Second only to the New York’s Times Square party, South Florida offers revelers numerous ways to ring in the New Year. For families that want to have fun and party together, there are lots of great choices. From South Beach’s Orange Drive to downtown’s Big Orange Countdown, there are plenty of options for all to enjoy.
Orange Drive Miami Beach Music Festival
Ocean Drive between 7th St. and 9th St.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Rock with celebrities at one of the worldwide top New Year’s Eve events. Ocean Drive is officially renamed Orange Drive for a three-day New Year’s celebration that will rock your socks off. This year’s Orange Drive Music Festival will include performances by Cee Lo Green, Ne-Yo, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, Jason Derulo, Boyz II Men and more. This is perfect for families with teens/tweens as it features some of the top artists and teen favorites. There’s also a Noon Year’s Eve Kids Countdown sponsored by Radio Disney for the younger family members, a traditional New Year’s Eve event including free fireworks for the entire family and a Latin event for the salsa crowd.
Big Orange Countdown at Bayfront Park
301 N. Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132
If you want to bring in the new year with one of the official time balls of our nation, the 35-foot smiley-faced neon Orange Ball, head on over to the nearby Hotel InterContinental Miami where the Big Orange will climb 400 feet up the side of the hotel over a six-hour period and reach the top at the stroke of midnight. Afterwards, there will be one of the nation’s biggest and most spectacular fireworks on the water show over Biscayne Bay and a laser light show. Gates open at 7 p.m., so get there early and find your spot. While waiting for the Orange Ball and awesome fireworks display, enjoy listening to live music, dancing and a DJ. Admission is free.
Downtown Fort Lauderdale New Year’s Eve
S.W. 2nd St. between 2nd Ave. and 4th Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Join the fun at one of Florida’s largest New Year’s Eve celebrations that includes 10,000 lights and strobes dropping from the sky. This family-friendly festival includes bounce houses/inflatables, face painting, games, contests and line dancing. The midnight celebration features a ball drop, fireworks and lots of confetti. Festivities begin at 3 p.m., and for those that can stay up really late, continue the fun until 3 a.m.
New Year’s Eve Cruises
Make this a special New Year’s Eve by watching the fireworks on the water with one of the many New Year’s Eve cruises. The Musette Yacht offers a full dinner buffet, open bar, special champagne toast at midnight and music with a DJ. Island Queen Cruises offers yacht cruises that have special New Year’s Eve sailings. Prices for fireworks cruises vary, so determine your preference and reserve a memorable celebration to kick off 2013.