How to Have a Safe and Fun New Year’s Eve in Atlanta

Goodbye, 2020. We won’t miss you.

If you’re reading this, you survived 2020, so take a moment to internalize how big of an accomplishment that truly is. From the pandemic to the presidential election, there were a million reasons why this was such a trying and stressful year, so we all definitely deserve to celebrate. Say good riddance to 2020 with this hand-picked batch of socially distanced, virtual, and at-home New Year’s Eve events in Atlanta. As always, remember to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by social distancing, wearing your mask, and staying home if you feel sick. Get ready to finally—and safely—ring in 2021. 

The Battery
The Battery | Photo Courtesy of The Battery

Get charged up for the new year at The Battery

If you can’t make your mind up about what to do this New Year’s Eve, save yourself a headache and slide over to The Battery for a night with limitless opportunity. Whether you’re looking for socially distanced fireworks, a rooftop poolside countdown, or a special late-night brunch, the New Year’s Eve Bash at The Battery has got you covered.
Cost: Prices vary

Swing the night away at Topgolf

While it won’t boast all of the bells and whistles of last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration, Topgolf may actually be one of the best socially distanced moves for smaller families and friend groups this year. Parties of six or less can spend the night in a private heated bay and see who the real golfer of the group is. With drinks and bites available as well, it’s a win-win.
Cost: $47/hour per bay

Woodruff Park
Woodruff Park | Photo Courtesy of Woodruff Park

Witness Winter lights illuminate Woodruff Park

One of the newest winter experiences in Atlanta is the PRISM: Winter Lights art exhibit at Woodruff Park. Last year, the gorgeous light installation made an incredible debut, and this year, it returns to explore the theme of water. The water and light-based installations are available for viewing until Sunday, January 31, but seeing the creative light displays illuminate Woodruff Park at night will surely give you the inspiration that you need going into 2021.
Cost: Free to attend

Pop champagne and show off your painting skills

Staying home on New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be a bust this year. From at-home meal packages to virtual events, there are plenty of new ways to get lit this year. Grab your favorite champagne from your local wine shop and get ready for a paint-n-sip from the comfort of your own home. In addition to hosting an in-person NYE event, Painting With A Twist is offering a virtual option, and all you have to do is grab a ticket and pick up your painting kit beforehand.
Cost: $35

Feast on a six-course meal

Good Word Brewing is offering patrons a big meal for a pretty reasonable price. On New Year’s Eve, the Duluth Brewpub is offering a special six-course feast featuring Arctic Char Crudo, Lobster “Tamale,” Oyster, apple mignonette caviar, Death by Chocolate, and other select menu offerings. Of course, to make things even more festive, you can add beer pairings to all six courses of the evening for an additional $25. 
Cost: $75+, reserve via email

Sign your family up for a virtual game show

Have you ever felt like if you and your family had the chance to go on a game show that you all would win? Well, Main Event and Two Bit Circus are giving you all the opportunity to prove it this New Year’s Eve. From 8pm to 9pm, families across the country will play live virtual games and trivia—all while competing for a $500 gift card from Main Event and a $250 virtual birthday party from Two Bit Circus.
Cost: $10

Cooks & Soldiers
Cooks & Soldiers | Photo Courtesy of Cooks & Soldiers

Make your final meal of the year a savory one

Castellucci & Sons Steakhouse, Cooks & Soldiers’ steakhouse pop-up that debuted earlier this summer, is back for New Year’s Eve with a savory delivery and takeout menu. Available for pre-order, the full menu includes an assortment of steaks (filet mignon, prime bone-in ribeye, and dry-aged ribeye), seafood (lobster and East Coast oysters), mouthwatering sides (mac and cheese, cottage fries, wood-grilled asparagus, and more), and bottles of wine. Plus, the steaks come cooked one temperature below to allow you to reheat your steak to your desired temperature with helpful reheat instructions. Pickup is on New Year’s Eve from 12-5 pm, so don’t forget to order your NYE steakhouse meal package in advance.
Cost: Prices vary

Drink rooftop cocktails all night long

If champagne is not the only thing you plan on drinking on New Year’s Eve, then Virtue Cocktail Club’s open rooftop bar is calling your name. Starting at 9 pm, guests can arrive in their best cocktail and masquerade attire for live music courtesy of two DJs, a buffet of light bites, on-site cigar rolling, and an all-night open bar. Everyone entering the event will be temperature checked, so come prepared with both your masquerade mask and your face mask.
Cost: $120

Jamestown VNYE
Jamestown VNYE | Photo Courtesy of Jamestown VNYE

Experience New Year’s Eve from Times Square

Whether you’ve never been to New York or you’re a homesick Atlanta transplant, Jamestown—the global real estate investment and management firm behind local spots like Ponce City Market and Buckhead Village—is bringing you an immersive, online experience that virtually transports you to Times Square. Dancing, gaming, and awaiting the epic New Year’s countdown are all a part of the VYNE, so get ready to join the virtual fun by signing up for the online experience in advance.
Cost: Free

End the year with some fresh air

One of the most positive byproducts of the pandemic was Atlanta’s collective move to outdoor, open-air events and activities. Keep that trend alive by closing out your 2020 with a night at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Starting at 9:30 pm on Thursday, the New Year’s in the Garden event welcomes Atlantans to experience a night of drinks and fireworks in addition to the holiday-themed Garden Lights, Holiday Nights attraction. 
Cost: $150-350 for single tickets; $300-550 per couple

Sign up here for our daily Atlanta email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the ATL has to offer.

Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist who can’t wait to get the hell out of 2020. Follow him on Instagram at @roshjobin.