Unique Ways to Bring in the New Year in Washington

2020 is right around the corner and people are starting to scramble for their year-end plans. Whether you want a low-key night to reflect on the past year, an all-night dance party, or anything in between, you’ll find the perfect way to welcome the new year right here in Washington State.


Seattle Space Needle Fireworks

What New Year’s post would be complete without mentioning the show-stopping fireworks that launch off the iconic Space Needle in downtown Seattle? At midnight the entire city steps outside to watch the sky light up with colorful explosions. If you want to bring in the new year in style then we have a couple of the best viewpoints to make your night a memorable one. 

  • At the Seattle Center: The base of the Space Needle hosts one of the best public parties in the state with dancing and music starting at 8 and running until the fireworks take over the sky. 
  • On a Washington State Ferry: While some people strictly use these ferries for commuting, you can hop on one right before midnight to get a front-row seat to the show. For a perfectly-timed ride, head over to Bremerton for a New Year’s dinner and catch the 11:10 fireworks ferry on the way back. 
  • At Seacrest Park: One of the best-kept secret spots is set on a West Seattle beach overlooking the bay, with downtown in the background. Watch the sky explode with light while ferries meander along the bay, all from Seacrest Park. Bring a blanket and snuggle up with your friends and family for an intimate new tradition. 


New Year’s Eve at Alpental

For a one-of-a-kind, North Cascades ski party, head up Hwy 90 past to Snoqualmie Pass. Every year Alpental Ski Area throws an outrageous party complete with live music, dancing all night, campfires, and a torch-light parade. If you’ve never witnessed this ski tradition, then it’s worth the trip. At 11:50pm, a faint red glow starts at the top of the hill and you’ll see a line of skiers holding red torches make their way down the hill. As the clock strikes midnight, the sky will light up with colors as you ring in the new year with this unique, ski-obsessed community. 


New Year’s Eve Pandemonium at the Seattle Symphony

A yearly tradition for many Seattle-ites is to visit the Seattle Symphony for their annual New Year’s Eve show and afterparty. This year the Seattle Symphony takes the stage with performer extraordinaire Meow Meow for New Year’s Eve Pandemonium. This sensational partnership will take your breath away with the sheer complexity of their sound, then bring it all right back with roaring laughter from this devilishly funny set. After the show, your ticket grants you access to a post-concert party filled with champagne and dancing through the countdown and beyond. Don’t worry about drinking and driving or paying for a surge-priced Uber as you can stay at the cozy 11th Avenue Inn which is only 1.5 miles away in the famed Capitol Hill neighborhood. 


Port Townsend’s Wildlife Cruise & First Night Celebration:

Wildlife Cruise: Just off the coast of Port Townsend lies a small island that is uninhabited by humans, but acts as a refuge for wildlife and some of Washington’s most precious species. While you cannot visit this idyllic island on your own, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center offers wildlife cruises to those wishing to seize the unique opportunity to view the island and the rare birds that reside on it. The cruises are rare, but every year on New Year’s Eve, a cruise sets out to catch a glimpse of this diverse habitat. 

First Night Celebration of Art & Heritage: After your cruise, head into town for the annual First Night Community Celebration of Art & Heritage. This family-friendly gathering is the perfect event for a low-key celebration. There will be food and drinks throughout the town, live theater on the streets, square dancing, live raptors from the Northwest Raptor & Wildlife Center, and fireworks show at 9:00pm. 


Mt. Hood New Year’s Eve Extravaganza 

Head down south to Stevenson on the Columbia River Gorge to ring in the new year. While it’s technically across the Washington/Oregon border, spending the last day of 2019 at Mt. Hood is an absolute blast. The New Year’s Eve Extravaganza at the Mt. Hood Ski Bowl is truly a unique way to bring in the new year. Bring your skis and a warm winter jacket as the lifts stay open all the way until 2 am! There is also family-friendly cosmic tubing running all the way until midnight and winter games all over the mountain. After you’re finished partying the night away, you can drop down into the Gorge and start 2020 off back in your luxury lodging at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins


Bling in the New Year Marathon & Half Marathon

If you don’t want to wait until January 1st to start your new year’s resolution, hit the hay and get to bed early! Rising before the break of dawn for a marathon or half marathon just east of Everett in the quaint town of Snohomish is the perfect way to start 2020 off on the right foot (literally). This marathon course takes you along the river and through the Snohomish woods on a railroad grade path. You may just find yourself with a new annual tradition!


Pybus New Year’s Eve Celebration

Starting at 7 o’clock people start gathering at the Pybus Public Market, a large indoor market place in Wenatchee that is a mix between bustling shoppers and comfortable ambiance. Two sets of live music take over the night and keep everyone warm and dancing until the big event. Instead of watching the New York ball drop on a TV, Pybus decided to do something a little more unique. At 9 pm and midnight, a brightly-lit apple will drop from the ceiling, a tradition unique to the Apple Capital of the World. 


Whether you decide to ski into the new year, spend the night with your friends and family while watching fireworks cover the night sky, or celebrating a giant, lit-up apple fall drop from above, Washington has a little something for everyone. 


Bring in the new year in your own unique way and let Washington INNSiders help you pick out the perfect B&B, inn, or hotel for your getaway!