Everyone has experienced it. That moment when a friend (or worse, a casual acquaintance you don’t even care to be speaking with) asks you what you’re doing for New Year’s Eve.
You tense up. “Why is this holiday so popular anyway?” you want to defensively snap back, but you know better. You don’t have plans – that’s the honest answer – and you recognize that this innocent questioning friend or acquaintance is just excited for the fresh start that the beginning of a new year promises.
Never fear, readers. Whether you’re a parent looking for an affordable way to celebrate with the little humans constantly hanging off of you, or you’re an adult looking to treat yourself to a luxurious champagne flute-filled affair, Cheyenne has something for everyone this New Year’s Eve.
For the Family
New Year’s at Noon
Let’s face it, the worst part of spending New Year’s Eve with the kids is that they want to stay up way past bedtime. We all know that doesn’t end well, so the Laramie County Library came up with a better alternative: celebrating early.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31, guests at this family affair will ring in 2020 12 hours before midnight. But the kids don’t need to know, right? Join the library team as they celebrate with a balloon drop, face painting, crafts, snacks and games galore at this fun-filled event.
Communications Coordinator Kasey Mossey recommended this event for families with children 12 and younger, and she added that certain children might benefit from an alternative to the noisy balloon drop.
“It’s absolute fun for the whole family, and for people who can’t or don’t want to stay up until midnight,” she said. “The Sensory Drop is an RSVP-only event for kiddos with sensory sensitivities featuring bubbles and shiny crepe paper because our balloon drop is awesome, but is absolute chaos.”
The Sensory Drop will take place at 11:45 a.m. in the Willow Room, and the rest of the New Year’s at Noon activities will take place in the Cottonwood Room of the Laramie County Library, 2200 Pioneer Ave. All events are free. Call 307-634-3561 for more information.
9th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
This ninth annual event will again add some extra sparkle to Cheyenne’s New Year’s Eve offerings. The occasion is really two free events in one, with the family-friendly portion beginning at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31. The Children’s New Year’s event will feature games, activities, costumed characters and more inside the Cheyenne Depot at 121 W. 15th St., concluding with a ball drop and brief fireworks display just for kids at 6 p.m.
The Best of Both Worlds
The second half of Visit Cheyenne’s 9th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop begins at 11:30 p.m., so attendees with later bedtimes can gather in the plaza for music and anticipation. At midnight, fireworks will erupt, and “Auld Lang Syne” will be played in honor of the new year. This half of the event is held at Cheyenne Depot Plaza, 1 Depot Square, Capitol Avenue and West 15th Street.
An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people will gather downtown for the event, which Visit Cheyenne digital marketing coordinator Laura Levi said is unique because it’s the only celebration of its type in the entire state of Wyoming.
“It’s two events in one,” Levi said. “The children’s event that goes from 3-6 p.m. is fun that culminates with their own ball drop, and that way everyone can be part of the festivities. And then Mom and Dad can take them to the babysitter and come out to the later ball drop.”
Although the later event features recorded music, rather than live music, and is mainly a gathering in anticipation of the ball drop, Levi said that makes it the perfect 20-, 30-minute stop.
“The ball drop is an event you can go to after going to something else,” she said. “Hang out downtown, like at the Plains, or another bar or restaurant, then sneak out and come watch the ball drop and start the new year with everybody.”
For more information, call 307-778-3133.
For Adult-Only Fun
CFD Old West Museum New Year’s Eve Party
Giddy up, because the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum is hosting a New Year’s Eve party that will ring in 2020 wild-west style. From 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31, the only NYE party in town boasting a dress code of “Western bling” will feature a cash bar, raffles, games, live entertainment and plenty of other 21-and-over fun. There will also be a breakfast bar at 10 p.m. Grab your tickets today (prices only available by phone or in person) at the CFD Ticket Office by stopping by 4610 Carey Ave. or phoning 307-778-7222.
New Year’s Eve Countdown Party
Looking to kick off 2020 with a relaxing staycation? Enjoy live music, food, drinks and a midnight champagne toast in Hathaway’s Lounge when you book the seasonal Stay & Play package at Little America Hotel and Resort. Cost includes an overnight stay Dec. 31 and two wristbands for unlimited well drinks, beer and wine at the hotel’s New Year’s Eve Countdown party from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31.
This package is $199 for two adults and $50 for each additional adult. Little America is located at 2800 W. Lincolnway. Call 307-775-8400 for more information.
New Year’s Eve Drag Showcase
Looking to spice things up this New Year’s Eve? Throw on your highest heels and fiercest lipstick, then make your way to this NYE party from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Dec. 31. For $15, you can watch the ball drop between lively performances by the most talented drag queens in the region, who will strut their stuff in their most gorgeously flashy attire.
This event takes place at the Historic Atlas Theatre, 211 W. Lincolnway. Call 307-638-6543 for more information.
Ring in the Roaring ’20s
What better way to celebrate 2020 than with a ’20s-themed soirée? From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31, guests at this roaring bash can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, speakeasy spirits (via a cash bar by Flippers) and live music by the Denver-based Bianca and the Flyboys, a 1920s quartet who will give dance lessons for guests to learn the Charleston, fox trot and other period-appropriate dances.
Guests will also be able to enter drawings and earn prizes through giveaways that will offer a memento of this 18-and-up New Year’s Eve celebration. Oh, and don’t forget to show up in your best flapper dress or zoot suit to add to the 1920s flair of the evening.
“It’s definitely going to be the most unique party in town,” said Melanie Silvernagel, owner of Perfectly Planned Events and More, the company hosting the event. “It’s the only one that I’ve seen that is ’20s-themed.”
Early bird tickets (purchased before Dec. 30) are $25 for singles and $40 for couples, and tickets at the door are $35 for singles and $60 for couples. This event takes place at Asher Upstairs, 500 W. 15th St. Call 605-645-6668 for more information.
New Year’s Eve Party with Third Rail
Welcome the new year with some good ol’ country and a little classic rock. From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31, a cover of $10.10 will get guests into this masquerade-themed party at The Historic Plains Hotel, 1600 Central Ave. (masks will be provided for those who show up without one). If that’s not enticing enough, there’s also a free champagne toast at midnight.
The hotel restaurant will also offer a dinner special for $20.20 per person, with three entree options that evening: citrus fire grilled shrimp and prime rib; coconut and cilantro shrimp; or spinach and feta-stuffed chicken. The hotel will also offer a combined special for those wishing to stay the night: $160 for a room, dinner for two, ballroom entry to the party and then breakfast for two on New Year’s Day. Dinner and hotel reservations must be made in advance. Call 307-638-3311 for more information.