Nestled between Illinois and Ohio, the state of Indiana might not seem like an obvious choice for a New Year’s Eve getaway, but it boasts a wide range of lively activities. From adult-only entertainment to children’s parties complete with face painting, the number of things to do in Indiana seem almost endless. If you want to end your year spectacularly before ushering in the new one, book a stay at an Indiana vacation rental in these cities.
When it comes to where to go in Indianapolis for New Year’s Eve fun, the choices are vast with activities for all age groups and family types. If you have kids, stop at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for a Countdown to Noon party, perfect for little ones who can’t manage to stay up until midnight. There are activities and free gifts for the kids as well as snacks. Next, head over to the Indiana State Museum for its annual Family New Year’s Eve party that takes place at night. This event is practically a carnival with face painting, stilt walkers, and clowns. The event culminates in a balloon drop to usher in the new year (even if it is hours early). After you put the little ones to bed, head to Downtown Indy’s New Year’s Eve Bash, where you can dance to live music, stop at one of the food trucks for a midnight snack, and watch the IndyCar drop. Of course, if dancing is your goal, then opt for Ciroc the New Year at the Regions Towers. It includes an open bar and food, so go crazy — within reason.
Richmond boasts a cozy Warm Glow Concert Series that culminates in live music at the 4th Floor Blues Club on New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a raucous night out with friends. Speaking of raucous, if you really want to party, go to Tally Ho Pub or Smiley’s Old English Pub. Both locations offer a unique British flavor to the holiday. If you want to celebrate with family, go to the Richmond Bowl-Ring in the New Year, a family-friendly event with Xtreme Cosmic bowling, pizza, and music.
3. Michigan City
Michigan City, Indiana, is your Las Vegas in the Great Lakes area. Stop over at Blue Chip Casino for some gambling, live music, and dinner. It also provides party favors and a champagne toast, so you can spend your whole night here. With Chicago only 60 miles away, you can go over to the Windy City for some variety, such as the Crystal Garden party or New Year’s Eve in Versailles.
4. Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne offers plenty of New Year’s Eve options, from a party at the Philmore on Broadway to the Annual Masquerade Ball. The Philmore, a renovated building to highlight the 1920s, the year it was built, offers both dinner and live music that doesn’t end until the wee hours of the morning. Mingle with the crowds at the NYE Ball at Main Street, where you can snack at Main Street Bistro, boogie down to the live music, and get your picture taken. For a swankier night out, head over to Parkview Field for the Annual Masquerade Ball that concludes with fireworks. Kids can also get into the fun at Science Central’s Countdown to Noon with party hat-making stations, face painting, and science demonstrations. Take them on a drive through the Fantasy of Lights before the season ends. The 85 animated displays add a little holiday cheer before the new year.
The Steel City Celebration in Gary straddles two days, so it’s only reasonable that it offers both hors-d’oeuvres that night and a light breakfast just after midnight before you head back to your vacation rental. There’s live entertainment, music, and dancing as well, everything your New Year’s Eve party heart desires. Another option is to go to the Majestic Star Casino for its annual New Year’s Eve party with live music, food, a champagne toast, and a balloon drop.
If you don’t know where to go in Carmel for your end of the year party, try the Palladium or the Ballare. If formal’s your thing – or you really want to wear that new dress – drag your significant other to the Glitteratti New Year’s Eve Formal Dinner Dance at the Ballare. The party has all the accouterments of a fancy gathering, from hors-d’oeuvres and champagne toasts to formal dancing. Tone it down a little at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts. Its annual New Year’s Eve Extravaganza has food and drinks along with a band playing jazz music reminiscent of an early time.
Start your New Year’s Eve day ice skating at the Deep River Waterpark with the kids. After tucking the kids into bed, stop at the annual Damon Williams’ New Year’s Eve Comedy bash, perfect for ending the year on a high note. Round out the evening at the Radisson Hotel Blowout, a musical bash with disc jockeys, live bands, and drinks from T.J. Maloney’s Authentic Irish Pub.
Valparaiso, a modest-sized city near Lake Michigan, caters to both family and adult New Year’s Eve events. Sing in the new year at Front Porch Music, an alcohol-free venue that encourages audience members to perform. Give a spontaneous family concert, then enjoy the snacks, soft drinks, and nonalcoholic champagne. For adult-only entertainment, show up at Sage Restaurant for a New Year’s Eve celebration that centers on good food, live music, and a champagne toast.
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