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Best New Years Eve Events, NYE Parties & Celebrations in San Diego

If you’re looking to get out and about for NYE this year, there are plenty of fun events, parties, and happenings going on around San Diego County. So, if you’re wondering what to do in San Diego for New Years – wonder no more. From epic hotel parties in the Gaslamp Quarter and downtown to casual craft beer dinners and everything in between.

Here’s our roundup of the best events you can have during New Years Eve in San Diego to set your upcoming year right!

Big Night San Diego NYE

Where: Hilton Bayfront

Ring in the new year at one of the biggest parties in San Diego!

The 16th annual Big Night NYE is back with an all-inclusive extravaganza, including unlimited drinks all night, a buffet, and live entertainment at ten different party zones (with eight dance floors) throughout the hotel. Guests are free to roam – beverage in hand – from party room to party room, from the Retro Zone to the Club Zone and the silent disco. About a dozen popular bands and DJs will be playing throughout the gala’s many party areas all evening.

At midnight, celebrate with exclusive party favors and a big countdown. To find out more, visit BigNightSanDiego.com

New Year’s Eve at Tower 23

Where: Tower 23 Hotel; 723 Felspar Street, San Diego

Tower 23 in Pacific Beach is a fun lifestyle hotel situated right on the beach.

This year, make your way there to pop, sparkle, fizz, toast, and sip as you ring in the new year!

Dine before you dance with dinner at JRDN (there are two seatings, at 5:30pm and 8:30pm), then enjoy live music and sets from local DJs starting at 10pm.

Stay overnight with an exclusive discount hotel package, and enjoy a special New Year’s Day brunch the next morning until 3:30pm! You can visit their website here to find out more.

New Year's Eve Hornblower cruise

New Years Eve Hornblower Cruise

Where: Pier 1 Hornblower Landing, 1800 North Harbor Drive

This NYE, head to an Old Hollywood-themed Hornblower cruise!

This special night will include a fun four-hour cruise around the San Diego Harbor, and feature plenty of free-flowing champagne, a five-course gourmet seated dinner, a live jazz band, New Years Eve party favors, and of course, incredible views of the San Diego coastline!

The High Spirits, built in 1929, is a beautifully restored classic motor yacht that’s going to be decorated in the spirit of Old Hollywood this New Years Eve. The upper deck offers a bar and dining room with breathtaking views, making the High Spirits perfect for a themed celebration.

Be sure to wear your best black and white ensemble as you step back in time and are swept away by the glitz and glamour of yesterday and a night of fun on the water. Get more about this event here.

New Years Eve Gala

Where: Hotel Del Coronado; 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado

Ring in the New Year at The World’s Greatest Legend, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration with dazzling star attractions and awe-inspiring performances at the Hotel Del Coronado.

The oceanfront Ballroom will transform into a lavish big top, complete with black tie-clad aristocrats, a delectable five-course feast, open bar, and dancing to the sounds of the Mighty Untouchables. Kick the evening off with Cocktail Hour in the Crown Room from 7pm-8pm, then head to the Ballroom at 8pm for an extravagant dinner, live performances and music, and dancing until 1am.

For an extra special experience, be sure to book a room at this world-famous hotel and cap off your evening in style! Explore more about this exciting NYE experience on their website here.

NYE Beach Party

Where: Catamaran Resort; 3999 Mission Blvd.

Ring in the new year at the beach this year!

Head to the Catamaran Resort for an all-inclusive evening packed with unlimited drinks and cocktails, festive hors d’oeuvres, four rooms of top-tier entertainment featuring San Diego’s hottest DJs, themed photo booths to create lasting memories, and an epic LED screen midnight countdown and balloon drop.

For a five-star evening, upgrade to the VIP Party Boat and cruise around Mission Bay on the William D. Evans. Aboard you’ll find multiple decks of music, two open bars, a dance floor, and casino games, all in addition to the fun inside the Catamaran. Find out more by visiting NYEBeachParty.com

Craft Beer New Year

Where: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station; 2816 Historic Decatur Rd.

Go all-out on the last night of the year with an extravagant affair at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station!

Your $99 ticket includes three drink tickets, light bites throughout the night, a celebratory toast pour at midnight (with souvenir tasting glass), two dance floors and live music from DJ Tropixx, a cigar lounge in the movie courtyard, speakeasy room, interactive photo booth, and a midnight countdown and ball drop. Group packages and discounts are available for parties of nine or more. You can get more info about this event on their website.

