More than 300,000 people are expected to crowd the Las Vegas Strip in the hours before 2018, and while FOMO might drive some to join the year’s biggest party, others might prefer to keep it mellow.
Fortunately, you can have both in Las Vegas and still have the greatest New Year’s Eve of your life. It’s all a matter of finding the perfect match (and scoring a ticket in time, of course).
Here are some options to consider.
If you’re leaning toward high-energy spectacle, your best bet is Bruno Mars at Monte Carlo’s Park Theater. The five-time Grammy Award winner plays December 30 and 31, but it’s the New Year’s Eve show that you won’t want to miss. Not only will you get to see one of modern music’s biggest stars, but you’ll also be in good company with throngs of Strip revelers. 9 p.m., $281–$4,001, montecarlo.com
For those seeking something a little more relaxed, catch An Intimate Evening With Kristin Chenoweth at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The Tony Award–winning actress and singer will perform a mix of standards, classics and Broadway hits as the clock ticks down to midnight. Unlike a lot of New Year’s Eve shows, this one is family-friendly, with children 5 years or older welcome to attend. 7:30 p.m., $39–$189, thesmithcenter.com
On the Strip, you can witness Las Vegas’ famously choreographed New Year’s Eve fireworks show with hundreds of thousands of your closest friends. It’s the West Coast version of Times Square’s ball-drop bash, just not as cold. When the show is over, you’re welcome to head back inside the casinos, bars and nightclubs that will be open as late (or early) as you want them to be. Fireworks will go off at midnight from the rooftops of Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort, MGM Grand, Aria, Treasure Island, The Venetian and Stratosphere.
If you’re not a frequent visitor to Las Vegas, we’ll let you in on a little secret: There’s another fireworks party just a short drive away at Lake Las Vegas, and it’s a lot less crowded. Families flock to the community’s Montelago Village to tour its shops and restaurants, and on December 31, they’ll enjoy fireworks over the lake at midnight. If you’re up for it, you can take an evening yacht cruise and catch the show from the water. lakelasvegas.com
Billed as the modern supper club where you’ll “never have the same experience twice,” Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan is one of the Strip’s most dynamic dinner-and-a-show experiences. The four-course New Year’s Eve prix fixe is $175 and it can be your launchpad to a night of unrivaled celebration, with post-dinner options that include Foo Fighters at the resort’s Chelsea theater, a party in the revamped Chandelier bar or a celebratory skate at the outdoor ice rink. cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
Just north of the Strip, you can celebrate New Year’s in an old-school Vegas atmosphere at Oscar’s Steakhouse inside the Plaza Hotel & Casino. The restaurant, named for Mob lawyer (and former Vegas mayor) Oscar Goodman, will be in full throwback mode throughout the dinner hours, with Larry Liso performing in the lounge until 9 p.m. After dinner, you can stay to watch the Fremont Street bash from inside Oscar’s famous dome, and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. plazahotelcasino.com