Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Florida
Champagne toasts! Fireworks! Parties! The Sunshine State rings in the New Year in a big way, from the white sands of Pensacola to the bright lights of Miami Beach. Read on to discover some of the events in your neck of the sandbar. Please check individual websites for more details.
Pensacola Beach New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Welcome the New Year with your eyes on the skies and your toes buried in the sugar-white sand of Pensacola Beach. Midnight marks the start of this free, dazzling light display overlooking the Santa Rosa Sound, courtesy of the Pensacola Beach Chamber.
Where: Pensacola Beach Boardwalk
Flora-Bama's Annual New Year's Eve Bash – This establishment, located smack-dab on the beach of Perdido Key, is legendary for its exuberant parties, so you’ll want to hang on to your hat for its New Year’s celebration, complete with live music on three stages, food, party favors, and a midnight champagne toast. This event always sells out, so make sure to buy your tickets early.
Where: Perdido Key
Countdown Downtown! New Year’s Eve at Cascades Park – Grab your lawn chairs, blankets, friends and family and head to this free event that features two bands, two fireworks shows, food trucks and beverages. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up with a boom at 10 p.m. The party’s only over if you want it to be; the Edison and Andrews are offering special New Year’s Eve Events, and Collegetown offers a midnight fireworks celebration.
Where: Cascades Park, Tallahassee
HarborWalk Village New Year’s Eve – Destin heralds the arrival of 2020 with two firework shows – one at 8 p.m. and one at midnight—as well as a whopping five parties, all free to attend. Dance to live music and make merry as the excitement builds for the Annual Ball Drop over the Harbor.
Where: HarborWalk Village, Destin
New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop – Panama City Beach does the New Year right, closing the streets of Pier Park to traffic so thousands of revelers can enjoy free live music, entertainment, fireworks, and two ball drops. The gala includes a special 8 p.m. ball-drop and countdown for the kids, featuring over 10,000 inflated beach balls dropped from nets stretched over the street as well as a midnight Beach Ball Drop from the Celebration Tower, each capped off with a firework show.
Where: Pier Park, Panama City Beach
Beach Blast Off – A spectacular fireworks show, live music, a kids’ zone, and abundant food and drink combine to make this New Year’s event the most popular in St. Augustine. The festivities run from 4 to 10 p.m., with the fireworks slated for 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. Tickets are available for Kids’ Zone activities as well as food and drink purchases.
Where: St. Augustine Beach Pier Park
New Year’s Eve Shrimp Drop – A ball-drop is so yesterday. Amelia Island ups the ante by dropping a giant, illuminated shrimp. This free, family-friendly event boasts vendors, food, kids’ games, live music, dancing, fireworks and much more.
Where: Centre Street, Fernandina Beach
Countdown Seaside: A New Year's Eve Celebration – Seaside invites you to usher in 2020 under the stars in their annual New Year’s celebration, kicking off at 5 p.m. in the Seaside Amphitheater and continuing after the fireworks at midnight. Bring a blanket or chairs and get prepared to ooh and aw at the fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico.
Where: Seaside Amphitheater
Noon Year's Eve at LuLu's Destin – Ring in the New Year at high noon with a Beach Ball Drop at LuLu’s, when hundreds of colorful beach balls descend on the soft sands of LuLu’s Beach. This fun-filled day, starting at 10 a.m., is perfect your little ones, with crafts, kid safe fireworks (bubble wrap) and a kids’ magic show. Face Painting, balloon animals, Captain Davy & His Pirate Crew, and an inflatable slide round out the pint-sized excitement.
Where: LuLu’s, Destin
Ring in The New Year in Jacksonville – Downtown Jacksonville goes all out for the New Year with a bash that attracts hundreds of thousands of people, promising fireworks, live music, food trucks, craft vendors, and family fun, all next to the beautiful St. Johns River.
Where: Downtown Jacksonville
Orlando and Central Florida’s famed theme parks offer a slew of celebrations, including:Orlando and Central Florida’s famed theme parks offer a slew of celebrations, including:
Fantasy in the Sky – Magic Kingdom vows to wow the crowd with its firework spectacular at 11:50 p.m., slated for both Dec. 30 and Dec. 31. The New Year's Eve show comes complete with party hats and noisemakers.
Where: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando
Celebrations Around the World Showcase - Ring in the New Year anew each time the clock strikes midnight in each country’s respective pavilion, marked by festive announcements and fireworks. Lively dance parties and themed events in several country pavilions keep the fun-meter full.
Where: Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando
Disney’s Hollywood Studio – Details are yet to come, but the Studio promises high adventure culminating in a midnight countdown and a stunning fireworks spectacular.
Where: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Celebrate the New Year like a beast at Animal Kingdom with specially-themed food and beverage offerings, DJs, and a countdown-to-midnight on the Tree of Life.
Where: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando
Universal Studios Florida – Say goodbye to 2019 with live music, rockin’ party zones, and a chance to meet some of your favorite characters. Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration, pyrotechnic displays, showers of confetti and party favors add to the excitement.
Where: Universal Studios Florida, Orlando
EVE, Universal CityWalk – Eve describes its New Year’s bash as eye-popping, mind-blowing, and jam-packed—and that’s an accurate description. Sip on signature drinks, explore five CityWalk clubs with live bands and DJs, and show off your best moves on Orlando’s biggest outdoor dance floor. The event also features a live performance by DJ M-Squared.