NYE at Hard Rock Hotel

Where: Hard Rock Hotel; 207 Fifth Avenue

The biggest New Year’s Eve bash in the Gaslamp Quarter returns this year with Kid Ink and live DJ Pauly D at the Hard Rock Hotel.

This year, experience a festive journey to the world’s most epic party cities, including Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Giza, and Mykonos to ring in the new year.

Don your holiday finest and celebrate until long after midnight on three hotel levels and five totally decked-out party rooms.

A limited number of Hotel Room Packages are available this year, and include two party tickets and a one-night hotel stay.

VIP Bottle Service Packages are also available. Check out more or reserve your table on the Hard Rock Hotel NYE events page.

Ball on Broadway

Where: Parq Restaurant & Nightclub; 615 Broadway

Head to Parq Restaurant and Nightclub this New Year’s Eve to dance the night away and bring in the new year in style!

Toast to the new year in an expansive venue featuring 35,000 square feet and two nightclubs as part of a five-room opulent experience. Wander through each room, listening to multiple DJs and enjoying five distinct musical experiences to ring in the New Year.

Parq Restaurant and Nightclub is located in downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter. Get more info on the Parq website.

Bottoms Up NYE

Where: ALTITUDE Sky Lounge (Marriott Gaslamp Quarter)

Level up your New Year’s Eve!

From the lobby to Altitude Sky Lounge, enjoy free-flowing champagne, unlimited well drinks, domestic beers, and two of San Diego premier DJs plus an exceptional selection of gourmet food stations, including a raw seafood and sushi bar, street taco stand, chocolate fountain, carving station, and more.

Your top-to-bottom evening will include unlimited drinks and food all night, party favors, a New Years Eve countdown, and live music from various DJs in the lobby and on the 22nd floor. Guests can roam between the San Diego skyline lounge and the lobby all evening long at this epic downtown San Diego hotel party! Check out how you can get your bottoms up at the Altitude Sky Lounge website.

Have kids in tow? Check out our kid-friendly New Year’s Eve events in San Diego listed below!

Image courtesy of @flagshipsd

New Year’s Eve Yacht Party

Where: 990 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA

If you’re in search of truly unique things to do in San Diego for New Years, then think about NYE on a Yacht! The Flagship yacht has been hailed as San Diego’s finest fleet since 1915 and they really know how to roll out a show for coaxing in the upcoming year.  Envision yourself surrounded by your friends and family all singing Auld Lang Syne together while viewing the sparkling waters of San Diego Bay. 

The Flagship’s NYE cruise runs the gamut around the Bay allowing you and your party-goers to see sights such as the Star of India, Cabrillo National Monument, and the North Island Military Base. The yacht also ambles under the impressive Coronado Bay Bridge as well as gives you an oceanside view of dazzling views of the downton San Diego skyline.  

This San Diego NYE cruise includes a five-course gourmet dinner prepared on the yacht, and a live DJ. You and your guests will be treated to champagne or sparkling cider upon boarding, and premium bar selections are available during your NYE tour.  For a bit more money you can get an unlimited beverage package which features top-shelf liquor, beer and wine for you and your celebrants. Learn more on the Flagship NYE yacht party event page here.

Pacific Beach NYE Bar Crawl

Where: 809 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA

If you crave a raucous party flair for your activities to do on New Year’s eve, you won’t be disappointed by the Pacific Beach NYE Bar Crawl.  Have a boisterously good time with your pals bouncing from bar to bar in celebration of new adventures to come in the encroaching year.  

When you join in the fun you’ll get exclusive access to NYE drink specials and an open-invite to 10+ different parties that will surely put a zing in your countdown to January 1st. You’ll also get a pub crawl map to all the participating nightclubs, bars and lounges – including some well-known jiving joints such as Bub’s at the Beach and Baja Beach Cafe. There’s no dress-code, but NYE pub crawlers are encouraged to dress to impress! Learn more, get your bar crawl map, and book your ticket on Eventbrite here.

San Diego New Year’s Eve Fireworks

There is no better way to step into the new year than by savoring stellar San Diego New Years fireworks.  And when it comes to kicking off a new year, SD puts on a smashing show of bedazzling fireworks that will illuminate the city skyline as well as brighten your heart in preparation for the upcoming year.  Here are a few places to go to oooh and ahhh the new year with a breathtaking array of fiery lights on the horizon this NYE.

