Santa Cruz New Year’s Eve Events – Welcome 2018!

New Year's Eve Santa Cruz 2016

Get ready! 2018 is ready to make a grand entrance, which means it’s time to celebrate!

Whether you’re into a casual kind of evening or want to make it a formal affair, there are plenty of exciting choices for an evening filled with music, dancing or even bowling. Maybe you just want a quiet evening of food and drink out on the town. Whatever strikes your fancy this New Year’s Eve, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve broken out this year’s Santa Cruz New Year’s Eve events into categories to help you find just what you’re looking for:

The Best Way to Stay Active, Listen to Live Music & Ring in the New Year Without Dancing

New Year’s Eve Bowling at Boardwalk Bowl

boardwalk bowlWhen: 9:00 PM to 12:30 AM
Where: Boardwalk Bowl
Cost: $119 per lane

This event always sells out so make your reservations early! Your lane fee includes Atomic Bowling, shoe rental, party favors and a glass of champagne or apple cider at midnight.

Local band, Cruzah, will be playing at Coasters starting at 9:30 PM. Entertainment at Coasters is free but if you plan on bowling then call (831) 426-3324 soon to make reservations.

Get more info here.

Ring in the New Year at 1440

When: 12/31 – 1/1 from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am
Where: 1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley
Cost: $80 + $6.51 fee

Looking for something different to do this New Year’s Eve? Multiversity is offering a healthy and relaxing start to the new year with an evening of dinner, a walking meditation and kirtan music by Wah!. Enjoy appetizers, drinks and desserts until midnight. Overnight packages are available.

Get more info here.

Best Celebration for Families with Young Children

Happy Noon Year! New Year Kid-Style with MOD!

CMOD Santa Cruz 2018 NYE

When: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where: Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery
Cost: $10 for children with accompanying adult. Free for members. 

Who says you have to wait until midnight to celebrate the New Year? If you’ve got little ones that won’t be up at midnight then head to the Children’s Museum of Discovery in the Capitola Mall for a mid-day New Year’s Eve celebration. Space is limited so you’ll want to reserve a spot ahead of time.

Get more info here.

Dress Up, Dine Out & Party in Style

New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Soiree at Chaminade

When: 7:00 PM to 12:30 AM
Where: Chaminade Hotel & Resort
Cost: Party Only – $160. Overnight packages also available starting at $499. 

Have a roaring ’20s experience while ringing in 2018. The New Year’s Eve package includes appetizers, dinner, dancing as well as a beverage package, too. Enjoy a performance by The John Michael Band until 12:30.

Reserve quickly, a limited number of packages available. Call the resort directly to make reservations: 831-475-5600.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve Party at Severino’s

When: 6:30 PM – 1:00 AM
Where: Severino’s Bar & Grill at Seacliff Inn
Cost: $109 per person

Severino’s will host a New Year’s Party complete with fine food, dancing and live music. Rock in the new year with music by Joint Chiefs from 9pm-1am. Dinner seating times from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.

Dinner and hotel packages are available. For more information, or to make a reservation, call (831) 688-8987.

Click here for to view New Year’s Eve Menu

Get more info here.

Champagne & Chocolate Dinner at Chocolate on Pacific

When: 5:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: Chocolate on Pacific
Cost: $55 per person

A Prix fixe four-course dinner of champagne, chocolate and culinary magic to delight your palate. A variety of creations featuring chocolate like you may never have experienced before. Reservations are highly recommended.

Get more info here.

Celebrate 2018 with Soif

When: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Where: Soif Wine Bar and Merchants
Cost: $75 per person for meal, $40 for added wine pairing option

Enjoy a 5-course prix fixe dinner with the option of an added wine pairing. Limited number of reservations are available, reserve your spot soon.

Get more info here.

Malabar New Year’s Eve Dinner + Dancing Competition

When: 12/31 from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am
Where: Malabar Restaurant

Order off the dinner menu from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm and then stay to watch or show off your moves at the dancing competition from 10:00 pm until 11:30 pm. Enjoy beverages, desserts and live African music by Saturday Night Stars until midnight.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve with The River Arkansas

When: 12/31 from 9:00 pm to 12:30 am
Where: lille æske
Cost: $35 SOLD OUT

This Colorado-based band will be bringing a mixture of country, folk, blues and Americana to Boulder Creek for a musical New Year’s Eve celebration. Complimentary appetizers and a champagne toast included.

Get more info here.

