Things to Do

UPDATED: 2014 New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Washington

All-you-can-drink bashes, no-cover bars, and more.

Image via Shutterstock.

It’s hard to believe, but 2014 is almost over. If you’re looking to close out the year in style, you’ve come to the right place: We’ve rounded up options for every type of New Year’s Eve celebration, from debaucherous drink-fests to low-key gatherings and kid-appropriate parties. Want your event to be included? E-mail the details to

Live Music

Downtown Countdown at the Washington Hilton
Where: 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $89 to $119 late entry, $119 to $149 general admission, $150 to $225 VIP
The fourth annual New Year’s Eve celebration features an all-inclusive night of live music, comedy, acoustic karaoke, open bars, and gourmet dinner buffets. Third Eye Blind and Delta Rae will perform before the balloon drop when the New Year hits. Organizers promise plenty of food and enough staffers that you won’t have to wait in massive lines. Purchase tickets ahead of time, and don’t forget your ID for 21-and-up entry.

New Year’s Eve at the 9:30 Club
Where: 815 V St., NW
When: 8:30 PM
Tickets: $55
Want to rock until the ball drops? See the Germantown band Clutch, playing old hits and the selection from their tenth album, Earth Rocker. Torche and Lionize will also perform at the DC music venue. The club will supply gratis bubbly for all attendees. Tickets are available online.

Kennedy Center’s 2015 New Year’s Eve Grand Foyer Party
Where: 2700 F St., NW
When: 10:30 PM
Tickets: Free with performance tickets; group tickets available online
This night of music and dancing is free if you’re seeing one of the earlier performances (see the website for options), or if you eat dinner at the Roof Terrace Restaurant that evening. Beginning at 10:30, the Craig Gildner Big Band transports you back to the swing era, with the sounds of Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Then, the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra takes center stage, performing ’70s-style salsa covers of indie-rock favorites leading up to the countdown.

Old 97’s at the Hamilton Live
Where: 600 14th St., NW
When: 7:30 PM
Tickets: $60 to $85
Rhett Miller’s country-rock band headlines the venue’s first show of the evening—doors open at 7:30, and the concert starts at 9 with opener Vandaveer. Tickets include gumbo dinner and a midnight Champagne toast. Reserve a space on the floor for general admission.

19th Street Band at the Hamilton Live
Where: 600 14th St., NW
When: 10 PM
Tickets: $10
Want to see live music without dropping a ton of cash? Check out this Americana act in the Hamilton’s loft bar. No need to buy tickets in advance; just pay the $10 cover at the door.

All-You-Can-Drink Parties

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill’s Moonlight Circus
Where: 400 New Jersey Ave., NW
When: 10 PM
Tickets: $99 general admission, $149 VIP
Bid adieu to 2014 with five hours of live circus acts, deejay music, a buffet and complimentary appetizers, party favors, and more. Watch the ball drop in Times Square on a live feed as a balloon drops right here. Tickets are available online.

Madhatter Ball
Where: 1319 Connecticut Ave., NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $75 early purchase discount
Five hours of open bar, a buffet, and deejay are just some of the offerings at this party. The two-floor, three-bar location has one of the biggest dance floors in the city, and will be handing out masquerade giveaways and Champagne to every guest. Ticket prices go up the closer it is to December 31, so it’s best to buy early.

Blackfinn DC
Where: 1620 I St., NW
When: 8 PM
Tickets: $75
A ticket here gets you unlimited beverages, appetizers, party favors, and Champagne; VIP admission comes with extra perks (see details online). Bring your ID and get there by 10:30; if the bar fills up, you’re out of luck, ticket or no ticket.

Project NYE DC Red Carpet Affair
Where: 1101 Sixth St., SW
When: 8:30 PM
Tickets: $135
Arena Stage’s “Oscars-style” gala features a deejay, gourmet dinner buffets, light displays, and a tremendous midnight celebration. Dress to impress for photos on the Red Carpet, and secure your space before planning the evening’s ensemble.

International Spy Gala
Where: 10 Thomas Circle, NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $139 regular admission, various prices for VIP, presidential, and late admission.
Music, ice sculptures, mock casino gambling, food and drinks, and two balloon drops are among the highlights at this annual all-inclusive bash, hosted by Euronet International. Come to the Washington Plaza Hotel wearing black tie or cocktail attire, bring a date or attend solo, and reserve a room to stay the night. Information about various ticket packages is available on the event’s website.

Big Night DC’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza
Where: 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $135 regular admission, various prices for VIP and late admission.
National Harbor’s Gaylord National Hotel and Resort hosts this year’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, with 15 themed party areas, five dance floors, bands, deejays, and more. Check out the different ticket levels before prices skyrocket. Plan to stay the night and book a hotel room if you don’t want to start 2015 with a trek home.

Art Soiree’s Puttin’ on the Ritz New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: 3100 South St., NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $45
For the second year in a row, Art Soiree brings the celebration to the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown. The party features hors d’oeuvres, live music, a deejay, confetti and balloon drops, along with surprise performances in the Living Room lounge, Degrees bar, and ballroom.

