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Ring in the New Year in Greater Fort Lauderdale

By Angela Caraway-Carlton

2020 is a big year and Greater Fort Lauderdale offers so many unique ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Plus, a visit may inspire some new resolutions like more time on the beach!

Drop It Like It’s 2020

While many showcase a ball drop at the stroke of midnight, Fort Lauderdale does things differently—nicknamed the “Venice of America,” the city embraces its boating style by dropping an illuminated anchor in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Bring the whole family to the Downtown Countdown, which takes place on Southwest Second Street and Southwest Fifth Avenue, where the fun starts as early as 3:30 p.m. There will be activities for kids, including a countdown at 7 p.m. for those who want to get to bed early, along with live entertainment until the sparkling anchor drops at midnight.

If a laidback block party is your style, spend the evening in the charming seaside town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, where restaurants like Aruba Beach Cafe, Village Grille, Ocean 101, Vinnie’s, and more host a huge outdoor party in colorful Anglin’s Square. Dining tables are brought outside and two live bands, along with bands inside the restaurants, keep the party rocking into the New Year. (Keep in mind, no coolers or chairs are allowed in the event area.)

Cruise Into the New Year

The Jungle Queen River Boat cruises through the waterways of Greater Fort Lauderdale

Another great way to sail into 2020 is aboard the Jungle Queen Riverboat on their New Year’s Eve cruise, a fully narrated cruise down the Fort Lauderdale waterways. The boat stops at Tropical Isle where guests will dine under tiki huts and be entertained by a variety show of Polynesian acts like fire dancers, and then cruise back to the dock for a Champagne toast. Another option is to hop aboard the Riverfront Cruise for a two-hour tour along the New River where you’ll stop to see the fireworks light up the skies in Downtown.

All That Sparkles

If you’re looking for an excuse to pull out that sparkly gown or dapper tux in the closet, many of our Greater Fort Lauderdale hotels and resorts know how to party in style. The swanky The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale is hosting a glam gala on New Year’s Eve with a sit-down dinner, open bar, live entertainment, champagne toast, and more. The Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is throwing a bash that begins with a cocktail reception and then moves into an elegantly decorated ballroom for a four-course dinner with an open bar; you’ll dance the night away to a live fusion band and kick off the New Year with a Champagne toast at midnight. 

The Diplomat Resort of Greater Fort Lauderdale

At the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard, enjoy an evening overlooking the scenic New River for their “Bubbles and Bowties” party on the Skyline Terrace. In Hollywood, spend an evening at one of the hotels like The Diplomat Beach Resort where there will be a celebration at the lobby bar with a DJ, bottle service, and a ball drop, along with special menus at on-property restaurants Monkitail and Diplomat Prime. You’ll want to reserve tickets in advance.

Of course, you can always stroll down bustling Las Olas Boulevard to celebrate at one of the many restaurants and bars, and Greater Fort Lauderdale has a restaurant for any type of cuisine that you might crave. Call ahead because many will require reservations and may offer prix fixe menus.

Artsy New Year

The Salute to Vienna Performance at The Coral Springs Center for the Arts in Greater Fort Lauderdale

If one of your resolutions is to support the arts, or engage in more culture, waltz into 2020 with a “Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert” at The Center/Coral Springs Center for the Arts. The concert is a longtime Coral Springs tradition, and you’ll be blown away with beloved operettas, elegant dances, lively overtures, and of course, the beautiful Blue Danube Waltz. A VIP ticket will give you access to an after-party.

For something completely different, you can groove into the New Year at the Parker Playhouse with a “New Year’s Eve Psychedelic Party” by Hot Tuna Electric, which promises to be an electric night. Wrap up 2019 with a taste of history, by taking a docent-led tour at the Historic Stranahan House Museum at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. on New Year’s Eve when the historic home will still be decorated for the holidays.

We’ve given you some great ways to kick off a new year, the rest is up to you!

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