Greater Fort Lauderdale knows how to throw a party to remember—and this goes double for New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re looking for a swanky soirée on a rooftop, world-class entertainers and celebrity guests, or a family-friendly beachside affair, there are tons of festive events—some of which are even free—where you can toast to 2023 and kick off the new year in style.
Here are some of the best spots to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Since 2011, the Orange Bowl and City of Fort Lauderdale have hosted one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Southeast, the Downtown Countdown, a free, family-friendly street festival. Located between Southwest Second Street and Southwest Fifth Avenue, the event features a kids zone with contests, bounce houses, face paintings, games, a petting zoo, and pony rides; a remix band playing top 40 hits and oldies; and a lighted drop at midnight.
Nearby, on East Las Olas Boulevard, the Riverside Hotel hosts an adults-only party on its Skyline Terrace overlooking the mansion-lined Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean, with a best dressed and best dancer contest, as well as open bar and live entertainment.
Also overlooking the water, Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach throws a swanky Champagne soirée on its picture-perfect oceanfront terrace with bubbles flowing all evening long, plus haute hors d’oeuvres like caviar cones and lamb lollipops; gourmet food stations filled with sushi, a raw bar, and lobster; and a molecular gastronomy-focused dessert display.
Over at Living Room at W Fort Lauderdale, you can indulge in a New Year’s Eve Spectacular dripping in glitter and gold that kicks off at 8 p.m., while Blue Martini at the Galleria Fort Lauderdale mall is putting on an all-night event complete with live entertainment and a DJ and bottle specials.
Put on your dancing shoes, because B Ocean is hosting a Disco Fever Party. As one of the few destinations in the world to boast live underwater mermaid burlesque shows, beginning at 11 p.m., MeduSirena and her AquatiCrew will put on a riveting show sure to add a unique sizzle to the celebration.
The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, in Las Olas, also hosts one of the best parties in town, the Captain’s Ball. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. along the New River, and features music and dancing—plus captain’s hats that nod to the nautical theme and make this one of the easiest costume parties to dress for.
As you ring in the new year, pay homage to the glorious times of the past. The Historic Riverhouse restaurant and property in downtown Fort Lauderdale, soon-to-be opened as The House on the River, is featuring a pop-up New Year’s Eve speakeasy dinner soirée event. Celebrate under the canopy of 30 foot trees, stringed lights and waterfront views. Countdown on the river with cocktails and bites beginning at 8:30pm, followed by a leisurely stationed dinner on the patio adjacent to the river.
Book a stay at The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, where you can take your pick of weekend entertainment, from the daily light show to one of the 20 bars and lounges or DAER Nightclub’s masquerade party. Ease into the new year with a massage at the 42,000-square-foot Rock Spa & Salon or at one of the bungalow-style, lagoonside cabanas, where you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to Bora Bora.
Head to the Pier 6 Rooftop at the TRU by Hilton Pompano Beach Pier for the annual Pompano Beach Ball—the highlight of New Year’s Eve in the neighborhood. Live music kicks off at 6 p.m. and a DJ follows at 9 p.m. before the midnight Champagne toast and main event: the beach ball drop.
At Oceanic, take a seat for dinner before counting down to the new year with bubbles, bar bites, and dancing into the evening at the second-floor oceanfront bar and patio space.
Fort Lauderdale’s neighboring city of Parkland, which hosts monthly concerts and food trucks at its amphitheater, is home to the more upscale Déjà Blue Restaurant, which hosts a themed New Year’s Eve celebration (last year’s was Gatsby).