By: Shaneeva Yassin
A city renowned for its world class nightlife, a dining scene on the rise and beautiful beaches and cityscapes as far as the eye can see, ringing in the New Year in Miami is a no brainer—not to mention that the average high temperature in December and January is a balmy 75 degrees. When it comes to throwing the biggest bash of the year, no other city can compete with the celebrities and entertainers that choose Miami to ring in the New Year.
Whether it’s family friendly and free or VIP all the way, Miami’s got you covered for a stellar celebration. Read on for our guide to the best fireworks, free events, restaurants and parties to ring in 2016.
FREE & FUN WAYS TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR
If you’re here with your family or a group of friends and you’re looking for a free and entertaining way to celebrate the New Year, Miami’s got you covered with parties downtown in Bayfront Park and in South Beach.
Ring in the New Year with Mr.305 and Florida ambassador himself, Pitbull, at Bayfront Park. Pitbull’s New Year’s Eve Revolution 2015 is from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and include a dance party, fireworks and a countdown to midnight with Pitbull as the “The Big Orange” ascends to the top of the adjacent InterContinental Miami hotel.
Looking to celebrate on South Beach? Join the City of Miami Beach New Year's Eve Celebration, and party on the beach at 9th Street and Ocean Drive. Enjoy free fireworks at midnight.
Party to the tunes of Robin Schultz, Dave Sol and Marcos Noel as you welcome 2016 at the 3rd Annual Five Star New Year's Eve party. The event begins at 10 p.m., but party the night (and morning) away until 5 a.m. Your ticket includes a premium New Year’s Eve cocktail dinner, live entertainment and fireworks show, a selection of high-end drinks, including vodka, champagne and whisky, breakfast and more.
Many of Miami’s best restaurants throw their own New Year’s Eve celebrations with prix fixe menus, Champagne and entertainment. Often, they’ll host two seatings with special menus. The early seating (usually around 7 p.m.) is perfect if you’ve got a different party to get to later. The late seating (around 9 p.m.) often includes a more lavish package along with a Champagne toast and festivities at midnight.
There are innumerable dining options in Miami and many of the best restaurants are located inside hotels. It’s New Year’s Eve! Why not treat yourself to dishes created by the best in the industry? Miami’s notable celeb chef restaurants are a must. The Fontainebleau’s list of restaurants will no doubt be a hot reservation for New Year’s Eve. Other great hotel restaurants for New Year’s Eve include The Dutch at the W Hotel South Beach, DB Bistro Moderne at the JW Marriott and Zuma or Area 31 at the Epic Hotel, Beachcraft at 1 Hotel South Beach.
Memorable dining options outside of hotels include Meat Market on Lincoln Road, Smith & Wollensky overlooking the harbor and Baoli on South Beach for a true party vibe.
It’s a NYE 2015 Feast at The Federal Food, Drinks & Provisions. Their New Year’s Eve Feast is inspired by the new year allegory and festivities. Make reservations from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Enjoy a multi-course meal, including a glass of champagne, complimentary midnight champagne toast and gold coins for good luck.
For a dinner and party with a great view book reservations at The Rusty Pelican. “Toast to 2016” by dining at the restaurant and enjoying a five-course meal and a bottle of Perrier Jouet to savor as you watch the fireworks from your table. Party well into the new year at their “Masquerade Gala 2016” black tie event held at the Grand Ballroom. Enjoy spectacular views of the city lights and an extravagant buffet and beverage selections all in a grand style setting of music, lights and star appearances.
Ring in the New Year with glamour and style at the Biltmore’s New Year’s Eve 2015 Gala. The festivities begin at 8:30 p.m. with doors opening to the ballroom for dinner. The DJ will be spinning lounge style music for the arrival of guests. Enjoy an exquisite four-course dinner presented along with a Premium Open Bar and a Champagne Toast at the stroke of Midnight. At midnight, fireworks will light up the sky over the golf course and cigars will be hand rolled on the Terrace. Guests celebrating at the hotel's restaurants, Fontana or Palm d’or, may purchase entry to the gala at a discounted rate, but are not guaranteed seating.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience you’ll enjoy the Catalina Hotel’s Havana Nights NYE Party, hosted by actor Steve Bauer. For $95 guests enjoy a premium open bar, gourmet buffet, sushi & raw bar, champagne toast as they dance the night away to the tunes of multiple DJs and a special performance by Spam AllStars and musical guest Jorge Moreno.
The Clevelander South Beach is hosting their NYE|2015 party where the Clevelander transforms into a futuristic wonderland, complete with “sexy LED robot girls and crazy light displays.” Those who know how to party know about this Miami hotspot. When the clock strikes 12, enjoy the view of Miami Beach fireworks. Purchase tickets and bottle packages for multiple events, including general admission, SPF4’s Sun Deck with open bar from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. or C-Level Roof Top Terrace with open bar from 9 p.m.-12 a.m.
Want to party in an ‘It’s So Miami’ way? Then Nikki Beach’s Glitz and Glam is the party to attend. Count down to the new year on the sand with this soiree! Enjoy Signature Nikki Beach Entertainment, a New York-style ball drop, complimentary champagne toast and party favors and more. General admission tickets are available. VIP table packages and dinner packages are also available. Guests interested in booking bottle and table service are highly encouraged to do so in advance.
Party in a 'So Miami' way with the Weeknd & Kygo at the Fontainebleau Poolside. General admission at $275 includes premium bar from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. or party like a rock star with their VIP table packages.
For the golden experience, get your tickets to Eve of Midas, “a golden evening of decadence. The event , held at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, features live performances and music by Chris Valencia & Malone and an open bar until 1 a.m. Attire: “Gold” Miami Chic.
Other New Year's Eve parties with marquee names are a must to attend, and many more will be announced as the date approaches. Tickets can be bought directly from the venue or through major New Year’s Eve ticketing websites, including wantickets.com.
Of course, you don’t need a headliner to ring in the New Year, and more moderately priced parties can be found at a variety of hotels like the Delano, Shore Club, Mondrian or Ritz-Carlton South Beach and at nightclubs, like Club 50 at the Viceroy, LIV at the Fontainebleau, Story and Mango’s.
It’s a good idea to coordinate your plans so that all of your stops for the night are close to one another and it will be a short trip between your hotel, dinner and your party of choice.
Don't forget, many restaurants are also offering a "Hangover Brunch" on New Year's Day. Happy New Year!
Partying responsibly is always a must. Plan your transportation ahead of time. Miami-Dade Transit accommodates the public with its holiday schedule for Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover.