If you are ready to party this New Year’s Eve, Atlantic City is ready for YOU! Rather than take a long, expensive flight to Las Vegas or fight the impossible crowds and hours of waiting in the cold to watch the ball drop in Times Square (which can also see on TV from anywhere in the country), consider ringing in the Year in your own backyard—Atlantic City.
If you are a very, very high roller, you can put down this article because your New Year’s Eve plans in AC are probably all set. Your favorite host has already invited you to a private party, with everything else from multiple night room accommodations to drinks and meals, and in some cases, transportation, fully covered. The rest of us have to scrounge around a bit to find alternative ways to celebrate on our own dime, but it can be done, and the good news is you are under no obligation to give the casinos heavy action if that is not your style. Don’t forget that drinking a lot more than usual and gambling a lot more than usual are not a winning combination.
The good news about arranging to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Atlantic City is that the Atlantic City hotels offer so many events to choose from, you can make the celebration as expensive and over the top or as low key and affordable as you like. With music, merriment, and champagne flowing freely at every casino and major non-casino Atlantic City hotel, there is a party for every taste and budget. If you have a special someone to ring in the New Year with, your celebration will be even more special in the electric atmosphere of one of the Atlantic City hotels and casinos. On the other hand, even if you, along with millions of others will be by yourself at New Year’s, you don’t have to sit alone at home and mope. Atlantic City extends a warm welcome to you, too.
If you are concerned about room accommodations, I do have to warn you, though. Unlike most times during the year when great Atlantic City hotel deals are plentiful, on New Year’s Eve, finding a cheap Atlantic City hotel room is next to impossible. No matter where you choose to stay in or around Atlantic City that night, you will pay through the roof. Even the plainest motels that ordinarily charge under $50 per night will quadruple their price and most likely will ask you to book at least two nights. Places outside of Atlantic City will not be quite as expensive as those in the heart of the action, but they won’t be cheap either. Unless you will be sharing a room with a group of people or can afford the extra steep rate (about $500 for one of the casino hotels), your best bet would be to stay with a friend or wait until you get home to sleep (credit juanita). Personally, except perhaps on your wedding night, I can’t see spending hundreds of dollars for a single night’s accommodations. One night of little or no sleep won’t hurt you. And believe me on New Year’s Eve, even with a room, you will be spending little, if any time in it before dawn.
Now, let’s get to some of the many exciting things you can do to party the night away on the last night of 2014 in Atlantic City.
Bally’s Atlantic City
Bally’s, even though it is one of the five Atlantic City boardwalk hotels with casinos, will be a lot quieter than some of the other hipper spots in town. But if that’s what you prefer, you won’t go wrong with a steak dinner at Guy Fieri’s Chophouse (609-061-6975) and drinks later at the Blue Martini.
Borgata Casino Hotel and Spa
The Borgata, Atlantic City, is known for both its fine dining and spectacular nightlife, so this is a place where you have lots of options. For a festive New Year’s Eve dinner, Bobby Flay Steak, Old Homestead Steak House, Fornelletto (Italian food), and Izakaya (Japanese food) will all be open late. For reservations at any of these places, call (609) 317-1000.
But whether you choose to have dinner at the Borgata or elsewhere, there will be plenty of partying all night long. All three of these places will be packed with people, so if you want to join the fun at any of these major Atlantic City events, you should reserve now.
MUR.MUR: DJ Fashen with Doug Grayson. Advance tickets $75 per person, including premium hosted bar from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Otherwise, cover charge at door $60 before midnight or $40 after midnight.
MIXX: DJ D-Nice with Skylar Grey. Advance tickets $100 per person, including premium hosted bar from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Otherwise, cover charge at door $60 before midnight or $40 after midnight.
Gypsy Bar: Live music and open bar from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Advance tickets $99 per person. Otherwise, after 11 p.m. $35 cover charge at door.
Table service is also available at MIXX and MUR.MUR. For information and reservations, call 609-317-7249.