Beachfront Dance Parties with Local Bands

New Year’s Eve Party at the Crow’s Nest with FishHook

When: 9:30 PM
Where: The Crow’s Nest
Cost: $15

Rock in the New Year at the Crow’s Nest with local band FishHook and dance the night away with covers of your favorite rock & roll hits. Cover price includes balloons, blowers and good old New Year’s Eve party hats!

Get more info here.

New Year’s Celebration at Cafe Rio with Tsunami Band

When: Dinner from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Band 9:00 PM to after midnight.
Where: Cafe Rio
Cost: Free for dining guests, $10 cover otherwise.

Enjoy a great New Year’s Eve dining experience by the water at Rio Del Mar. Afterwards, stay to welcome in the New Year with live music by Tsunami Band and their high energy performance of R&B and rock from the 60s and 70s musical era.

Get more info here.

Rock in The New Year with The Billy Martini Show!

When: 12/31 at 9:30 pm to 12:30 pm
Where: Paradise Beach Grille

Welcome 2018 with a rocking good show, delicious food and a full service bar. Start the New Year out in style with dinner and dancing along the beachfront in Capitola Village.

Get more info here.

Club Scene: The Best NYE Shows in Santa Cruz

Dan Juan New Years Extravaganza!

When: 9:00 PM
Where: The Crepe Place
Cost: $10

A mix of alt-country and indie-rock, this band’s main objective is to have fun. Enjoy an evening of original and lively sound that will surely ring in 2018 with style. Advance tickets available.

Get more info here.

Fortunate Youth at the Catalyst

When: 9:00 PM
Where: Catalyst
Cost: $25 Advance, $29 at the door

Fortunate Youth is a collaboration of Bay Area reggae top performers combining their sounds and expertise that will start your year off on the right note. Also performing are Iya Terra and Animo Cruz. Doors open at 8:00.

Get more info here.

New Years Eve with Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra plus Whiskerman

When:  9:00 PM
Where: Moe’s Alley
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 day of show

Bring a little soul into the new year with the distinctive sounds of this band that range from gospel blues, folk and soul to heavy driving guitar. Special guest band, Whiskerman.

Get more info here.

NYE 2018 Black & White Unity Ball

When: 12/31 from 9:30 pm to 1:30 am
Where: Motiv

An event with the goal of starting the new year off by celebrating diversity among people. Dress up for a night of unity, dancing and music from DJ Eden Rock.

Get more info here.

Abbott Square Market NYE Extravaganza!

When:  7:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Where: Abbott Square Market Outdoor Patio
Cost: TBA – Visit website for details

Celebrate the new year with a fusion of old school funk, progressive rock and blues from local band Jive Machine. There will be guest performances and surprises.

Get more info here.

IDEAL New Year’s Party

When: 12/31 from 9:30 pm to 2:00 am
Where: Ideal Bar & Grill
Cost: No Cover 

Say goodbye to 2017 and welcome the new year in style as Ideal Bar transforms into Ideal Night Club, with three DJs playing all the top tracks from the late 90s to today (hip-hop/dance/ top 40 / EDM/ reggaeton). Champagne toast at midnight!

Get more info here.

The Best Way to Ring in ’18 Like it’s ’68

China Cats Grateful Dead Tribute at Don Quixote’s

China Cats Grateful Dead Tribute BandWhen: 9:00 PM
Where: Don Quixote’s
Cost: $35 for music only, $89-$99 for dinner packages

The China Cats bring their Grateful Dead tribute act back to Don Quixote’s on New Year’s Eve. This band pays homage to the music of the Grateful Dead while incorporating a sound all of their own. Dinner packages are by advanced ticket sales only.

Get more info here.

Additional New Year’s Eve Events and Dinners

New Year’s Day Activities

California State Parks First Day Hikes

Santa Cruz First Day Hikes 2018

When: January 1, 2016
Where: California State Parks
Cost: Free hosted hikes, park day use parking fees apply

Fifty California State Parks will host over 80 hikes on New Year’s Day. Spend the first day of the year discovering new hikes and learning more about our beautiful state parks. Day use fee covers entrance into any California State Park for that entire day, so it’s a great opportunity to explore the many parks in our county as well as the adjoining counties.

Get all the details and a list of parks here.

Happy new year and happy trails!

About Valerie Lemke

Valerie Lemke is a transplant from the Bay Area to Santa Cruz County over 25 years ago, and hasn't looked back since. She is a local freelance writer and photographer who loves writing about and photographing one of the most beautiful regions in the world, the Central Coast.