New Year’s Eve on the Las Vegas Strip is a night unlike any other. Traffic is restricted on Las Vegas Blvd., allowing crowds of people dressed in sequins to mingle in the street while fireworks light up the sky. It’s a celebration worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime, but unlike most evenings in Las Vegas, it’s an occasion that does not benefit from spontaneity. Before you make your way to the confetti-strewn sidewalks of the Strip, here’s what you absolutely must know:
For some reason, Las Vegas visitors often expect the city to be warm and sunny year-round – which is why the surprisingly chilly temperatures on New Year’s Eve come as such a shock to those dressed in strapless dresses or shorts. Be prepared for temperatures as low as the mid-30s and plan your wardrobe accordingly. A faux fur coat is always in style on New Year’s Eve.
The Bus is Free
If you’re spending New Year’s Eve on the Strip but you’re staying in another part of the city, take advantage of free bus rides from the RTC on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The bus service also offers extended hours so you can party until dawn and then get home safely, without spending a dime.
Use Tipsy Tow
Driving on New Year’s Eve? If you end up popping bubbly all night, use AAA’s Tipsy Tow service. It’s free from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. All you have to do is call 800-222-4357 and request the service. A tow truck will bring you and your car anywhere within a 10 mile radius.
Leave the Champagne Bottles at Home
Don’t spring for Veuve Clicquot only to have it confiscated. Glass bottles, backpacks, coolers, strollers and oversized bags are not allowed on the Strip on New Year’s Eve. It’s still totally classy to drink wine out of a box – we promise.
Whether you’re going to a nightclub, having a prix fixe meal or attending a concert on the Strip, you’ve got to have reservations or tickets in advance. Many events will set out, and those that don’t will be extra expensive at the door. You can save money and avoid literally being left out in the cold by having reservations or tickets in hand before heading to the Strip.
Know the Road Closures
The Las Vegas Strip only closes to traffic twice a year (the other event is the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, which takes place in the fall), so when it does it’s a really, really big deal. It can also be a total headache if you don’t know the road closure details. Expect closures to start as early as 5 p.m., and be lifted as late as 2 a.m. Refer to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for detailed information.
Expect (But Try to Avoid) Surge Pricing
Taking Uber or Lyft? Don’t be surprised if a $10 ride costs $50 or more. Surge pricing usually happens between midnight and 3 a.m. Your options? Embrace the concept of #YOLO once and for all and take that $100 ride, wait until surge pricing ends, try to shake up the algorithm by walking to another location or find another way to your destination.
Get to the Club Early
In Las Vegas, going out before midnight isn’t always necessary, especially since bars never really close, and big name DJs don’t usually take the stage until the wee hours of the morning. New Year’s Eve is a different story. Get to your nightclub of choice early. Many offer an open bar for part of the evening, which is reason enough to be there by 9 p.m.
Have Your Room Key With You
Staying on the Strip? Don’t forget your room key when you head out for the night. Hotel access is limited to guests at a certain point in the evening.
Be Ready to be Dazzled by Fireworks
You’ve seen fireworks before, but you’ve never seen them like this. The fireworks display on the Las Vegas Strip is legendary, and it gets better every year. No matter how cold you are, or how crowded the street is, when the clock strikes midnight the neon skyline will be extra bright and it will all be worth it.