Flagship San Diego New Year’s Eve Cruise

You might have noticed this in the “NYE in San Diego Yacht Party” section in this lineup.  What we didn’t mention earlier is that a spectacular light show of fireworks is included in the cruise. This is an undeniably sublime way to conjure good vibes for the new year.  Watch in awe as you float along the Pacific while celebratory explosions sparkle and reflect upon the waters of the Bay. 

NYE Hornblower Cruises on the Bay

This is another exhilarating way to experience NYE in style. Enjoy a gourmet dinner cruise with flowing champagne along with live music and entertainment.  Dance upon the hornblower while taking in the stunning scenes of fireworks bursting the night sky.  This is surely a sparkler among our New Years Eve events in San Diego that you and your friends or family will not soon forget.

Image courtesy of Legoland

Kids New Year’s Eve at LEGOLAND

If you’re seeking out a kid friendly New Years Eve in San Diego, LEGOLAND, can’t be beaten. Arguably one of the biggest NYE celebrations for kids of any age, LEGOLAND puts on a phenomenal fireworks display.  Sparks fly early, so that your little tykes don’t have to wait till midnight.  In addition to its illuminating fireworks show, the park will also have live music, tons of entertainment for your tots, and loads of rides and entertainment you and your kids have come to expect from LEGOLAND.

San Diego SeaWorld

Another way to make memories with the whole family this New Years Eve in San Diego is waiting for you at SD SeaWorld.  Commune with marine life, enjoy live entertainment and ride the rides at SeaWorld before the fireworks begin for NYE.  Don’t miss the all-new Emperor roller coaster, and you’ll also want to spend time ogling the amazing animals such as sharks, flamingos, Orcas, sea turtles, walruses and more.  San Diego SeaWorld is truly a power-packed venue for fun and fireworks on New Years Eve.

Free Things to Do on New Year’s Eve

When it comes to San Diego, we have oodles of free things to do on New Year’s Eve! From watching fireworks at your favorite beach hangout, to kicking up your heels with pals in downtown, San Diego New Years Eve outings and activities don’t have to cost a dime.  Check out these ideas for no-cost frills and thrills you can have this NYE.

Watch Fireworks in Downtown San Diego

While we mentioned a whole slew of NYE fireworks venues earlier, you don’t have to pay to watch them. Some of the best places to witness eye-popping fireworks are right in the heart of San Diego. Watch the skies of SD become ablaze from one of several prime hot spots such as Seaport Village, USS Midway Museum, behind the Convention Center or at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

Image courtesy of SanDiego.org

Enjoy the Big Bay Balloon Parade

Super-fun for kids and adults alike, there’s nothing like watching your favorite characters in epic balloon-forms stroll down Harbor Drive. The parade also features gorgeous floats, marching bands, drill teams and more. As one of the biggest parades held in San Diego, the Big Bay Balloon Parade will surely make you and the whole family “pop” this New Year’s Eve.  Curbside parade viewing is free, but if you can dole out a few bucks you can have access to grandstand seating for better views of the event.

Party With Friends

Who says you need a load of dough to experience a proper NYE hootenanny?  You don’t when you’ve got your best buds to celebrate.  Bedeck your home or backyard with plenty of themed decorations, lots of yummy munchies, and of course – don’t forget the bubbly so you can pop the champagne cork at midnight!  Sometimes the most memory-making NYE events are priceless when they are free and enjoyed with beloved besties.

Warm Up With a Bonfire at Mission Beach

If you’d rather have a more intimate way to get your spirits warm and toasty this NYE, why not snuggle with your partner while watching the waves at Mission Beach?  Fire rings are available, but they are on a first-come, first-served basis, so pack a picnic dinner and hit the beach early.  This is truly a beautiful way to encourage the encroaching New Year with that special someone.  Or, maybe you can come up with romantic ideas for New Years Eve at home if you don’t feel like getting out.  However you choose to spend NYE with your beloved, remember that it doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.

Get Competitive With Game Night at Home

More often than not, game night can turn out to be the most enjoyable way to spend NYE in San Diego.  There’s something about a round of healthy competition with friends and family to set the mood right for the upcoming new year.  Whether you buy up Boardwalk while playing Monopoly or have a rousing game of horseshoes in your backyard – getting playful with pals and family members is a sure-fire way to summon the new era with laughter and good memories shared.