Where to Eat, Drink and Party on New Year's Eve in Cincinnati This Year

There's something fun for everyone this New Year's Eve.

click to enlarge New Year’s Eve Blast on Fountain Square - Photo via Fountain Square
Photo via Fountain Square
New Year’s Eve Blast on Fountain Square

There's something fun for everyone this New Year's Eve in the Queen City. From live music and a Bourbon Street feast to a mid-century-style celebration, dance parties, indoor fireworks and more — Cincinnati knows how to send off a decade in style.

Glow Vision New Year’s Eve at 3 Points

One of Cincinnati's most popular New Year's Eve parties, "First Midnight," returns to Pendleton's 3 Points Urban Brewery — and this year, they're bringing a black light. Hosted by Cincy Music, 3 Points and CityBeat, the Glow Vision-themed event will kick off at 9 p.m. and features live entertainment, unlimited craft beer and cocktails, a champagne toast, appetizers and midnight party favors. Complimentary UV light face painters will be present to transform guest's faces into glowing masterpieces when the brewery goes black at midnight. When the lights go out and the black lights turn on, the invisible face paint will begin to glow and the space will transform into a wild neon celebration. Guests are encouraged to wear vibrant or white clothing; the event is not a formal affair. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $100. 3 Points Urban Brewery, 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, firstmidnight.com.

GWAR at Bogart’s

This New Year's Eve will have the best novelty NYE eyeglasses ever, perfectly designed for human eyeholes. So why waste your "2020" eyewear at an average Dec. 31 get-together, with champagne and some weak-ass sparklers or balloons or some shit? This New Year's Eve, Cincinnatians will be blessed with the ultimate intergalactic New Year's Eve party — Metal space monsters GWAR are bringing their “Use Your Collusion” holiday tour to town on the last night of 2019. Openers Unearth and Savage Master will also be on hand to help you ring in 2020 in (gloriously campy and gory) style. Cincinnati is the finale of the holiday tour and we're one of only five dates on the mini-jaunt, which kicks off Dec. 27 in Washington DC. "Merry Xmas Human Scum!" starts the press release from the alien Metal gods regarding the tour. "So you’ve finally wiped your chin clean of Santa’s jolly old 'elf gravy' and finished shoveling your faces full of baked goods. Well, your Lords and Masters GWAR are set to bring their very special brand of holiday cheer, to your shit hole town!" 8 p.m. Dec. 31. $25. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.

Midnight in Munich

Raise a toast to 2020 the German way with Mecklenburg Gardens’ annual Midnight in Munich New Year’s Eve bash. The feast begins at 4 p.m. with authentic German fare, beer specials, hors d’oeuvres and live music via local Blues band Everything’s Jake. At 6 p.m. Cincinnati time — aka midnight in Munich — they’ll celebrate decade’s end with a champagne toast and live stream of the Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate fireworks. A buffet dinner of roasted pig, Oktoberfest chicken, baked salmon, grilled veggies, mashed potatoes, German hot slaw, sauerkraut, dinner rolls and more will then be served. Kid-friendly grub will also be on deck. 4-7 p.m. Dec. 31. $17-$43. Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, mecklenburgs.com.

Voodoo Masquerade at March First Brewing

March First Brewing and Distilling is ringing in the new year NOLA-style with a Voodoo masquerade, transforming their taprooms into a bourbon street experience and dark voodoo lounge, respectively. Specialty cocktails will flow, live Jazz will play and a cajun dinner will be served. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. $25-$100. March First Brewing, 7885 E. Kemper Road, Sycamore, marchfirstbrewing.com.

