Another year passes, and in New Orleans, that means the partying can begin anew. Here are a few spots to ring in the New Year and sing Auld Lang Syne, including some events for families with children.
For an inspiring view of the city’s big New Year’s Eve fireworks and a night of great music, it’s tough to beat Crescent City Countdown. Located on the Decatur Street City Stage in front of Jackson Square, the music starts at 9 p.m. with Luke Winslow King, followed by Cyril Neville and special guest Monk Boudreaux. Spend the last 15 minutes of 2015 counting down to midnight with your fellow partygoers, waiting for the fleur de lis to drop over Jax Brewery and the fireworks to splash light across the Mississippi River. Visit crescentcitycountdown.com for information.
Inside the National World War II Museum (945 Magazine St.), BB’s Stage Door Canteen will swing into the New Year with “New Year’s Eve … Vegas Style.” Sip a drink and listen to the dynamite numbers of Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra by way of Lena Prima, Clint Johnson and the Victory Swing Orchestra. A ticket for the event, $150, includes a Bellini cocktail, a four-course Italian meal, wine and beer, champagne at midnight and a sumptuous chocolate buffet after midnight. The event runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Visit nationalww2museum.org for information.
Enjoy a little New Year’s cheer on a kid-friendly schedule. From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31, families with children can ring in Zoo Year’s Eve at the Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St.). There will be soft drinks for toasting, party hats and noisemakers to go around. The event is included with the purchase of a ticket to the Audubon Zoo (free for members). Visit auduboninstitute.org for information.
Or, head to the Louisiana Children’s Museum (420 Julia St.) for a noon countdown that includes a colorful confetti toss and a balloon release. Visitors can gather around the craft tables to make noisemakers and party hats, and the Red Hot Brass Band will perform. Enjoy the museum’s festivities from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Tickets are $10 for nonmembers and $5 for members. Visitors must be 12 months and older. Visit lcm.org for details.
One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse St.) throws a classic soul dance party starting at 10 p.m. Dec. 31. “The Queen of Rare Groove,” the award-winning DJ Soul Sister — known for her long-standing “Hustle Saturdays” at Hi-Ho Lounge and “Soul Power” show on WWOZ — will host “Soul Train: A Classic Party & DJ Soul Sister’s 13th Annual New Year’s Eve Party.” Tickets are $20, or pay $75 and enjoy the open bar. For more information visit oneeyedjacks.net.
The Jax Brewhouse (600 Decatur St.) sponsors a swanky New Year’s Eve ball drop. Entertainers, including musicians and aerialists, keep revelers occupied until midnight, when everyone heads to the balcony to watch the fireworks over the Mississippi River. There’s an open bar, and blazers are required to enter; tickets start at $85. Visit jaxnola.com for more information.
The University of Mississippi and Oklahoma State meet in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on New Year’s Day. But ahead of that is the free Fan Fest, with other football-themed activities, marching bands, mascots and cheerleaders including the Oklahoma State pep rally Thursday at 1:30 p.m., the New Year’s Eve Parade at 3:30 and the Ole Miss pep rally at 5:15. Location is the Jax Brewery parking lot off Decatur Street.
The Steamboat Natchez makes an annual cruise on New Year’s Eve, offering an unparalleled view of fireworks and a holiday buffet that includes shrimp, carved filet of beef and Cobia en Papillote. Three’s also a live dance band and open bar. Boarding begins at 9:30 p.m., cruising at 10 p.m., and the party continues dockside at 12:30 a.m. $175; holiday attire recommended. Visit steamboatnatchez.com for information or visit the office at the end of Toulouse Street on the river.
Not to be outdone, the Creole Queen paddleboat boards at 10 p.m. at 1 Poydras St. and hits the open river at 11 p.m. Eat hors d’oeuvres, dance to the music provided by a DJ and toast a new year with champagne while you watch the fireworks ignite the night sky over the Mississippi River. Tickets are $159. Visit creolequeen.com or call (800) 366-8222 for information.
Be at the heart of the Crescent City party at Bourbon Vieux’s 2016 New Year’s Eve Balcony Party. Partygoers can view one of the biggest block parties in the nation from a supersized balcony or go inside for gourmet food, New Year’s Eve party favors, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. Enjoy the festivities from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $165. For information visit bourbonvieux.com.
For an all-inclusive New Year’s Eve, it’s Big Night New Orleans at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans (601 Loyola Ave.) A ticket gets you an open bar, buffet, multiple party rooms and dance floors, 10 bands, DJs and acts including DJ Digital and the 610 Stompers. The party goes from 9 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Main Event tickets are $129.99; VIP $189.99. Visit bignightneworleans.com for information.
Preservation Hall (726 St. Peter St.) sponsors the third annual Hall Lang Syne celebration. Hear the Preservation Hall-Stars, featuring Shannon Powell, and turn Preservation Hall’s open bar into your base of celebratory operations. Tickets start at $135, and doors open at 10 p.m.
Planning to toast 2016 with friends at home or traveling outside of the city on New Year’s? Visit earthcam.com/usa/Louisiana/neworleans/bourbonstreet to put your finger on the pulse of the city’s New Year’s Eve carousing.