Jack Rose’s New Year’s Party
Where: 2007 18th St., NW
When: 8 PM
Tickets: $125
Here, you’ll spend your last hours of the year with an open bar, live deejay, cigar specials, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and a photo booth, as well as the classic midnight Champagne toast. You can purchase tickets ahead of time here.

Sauf Haus Bier Hall
Where: 1216 18th St., NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $100 per person, $180 per couple, $340 for four-person groups
If unlimited premium rail cocktails, hot seasonal sips, wine, and beer sound like a good time, this party won’t let you down. There’ll also be food stations with heavy hors d’oeuvres and late-night snacks, $5 shot skis, a deejay and live music split between the first floor and covered roof deck, and more. Wear fancy attire and order your tickets here.

Blind Whino Arts Club’s Studio 54 New Year’s Eve
Where: 700 Delaware Ave., SW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $125 ($90 each for the first 100 tickets)
With three different deejays on the main floor, and a live band on the second floor, there’s no lack of music at the Blind Whino Arts Club party, thrown by Troyal Events, Jamestown Entertainment, and JBC Events. Look forward to an open bar throughout the night and a Champagne toast halfway through—the fun doesn’t end until 3 AM.

Masquerade Party at Ping Pong Dim Sum
Where: 1 Dupont Circle, NW
When: 10 PM
Tickets: $39
Space is running out at this hot New Year’s Eve spot, which features an all-inclusive selection of premium beer, wine, and signature cocktails. Ping Pong will also have deejay entertainment and a photo booth throughout the night.

A New Day at Southern Hospitality
Where: 1815 Adams Mill Rd., NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $30 to $40 before December 31, $45 to $50 New Year’s Eve day
The sixth annual party features two deejays, a one-hour open bar, hors d’oeuvres, party favors, and more. You won’t be stuck inside: The patio will be tented and heated for the occasion. More information and tickets are available on the event’s website.

Destination Tokyo: New Year’s Eve at Zengo
Where: 781 Seventh St., NW
When: 9 PM
Tickets: $30 and up
For Latin-Asian fusion hors d’oeuvres, Asian-inspired decorations, music, and a one-hour open bar, this is the spot to be. Your ticket also includes party favors and masquerade masks at the seven-hour event. Get them before the event sells out—it has for the past two years.

Family Events

Falls Church Watch Night
Where: 100 block of W. Broad St., Falls Church
When: 7 PM
The City of Falls Church hosts its 16th annual New Year’s Eve celebration for families and people of all ages. The event, which covers four downtown blocks, features live bands, amusements, a 20-piece orchestra, swing dancing, face painters, karaoke, inflatables, puppet shows, and more. A free shuttle bus will run every 30 minutes from the East Falls Church Metro station, and noisemakers will be distributed for the countdown to midnight.

Annapolis New Year’s Eve
Where: City Dock, Annapolis
When: Various activities throughout the day, beginning at 2:45 PM until midnight
The December 31 schedule kicks off with the Annapolis Drum and Bugle Corps downtown march. The day’s highlights include activities at the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, face painting, a magic show, a Caribbean show and limbo contest, and music from a deejay. Annapolis’s Best Party Band performs from 9 through midnight, and a countdown to the New Year culminates in a firework celebration. Restaurants and shops will also be open throughout the day.

First Night Alexandria
Where: Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria
When: 2 PM
Tickets: $20, free for kids under 12 and active military
Bring the family to the 20th anniversary of this Old Town event. With more than 100 live performances and 22 indoor venues, you can spend New Year’s Eve enjoying the historic city. Music, dancing, and children’s activities are offered throughout the area, and restaurants, pubs, and hotels are also open for business, some with special deals. Afternoon activities begin at 2 and performances start at 7, leading up to the midnight firework show over the Potomac River. Participate in the Instagram challenge with the hashtag #FNA20th to win prizes and gift certificates. More information can be found online.

No-Cover Bars

Baby Wale
Where: 1124 Ninth St., NW
When: 5 PM
Doors open for happy hour, and the night continues with the usual beer, wine, and cocktails. No cover or up-charges means this is an excellent option for a fun night without the sticker shock.

Black Jack
Where: 1612 14th St., NW
When: 6 PM
The Mardi Gras masquerade-themed party will feature a live deejay, plus this bar’s staple craft cocktails in the lounge, bar, and indoor bocce courts.

Boundary Stone Public House
Where: 116 Rhode Island Ave., NW
When: Regular hours
Expect the usual solid food and booze selection in the balloon-decorated neighborhood pub. Toast with your friends at midnight to welcome 2015.

Where: 2233 Wisconsin Ave., NW
When: 8 PM
A good choice for gathering with friends while enjoying a stress-free holiday. End the year with old school hip-hop and soul music, special punches, and a complimentary Champagne toast when the clock strikes 12.

Mockingbird Hill’s Spanish New Year’s Eve
Where: 1843 Seventh St., NW
When: 9:30 PM
The Shaw sherry bar flaunts its Spanish roots with flamenco dancing, Mahou beer and sherry specials, a free cava toast, and a midnight grape-eating contest. Don’t worry about making a reservation before going—just show up.

Room 11
Where: 3234 11th St., NW
When: 5 PM
The Columbia Heights spot is great you’re looking for a more low-key night with some reliable fun. There’ll be some specials along with the regular selection, starting during happy hour.