Santa Cruz New Year’s Eve Events – Welcome 2020!

New Year's Eve Santa Cruz 2016

Get ready! 2020 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

When: 9:00 PM to 12:30 AM
Where: Boardwalk Bowl

Play! With live music from Hot Fuse, a champagne/apple cider toast at midnight, party favors and, of course, BOWLING, this is a supercharged way to strike the gong. For $135 per lane and up to 6 players, it’s also a great bargain.

Get more info here.

De-Stress Your Way to a New Year 

New Year’s Eve Candlelight Yoga

When: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: Pacific Cultural Center

Whether you plan to party all night, or turn in early, you can take the time to set your intentions for the coming year.  With two hours of all-level yoga and silent meditation, you can head into the New Year with consciousness and tranquility.

Get more info here.

Best Celebration for Families with Young Children

Early New Year’s Eve Skate

When: 7:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Where: Santa Cruz Roller Palladium

The best party on wheels is happening at the Roller Palladium. With games, the perennial limbo contest, prizes and party favors, this is a super fun EARLY way to celebrate.

Get more info here.

Farley’s Winter Wonderland – 13th Annual Holiday Lights Walk Through

When: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Where: Farley’s Winter Wonderland, 108 Seaview Avenue, Santa Cruz

The Christmas Spirit is alive and flourishing at this Seabright neighborhood home. Park your car and walk in; fantastical winter scenes await you, including miniature villages, fairy houses and giant nutcrackers. With a forest of 30 evergreen trees and lights throughout, this display has won the hearts of thousands over the years.

Get more info here.

Dress Up, Dine Out & Party in Style

New Year’s Eve at Chaminade

When: Dinner 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm; Bubbly & Dessert bar 10:00 pm – Midnight
Where: Chaminade Resort & Spa

The three course, prix fixe menu  includes a glass their Mo-zaik wine. Go for the dinner and stay for the Bubbly and Dessert bar. The $25 price includes two glasses of champagne and a buffet of sweet delectables, with a countdown to midnight.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve at Persephone

When: 5:30 pm & 8:00 pm dinner seatings
Where: Persephone Restaurant, Aptos

If you are in the mood for elegant haute cuisine, Persephone has curated a dining experience for the discerning palate. Two seatings, at 5:30 and 8:00, include a four course menu. Wine pairings, champagne and other beverages will also be available.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve at VIM – Sold Out

When: 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: VIM Restaurant, 2238 Mission St., Santa Cruz

Ring in the 2020’s harkening back to the roaring 1920’s. Get your outfit, make a reservation and come hungry for this five course new American dining experience. View the prix fixe menu here.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve at Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge

When: 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge, Dream Inn

Dedicated to local, sustainable cuisine with a Santa Cruz vibe, Jack O’Neill’s is serving up a delicious prix fixe dinner ($85/person, $125 with wine, children’s menu available). Live music and a fantastic view will make the evening unforgettable.

Get more info here.

5th Annual New Years Eve Party with THE LOST BOYS featuring JAMES DURBIN

When: 8:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Where: The Inn at Pasatiempo

For the fifth year running, James Durbin performs with the Lost Boys to rock out the old, rock in the new. The bar will be open, along with appetizers and desserts, and of course, dancing the night away. Note that tickets are sold in advance ONLY– no tickets available at the door.

Get more info here.

Bruno’s New Years Eve Party!

When: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Where: Bruno’s Bar and Grill

Bruno’s is catering to different tastes this year with a glow-in the dark pyjama dance party downstairs and Bourbon and Burlesque upstairs. Different packages are available which include various combinations of three-course dinner, dancing and the burlesque show.

Get more info here.

NYE Bash at Lúpulo

When: 9:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Where: Lúpulo Craft Beer House

All the hip folks will be heading to Lupulo for the craft beers, dance party hosted by @aloexvera, and midnight balloon drop and champagne toast.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve Party at Severino’s

When: 6:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Where: Severino’s Bar & Grill at Seacliff Inn

Join Alex Lucero & Live Again for fun and hard rocking tunes. Severino’s serves up a 4-course dinner, complete with party favors and champagne toast.

Get more info here.

Beachfront Dance Parties with Local Bands

New Year’s Eve Party with FishHook

When: 9:30 pm to 12:30 am
Where: The Crow’s Nest

The band FishHook will rock the house. Celebrate with the right accessories: balloons, blowers and party hats.

Get more info here.

Rock in The New Year with Bump “the band”

When: 9:30 pm to 12:30 pm
Where: Paradise Beach Grille

Welcome 2019 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.

Zelda’s NYE Party

When: 9:30 pm
Where: Zelda’s on the Beach

Drink specials and party favors all night long while Soulwise provides the reggae grooves. Opening for Soulwise will be Wild Flower and the Bees.

Get more info here.

Additional NYE Dining:

Club Scene: The Best NYE Shows in Santa Cruz

New Year’s Eve at the Lab

When: 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: DNA’s Comedy Lab

If you need a good laugh, and who doesn’t, let the funny people at DNA Comedy Lab help you forget your troubles. They are doing NYE East Coast style, so at 9:00 pm sharp, be prepared to ring in the new year.

Get more info here.

New Year’s Eve Dance Party w/ The Inciters and Infamous Swanks

When: 9:00 PM
Where: The Crepe Place 

New Year’s Eve Party begins at 9:00 pm. $10 Cover charge includes bubbly toast at midnight. The Inciters will rock the house with their big band soul sound. Advance tickets recommended.

Get more info here.

(((folkYEAH))) Presents New Years Eve with THE MOTHER HIPS + The Coffis Brothers

When:  9:00 PM
Where: Moe’s Alley

The Mother Hips have been known for their grooving live performances for over two decades now, and are joined by local favorites the Coffis Brothers.

Get more info here.

Felton Music Hall presents Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra

When: Doors 7:00 pm; Show 8:00 pm
Where: Felton Music Hall

Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra with special guests the Rainbow Girls play at this classic Felton venue with drinks and plenty of room for dancing.

Get more info here.

More NYE Events Coming Soon!

Submit your New Year’s Eve events here and check back often as new events are added throughout the holiday season.

New Year’s Day Activities

California State Parks 8th Annual First Day Hikes

Santa Cruz First Day Hikes 2018

When: January 1, 2020
Where: California State Parks
Cost: There is a $10 vehicle day use fee for most Santa Cruz District parks. First Day Hikes are free.

Fifty California State Parks will host over 60 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 Meridith Cook

Meridith Cook came to Santa Cruz 18 years ago from Minnesota. She is a freelance writer and mother of 3 who enjoys exploring the beauty and culture of this unique community. Visit her website at