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Your Guide to New Year's Eve in Edmonton

by Linda Hoang

Let Linda Hoang, popular Edmonton-based blogger of food, travel and lifestyle, be your guide to all the awesome things to do in Edmonton for New Year's Eve. Linda is also a digital strategist at marketing and communications agency, Calder Bateman, and the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival, which celebrates cats, cat people, and raises money for local cat rescues. Give her a follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, or tag her @lindork to keep the conversation going!

New Year's Eve in Edmonton

It’s that time of year! How are you celebrating New Year’s Eve in Edmonton? There’s a lot going on in the city, events for whatever mood you’re in or tastes you’ve got. Each year I put together a list of New Year’s Eve events around Edmonton that pique my interest. Here’s an initial list of events and ideas to help you ring in the new year. May it be your very best year yet!

Photo credit: Anthony P. Jones via City of Edmonton Photo Gallery

1. CITY OF EDMONTON NEW YEAR’S EVE AND CANADA 150 IN DOWNTOWN EDMONTON
Time: Evening to midnight 
Location: Alberta Legislature Grounds (note the location change from Churchill Square)
Cost: Free
Details: New Year’s Eve 2018 will wrap up a year of celebrations for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The New Year’s Eve Downtown celebration and fireworks show is moving to the Alberta Legislature Grounds. The free, family-friendly New Year’s Eve party will take place from 6:00-9:00 pm, culminating with a fireworks show at 9:00 pm.

2. WORLD WATERPARK’S NEW YEAR’S EVE BEACH BALL
Time: 6:00pm to midnight
Location: West Edmonton Mall's World Water Park
Cost: Individual: $30. Family Packs of 4-7: $99 – $174
Details: Start the year off right at the annual New Year’s Eve Family Beach Ball, presented by World Waterpark. Celebrate with family and friends in a tropical environment, splashing in the world’s largest indoor wave pool and speeding down waterslides! The night will end with a bang and a one-of-a-kind indoor fireworks display.

Sugar swing your way into the new year! Photo Credit: Sugar Swing Dance Club/d John Koob.

3. NEW YEAR’S GALA AT SUGAR SWING: “THAT OLD MAGIC.”
Time: Beginner Lesson: 8:00pm Dance: 9:00pm to 2:00am.
Location: Sugar Swing Dance Club, 10019 80 Ave.
Cost: Before Dec. 18: $40 for members / $45 for students and out-of-towners / $50 regular
After Dec. 18: $45 for members / $50 for students and out-of-towners / $55 regular
Details: Step into the silver screen for New Years Eve at Sugar Swing! This year’s bash is a nod to the magic and glamour of silent film. Sugar Swing is especially excited to welcome a live band, The Seven Deadly Syncopators, playing all your favourite swing dance tunes! Dress to the nines — in black and white — or get in character as a silent film movie star. Think Charlie Chaplain, Theda Bara, Buster Keaton, Clara Bow, and the famous heroes, villains and fantastic creatures from the early age of film. A beginner dance lesson will get you on your feet and all set for an evening of revelry. 

4. NORTHLANDS A NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION: MARDI GRAS STYLE!
Time: Doors open: 5:30pm Post time: 6:30pm.
Location: 
Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino (7410 Borden Park)
Cost: 
$75/person
Details: 
Ring in the new year with bright colours, beads and festive fun at Northlands Park Racetrack & Casino. Your ticket to the Mardi Gras themed celebration will get you access to a delicious Colours Restaurant buffet dinner and entries to over $10,000 worth of prize draws, as well as live Harness Racing and Casino entertainment. After the races, visit the casino for a chance to win your share of cash and prizes including a trip for two to New Orleans and a grand prize cash draw for $2,500! The Paddock Theatre will feature a live DJ and dance floor!

Bundok is one of many, many Edmonton restaurants running special menus for New Year’s Eve!

5. NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER AT YOUR FAVOURITE EDMONTON RESTAURANT
Time: You pick! 
Location: Your choice. Most restaurants in Edmonton have New Year’s Eve special menus and seatings for dinner. Call your favourite restaurant to see what they’ve got going on, or check out their Facebook page or Facebook events. You can also check Open Tables list of NYE Restaurant Specials!
Cost:
Varies. 
Details: You spend a pretty big chunk of the year eating, so it would make sense to wrap up 2017 by eating at one of your favourite spots, or try a new one! No better occasion to try that restaurant you’ve been meaning to visit than New Year’s Eve! (Note: New Year’s Day brunch is also very popular!) 