Where: Universal CityWalk, Orlando
New Year's Eve at SeaWorld Orlando – Ring in the New Year SeaWorld style, with a spectacular musical celebration and bold fireworks display that celebrate our connection to the sea, sea life and the world we share. For a special treat, experience SeaWorld’s New Year's Eve Fireworks Celebration with an unprecedented view, 400 feet in the air from within the Sky Tower, a celebration complete with a champagne toast and chocolates.
Where: SeaWorld Orlando
Web: New Year's Eve at SeaWorld Orlando
Legoland Florida Kid's New Year's Party – Legoland offers a brick-tacular way for your little ones to welcome the new year from Dec. 26-31, with dazzling fireworks displays, dance parties and special building activities. There’s even a brick drop at a kid-friendly hour on Dec. 31.
Where: Legoland Florida Resort, Winter Haven
New Year’s Eve in Daytona Beach – New Year’s Eve in Daytona Beach is a festive scene at ONE DAYTONA, on Main Street, and at area hotels and restaurants with live music, street performers, champagne toasts and fireworks over Main Street
Where: Various locations
Where: Oceanfront Bandshell and Ocean Walk Shoppes, citywide, Daytona Beach
Light It Up Clearwater! – This annual, toes-in-the-sand event features midnight fireworks. Kick back on the beach, nosh at a local restaurant, and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Gulf while you countdown to 2020.
Where: Clearwater Beach
New Year’s Eve in Tampa – A zoo celebration, balloon drop and parade are just a few of the ways you can greet the arrival of 2020 in the Big Guava. Check out these options:
· Coast(er) into the New Year –Join Busch Gardens for a New Year’s Eve celebration, where you can get your adrenalin pumping with thrill rides in the dark, like the new Tigris, Florida's tallest launch coaster. Jam out to music throughout the park and enjoy a fireworks spectacular on the Festival Field. buschgardens.com/new-years-eve-celebration
· Smoke on the water – Snag a front row seat for Downtown Tampa’s fireworks on this New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise. The one-hour cruise includes champagne and party favors. All ages are welcome, but you must be 21+ with valid ID to drink. piratewatertaxi.com/new-years-eve-fireworks
· Talk to the animals – Countdown to the NOON year at ZooTampa with the entire family as the Event Yard transforms into a giant New Year's party. The festivities include interactive entertainment, a rockin' DJ, a kid-friendly toast and more. zootampa.org/coming-attractions
· My beautiful balloons – The Noon Year’s Eve Armature Works Balloon Drop kicks off at 10 a.m., featuring live music on a Riverfront Stage, inflatable slides, the Spheres Bubble and Magic Show, a YMCA sponsored craft corner, capped off by a countdown to noon and a daytime fireworks display on the Hillsborough River. facebook.com/balloons
· Everyone loves a parade – The Outback Bowl Parade celebrates Tampa Bay's oldest bowl game in the heart of its historic Latin Quarter, Ybor City, showcasing floats, over a dozen marching bands, and the teams from Outback Bowl contenders University of Iowa and Mississippi State University. Afterward, it’s all-aboard the TECO Historic Streetcar to head downtown and keep the celebration going with fireworks along the Tampa Riverwalk. outbackbowl.com
· And there’s more – Check out more Tampa area New Year’s fun here: visittampabay.com/tampa-events/new-years
New Year’s Eve at Fishermen’s Village – Your whole gang’s invited to these free festivities, which begin at 6 p.m. The fun includes live music and dancing, face painting, a Moon Dancer, LED juggling, magic shows and a magnificent firework display at midnight. Refuel at one of the Village’s Restaurants; they’re offering specials and are open until midnight or later.
For an exceptional view of the fireworks, climb aboard the King Fisher Fleet New Year’s Eve Cruise, departing at 11 p.m. You can purchase tickets online at kingfisherfleet.com/new-years-eve-cruise .
Where: Fishermen’s Village, Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda
Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown – This free street festival is touted as the premiere New Year’s celebration in South Florida—and with over 100,000 expected revelers, it deserves every ounce of the hype. It serves up fun and excitement for your entire posse, including bounce houses, inflatables, face painting, games, contests and line dancing with the DJ, as well as an early ball lighting countdown at 7 p.m. for youngsters.
Where: Downtown Fort Lauderdale
Sloppy Joe’s Annual Dropping of the Conch Shell – Key West knows how to party like a fish knows how to swim, and that prodigious ability is on display in spades at this anything-goes event. Dance and catch beads as folks crowd the street at about 10 p.m. Sloppy Joe’s rooftop host will entertain the masses as the fervor builds. At midnight, the Conch Shell will descend from the darkness like a bit of magic, and the sky will brim with confetti, streamers and lights.
Where: Duval Street, Key West
New Year’s Fireworks in Naples – The beach provides the backdrop for this fabulous firework extravaganza over the Gulf of Mexico, blasting off from Naples Pier. Looking for the best place to view it? Watch from the water; most area boat sightseeing tours offer this special experience. If you’re going to stay on the shore, taxis, limos, and ride share services are highly recommended.
Where: Naples Pier, 137 12th Avenue South, Naples
Clevelander South Beach NYE 2018 – The iconic Clevelander with its rooftop bar boasts the best fireworks viewing party in South Beach, and you’re invited to the bash. DJ's, dancers and entertainment promise a high-energy experience.
Where: 1020 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach
Fort Myers Beach New Year’s Eve and Town Birthday – Help celebrate the birthday of the Town of Fort Myers Beach and New Year’s Eve at Time Square, nestled against the Gulf of Mexico. The festivities begin at noon with free cupcakes, and include live music. A ball drop marks midnight, followed by fireworks off of the pier.
Where: Times Square, Fort Myers Beach
Web: New Year’s Eve and Town Birthday