7 U.S. New Year’s Celebrations

Celebrating the New Year is a time honored tradition, to start the next year off right with optimism, with friends and with a smile on your face. Celebrate the right way with these magnificent and undeniably fun New Year's celebrations around the U.S. that will light up 2016!

New Year's Eve in Times Square

Perhaps the most renowned, popular, and extravagant New Year's Eve celebration in the world, more than a million people make their way into New York City every New Year. Live music at this year's festival include Jessie J and Daya, dance performances on the Planet Fitness Stage and appearances by Anderson Cooper and Bill Nye for added entertainment. Finally, the pièce de résistance, the gigantic twelve foot Waterford crystal ball will drop at midnight and the whole of Times Square lights up with a glowing "2016" to ring in the New Year in style!

SnowGlobe Music Festival - South Lake Tahoe

Just a few years ago, SnowGlobe became a revolutionary leader among music festivals. Where most music festivals take place in the summer, SnowGlobe made a name for itself by its stunning winter location at South Lake Tahoe, one of the best ski destinations in the U.S. Also, it's fabulous lineup and celebration events run from December 29 through the 31st, ending with a spectacular fireworks display. This music festival is open for visitors of all ages and children under ten will be admitted for free with a ticket-holding parent.

America's Party - Las Vegas Strip

With a name like "America's Party," Vegas really goes all out to make this one of the top New Year's celebrations in the country. Running the length of the Strip, and operating in full Vegas style, this glorious event marks a New Year with extravagant pomp and circumstance. Each major resort will have their own parties, like the Tao performed by Snoop Dogg at the Venetian, but the rest of the Strip also lights up with fun and flair. Hop from party to party, from the Hard Rock Cafe to a performance by Pete Wentz at Vanity. What's even more extravagant is the fireworks display. This year the theme is "On Top of the World" with a finale special tribute to Frank Sinatra. At eight minutes out, the tribute will begin and the hotels, from north to south, will start shooting off their fireworks in succession. Make sure you get a spot near the hotels that are launching the fireworks, or maybe even a rooftop club for the ultimate seat.

Decadence Music Festival - Colorado, Arizona, Utah

Like SnowGlobe, Decadence is one of the most spectacular and popular winter music festivals over the New Year's holiday. Operating in three states simultaneously, Decadence gives you more chances to see their phenomenal shows and live events. Up and coming performers, artists of varying genres, and names you've heard and love grace the stage with their stylings, beats, and incomparable sound for a night like no other. Ring in the New Year with the ultimate music festival experience! Unlike SnowGlobe, Decadence is only for those older than 18.

New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration - Honolulu

Hawaii is one of the last places on earth to experience the New Year. Because of the time difference, Honolulu will be one of the final places to ring in 2016 and they certainly know how to do it right. The fireworks will shoot off from a barge floating off Waikiki Beach, starting five minutes before with a firework shot off every minute as a countdown. Before that, however, the Aloha Tower Marketplace opens its doors as the New Year's Eve Party of the Year complete with entertainment, food, games, and more fireworks. Other spots around the city party it up, like the Masquerade Ball at SKY Waikiki and many others.

Celebrate San Antonio

For New Year's Eve, San Antonio is the place to be. Family friendly and exciting, this warm weather destination lets you peruse the food trucks and restaurants, booths of gifts and games, activities for the whole family, free live entertainment, and plenty to pass the time until the ball drops. The party starts at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve so don't be late! The party is located throughout the city at various spots and also at the Riverwalk. For the holidays, San Antonio's Riverwalk lights up with spectacular strings of holiday lights, paper candle lanterns and restaurants draped in decorations. It's truly a marvelous place to be with friends and family!

Chinese New Year Festivals

Celebrate in a new, unique way with Chinese New Year festivals in the U.S. Though the Chinese New Year doesn't fall on our calendar new year (this year it's on February 8), celebrating another culture's traditions is a great thing to do with your student group. San Francisco does it best, perhaps, being home to the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. Here you can experience the Chinese New Year Flower Market, the Miss Chinatown USA Pageant, and the Chinese New Year Run along with the parade and Chinatown based festivals with booths of food, games, and gifts. New York City and Chicago, too, have extensive Chinatown celebrations for the New Year with parades, festivals, and flower markets.