Celebrating New Year in Washington DC

Last month, we wrote a blog suggesting many of the best things to do in Washington DC this winter. However, we didn’t discuss New Year’s celebrations; this was intentional, as there is so much to do in the wider Washington DC area at New Year’s that we felt the topic deserved a blog post all to itself. Gray Line DC offers a huge range of high-quality Washington DC tours available around the New-Year period, with the exception of New Year’s Day in most cases and New Year’s Eve for a few others. We think New Year’s is a brilliant time to visit Washington DC and we look forward to welcoming you to the nation’s capital!

A Jazz New Year’s Eve at the Kennedy Center

Foyer in the Kennedy Center 

There are lots of fantastic venues for live music in Washington DC around New Year’s, so it would take up too much time to name them all in this blog. Instead, we’d like to recommend one New Year’s music event in particular: A Jazz New Year’s Eve held at the Kennedy Center. This is a fantastic event for people who love jazz and blues with a New Orleans’ flavor to it. The Kennedy Center is a great music venue and it may be a great alternative for anyone who would rather avoid the standard bar atmosphere this New Year’s Eve.

Fireworks, Fireworks, and more Fireworks

New Year’s celebrations are the perfect excuse to get the fireworks out, and that’s exactly what you can expect from a New Year’s Celebration in the wider Washington DC area. While there are no fireworks displays right in the heart of Washington DC, there are three great fireworks displays just three short drives away. So, it’s worth figuring out which of the following locations is easiest for you to get to: 

  • Baltimore’s inner harbour has a great New Year’s event, including a spectacular fireworks display.
  • There’s a great firework display at Williamsburg’s William and Mary’s Zable Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
  • The City Dock at Annapolis is fantastic New Year’s venue for families. There are lots things to see and do — including a fantastic firework display.

Hit-up One of Washington DC’s Nightclubs

Washington D.C and the surrounding area has a great range of nightclubs that are absolutely perfect for New Year’s celebrations. It’s the choice of venue that we think is most impressive.
  • Eighteenth Street Lounge is incredibly trendy, with dim lighting and modern décor. This club is widely regarded as one of the best nights out in DC!
  • Sax provides a burlesque show and overall Moulin Rouge aesthetic. It is a restaurant and club, so you could have dinner and then stick around for the entertainment.
  • Tropicalia has live bands and top DJs. It has a great, colorful aesthetic with some psychedelic murals and art.
  • Café Citron is another great choice as it’s a top restaurant (Latin American food) where you can have dinner. Then, at 10pm it transforms into a great club, bursting with life, music, and copious amounts of dancing.  

A New Year’s Cruise on the Potomac River

If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable New Years’ experience, you can book a cruise along the Potomac River aboard the Odyssey. Expect to spend your evening eating gourmet food and dancing with friends. Given the gorgeous river views, this is also the perfect option for couples looking for a romantic way to see in the New Year.  

Don’t Forget to See the Sights

Even though most tours aren’t available on New Year’s Day, they are available on the days either side! So make sure you stay in Washington DC for at least five days to make the most of the trip. Just because Christmas and New Year’s are so close, it doesn’t mean you should miss out on all the museums, monuments, and tours Washington DC has to offer. Take our Taste of DC/VA & Twilight Combo tour if you’d like to see the best that Washington DC and Virginia has to offer in a short amount of time. On this combo tour, you’ll visit a huge range of sites, including Mount Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, DC’s numerous memorials and monuments, as well as a White House photo stop!

You might also like to opt for an immersive historical experience on our Gettysburg tour. While this tour is technically in Pennsylvania, we set off from Washington DC and spend 10.5 hours exploring the various places of historical significance in Gettysburg. Expect to learn a lot from our guide, who also serves as a battlefield guide when you walk around the site of the bloodiest battle of America’s civil war. 

Wherever you go or whatever you do in Washington DC this New Year’s, we’re sure you’ll have an incredible time. Please get in touch or check out our Washington DC FAQ page if you have any questions about our Washington DC tours. It’s not too late to start planning your incredible New Year’s Eve in DC!