December comes alive for New Year's Eve

Average temperature low and high: 39°- 57°

No doubt about it. December is all about New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas, making it one of the most exciting times of year to be on the Strip. Book hotel rooms and make plans early. Everyone will be eager to finally say goodbye to 2020, so cap off the celebration in style! (Bundle up, it gets cold in Vegas this time of year.)

New Year's Eve 2020 Events

The annual Las Vegas New Year’s Eve celebration is traditionally the nation’s second-largest behind Times Square in New York. The Strip shuts down at 6 p.m. between Russell Road and Sahara Avenue, allowing revelers to partake in the biggest block party of the year. 

But as we all know, 2020 isn’t an ordinary year. With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much with us, it’s safe to say New Year’s Eve parties will operate in a limited capacity. Yes, the Strip will be busy, but there is currently no official word on street closures. Plans for Strip fireworks have been cancelled.

Restaurants and bars will have special menus and plans for ringing in the new year. Any Las Vegas nightclubs will likely operate as lounges with seating required. For now, it’s wait-and-see for what strip clubs will be allowed to offer. 

Those looking to avoid the Strip might feel more comfortable Downtown, where the Fremont Street Experience traditionally hosts its own block party with a midnight countdown on the largest LED video canopy in the world. While not quite as congested as the Strip, Downtown will still have its share of crowds and chaos. The Plaza hotel will host a midnight fireworks show at the west end of Fremont Street. 

New Year’s Eve Weekend Concerts & Shows

Nevada approved shows and concerts with a 250-person capacity and social distancing measures in place. That opened the door for small-scale shows like David Copperfield, Carrot Top and Piff the Magic Dragon to resume performances. Topless revues like X Country and Fantasy are also back in action. However, big-name residencies by the likes of Lady Gaga, Rod Stewart and Shania Twain remain on hold. No Cirque du Soleil for now either. Continue to follow Lavish Vegas to stay up to date on the latest shows in Las Vegas.

MORE NYE CONCERTS

Best Locations to Watch the Fireworks

  • Plaza – The Plaza Hotel & Casino is hosting a NYE fireworks show near the Fremont Street Experience at midnight.
  • Circa – The brand-new Circa resort will finally welcome guests in time for New Year’s Eve. You may be able to catch the Plaza fireworks from your suite or the Stadium Swim rooftop pool deck.

Quick Tips for New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas

Be prepared to open your wallet. New Year’s Eve is the most popular night of the year to visit Vegas. It’s also the most expensive. Hotels can be triple or quadruple their usual costs. Covers for nightclubs (operating in lounge formats this year) will likely require table reservations without standing admission permitted. Those start at $500 on a regular night, so expect the rate to skyrocket for New Year’s Eve, although some drinks and a champagne toast may be included. Even Uber and Lyft rides surge to 300-400 times their usual price.

Book early. Shows, events and hotels will be very limited by Christmas.

Plan your evening around midnight. Find a casino or bar before 11 p.m. or you could get stuck waiting outside.

Be 21. While Las Vegas offers fun for the whole family, New Year’s Eve is not the time to come if you’re not of legal drinking or gambling age. Those under 21 are not allowed in gambling areas or nightclub lounges. Anyone under 18 is not allowed on the Strip without a parent or legal guardian after 6 p.m. You must be 21 to be a part of Fremont Street’s Downtown Countdown.

Dress appropriately. Even though Las Vegas weather will seem warm compared to where most people are traveling from, the desert gets cold and breezy at night. Short-sleeve shirts and backless dresses may seem like a good idea, but you’ll regret it later.

For men, the colder nights offer a great opportunity to showcase your sophisticated side in a suit or sports coat. You might even want to add an overcoat. Double-check your feet. Much like ladies’ heels, men’s dress shoes that haven’t been broken in will feel horrible after a half-hour of walking. Pick shoes you can wear for hours. Don’t forget thick socks.

Clubwear and cocktail dresses look great inside, but women familiar with Vegas know to bring a coat or sweater to cover up while outside. Carry a bag with a small set of flats for walking the Strip and change into your heels when arriving at your party destination.

