You don’t have to max out your credit card to have a good time in Sin City this New Year’s Eve. Sure, the biggest headliners and poshest hotels could put a dent in your budget, but there are plenty of celebrations that will set you back $50 or less per person. Some are even free.
Here are eight places to party at the dawn of 2016. Many of these activities will keep you away from the exuberant craziness of the Strip - unless that’s what you want.
1. Pop star Nick Jonas will prove you don’t have to dig deep to see a top pop performer count down to 2016. He’ll be hosting the party at Foxtail Nightclub. Admission is just $50 and get this: The price includes an open bar from 8 p.m. until midnight.
2. Join 300,000 or so of your BFFs at America’s Party, the official name for the free mega-celebration along Las Vegas Boulevard. The climax, of course, is the eight-minute fireworks show to be launched from seven resorts on the Strip.
Download the Fireworks by Grucci mobile app to enjoy synchronized music as pyrotechnics light up the sky. For better viewing, booking engine Vegas.com suggests making your way to the top level of one of the many parking garages.
3. They’ll be shouting “Happy New Year” at 4 p.m. inside Ri Ra, an Irish pub at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place. Bartender Paul “Junior” Walsh, a native of County Kerry in Ireland, will lead guests in cheers of “Slainte” as the clock strikes 12 on Irish television. For $7.50, try a Black Velvet, a cocktail made with Champagne and Guinness.
4. Talented showman Wes Winters will wow guests during a free, 5 p.m. performance in the Grandview Lounge of the South Point. The accomplished pianist and singer won the “Liberace Play-A-Like Competition” in 2003 and since then has greatly expanded his repertoire.
5. Dine early and save money at Chef Daniel Boulud’s db Brasserie at The Venetian. For $50 at 5 p.m., diners can enjoy a four-course meal with offerings such as a truffle salad with foie gras and poached pear vinaigrette, sea bass with leek fondue or a Waygu beef duo and for dessert, a tropical temptation of mango mousse, passion fruit gelée and coconut foam.
6. Celebrate early at the Smith Center, where an evening of musical fireworks will begin at 7 p.m. The lineup will include Broadway leading lady Patina Miller, Erich Bergen of “Jersey Boys,” Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis and others. Tickets start at $39.
7. Live music will be performed on multiple stages during Downtown Countdown at the Fremont Street Experience. The revelry starts at 5:30 p.m. and continues until 3:30 a.m. with entertainment from 13 tribute bands. Tickets cost $30 through Dec. 25, then they rise to $40.
8. Away from the crowds downtown and along the Strip, the Palms on West Flamingo Road will provide live music in the Lounge Cabaret Bar starting at 10:30 p.m. There’s no cover charge to enjoy local band WolfCreek as they perform classic rock and country favorites.