Happy Zoo Year

Calling all party animals: End the decade with a bang at The 10th Annual Happy Zoo Year Wander through a winter wonderland at the PNC Festival of Lights and celebrate with performances from MadCap Puppets, party favors and costume characters before an early New Year’s countdown and shimmering finale from Rozzi Fireworks. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

NYE Cocktail Party at Homemakers Bar 

For a night focused on the future, the folks at Homemakers bar are taking it back to celebrate the new year mid-century style with ‘50s- and ‘60s-inspired cocktails, old-school punch bowls for your table and “all the sparkling things.” Dress to the nines (both contemporary and vintage duds are acceptable), dance to “groovy tunes” from DJ Nightrider and celebrate the midnight ball drop with a complimentary Champagne toast. Hor d'oeuvres and a dinner menu will be available. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. Homemakers Bar, 39 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, homemakersbar.com.

Funk Off 2019 at Urban Artifact 

Say “funk off” to 2019 with Ouiwey Collins — prince of Funk and son of icon Bootsy Collins — and his Funk Squad. The party continues into the early hours of 2020 with DJ Huggybear. 9 p.m. Free. Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, artifactbeer.com.

Moonbeau NYE at MOTR Pub

This year, Cincinnati Synth Pop act Moonbeau did some regional touring to capitalize on their amazing 2018 debut album and also released a single featuring the new tracks “Think Fast and “Lay Down.” In November they scored another Cincinnati Entertainment Award for their mantel, taking home the Electronic trophy. Most importantly, in the big picture, the love story at the heart of the band entered a new phase. Frontpeople Christian Gough and Claire Muenchen got married in September (it’s Claire Gough now). That’s a pretty big year for one of Cincinnati’s most exciting and promising original acts and you can help them celebrate it in style and ring out the year on New Year’s Eve at MOTR Pub — which means there is no cover charge… which means you can afford to drink more, if you’re into that kind of thing. Toledo Synth Pop duo Bliss Nova and fellow Cincy act Passeport will also perform. 10 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

Bootlegger’s Bash at Queen City Radio

As we step into 2020, wind back the clock a century with Queen City Radio and party like it’s 1920. And while the Queen City may have a rich history with Prohibition, booze — ahem, giggle water — will be a-flowing all night long. DJ Patrick will lend the music and Framester will document the shenanigans. Sounds like berries to me. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. Free. Queen City Radio, 22 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, qcrbar.com. 

Weird Years Eve 20/20 at The Mockbee

Let’s end the decade like we started it: Unabashedly weird. Ascend into 2020 getting lost (or found?) in the noise with music by Funk group Ernie Johnson From Detroit, Avant-Garde band Dana, Eugenius X DJ Limited Liability and DJ PK. Bunk News, Matthew Dayler, Channel 77 and Jim Swill will lend their design talents to make for an extra-weird New Year’s Eve. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $10. The Mockbee, 2260 Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/themockbee.

New Year’s Eve Blast on Fountain Square

Head to the heart of downtown to usher in the new year among thousands of fellow Cincinnatians. Dance. Eat grub. Play goofy games. Skate on Fountain Sqaure’s UC Health ice rink all night long and stick around for Rozzi’s fireworks at midnight. Mix 94.9 Cincinnati’s Jay Kruz will host the evening. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. Free. Ice Rink admission $6; skate rental $4. Fountain Square, 520 Vine Street, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

NYE 2020 at Rhinegeist

Rhinegeist’s taproom will transform into, in their words, “a futuristic dance-a-thon” to ring in 2020. DJS Matt Joy and SKG will spin tunes into the new year, guests can capture 2019’s final moments via a photo booth and when the clock strikes midnight, balloons will descend in celebration. Upgrade to VIP for more music a la DJ Vinylmatic, a complementary coat check, professional photography, 5 drink tokens with access to a full bar and more. Dec. 31. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. $20 general admission. $100 VIP. Rhinegeist Taproom, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/rhinegeist

Cincinnati Cyclones Indoor Fireworks

Say goodbye to 2019 with the whole family with the Cincinnati Cyclones, which sees the hockey team up against Greenville’s Swamp Rabbits. Game starts at 6:30 p.m. and a dazzling indoor fireworks show will end the night. Dec. 31. 6:30 p.m. $19-$22; group discounts available. Heritage Bank Center, 100 Broadway St., Downtown, cycloneshockey.com

