The Absolute Best Ways to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Seattle

Toast to the end of 2020.

The Walrus and the Carpenter oysters
The Walrus and the Carpenter oysters | Photo by Eric Tra
The Walrus and the Carpenter oysters | Photo by Eric Tra

Is anyone sad to say goodbye to 2020? Probably not, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s been one hell of a ride, and a year with this much insanity demands a stylish—and safe—exit. And while standard New Year’s celebrations are pretty much nonexistent this year, that doesn’t mean we can’t get festive. Ahead, there’s plenty to see and do, regardless of whether or not you plan on leaving your house. So put on your party shoes and get ready to bid farewell to a year like no other. Say hello to 2021, Seattle. Here’s hoping it goes better than the last one. 

Space Needle
New Year's Eve 2019 | Courtesy of the Space Needle

Watch the Space Needle light up over live stream

New Year’s Eve, starting at 11:35 pm
Your home
Though the annual end-of-year festivities at Seattle Center are cancelled this season, coronavirus can’t stop the Space Needle from lighting up the sky on December 31. To the naked eye, the tower will simply appear hot pink, but if you tune into KING 5—or the live stream video—you’ll see the real magic appear (thanks to some sky-mapping technology and real video footage).
Cost: Free

Put your dancing shoes on for the Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve, starting at 11:40 am
Your home
Who says you have to celebrate the New Year at midnight? Get an early start on the party by joining the Seattle Aquarium’s Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve, which, as you’ve probably guessed, kicks off around midday. You’ll need festive attire for this one—Mikey the Rad Scientist is supplying music for what will be one heck of a dance party.
Cost: Free

Dazzle your New Year’s date with a self-guided tour of LUSIO

New Year’s Eve
Pioneer Square
Brave the cold for an impressive display of light exhibits by local artists with a visit to LUSIO, a new installation in Pioneer Square. If nothing else, this may be the most beautiful way to welcome 2021; check out the map to locate all nine exhibits here
Cost: Free

The Walrus and the Carpenter
The Walrus and the Carpenter | Photo by Eric Tra

Treat yourself to the prix-fixe dinner dreams are made of

New Year’s Eve
If there was ever an appropriate time for indulgence, it’s on the last day of the year. Pay a visit to The Walrus and the Carpenter, aka Ballard’s hippest establishment, for a special prix fixe dinner that includes salmon caviar, half a dozen oysters, ravioletto, and more. 
Cost: $125 per person

Ring in the New Year with a rooftop toast at Terra Plata

New Year’s Eve
Capitol Hill
One way to avoid indoor dining in style? Try Terra Plata’s rooftop. The “earth to plate” concept restaurant will be serving a special menu on New Year’s Eve, complete with a midnight rooftop toast (weather permitting). 
Cost: $$-$$$

Kick off 2021 with a polar bear plunge

New Year’s Day
Lake Sammamish State Park
It’s time to put your game face on. The annual Lake Sammamish Polar Plunge is back, and colder than ever. Grab your $10 ticket at the link above (proceeds go to Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park) and pick a time slot for your ice cold dip. 
Cost: $10

Start working on your New Year’s Resolution with a fun run (and a box of poptarts)

Jan 1 - 4
Redmond, Washington (or anywhere else)
Before you ask: No, we’re not joking. Compete in The Pop Tart Run (either in person in Redmond or virtually, aka anywhere in Washington State) and receive a box of poptarts. Just run anytime between New Year’s Day and January 4. Easy as pie! 
Cost: $28-35

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