve Party opens mid-morning at Jammin Java. Everyone is welcome, and seats are first-come, first-served.

Where: 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna
Doors open: 10 AM
Tickets: $10

National Children’s Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve

The parade starts at noon, and theater programs for kids will go on until 5 at the National Children’s Museum.

Where: 151 St. George Blvd., National Harbor
Doors open: 10 AM
Tickets: $10

First Night Alexandria

First Night Alexandria boasts the largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve party in the Washington area. There will be more than 100 live performances throughout Old Town.

Where: Old Town, Alexandria
Doors open: Noon
Tickets: $15 per person before December 15; $20 per person after.

Annapolis New Year’s Eve

The schedule for the Annapolis event isn’t set in stone just yet, but there’s sure to be music and fireworks.

Where: City Dock, Annapolis
Doors open: 3 PM
Tickets: Free

Brookside Garden of Lights

If you want to stay warm while still getting out of the house, consider a ride through the lights and music of Brookside Garden of Lights. There are also crafts activities for kids.

Where: 1800 Glenalan Ave., Wheaton
Doors open: 5:30 PM
Tickets: $20 per car

First Night Leesburg

There are more than 100 performances at 20 different indoor locations at First Night Leesburg, each within walking distance of the others.

Where: Leesburg Town Hall, 25 W. Market St., Leesburg
Doors open: 6 PM
Tickets: $10

First Night Warrenton

There will be jazz, classical music, puppet shows, juggling, and more at First Night Warrenton. The event is sponsored by the Bluemont Concert series and is alcohol-free.

Where: 11 different indoor locations throughout Old Town Warrenton
Doors open: 7 PM
Tickets: Free

Falls Church Watch Night

Everything from an orchestra to fire pits to a 12-foot dragon will be featured at Falls Church Watch Night.

Where: Intersection of Broad St. and Washington St., Falls Church
Doors open: 7 PM
Tickets: Free

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