Caesars Atlantic City
You can expect the action to last long past dusk at this happening place, which actually includes three venues in one, the Dusk Nightclub, Retro’s, and the Backyard Bar. For $75 per person, you can join the party including several DJs and a 3 hour open bar at each venue from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and maybe even spot some celebrities. VIP bottle service packages are also available. For information and reservations, call 856-905-7163 today. This Atlantic City event is almost sure to sell out.
The Chelsea, a fairly new boutique hotel located near the Tropicana Casino and Resort, is proof that you don’t necessarily need a casino in the facility to host a lavish New Year’s Party with all of the trimmings. The cost varies from about $75 for General Admission to $165 per person for VIP Service (with upgraded seating). Either way, at this spectacular Atlantic City event, you get all of the following: entry into C5 and the Crystal Ballroom, access to the open bar from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., hors d’oeuvres from the hotel restaurant’s signature dishes, special guest performances, and live countdown of the ball drop. For more information and reservations, call 1-800-548-3030.
While every other venue is having you party like it is 2015, the Claridge is the one place in town where you can party like it’s the Roaring 20s (at 2015 prices)! The Claridge, an Atlantic City boardwalk hotel which was previously part of Bally’s, but is now under new ownership, has reopened as a non-casino full service luxury hotel. However, the hotel has remained true to its original 1920s theme and, in fact, one of your great New Year’s Eve options here is dinner at the elegant Twenties Restaurant followed by a special performance of the Diva’s Show in the Celebrity Theater at 9 p.m. It is one of only a couple of shows in Atlantic City being offered on New Year’s Eve. If you wish, you can choose the Diva Show and Room Package with a pair of show tickets included. Another option is the Gatsby Party Package.
Gatsby Party Package
This spectacular Atlantic City event includes one night deluxe room accommodations and admission for two to the ballroom for the New Year’s Eve Gatsby Dinner Dancing Party. Enjoy a 4 hour open bar, a lavish buffet including carving stations and an extravagant dessert bar, a live band and DJ, noisemakers, hats, party favors, confetti, and a midnight champagne toast. The package price per couple costs $650 plus tax and up. Or you can book the party without the room for $150 per person. For reservations, call 844-224-7386.
Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino
The Main Atrium at the Golden Nugget in AC is one of the few places in town where you can party on New Year’s Eve absolutely free. There will be a DJ and live music plus an open bar to add to the festivities.
Or you can enjoy an end of year gourmet dinner at Vic and Anthony’s Steakhouse (609-441-8355) or the Chart House (609-340-5030), then head for the Haven to ring in the New Year.
The Haven: Admission is $75 per person in advance or $100 at the door. Enjoy an open bar from 9 p.m. to 4 p.m., live music, and a champagne toast at midnight. For reservations, call 609-340-5111.
For a perfect combination of a hearty Italian feast served with an attitude (forget asking for substitutions) and music and dancing, too (the later the hour, the louder the entertainment), the place to be is Martorano’s Italian-American Kitchen at Harrah’s Resort. The Atlantic City Martorano’s is very much like the original at the Rio in Las Vegas and very much unlike any other restaurant. On New Year’s Eve, there will be two seatings: from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for $95 and from 8 to 11 p.m. for $125. A DJ and big dance party is planned for the occasion. For reservations, call 609-961-6970.
Party in the pool or around it, as you choose, from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. General admission costs $65 (expect a horrendous line) and includes DJs and music, an open bar (non-premium brands) from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., a light buffet from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (sliders, sushi, pasta, etc.), live video feed from Times Square, complimentary party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. Or you can upgrade to Premium Open Bar and VIP access to the Loft for $300 per person. Either way, it will be an Atlantic City event to remember. For information and reservations, call 609-441-5585.
The above Atlantic City event suggestions should give you plenty of great celebrations to choose from, but in case you haven’t been counting, we have only mentioned five Atlantic City casinos so far and there are three more. So be sure to check out the continuation of this article to find out what Resorts, the Tropicana AC, and the Taj have to offer Atlantic City revelers. Continued here.