It’s the biggest (and often most expensive) party night of the year. Make sure you get your money’s worth.

By Khalid Salaam
August 03, 2016
Getty Images

We’ve pulled together a list of our favorite celebrations at venues around the country that are worth the entry fee—and the headache you'll have on January 1.

Blue Duck Tavern in Washington, D.C.

Guests can celebrate the New Year with sophistication (and an open bar) at one of the city’s top spots. On New Year's Eve, Blue Duck Tavern is serving specialty cocktails (we recommend The Iguacu and The Lady Bird), small plates, a champagne toast at midnight, and lots of chocolate desserts. The festivities go from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with live music until 1 a.m.

Beauty & Essex in New York City

One of New York City’s sexiest and most sought-after venues, Beauty & Essex, is the sort of spot that attracts the upper echelon of the social scene—a place Rihanna might breeze through. On New Year’s Eve, guests enjoy a special dinner (think: hazelnut-crusted Chilean sea bass and 45-day dry-aged côte de boeuf), a bottle of Krug Champagne, and, afterward, a themed ball.

Resolution Ball in Detroit

Motor City's Resolution Ball is a no-holds-barred party in the historic Filmore Theater featuring DJs, dancers, and circus performers. There are three different price packages, such as the VIP Skybox Experience, which includes reserve mezzanine-level seating and dedicated cocktail waitresses.

The Signature Room in Chicago

This party on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center offers dramatic views of the skyline, as well as a forward-thinking menu (charred cuttlefish, roasted pheasant) by Chef Cardel Reid. The champagne will flow all night, but be sure to try craft cocktails like the Dragon Berry Mojito, too.

The Linq High Roller Wheel in Las Vegas

Everybody's got to try New Year's Eve in Las Vegas at least once. Head to The High Roller—the tallest observation wheel in world—for an unmatched view of Sin City. Tickets include an open bar and champagne toasts 550-feet above the Strip.

Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey

The Biosphere Party is held in a 10,000-square-foot tropical indoor pool complex complete with an underground aquarium and a 140-foot-waterslide. On New Year's Eve, the venue is transformed with live DJs and an ice bar.

The Cecil in New York City

This fine dining restaurant in Harlem pulls out all the stops for New Year’s Eve. The Cecil's excellent cocktail menu is ramped up, and hors d’oeuvres arranged by Chef JJ are served while a live band performs in the jazz club, Minton’s Playhouse. If what you really want is to work up a sweat, DJs spin beats all night long in the main room.

Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina

Not all New Year's Eve parties need to be raucous. Those in search of a family-friendly celebration should head to The Sea Pines Resort, where guests enjoy complimentary party favors, live music, and a light show. The venue even has two separate ball drops: an early one for the kids and a second countdown at midnight for adults.

Justin’s Brasserie in Austin

If you’re looking for great drinks, lots of dancing, and themed parties on New Year's Eve, head to Justin’s Brasserie in Austin. This is for an energetic crowd, where worrying about drink specials comes secondary to having fun. Last year’s theme was a tribute to New York City in the mid-1900s.