How to Ring in New Year’s Eve in New Jersey

From dinner and dance parties to quiet activities at home, we've got a slew of ideas for greeting 2022 in the Garden State.

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to think about where you want to be as you say goodbye to 2021 and embrace a new year. Is it the hubbub of a good party you crave? An elegant dinner with friends? Or simply the chance to curl up at home? Below, a few of our favorite options to make your celebration a memorable one!

PARTY PEOPLE

Premier Nightclub at The Borgata

As New Jerseyans, we’re lucky enough to have one of the country’s entertainment meccas in our back pocket. There’s no denying that Atlantic City can deliver a party atmosphere almost any day of the year—so expect an amped-up version for New Year’s Eve. Anticipate lots of revelers, and plan accordingly!

DJs will be spinning through the weekend at Borgata’s Premier Nightclub, with a veritable light show pumping up the dance floor (the 11,200-square-foot venue accommodates up to 1,400 people). DJ Press Play will ring in the new year, while Loud Luxury will headline on New Year’s Day. Doors open at 10 pm; table service is available.

King room at The Borgata

Planning to dance the night away? Book a stay. Borgata’s got more than 2,000 rooms, a 161,000-square-foot gaming floor, two luxury spas and more than a dozen eateries, including newcomer American Bar & Grille.

Apple cider–glazed Atlantic salmon at Borgata’s American Bar & Grille

On the Boardwalk side of Atlantic City, NYE festivities at Showboat will take place in five different party areas, each with a different vibe. From a DJ dance party to live bands and lounge areas, there’s something for every mood. A five-hour open bar is included in the $79 general admission price; the $119 VIP package raises the bar with a buffet, plus extra hours at the bar and on the dance floor.

A crowd at a recent party at Bourre.

Photo by Steve Freeman Photography

AC’s gaming venues aren’t the only spots for fun on NYE. At Bourre, an anchor of the Orange Loop area, the music is always jumping. This venue regularly hosts live music, and New Year’s Eve is no different. Special guests and local musicians will join a DJ, and patrons can partake in karaoke and dancing. Doors open at 7 pm, and the $20 cover ($10 required in advance) includes a Champagne toast.

Congress Hall in Cape May

DINNER & SOME DANCING

The Glitter Ball at Congress Hall in Cape May will be a more formal affair than the aforementioned events. The ball begins with a cocktail hour, followed by a seated dinner and dancing.

Bedroom at Congress Hall

Overnight options at Congress Hall, including special packages with Champagne and breakfast, are available.

Photo by Lauren Kearns

The ricotta gnudi with chanterelle mushrooms, farm garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano, an item on the NYE menu at Ninety Acres. Photo by Lauren Kearns

At Ninety Acres in Peapack-Gladstone—regularly included on New Jersey Monthly‘s list of best restaurants—NYE dinner will feature a four-course prix-fixe menu. Reservations are being accepted via OpenTable for seatings between 4 and 9 pm.

La Popolari will have two NYE seatings.

La Popolari in Bloomfield, which opened in June, is hosting its first NYE bash with a four-course menu and dancing. Reservations are recommended for the BYO portion, which will have seatings between 6 and 9 pm ($45), and between 9 pm and midnight ($55).

Mama Dag’s Seafood and Pizza House in West Orange.

Mama Dag’s Seafood and Pizza House in West Orange will have NYE seatings, featuring Prosecco toasts, at 5, 6:30 and 8 pm. Last-minute planners can take take heart: Walk-ins are welcome after the seatings!

HOMEBODY PARTY

In these pandemic times, we’ve all learned to make staying home as special as possible. If you’re planning to lay low on New Year’s Eve this year, here are a few items to amp up your home celebrations.

City Bonfires provides an uber-portable way to add a little spark of romance.

Even if you don’t have a fireplace, NYE deserves some extra sparkle. Pop out a portable fire pit from City Bonfires to instantly turn up the heat.

Vegan marshmallows? That’s dandy!

After you’ve got a little fire burning, break out some s’mores! Vegan marshmallows from Dandies are a must-try. A loaded hot chocolate would be delicious, too.

Vesta’s hot chocolate gift set.

And, as hot chocolate goes, Vesta in Montclair offers it as rich and creamy as it comes. It’s pure luxury!

Finally, if you want to chill out with a movie until the clock strikes midnight, take in a film featuring Jersey pride galore.

Happy New Year!

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