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Ring In The New Year At These South Florida Events

Revelers looking for what to do and where to go during the biggest nocturnal celebration of them all have a lot of options in Palm Beach County. These fêtes include everything from face painting, to fine dining, to fireworks, making the momentous move to 2018 a memorable one.

PGA National Resort & Spa

A bouncy balloon drop will bombard partiers at the iBar when the clock strikes midnight. “It’s definitely a fun party atmosphere and exciting place to be,” says Karen Cantor, PGA National Resort & Spa’s director of public relations. “Multiple TV sets show the ball drop in Times Square, and lights are dim, and with our epic balloon drop to add to the excitement, it truly makes for a night to remember.” Denizens of the iDeck, a 2,000-square-foot alfresco-seating space with fire pits, can take advantage of private bottle service under the stars and views of the property’s picturesque pool.

400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens / 561.627.2000 /

The Breakers

Palm Beach’s historic hotel goes all out on New Year’s Eve with a black-tie gala in the Ponce de Leon Ballroom. At one of the hottest events of the season, find butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet meal and a breakfast bar as the wee hours of the morning approach. “There is nothing like Fantasy Ball,” says Michele Wilde, senior director of conferences and events. “From the food to decor to entertainment, partygoers are awestruck by each detail.  There’s something unique about taking a place many attendees have visited on countless occasions and transforming it into something beyond their wildest dreams.”

1 S. County Road, Palm Beach / 561.655.6611 /

The Chesterfield Palm Beach

Jackets are required at The Chesterfield Palm Beach’s New Year’s Eve experience in The Leopard Lounge and Restaurant. The small and spirited gala sells out every year because of its four-course menu and three-piece band. “Everybody who comes in to Palm Beach for the season comes to celebrate New Year’s at The Leopard Lounge and Restaurant,” hotel spokeswoman Arnelle Kendall says. The theme is glamour and glitter, and diners dress up in haute holiday fashions. “Guests really celebrate in style,” Kendall says.

363 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach / 561.659.5800 /

Boca Raton Resort & Club

Live performances from Salt-N-Pepa, Wang Chung, Cutting Crew, and A Flock of Seagulls will turn the comings of 2018 into the goings of the ’80s. Rock the Block, Boca Raton Resort & Club’s take on New Year’s Eve, is an over-the-top, quarter-mile-long block party bringing music by Grammy Award-winning musicians, indulgent cuisine both buffet- and sit-down-style, a private fireworks show over the fairway and activities for all ages. Other options for hotel guests are the Cirque Dreams 2018 stage spectacle in the Cathedral Room (the show starts at 5:30 p.m.) or the New Year’s Eve Cruise from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. along the Intracoastal Waterway. 

501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton / 561.447.3000 / 

Atlantic Grille at The Seagate Hotel & Spa

Congregants can enjoy New Year’s Eve with family and friends, as well as with jellyfish and sharks and other unexpected creatures. Sea life is part of the eclectic scene at the Atlantic Grille thanks to its renowned, mega-sized aquariums. Add in creative cuisine and live music, and it becomes a dynamic destination for an unforgettable evening. “This popular event celebrates the age-old tradition of ringing in the New Year in a surprising, non-traditional setting,” says William Sander, The Seagate Hotel & Spa’s executive vice president, director of operations and general manager. “If you haven’t yet experienced it, prepare for a lively occasion.”

1000 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach / 561.665.4900 /

Downtown West Palm Beach / CityPlace

Sandi, a spectacular 600-ton Christmas tree sculpted from sand, can be seen in all her glory on New Year’s Eve with special sound-and-spotlight shows that run until midnight. The Waterfront Commons wow factor has earned an array of accolades and awards, including “Most Innovative Project” by the Florida Festivals and Events Association, and has its own Twitter account. At CityPlace, the last fake snowfall of the season can be soaked in before or after appetizers, drinks and dinner at one of the entertainment complex’s raved-about restaurants, beer, burgers and bowling at Revolutions or a movie at the 20-screen AMC theater.

Waterfront Commons, 101 S. Clematis St., West Palm Beach / 561.822.1515 /

CityPlace, 700 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach / 561.366.1000 /

Hilton West Palm Beach

The hip hotel will throw its second big bash New Year’s Eve with a crowd of more than 200 dressed in their best. “Given that the hotel does so many events for locals, the goal is to bring in the people who live here,” general manager John Parkinson says. The night’s one-of-a-kind Glitter & Confetti craft cocktail combines muddled blackberries and blueberries with simple syrup and Finlandia vodka and is poured over diamond-shaped ice cubes and garnished with a spear of fresh fruit.

600 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach / 561.231.6000 /

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Having a wild time on New Year’s Eve takes on new meaning at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society with its Noon Year’s Eve festivities aimed at families. The popular party runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., featuring feathered and furry friends and also face painting, dancing in the Fountain Plaza and arts and crafts stations. When noon arrives, a giant sun will descend from above as children cheer and raise their cups for an apple juice toast. “This event is super popular,” zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter says. “We hosted over 1,000 families last year and expect the same number, if not more, again this year.”

1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach / 561.547.9453 /

South Florida Science Center and Aquarium

Across the street from the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium will also throw a Noon Year’s Eve extravaganza. Food, games, miniature golf, movies about dinosaurs and more will be as fun for little ones as the adult affairs occurring 12 hours later. “Our goal for Noon Year’s Eve is to provide children who can’t stay up late the same opportunity to celebrate the coming of the New Year as their parents and other adults,” says Lew Crampton, president and CEO of the facility. “After all, it’s New Year’s Eve somewhere in the world at noon our time.”

4801 Dreher Trail N., West Palm Beach / 561.832.1988 /

Two Georges Waterfront Restaurant, Lounge & Sports Bar

For those who want a waterfront way to welcome the New Year, Two Georges Waterfront Restaurant, Lounge & Sports Bar is a best bet. The open-air oasis provides party favors to patrons—hats, noisemakers and the likes—as well as a glass of Champagne at midnight while everyone eyes Times Square on the TV. “We turn up the volume a few minutes before midnight, and there’s a to-do, if you will,” manager Ryan Julian says. “It gets bigger and bigger each year.” Swordfish Oscar—a New Year’s Eve tradition at the venue famous for its seafood—is the signature dish of the night.

728 Casa Loma Blvd., Boynton Beach / 561.736.2717 /

Something BIG 2018

Those who don’t imbibe too much bubbly on New Year’s Eve can embark on a trip to Boca Raton for a free New Year’s Day yoga class. Downward-facing dog, plank and warrior poses, among others, will connect the community as it ushers in 2018. Close to 2,000 participants are expected to roll out their mats. “This event is Leslie and Andy Glickman’s and Yoga Journey’s gift to the community, making yoga accessible to everyone, elevating overall consciousness and creating a more peaceful, mindful world one person (or 2,000 people) at a time,” publicist Kristen Noffsinger says. “Attendees say it’s the best way to start off their year.”

Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton / 561.479.7819 /