To go out, or not to go out? That is the question.
Fight the crowds, traffic, weather and drunks to attempt to have a good time 'out on the town'? Or stay at home and keep it low key, maybe have a few friends over, watch the fireworks/ball drop on TV with some champagne and call it an early one...
Whatever you choose, both ways can actually be a great time, if you do it right.
CITY BY CITY PARTY GUIDE
All major cities have many annual parties, celebrations and fireworks displays to kick off the year. This resource compiles the biggest parties and get togethers for NYE, with a drop down option so you can filter by the city you live nearby or in:
Simple list of New Years Eve parties in major US Cities
IF YOU GO OUT
Be Smart About Transportation. Don't take your own vehicle if you plan to drink. And really it's likely not worth it as there will be buzzed/drunk people on the roads anyhow. Best to get a cab. Or better yet, just get an Uber or Lyft to and from. Plus getting chauffeured around town will make it feel more like of a special night out.
Have A Plan. One of the worst things that typically happens on NYE night's out is you just wing it and end up somewhere you simply don't want to be when midnight rolls around (like a little too drunk at that dive bar, surrounded by a bunch of people you couldn't care less about). Doesn't mean you need a hardcore schedule to avoid this. But it's best to know where you want to be when the ball drops and keep an eye on the time.
Realize tomorrow will still happen, no matter how drunk you get. Seriously. Just because you have a free pass to be intoxicated in public and have fun and all that, doesn't mean you won't have to still pay for your actions. Be responsible and know your limits. DUIs, PIs and the like are serious, and no single night of "fun" is ever worth the impact it will have on your life in the following year to come.
All that being said, NYE is a great time to find really unique events that will only happen once a year (or maybe once ever) in your city. Look for that underground surprise band playing at some "undisclosed" location, or the hotel that drops 50,000 balloons in its main lobby, or.. whatever. Go for something unique and memorable. Step outside your comfort zone even.
IF YOU STAY HOME
Congratulations. You have just successfully eliminated 80% of all the worry and stress and danger of going out to try and have a good time for New Years Eve. And that's all well and good, just make sure you still make a night of it.
Have friends and family over. For a few drinks, or many drinks if you have enough space for folks to sleep, can be really fun. Even if you aren't going out, you can still dress up like you are. Doesn't have to be low key.
But if you stay low key, NYE is a great time to reflect on the following year and to truly think about what the next year will have in store for you, and how best you want to tackle all of that. Lame as it may sound, its most memorable to make bold resolutions aloud to everyone. If anything, it just might shame you into making them actually happen.
Either way you choose,
Enjoy the last day of the year. It really is an occasion worth pausing all of life's struggles and stresses over, and just taking the day (or at least the evening and early morning thereafter) to reflect and recharge your goals for the new year to come. Stay safe no matter which route you go, and seriously, just enjoy the night! Leave a comment below if you get into anything truly unique and worthwhile.