Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
The capital city of California is always fabulous on New Year's Eve. Sacramento offers an array of events suitable for any taste. Take to the downtown for the largest firework show, embark on a river cruise, attend a party, or merely explore local neighborhoods lit up with dazzling holiday lights.
New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular
New Year's Eve Sky Spectacular is the city's biggest celebration taking place in Old Sacramento. What's more, this favorite NYE tradition is also free! Family-friendly festivities get underway at 6 pm. The kid's activities run along Front Street until 9 pm, while music bands perform on the main Golden 1 Credit Union Stage up to 10 pm. The highlight of the action is the amazing firework show that lights up the Waterfront at 9 pm (not midnight), so come early enough in order to not miss a thing.
New Year's Eve River Cruise
Scenic cruises on the Sacramento River must be the second most-favorite way to celebrate New Year in the city. Hornblower Cruises usually have several options to offer. The Firework Cruise boards at 7.30 pm from L Street Dock and grants unobstructed views of the splendid Sky Spectacular at 9 pm. If you're more into classy midnight bash, opt for a Cocktail Cruise boarding at 10 pm. There will be loads of live DJ music and champagne.
NYE parties across Sacramento area
If fireworks and cruises are not enough for your restless soul, choose from countless parties held at local hotels, nightclubs, and outdoors. Some of the liveliest gatherings occur at Hyatt Regency Sacramento, a hotel on L Street (canceled in 2021). Another hot spot is the nearby cocktail bar Park Ultra Lounge, located on 15th Street (temporarily closed).
However, if you need some privacy to think over the last year and the one to come, take a walk around the beautifully decorated Fab Forties in East Sacramento. You might also want to drive to the nearby Roseville for more Christmas lights on Pebble Creek Drive and at Bayside Church. Read more here.