International New Year’s Eve at Union Terminal

For every passing hour between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Cincinnati Museum Center will celebrate a different culture — from China to Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Israel — as they ring in 2020 across the globe. Cultural music, activities and crafts will add to the festivities. St. George’s Russian Orthodox Church will entertain with a folk dance at 3:30 p.m. and the Mayerson JCC (Jewish Federation of Cincinnati) will be featured during Israel’s spotlight. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, facebook.com/cincymuseum

Roaring 2020s NYE at Below Zero Lounge

The roaring 2020s are upon us. So dip the bill and celebrate the 1920s way via Below Zero Lounge’s mighty keen party. Dance till your dogs are barking as DJ Perpetual Ritual spins tunes sure to be the cat’s meow. Party favors, drink specials, a photo booth and a balloon drop at midnight are among the night’s festivities. Plus, the upstairs Cabaret will have two drag shows — one at 8 p.m., the other at 11 p.m. — on deck. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. No cover. Below Zero Lounge, 1120 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, belowzerolounge.com.

New Year’s Eve: Frank and Ella with the Cincinnati Pops

Come fly with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra into 2020 with the classic music of legends Ella Fitzegerald and Frank Sinatra, all backdropped by the historical and beautiful Music Hall. The Pops will be joined by guest artists Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare. The concert bows out at 10 p.m., giving guests enough time to head over to other parties — or get snug on their couch at home — before the ball drops. 8-10 p.m. Dec. 31. $25-$115. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.

Mirror Ball at Music Hall

Celebrate 2020 in style at Music Hall’s inaugural Mirror Ball with an open bar, lite bites, party favors and entertainment. Sip on creations from cocktail connoisseur Molly Wellman and VIP wines from Kevin Hart of Hart & Cru while Elevated Aerials performers soar above the dance floor. DJ ETrayn keep the party going after the clock strikes 12. “Part futuristic disco, part reflection on our past, Mirror Ball promises an evening of spectacle, not to mention dancing, drinking, and late night eating.” 9 p.m. Dec. 31. $100 general admission; $125 general admission day of; $150 VIP; $175 VIP day of. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.

20/20 at 21 Museum Hotel

Envision a 20/20 future at 21c Museum Hotel's New Year's Eve bash, where they'll usher in the turning of a decade with curated experiences that celebrate both the new and the now. Of those experiences, Louisville-based multimedia production firm Lapis Laser Display will bring technicolor lighting to the hotel's second-floor gallery. Those effects can be seen at new heights via diffraction glasses; a pair will be included with the first 250 tickets purchased. You may remember Lapis Laser's handiwork during this year's BLINK — they installed a fogged-up light ceiling in Gano Alley, complete with bright criss-cross lasers. 

Head to the ballroom to dance the night away with DJ Glittertitz at the helm and Dancefix livening up the scene. A photobooth complete with a local-artist crafted backdrop will be there to help preserve those mems. A portion of the night's proceeds from ticket sales will go toward OneSight, an international nonprofit that aims to break down the barriers to better eyesight for underserved communities across the globe and locally. 

You can peep some art, too. Currently on display is Dress Up, Speak Up: Regalia and ResistanceIf you find yourself still recovering from the night's festivities, 21c is hosting a brunch at Metropole, which is included in 21c Cincinnati's New Year's Eve booking package for a one-night stay with valet parking and a bottle of bubbly. Tix to the party include one complimentary beverage. Must be 21+ to purchase. 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Dec. 31. $35 in advance; $40 at the door, cash only. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown. To purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.

