The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Finding the right New Year’s Eve festivity can be a Goldilocks conundrum: They’re often too loud or too quiet, too expensive or not fancy enough, a rager or a bummer. So, to help you plan your perfect December 31, we compiled this list of Front Range happenings—we hope one will be just right.
Best for: Those who want to turn their NYE into a staycation
That's only $1 per issue!
Whether you want to extend your night off from corralling toddlers or you just don’t want to deal with securing an Uber home, treating yourself to a New Year’s Eve overnight needs no explanation. If you’re hoping to find room and board near your midnight merrymaking, Union Station is the spot. The LoDo landmark will host three different history-themed parties—a 1980s-to-present gig in the Great Hall; a midcentury gala in Cooper Lounge; and a Roaring ’20s-style bootleggers’ ball in Webb Gallery—each with live music, a champagne toast, and small bites. Conveniently, the Crawford Hotel is steps away from all the soirees, so you can easily amble back to your digs—no outrageous Uber fare involved. (Hint: Book at the Crawford Hotel and receive two complimentary tickets to the Great Hall gathering.) Times for events vary; $75–$285
Best for: Highfalutin live music fanatics
If a glass of cab sav and Miles Davis sounds more appealing than a vodka soda and Diplo, this swanky affair is for you. Saxophonist Wil Swindler and the Marion Powers Quintet will serenade you with swing tunes while you enjoy entrées like confit duck leg and sea scallops paired with the aforementioned red wine or a craft cocktail such as winter spiced butter rum. There are two seatings—one at 5:45 p.m. and another at 9:15 p.m.—so you can choose to start or end your night with dinner and a show. From $75 per person
Best for: Those who want to celebrate the ball drop on a budget
No, we didn’t forget a zero (or two) at the end of this bash’s ticket price. For just one $10 note, you can cut a rug to the live melodies of nine-piece group HomeSlice—whose repertoire includes everything from Dua Lipa to Dierks Bentley—in Centennial’s brand-new RockStar Music Hall. If $10 doesn’t max out your budget, spring for à la carte bowling (the venue is inside Celebrity Lanes) and dinner (barbecue pork sliders, funnel cake fries, and mac-and-cheese bites). 4 p.m.; starting at $10
Best for: Epicureans
Like most December 31 soirees, this bacchanal will have bountiful sparkling wine—but at Boulder’s Corrida, champagne is just where the gastronomic indulgences begin. Your tastebuds will toast to 2024 with a lavish menu punctuated by caviar with chilled cauliflower mousse, dry-aged American wagyu strip, bison tenderloin and short rib, and blood-orange sorbet. Taste isn’t the only sense you’ll be satisfying: Hear the harmonies of an electric violinist and DJ as you nosh. Reservation times vary; $150 per person
Best for: Revelers in search of a new Mile High venue
We’re certain even seasoned nightlife veterans haven’t been to this soon-to-be LoDo hotspot before. That’s because its opening day coincides with New Year’s Eve. Help christen the 16,000-square-foot space—which is an offshoot of the Scottsdale, Arizona, club—with a lineup of DJs, a live countdown on a 300-foot LED screen, dazzling performers, drink specials, and VIP bottle service for those who want to go all out. A bonus perk? The club’s rooftop is the perfect perch to spy the midnight fireworks at Coors Field. 9 p.m.; starting at $20
Best for: Those who want a constant change of scenery
What’s that saying? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…er, don’t take all your tequila shots at one bar? If spending an entire night at one venue induces opportunity-cost anxiety in your crew, opt for this roving party that includes access to Ballpark and Larimer Square joints such as Sidecar, Celtic on Market, and the Refinery. During the six-hour bar crawl, you’ll enjoy food and drink specials, participate in a scavenger hunt, boogie down to live DJs, and, of course, clink glasses at a midnight toast. Self-paced starting at 8 p.m.; starting at $5 for 5280 readers (with this special link)
Best for: Parents whose bedtime is 10 p.m.
Each year, Denver’s Children’s Museum hosts this family-focused fete—much to the relief of bleary-eyed Mile High City parents. Starting at 10 a.m., kid-friendly hip-hop emcee Mr. Kneel will host hourly ball drops. Little ones can also sample treats from the Teaching Kitchen, partake in NYE-themed arts and crafts, and step outside for the museum’s “Snow Days” programming, which includes a sock-skating rink, a tubing hill, an imaginary ice-fishing station, and more. Your tired tykes will doze off well before midnight—and you can open a bottle of champs or savor those extra hours of z’s to start your New Year’s resolution to get more sleep a little early. 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; $16–$18, kids under one get in free
Best for: Those who want to tear it up ’20s style
An affair fit for the pages of The Great Gatsby, this annual Denver tradition draws more than 1,200 carousers each year. Fish out that flapper dress from your closet and enter the Art Deco epoch at the Ritz-Carlton, Denver. Live performers, including Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles, will reinforce the throwback vibe and more than 10 different alcohol brands will offer special cocktails. Go fully Gatsby by upgrading to VIP tickets, which give you access to the speakeasy dance club, casino gambling, and separate bars and bathrooms. 8 p.m.–1 a.m.; $100–$150
Best for: Those whose outfits include dancing shoes
You don’t need to be a salsa or bachata expert to attend this electric dance party at Que Bueno Suerte—in fact, you can get a head start on that resolution to find a new hobby. Down a mezcal marg or a tequila shot for courage before heading to the dance floor, where a DJ will spin high-octane tunes. Attendees will receive drink specials and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 9:30 p.m.–1:30 a.m.; $25–$30
Best for: Hopheads who’d rather toast with an IPA
This open-bar bash is hosted by noted brewmaker Bierstadt Lagerhaus, meaning ale enthusiasts will have plenty of suds to fuel them through the night. In between draft brews (or cocktails for those who prefer), groove to live-spun DJ tunes, and nibble on an appetizer buffet. There will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, but we won’t judge you if you opt for a pint glass. 9 p.m.–1:30 a.m.; $99