New Year’s Eve is one of those annual holidays that is always marked with over-the-top celebrations, crowds and the results of the two. Washington D.C. is not an exception. When spending the holiday in the city, you should keep a few things in mind. Here is a guide that should help you have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve in Washington, D.C.
Plan Ahead

If you are going to drive, map out your route in advance. There will be thousand of people, which will make traffic even more brutal than normal. Check to see if there will be any closed roads on your route so you can plan accordingly. Also, parking will be just as bad, so factor that into timing and cost for the night.

Think Outside The Box

There are dozens of restaurants and bars that host pricey New Year’s Eve parties that you can shell out for. But there are also places that you can go, and things you can do, that are not going to put you into debt going into the new year. A few of the area cities have fun family friendly events with fireworks, entertainment, and more. And if you want to dance the night away, a few of the bars have free events.

Stay In One Area

If you like to be spontaneous and bar hop, DC is a great place to check out different neighborhoods, each with their own vibe. But on New Year’s Eve, with the amount of people out and about, it’s usually best to pick a neighborhood and stick with it. For more options, pick areas like 14th Street since it’s close to U St. and Adam’s Morgan. Those areas will be popular, so prepare for crowds and lines.

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Eat Dinner Early

If you didn’t make your reservations well enough in advance, it is likely your favorite DC restaurant is booked solid; especially for a group of more than four people. One way around this is to eat an earlier dinner. Instead of a reservation at nine, try seven or earlier. You are getting into early bird special territory, but if you are just craving that one ramen spot as the last meal of the year, you may need to adjust your plans. Also, just trying a less popular restaurant may be your best bet. Give a new place a try, you may start the new year with a new favorite restaurant.


There is no reason to drink and drive, ever. Besides arranging a designated driver prior to going out on the town, you can rely on other services to get you home safely. You can use Uber, Lyft, or any other app based service, but during holidays the surge can put rides in the triple digits or even higher. Instead of spending even more money, you can call SoberRide for free. All rides for passengers 21 and over are free of charge up to $30. Even if you go over the limit, it will probably still be cheaper and safer than the alternatives. Stay safe!

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Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on