No holiday embodies humanity's foolhardy eternal optimism quite like New Year's Eve. In spite of all the trials of the past year, on December 31 we dress up; spend way too much money on club covers, VIP tables, and bottles; and toast the coming year. Remember when we were psyched about 2016 and then every celebrity died that year? We still looked forward to 2017. Now we might very well be on the path to nuclear war, but somehow we're still looking forward to 2018.
In just a few days, we'll celebrate one more strange trip around the sun, and though some people might choose to begin 2018 in a crowded Times Square on one of the coldest nights of the year, Miamians and some wise northerners have figured out there's no better place to start your year than in one of the world's party capitals in the warmth of paradise. Here, you can wear your cute NYE outfit without having to cover it up with a bulky potato sack of a coat.
So get your champagne ready. Here are some of the Magic City's top parties to ring in 2018.
Demi Lovato, Kygo, and Travis Scott at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The folks at the Fontainebleau are the undisputed kings of NYE parties. You can always count on them to snag some of the hottest artists to help count down to the new year with concert-quality entertainment. Demi Lovato and Kygo will perform poolside at the Miami Beach staple leading up to the midnight madness. The party will continue at LIV, where Travis Scott will headline the club's first show of 2018. 9 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami; 305-674-4680; fontainebleau.com/nye. Tickets are $275 via fontainebleau.com/nye and livnightclub.com.
End of the World New Year's Eve Party at W Miami. Grab your space helmet and get ready to party like it's 2099 as you step into the future at the W Miami's End of the World New Year's Eve party. Watch the Whisper Cocktail Lounge transform into the Forbidden Planet Room, with a futuristic theme and decor. Fifty bucks gets you in the building, including access to the outdoor Wet Deck, and $100 grants you access to the premium open bar. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at W Brickell Rooftop, 485 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-503-4400; wmiamihotel.com. Tickets cost $50 to $2,000 via eventbrite.com.
G-Eazy and Halsey at E11even. Halsey spent plenty of quality time in South Florida this year. She celebrated her album release at LIV in June, played the BB&T Center in October, and performed at last week's Y100 Jingle Ball. She seems to be enjoying the sunshine, because she's chosen to enter 2018 at E11even, where she''ll surely share a New Year's kiss with rapper and boyfriend G-Eazy. The performance will be the culmination of E11even's New Year's weekend lineup, featuring DJ sets from Cash Cash Friday, December 29, and Lil Jon Saturday, December 30. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at E11even Miami, 29 NE 11th St., Miami; 305- 829-2911; 11miami.com. Tickets cost $275 via tixr.com.
Palo! Poolside at the Social Club at Surfcomber Hotel. Catch a poolside performance by Palo! when the Afro-Cuban funk collective rings in the new year at the Surfcomber Hotel. A general-admission ticket gets you dibs on the open bar and poolside concert, but dinner packages are also available. Even if you're not usually a dancer, a couple of drinks and Palo!'s addictive rhythms will have you jamming your way into 2018. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Surfcomber Hotel, 1717 Collins Ave., Miami; 305-532-7715; surfcomber.com. Tickets cost $80 to $160 via eventbrite.com.
Pitbull at Bayfront Park. Is it even NYE in Miami without Pitbull? Mr. 305 became Mr. Worldwide years ago, but like Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain, he just can't quit us, Miami. He'll greet 2018 with a Magic City performance once again, this time in Bayfront Park. Expect the hits, the customary downtown fireworks display, and a full-on block-party atmosphere when Pitbull takes the stage. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305-358-7550; bayfrontparkmiami.com. Admission is free and open to the public. VIP tickets cost $295 to $495 via eventbrite.com.
A Night Under the Stars at Area 31. Not everyone wants to spend their New Year's Eve in a crowded, dark club. Step outside onto Area 31's rooftop patio for A Night Under the Stars. DJ Kristian Caro will hit the decks at 9 p.m. as you take in views of the breathtaking Miami skyline and midnight fireworks displays. Join the festivities for $50 general admission, or splurge $150 for the open bar. Dinner packages are also available. 9 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Area 31 at the Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-424-5234; area31restaurant.com. Tickets cost $50 to $225 via eventbrite.com.
Tito Puente Jr. at Ball & Chain. Join the son of music royalty, who's become a legend in his own right, when Tito Puente Jr. plays Ball & Chain's famous Pineapple Stage. The Pepe Montes Trio will keep you moving with a salsa set in the main room. Ball & Chain's NYE celebration is in high demand, with two VIP packages already sold out, but VIP tickets including admission to the performances and access to the open bar are still available. 10 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Ball & Chain, 1513 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-643-7820; ballandchainmiami.com. Tickets cost $100 to $1,200 via ballandchainmiami.com/nye.
Wynwood NYE. There's no need to spend all your money in one night for a guaranteed fun NYE. You just blew all your cash on Christmas or Hanukkah presents anyway, and you don't want to kick off 2018 in dire financial straits. Swarm has you covered with a free block party, and your first drink is free. A party favor package is also available while supplies last for $15 if you're feeling extra-festive. 8 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Mana Wynwood, 2250 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-573-0371; manawynwood.com. Tickets cost $0 to $15 via eventbrite.com.
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NYE at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice. Winter is coming to Miami. Or at least that's how it'll feel when you step into Drinkhouse's 23-degree ice bar. Don't worry — the place has you covered with fur coats, hats, and gloves. And once you warm up with a couple of whiskeys, you'll be able to step into the cocktail lounge for fire shows and a midnight champagne toast. Most Miamians will probably head for the warmth of the cocktail lounge quickly. How long can you last at the ice bar? 8 p.m. Sunday, December 31, at Drinkhouse Fire & Ice, 1672 Collins Ave., Miami; 305-534-2423; sobefireice.com. Tickets cost $90 to $1,080 via eventbrite.com.
Reelin' in the New Year at the Wharf. New Year's Eve doesn't have to be only a nighttime celebration. It'll be midnight somewhere the whole day, so have fun under the sun while the rest of the world rings in the new year. Families are welcome during the daytime party, but the evening festivities, beginning at 7 p.m., are for adults only. This NYE bash also scores points for its Steely Dan reference. Noon Sunday, December 31, at the Wharf Miami, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; 305-906-4000; wharfmiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $3,175 via eventbrite.com.