UPDATED 12/20/16

Breckenridge is the No. 1 place to be in the Colorado Rockies on New Year’s Eve. Town is a great place to get social and make new friends on New Year’s Eve. Breckenridge is known for being laid-back and friendly, and that holds true on one of the country’s biggest holidays. Whether you want to ooh and ahh over fireworks, dance, have a romantic dinner or make out with a stranger at midnight, you’ve come to the right place.

For the kids:

Kids ages 5-13 are invited to join the Glow Worm parade–it gives a similar effect as the torchlight parade, except they’re skiing green terrain with glow sticks to give the appearance of a New Year’s glow worm. Registration begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Beaver Run Ski and Snowboard School, and the parade begins at 5:45 p.m. Participants must be able to stop and turn on green terrain. Weather permitting

Breckenridge's New Year's Eve fireworks display is weather-dependent but low clouds can make for a spectacular show. Photo by Arthur Balluff.

Breckenridge’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is weather-dependent but low clouds can make for a spectacular show. Photo by Arthur Balluff

New Year’s Eve Torchlight parade:

A long-standing tradition, Breckenridge Ski & Snowboard School carries torches from the top of Peak 9, down American to the Village in the New Year’s Eve torchlight parade. Après drinks at the Maggie (located at The Village base area) or the Coppertop (located at Beaver Run) is a great way to catch the perfect view of skiers and riders illuminating the mountain; however, you can see it from anywhere that has views of Peak 9. The parade begins at 6:00 p.m. Weather permitting

New Year’s Eve Fireworks:

Since the fireworks over Peak 9 don’t start until 9 p.m., skiers and riders have plenty of time to change out of ski clothes following the torchlight parade. With clear weather, the show can be seen from most locations throughout town. Weather permitting

Other top picks for New Year’s:

Not into crowds? Consider an evening snowshoe or ski tour up -- you just might catch an incredible viewpoint for fireworks, and you'll have it all to yourself. Photo by Liam Doran

Prefer to earn your New Year’s cocktails? Consider an evening snowshoe or ski tour — you’ll catch an incredible viewpoint for fireworks, and you just might meet like-minded friends. Photo by Liam Doran

Take a jaunt in the woods: Hit the outdoors by night with a group of friends snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If getting your heart rate up sounds like the best bet to ring in the New Year, head up to Boreas Pass road. Taking a brisk walk or ski on the very wide and largely empty snowy road with a flask of something strong and warm is bound to be one of your more memorable year kickoffs.

Join the dance party at Cecilia’s: If getting rowdy in a crowd is how you want to spend the evening, hit Summit County’s liveliest dance floor where the party goes well into the wee hours on New Year’s Day. Make your toast with champagne in one hand and the bar’s dance pole in the other. “Every year, it is pretty much THE party of the year,” said Cecilia’s bartender John Mackey.

Late-night parties: Those looking for a lively night out should check out Liquid Lounge for DJs and dancing. Napper Tandy’s typically throws a great party, as does Burke and Riley’s. At Brooklyn’s Billiards, mix with the crowd or ask about bottle service packages. And, head to the Gold Pan Saloon or the MotherLoaded Tavern for a more casual atmosphere that still holds plenty of fun. Most bars throughout town will celebrate with drink or shot specials and a champagne toast.

Modis is serving holiday themed specials all month long. It's one of many options for a fabulous New Year's Eve dinner on the town.

Modis, like many restaurants, typically offers up a special holiday menu for New Year’s Eve.

Nice dinners: From The Warming Hut, Relish, and Blue River Bistro to classics such as Briar Rose and Hearthstone, Breckenridge offers a variety of great meal options on New Year’s Eve. For ideas, see the list of holiday dinners, and remember, it’s never too early to make reservations for this popular night on the town.

New Year’s Eve transportation around Breckenridge

First and foremost: don’t drink and drive! While Uber recently debuted in Breckenridge and the surrounding area, locals know that the free buses (or your own two feet) are the most reliable source of New Year’s Eve transportation. The Breckenridge Free Ride offers special late-night service (until 2:15 a.m.) on New Year’s Eve while the Summit Stage typically continues on its normal schedule.

New Year’s Day in Breckenridge

With so many late-night activities, New Year’s morning tends to be an excellent and quiet time to hit the slopes.

Breckenridge Resolution Run: This 5k snow run (or snowshoe) sponsored by Vertical Runner is a great way to kick off the new year on the right foot–and if you happened to stay out a little late, the event doesn’t start ’til 11 a.m. A post-race party, finisher gifts and prizes round out the event.  Check out the website for registration and details.

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