Put on some glitter and grab your party hats. New Year’s Eve is about to rock Las Vegas. Some over-the-top celebrations begin at 2 a.m. Dec. 31 — when 2017 begins on the island nation of Tonga (more on that later) — and continue into New Year’s Day.
If you come, expect to be joined by 330,000 fellow revelers. Bellagio hotel-casino alone will pop the corks on roughly 900 bottles of Champagne. Aria will plate about 1,600 servings of filet mignon and 15 pounds of caviar.
Here are more than a dozen suggestions for how to say “so long” to 2016 and “hello” to 2017 along the world-famous Strip:
Instead of a dropping ball in Times Square, the Strip will welcome the New Year with pyrotechnics. More than 80,000 rockets will be launched from the rooftops of seven resorts. That works out to an amazing 160 bursts per second.
While most visitors will view free fireworks from street level – Las Vegas Boulevard will close to vehicular traffic around sundown – other opportunities await.
2. Helicopter rides
See the show from the air aboard a Sundance Helicopters Fireworks Spectacular Tour. Sundance says it will be the only copter company offering the midnight flights. There are just 72 spaces aboard the aircraft. Tickets cost $339 per person. That includes Champagne, hors d’oeuvres and limousine service to and from the airport.
3. Party on the train
The Las Vegas Monorail will be transformed into the Third Rail Lounge on New Year’s Eve. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., the train will be parked at the elevated station at the Las Vegas Convention Center so partiers can enjoy panoramic views of the Strip resorts through floor-to-ceiling windows.
A DJ and a musician will provide the entertainment. Tickets, priced at $175 per person or $300 per couple, include unlimited beer, finger food and a Champagne toast at midnight. A cash bar will also be available.
4. Dinner at Alizé
Catch the fireworks from the 56th floor of the Palms restaurant while feasting on a six-course dinner at Alizé, the resort’s fine-dining French restaurant. Reservations are being accepted for the second seating on Dec. 31; it costs $540 per person.
The menu includes temptations such as crab-stuffed John Dory, MacFarlane pheasant en croûte and rack of venison. Sultry singer Laura Shaffer will entertain diners. There is, of course, a toast at midnight. Info and reservations: (702) 951-7000.
6. Dinner at Bazaar Meat
Chef José Andrés’ Bazaar Meat at the SLS will be serving festive tasting menus. For $185, guests can enjoy fancifully prepared dishes such as cotton candy foie gras, smoke and ice fresh oysters and Rosewood Texas rib-eye. Guests can upgrade to the $275 dinner, which adds signature dishes such as suckling pig and blue fin tuna. Info and reservations: (702) 761-7610.
7. New Year’s Eve, Irish-style
Say “slainte” (cheers) with a Black Velvet ($7.75), a curious cocktail blending Champagne with Guinness. Dinner specials include rack of lamb and beef Wellington, both priced at $32.95. Info: (702) 632-7771.
In Las Vegas, there’s a show to suit every taste over the New Year’s weekend.
8. Lady Gaga
Expect to shell out big bucks to see six-time Grammy winner Lady Gaga perform Dec. 30 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. Tickets cost $1,000 and $1,500, and that doesn’t include the taxes or fees.
9. Luke Bryan
10. Bruno Mars
The brand-new Park Theater at Monte Carlo hosts singer-songwriter Bruno Mars for performances Dec. 30 and 31. Check the balance on your credit card before ordering tickets on NYE, they run from $338 to $3,898.
11. Clubbing in the New Year.
12. Rocking around the clock
Back to the Tonga connection. Jan. 1 arrives in the South Pacific nation at 2 a.m. Pacific time. Alto Bar, the newest gathering spot at Caesars Palace, will have Champagne toasts each hour right through 4 a.m. on Jan. 1 when 2017 reaches the more remote Baker and Howland islands in the Pacific.
13. New Year’s Day brunch
Folks who’ve managed to climb out of bed the morning of Jan. 1 can enjoy a “butler-style” brunch at La Cave, a casual dining spot at the Wynn. The passed dishes will include pancakes with homemade berry compote, veal short rib hash and mushroom grits. Prices cost $48 for adults and $28 for children. Add a build-your-own mojito for $20. Reservations: (702) 770-7375.
The Las Vegas Monorail will host its New Year's Eve party at the Third Rail Lounge, an event venue at the Las Vegas Convention Center Station, not on stationary train cars parked at the center's station. The monorail will continue to run, and guests can party on board and receive free drink refills at three stops along the line.