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The new year is just around the corner, and if you don’t already have plans, you should probably start thinking about how you’ll spend the night before its arrival—and bid 2018 adieu. Whether you’ve designated the eve for drinking, dancing, or spending time with family, Denver is brimming with festivities that offer opportunities for all the above.
Family-Friendly Ways to Ring in 2019
Noon Year’s Eve
Let your kids experience the frenzy and excitement of the midnight ball drop without forfeiting their bedtime—and potentially, your sanity. Hourly countdowns to ball drops, bubblewrap fireworks, confetti, crafts, and some of your kids’ favorite characters will help attendees bid 2018 farewell—all before the sun sets. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Dr.; $14-$16 (50 percent discount for Children’s Museum members)
Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings
Support the Avs as they face off against the Los Angeles Kings in their last game of 2018. Inject a little romance into the evening with the happy hour package, which boasts two upper bowl tickets and two glasses of champagne for $70. Or make it a family affair with the Colorado Avalanche Family Night package that combines four chicken tender meals and Pepsis with game tickets. Prices vary
Bunk with the Beasts
Your kids can ring in the new year with Dobby the giraffe and the rest of the Denver Zoo’s animals at this overnight event. Kids ages five to 13 will explore the holiday light-illuminated zoo, visit the exhibits, play games, and enjoy a pizza dinner—freeing their caretakers to enjoy one of the adults-only events below. Denver Zoo, 2900 Steele St.; $65–$75 ($10 discount for Denver Zoo members)
For the Adults
White Rose Gala
If you’re looking for an excuse to wear a fedora or flapper dress, look no further than the annual White Rose Gala, where a Great Gatsby-esque dress code will be strictly enforced. Dance and drink the year away at this elegant event, boasting five floors of music and performances by flapper girls, ballroom dancers, and more. Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 1385 Curtis St; $79–$129
Denver’s Grandest New Year’s Eve Party
Perhaps Denver’s most music-centric celebration, this party will have 50s, 60s, and 70s music played by local dance band The Nacho Men, today’s highest-energy hits by Club X band, and silent disco karaoke. Be sure to take full advantage of the open bar, dinner buffet, and of course, a champagne toast at midnight. Festivities start at 8 p.m.; Grand Hyatt Denver, 1750 Welton St.; $159
Alice in Wonderland New Year’s Eve at Carbon Cafe and Bar
Ring in 2019 dressed as the Mad Hatter or Queen of Hearts at this Alice in Wonderland-themed bash. Carbon Cafe and Bar will host this New Year’s Eve costume party, with an open bar until midnight, music by DJ Gangus, and passed appetizers like corndog bites and stuffed cremini mushrooms. 9 p.m.-midnight; 1553 Platte St.; $85
Resolution NYE 2019
The McNichols Civic Center Building transforms into a stunning party space for this celebration, complete with art installations, DJs, and live music. Your ticket guarantees unlimited premium drinks at the venue’s multiple open bars. If you’re still not sold, the party offers guests a direct view of the annual downtown fireworks shows (the first is at 9 p.m., the second at midnight). McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W Colfax Ave.; $99–$175
Union Station’s New Year’s Eve Parties
Denver’s quintessential New Year’s Eve venue, Union Station, will put on three events on the big night. Enjoy a tamer evening at the NYE Countdown in Cooper Lounge ($100, reservations required) for a selection of bites and a complimentary glass of Ruinart champagne to toast at midnight. If you’re looking to indulge, head to the VIP Lower Level Lounge Party ($160) to enjoy passed canapés, complimentary drinks, and music by DJ Erin Stereo. The Great Hall will also put on a silent disco featuring three different DJs, whose big finale will be a flashy light show on the ceiling at midnight ($75). 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St.; purchase tickets online, or call 720-460-3738 to reserve your spot at the Cooper Lounge
Where to Dine
Annette’s Scandinavian Brunch
Kick off the festivities in the morning—or midday, depending on your brunching style—at Annette’s for their second annual, three-course Scandinavian brunch. Make your last brunch of 2018 extra special by adding caviar for an extra $10 or a bottle of champagne for an extra $60. Reservations required; seatings at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m.; call 720-710-9975 to reserve your seat; 2501 Dallas St.; $35
Tavernetta New Year’s Eve Dinner and Inaugural Bash
If your New Year’s Eve goal is to be firmly in bed by the stroke of midnight, consider putting yourself into a food coma with this four-course dinner at Tavernetta’s. Optional wine pairings will be on offer from sommeliers Bobby Stuckey and Carlin Karr. Should the wine make a bigger impact than the meal, Tavernetta’s Inaugural NYE Bash kicks off after at 9 p.m. Wash Park Band will perform live music, and your $250 ticket gets you in on the Bollinger champagne, select cocktails, and the food stations. 1889 16th St. 9 p.m.-1 a.m., $150–$250, purchase tickets here.
New Year’s Eve at EDGE
Start your night—and end the year—at EDGE Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant will offer two pre-fixe menus for New Year’s Eve; the first is a three-course meal with a glass of Moet champagne for $115 and the second is a five-course meal with a glass of Moet champagne and a Dom Perignon and caviar toast at midnight for $235 (reservations required). The latter also gives you access to the winter wonderland-themed EDGE bar party, featuring entertainment by DJ Manos. At midnight, the bar will offer a bottomless brunch with unlimited champagne, mimosas, and passed brunch bites. $95; purchase tickets online or call 303-389-3050 to reserve a spot; 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; 1111 14th St.