From the champagne to the fireworks, New Year’s Eve is a time for grandeur and decadence as much as it is for reflection. Whether you’re looking to settle into a multi-course extravagant dinner, sip champagne on a cruise, or even solve a murder as you head into 2022, we’ve got you covered.
Fireworks NYE Yacht Party, Miami
You had us at megayacht. The 350-passenger South Beach Lady starts the party at 8:45 p.m. from the dock just behind the Hyatt Regency Miami Hotel in downtown Miami. First up is a buffet dinner dishing up cheese platters, carved top round, key lime pie, and more. But don’t indulge too much: A live DJ keeps the energy high for dancing on this four-deck floating club. The premium open bar is pouring Grey Goose vodka, Captain Morgan rum, Johnnie Walker Black scotch, champagne, and much more.
The only downside to this fete is that once you’re on the water, you’re committed until the boat’s return at 1 a.m.
Enzian’s James Bond New Year, Orlando
Who doesn’t want to dress as their favorite Bond girl or as 007 himself? To ring in 2022, the Enzian theater in Maitland, a 30-minute drive from downtown Orlando, is hosting a dinner, movie screening, costume contest and dance party, all starting at 8 p.m. We treasure the Enzian for its quirky, fiercely independent vibe, the lush gardens and landscaping that surround the outdoor bar, and that their event brings out an all-ages crowd of cinephiles, hipsters, neighbors, and Bondsmen, all under one outdoor pergola roof.
Street Party in Key West
New York City has the ball drop at midnight, and in Key West, you have a choice of what totem will ring in your 2022. Descending from the balcony of the Bourbon Street bar on Duval Street is an 8-foot red high heel shoe, serving as the chariot of the drag queen Sushi.
Rival bar Sloppy Joe’s got into the action as well, dropping an oversized conch shell—fitting for the Conch Republic. There’s also the decidedly not politically correct dropping of a pirate wrench from a ship’s mast at Schooner’s Wharf. In between the three, the revelry spills out onto the streets.
New Year’s Eve Bar Crawl, St. Petersburg
We love the idea of a bar crawl on New Year’s, namely because every time we’ve been at a bar at 11:55 p.m. on the big night, we can’t help but wonder if a bigger, better party with better-looking people is going off somewhere else. Well, in St. Pete this December 31, you don’t have to wonder.
Top Shelf Crawls is organizing a crawl that’ll start at the Whiskey Exchange bar, and continue to four more locations, including Pour Judgement, Thirsty First, and Crafty Squirrel. Ticket includes a welcome shot and two drinks.
Noon Year’s Eve at MODS, Fort Lauderdale
If you can’t remember the last time you stayed up till midnight, consider the family-friendly Noon Year’s Eve party at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale. This daytime gathering has a collection of activity tables to make noisemakers, craft party hats, and engage in STEM activities. And, yes, there is a ball drop at noon.
Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Show, Tampa
Comedy meets intrigue at this evening show run by The Dinner Detective, a nationwide company operating in 87 cities. This December 31, they’ll be in Tampa, helping guests nerd out on clues and solve a murder at the Hilton Garden Inn, where anyone could be the killer.
We were already keen on the idea of this event—then we read the warning advising us to be prepared for prop guns, simulated gunshots, and lighting blackouts, which only makes us bigger fans of this ruckus night.
Five Course Dining at Public Square, Miami
We love the warm, luxurious vibe of Public Square, a South Miami staple that’s as much trendy as it is traditional. Massive booths accommodate large groups, and the backdrop of bookshelves with globes and collected items with up-lighting has a private club feel. For New Year’s, they’re dishing up a five-course prix fixe menu that starts with crabmeat terrine with avocado mousse, green tomatillo, and paddlefish caviar. A Nutella chocolate mousse is the happy finish.
Seven Course Tasting Menu at Ariete, Coconut Grove
Chef and owner Michael Beltran, of Cuban American heritage and French culinary training, creates an experience that is as rich visually as it is complex in flavor. To ring in 2022, this year’s meal, starting at 7 p.m. will include seven courses. At the time of writing, Beltran was still imagining the menu.
Pearls and Diamonds Gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
The buffet alone at this lavish affair is enough to warrant a ticket. The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island’s Seventh Annual Gala starts at 9 p.m. and caters to so many culinary desires, including an ice bar station with oysters and snow crab claws, a sushi display, artisanal local and imported cheeses, plus prime rib, grilled octopus, seafood cassoulet, and so much more.
We’d go just for the dessert spread with goat cheesecake, espresso crème caramel, and eight more temptations. Dancing to follow. Ticket includes open bar all evening, and a champagne toast at midnight. Note that black and white attire is encouraged.
Rooftop Party at Pescado, Rosemary Beach
Cocktail aficionados will appreciate Pescado, an al fresco rooftop bar in the heart of Rosemary Beach, part of the 30A stretch of the Panhandle. On the menu, you’ll find crafted concoctions, such as ‘The Other King’ with Pisco, lemongrass, St. Germain, and lemon, and ‘Past Thyme’ with Corazon Blanco Tequila, thyme, peach, and lemon.
This New Year’s, the restaurant will serve a multi-course meal. Past fetes have kept the dessert station open past midnight for sweet cravings all evening long. Ticket sales start December 1; it’s expected that the event will sell out.