Totally ‘80s New Year’s Eve at Taft’s Ale House 

Break out those legwarmers and have the hair crimper at the ready: Taft’s Ale House is “taking a totally tubular trip” back in time to the ‘80s with throwback music from the decade, plus recent hits. Start the night with a seated dinner featuring pasta, Korean tacos or a roasted chicken hand pie (appetizers and dessert included), graze on a snack buffet or just come for the taps—everyone will celebrate the new year with a midnight beer toast and have the chance to win a raffle every hour between 8 p.m. and midnight. Dress like a mallrat in acid-washed jeans and side ponytails or class it up in typical NYE attire. Anything goes at this rad getdown. 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31. $50-$100. Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, taftsbeer.com. 

Roaring Twenties New Year’s Eve at Hotel Covington 

This new year starts a new era and throws back to old school glitz and glamour, so what better place to celebrate than in a swanky building that was around to see the Gatsby style glory days of the 1920s? Swing into the night with DJ Future Boy and a free photo booth with instant photos and dance under a balloon drop at midnight.  Upgrade the night with a VIP cocktail hour and five-course dinner or reserve private space with bottle service. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $50-$2,400. Hotel Covington, 638 Madison Ave., Covington, hotelcovington.com.

NYE 2020 at MadTree Brewing 

MadTree is transforming the taproom into a “swanky, underground lounge complete with luxurious living rooms, (a) specialty cocktail bar, neon lights, (a) photo booth and live music for all.” Write on a resolution wall and snack on light bites from Catch-a-Fire Café and quell late night cravings with a pizza buffet at 11:30 p.m. Brian Mulroy and Sara Hutslar will be spinning records all night in the Taproom; 2nd Wind Live Band plays at 7:30 p.m. in the Barrel Room, followed by DJ Fusemania at 10:30 p.m. 7 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Dec. 31. $50-$100. MadTree Brewing Company, 3301 Madison Road., Oakley, madtreebrewing.com

New Year’s Eve at The Birdcage

Bring your tip money, honey, because the Birdcage is ringing in the New Year with entertainment from misses Mirelle Jane Divine and Penny Tration. Snack on Argentinian bites from Ché, get moving with DJ Patrick B, enjoy a complimentary call cocktail. It’s a big ol’ party so yes, there will be a balloon drop at midnight. 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Dec. 31. $35 presale; $45 at the door. The Birdcage, 927 Race St., Downtown, thebirdcagecincinnati.com

New Year’s Eve at The Cabaret

It’s a new year, but the showgurls at The Cabaret are just as fabulous as ever. There are two drag shows: An early show at 8 p.m. to “have some fun before the clock strikes 12” and one at 11 p.m. “for the die hards that want to toast the New Year with the girls.” Enjoy Champagne specials and party favors while the powerhouse performers shine onstage.  8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $5-$60. Cabaret Cincinnati, 1122 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, cabaretcincinnati.com.

Noah Smith: Big ‘Ol Family New Year’s Eve 2020 

Hometown boy and Country darling (and 2017 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Best Singer/Songwriter) Noah Smith returns to Ludlow Garage to sing to the new year, joined by See You In the Funnies and Cheley Tackett. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. $15. The Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, ludlowgaragecincinnati.com.

New Year’s Eve at The Stretch 

The Stretch is saying “thank u, next” to 2019 and celebrating New Year’s Eve stress-free. There are no tickets and no cover, but there is and complimentary Holtman’s donut bar, plus Champagne at midnight and DJ Steve the Greek spinning the decade’s hottest hits all night. 5 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Dec. 31. Free admission. The Stretch, 191 E. Freedom Way, Downtown, thestretchcincy.com

Rockin’ Into the New Year at JACK Casino 

JACK Casino—soon to be the home of the Hard Rock Casino—is kicking off 2020 with dining, cash drawings for Cash Club members and two unforgettable celebrations. Live it up in the Event Center with 10 bars and live music from Eden Park Band or get down in the Party Room with DJ Ice Cold Tony. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $25-$75. JACK Cincinnati Casino, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, facebook.com/hrcasinocincy.

