It’s never too early to start planning your New Year’s Eve festivities, and that goes for cities too as Denver recently announced their plans to ring in 2011 with fireworks, family activities, concerts and all-night parties.
The highlight of Denver’s New Year’s Eve festivities will be not one but two eye-opening fireworks shows centered above the city’s popular 16th Street Mall. The mile-long shopping and attraction district will the perfect vantage point for the first fireworks show, scheduled for the family-friendly time of 9 p.m., following by the more traditional show at midnight.
While waiting for the sky to light up, attendees can visit one of the more than 28 cafes, many of which will offer outdoor (yes, outdoor) seating under heated lamps. The idea, members of the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau said, is to recreate the atmosphere of the nearby ski towns. And depending on the weather that day, it may be closer to a ski town atmosphere than originally anticipated.
Outside of the cafés, entertainers including musicians, magicians, balloon artists, stilt walker and even comedians will keep the crowd buzzing. Horse-drawn carriages clattering up and down the mall will offer a unique vantage point for the fun.
Those worried about the traffic to and from the area can take advantage of the free public transportation all around the city after 7 p.m., including the Light Rail trains.
If all of the expected noise and excitement is too much for the little ones, consider taking them to one of the more family friendly NYE events at the Children’s Museum of Denver or the Denver Zoo. Your kids can enjoy not one NYE countdown, but FIVE ball drops every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Museum, complete with confetti blasts and “fireworks” from the massive bubble wrap sheets that will line the floor. At the Zoo, the NYE party starts at 5 p.m. and includes entertainment that culminates with a 2011 countdown at 9 p.m. In addition, the annual Holiday Zoo Light display will also still be featured.
Music fans can kick off the new year the right way with one of several concerts, featuring the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Paramount Theater, the funky-groove sounds of STS9 at the Fillmore Auditorium, and jam band Widespread Panic at the Pepsi Center.
More NYE music options can be found by checking out the city’s No. 1 source for concert events in the city, Westword.
Finally, ring in the new year in highbrow style or down and funky at either the Grand Hyatt Denver Downtown’s New Year’s Eve Party (featuring four separate entertainment areas, an open bar, buffet supper and champagne toast at midnight) or at the laidback bars of the famous Colfax strip, who have banded together to present a variety of live music, DJs and champagne toasts.
Of course, you could stay home. But with so many options, it may be too hard to resist.