How to Get Around the Strip on New Year’s Eve

If tradition continues to hold, Las Vegas Boulevard will be closed between Russell and Sahara from 5 p.m. on December 31 to 4 a.m. on January 1. Surrounding streets will be congested. You can park at most of the Strip casinos and back entrances will come in handy if the Strip is closed, including Frank Sinatra Drive to the west and Koval Lane or Paradise Road from the east. But realistically, you shouldn’t be driving at all. Even if you have “just a few” drinks, police will be out in big numbers. Little tolerance will be shown for alcohol if you get pulled over. Your best bet is to take a cab or ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.  Just know that surge-pricing will be in effect. In the past, the RTC has provided free services between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to at least get reasonably close to the Strip. Check the RTC website for the latest information. The Las Vegas Monorail is another great option for moving between resorts on the Strip. It will run continuously, from 7 a.m. on December 31 to 2 a.m. on January 2, between the MGM Grand and the Westgate/Convention Center on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard.

Prohibited Items on the Strip

Plan ahead! You don’t want to get turned away (or worse — taken to jail) because you brought something you shouldn’t to the Strip on New Year’s Eve. Revelers on the Strip are not allowed to bring strollers, carts, luggage, coolers or backpacks, purses and any other type of bag larger than 12x6x12 inches. Drinking is allowed, but glass or metal containers are not. Even though recreational cannabis is legal in Nevada, public consumption is not. Conceal and carry laws are complicated. Casinos often request that firearms aren’t brought on the property. Just leave them at home. And no matter what, don’t even think about celebratory gunfire. It’s the quickest way to wind up in jail.

Things To Do in December

Celebrate the Holidays in Las Vegas in December

Before New Year’s Eve rolls around, Las Vegas will be a vibrant place to celebrate the Winter Holidays. Visit the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden, where a towering tree will be surrounded by hundreds of elaborate floral designs. Take a spin on the ice at the Cosmopolitan Ice Rink on the rooftop Boulevard Pool deck. The fun includes s’mores, holiday cocktails and fire pits. If you’re traveling by car to Las Vegas, head up to North Las Vegas where the Glittering Lights drive-thru spectacle returns at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Guests drive their own cars through a colorful array of holiday lights, which could be the best activity for social distancing this winter season.

More Things to Do in Las Vegas

Shows, Events & Concerts in December

We’re still waiting for special holiday shows and concerts to be announced. Stay tuned for additional information.

CONCERT & EVENT SCHEDULE

 

December Vegas Headliners & Concerts

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Las Vegas Bowl (Date: TBD) Dec 1 Wed · 12:00 am Las Vegas Bowl (Date: TBD) Allegiant Stadium
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 2 Thu · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 2 Thu · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 3 Fri · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 3 Fri · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 4 Sat · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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LIT AF Tour: Martin Lawrence, DeRay Davis, Rickey Smiley & Michael Blackson Dec 4 Sat · 7:30 pm LIT AF Tour: Martin Lawrence, DeRay Davis, Rickey Smiley & Michael Blackson Mandalay Bay - Michelob ULTRA Arena
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 4 Sat · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 5 Sun · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 5 Sun · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 6 Mon · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 7 Tue · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 8 Wed · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 9 Thu · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 9 Thu · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 10 Fri · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 10 Fri · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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2021 National Finals Rodeo Dec 11 Sat · 7:00 pm 2021 National Finals Rodeo Thomas & Mack Center
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 11 Sat · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 12 Sun · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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Usher Dec 28 Tue · 9:00 pm Usher
TOP Residency
The Colosseum At Caesars Palace
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Usher Dec 29 Wed · 9:00 pm Usher
TOP Residency
The Colosseum At Caesars Palace
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 30 Thu · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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Usher Dec 31 Fri · 9:00 pm Usher
TOP Residency
The Colosseum At Caesars Palace
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Rupaul's Drag Race Dec 31 Fri · 9:30 pm Rupaul's Drag Race Flamingo Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas
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Events may be canceled due to the coronavirus. Please confirm with all ticket vendors that events are still active.