6. NEW YEAR’S EVE COMEDY AT THE COMIC STRIP
Time: 7:00pm or 10:00pm shows 
Location: The Comic Strip, West Edmonton Mall
Cost: $30-$72.95 (depending on time of show and inclusion of dinner!)
Details: This New Years Eve The Comic Strip is pleased to present Jamie Lissow from Real Rob on Netflix! Jamie is the perfect act to send off 2017 and bring in 2018! He’s a Comic Strip favourite and was instrumental in helping The Comic Strip raise almost $200,000 for the Ft. McMurray fire victims. Come see this stand-up guy do stand-up comedy! 
Alternatively: try the New Year’s Eve comedy show at Yuk Yuks! 

7. NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER THEATRE
Time: various, depending on location
Location: Mayfield Dinner Theatre or Jubilations Dinner Theatre
Cost: $80-$110 (depending on seats/venue)
Details: Have you ever gone to a dinner theatre? It’s a lot of fun! Ring in the new year with an 80s-themed show at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre, or a dinner theatre twist on a modern TV show hit at Jubilations. Their respective descriptions:

Back to the 80s Part – EXCELLENT!!!: The Mayfield once again dials you back to the 1980’s with an all-new adventure! Join Bill and Ted in their time traveling phone booth as they blast back to the 80’s to relive the bad hairdos, spandex pants, iconic characters and, of course, its most excellent mix-tape of memorable music! This year’s gnarly holiday musical revue is going to make you howl, and maybe even groan a bit, as you relive some of the decade’s most excellent and non-excellent moments. The totally tubular cast will revisit the music from such rad artists as Prince, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and countless others. We dare you to not sing or dance along (some restrictions may apply)! So get ready to take a chill pill and rewind back in time to the crazy 80‘s as they rock out in this NEW most excellent musical adventure!

Orange is the New Pink: Piper is pretty in pink and the life of every party, but when this queen of the New York party scene takes it a bit too far, she’s forced to trade in the pink party dress for an orange prison suit! Join us as Jubilations Dinner Theatre puts a G rated twist on a modern TV sensation. Set to a selection of Billboards all-time greatest hits, Orange is the new Pink is a musical comedy that will leave you laughing all night, and singing all the way home!!

Cirque-style show at the New Year’s Eve Gala! (Photo Credit: Edmonton International New Year’s Eve Gala)

8. EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA
Time: Cocktails/silent auction: 7:00pm, dinner/cirque variety shows: 8:00pm, dance: 10:00pm.
Location: Fantasyland Hotel, West Edmonton Mall
Cost: $160/per person.
Details: A spectacular evening of food, fun and entertainment in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Guests will experience circus variety shows featuring captivating displays of contortion and aerial acrobatics.

9. LIVE MUSIC NEW YEAR’S EVE
Time: Varies, depending on show
Location: Varies, depending on show
Cost: Varies, depending on show
Details: Ring in 2018 with live performances! There are countless bands playing live shows all over Edmonton for New Year’s Eve. Shout Out Out Out Out will be at The Common, The Boom Booms will be at On The Rocks, Chixdiggit at The Buckingham, and more. Find a live show that fits your tastes on YEGLive

10. MAKE YOUR OWN NYE EXPLORE EDMONTON ADVENTURE
Time: You pick!
Location: You pick! 
Cost: Probably a few hundred dollars if you’re doing activities and grabbing food! 
Details: Make your own New Year’s Eve Explore Edmonton Adventure! What were some of your favourite places to visit in 2017? Restaurants to eat at? Activities to do? Stretch out your New Year’s Eve so it’s an all day affair. Start with a your favourite brunch spot of the year, visit one of your favourite bakeries, go to your favourite park or river valley trail, visit your favourite local stores, do some impromptu photo shoots at some of your favourite Instagrammable Walls of Edmonton, do a New Year’s Eve dinner at your favourite restaurant, and if you miss the fireworks because they’re earlier this year (9 p.m.) just head to one of the city’s best spots for a view out to our beautiful skyline. Imagine taking in that breathtaking view (fireworks or not), as you close one year and start another! 

Don’t forget to check out Eventbrite’s Edmonton New Year’s Eve listings! That’s really just a little bit of what’s happening in Edmonton for New Year’s Eve. No matter what you end up doing, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and friends! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Linda