Black Sheep Black Tie at Revel OTR

Revel in the new year with the second annual Black Sheep Black Tie event. Dress to impress and hit up the open bar with select wines, wine cocktails, craft and domestic beers, snack on small bites and cheers to 2020 with a midnight toast. Live music from DJGhost513 and a collaboration with Erik Owens on trumpet and trombone and bassist Tariq Stallings, keyboardist Cameron Barnes, drummer Mike Barnes and special guest vocalists. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $75. Revel OTR, 111 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, revelotr.com


This party at Queen City Radio promises plenty to help toast to 2020, including an open bar, food from Babushka Pierogies and Holtman’s Donuts, a live DJ and a Champagne toast at midnight. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $100. Queen City Exchange, 32 W. Court St., Over-the-Rhine, queencityexchange.com.

New Year’s Eve Party at Vinkolet Winery 

Vinkolet Winery is wrapping up 2019 with dinner, dancing and an open bar. Start the night with a cocktail hour and a three course or buffet dinner before the party picks back up with DJ Dave King, award-winning wines and Champagne. 7 p.m-1 a.m. Dec. 31. $76.85. Vinoklet Winery, 1069 Colerain Ave., Dunlap, vinokletwines.com

New Year’s Eve with The Rusty Griswolds at the Newport Syndicate 

The Rusty Griswolds and Q102’s DJ Mark McFadden are gracing the Newport Syndicate and Gangsters Dueling Piano Bar for the sure to sell out party to end all parties (or at least to end 2019.) Multiple ticket levels guarantee a perfect night at every price. $85 will get you in for dancing and drinks from the open bar, and $125 will give you early access to the Grand Ballroom with passed hot hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet and desserts before The Rusty Griswolds hit the stage. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. $85-$125. Newport Syndicate, 18 E. 5th St., Newport, newportsyndicate.com.

A Neighborhood New Year’s Eve at Rosedale OTR 

Pull up a seat and get cozy on Rosedale’s heated, tented patio for a friendly New Year’s Eve party the whole neighborhood can get in on. Half-price happy hour runs 8 p.m.-10 p.m., and Rosedale’s resident DJ will play the decade’s hits. “No tickets. No cover. No worries.” 8 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Dec. 31. Free admission. Rosedale OTR, 208 E.12th St., Over-the-Rhine, rosedaleotr.com.

New Year’s Eve at Braxton Brewing 

Lift one to life—and to a new decade—in Braxton’s Covington taproom with local favorite craft beers and all-you-can-eat catering from Gomez Salsa. Upgrade the experience with an Essential Productions party on the second floor loft and rooftop, complete with live music, a virtual reality experience, a photo booth with free printing and a heated igloo on the rooftop. Drink to 2020 with a midnight Garage Beer toast. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $75 in advance; $90 at door. Braxton Brewing, 27 W 7th St., Covington, braxtonbrewing.com.

Red Carpet New Year’s Eve Party at The Hannaford 

The Hannaford loves Covington, and is showing its appreciation for the community’s support with a year-end shindig free of cover charge and a complimentary toast of bubbly as midnight hits. Step out for photos on the red carpet and dance into 2020 with DJ FannyPack. More announcements and surprises are to come. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. Free admission. The Hannaford, 619 Madison Ave., Covington, thehannaford.com.

Something Different NYE at the American Sign Museum  

New Year’s Eve happens once a year. So why celebrate in the same old bar every time? Light up your night at one of the most unique museums in the country while enjoying the best parts of any party—catering, cocktails, photo booths, live DJs and swag bags. It’s still New Year’s, just done differently. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $75-$125. The American Sign Museum, 1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington, americansignmuseum.org.

A Grateful Evening at Fretboard Brewing 

Calling all dead heads: this one’s for you. Fretboard Brewing is getting down on New Year’s Eve with a free show from premiere Grateful Dead tribute band Terrapin Moon. All. Night. Long. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. Free admission. Fretboard Brewing, 5800 Creek Rd., Hamilton, fretboardbrewing.com.

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