Free and Cheap Things to Do on New Year's Eve in Atlanta

Ready to ring in the new year without breaking the bank?
  • Let history's splendor inspire your new year at the High.
    Let history's splendor inspire your new year at the High.
  • Build something new at LEGOLAND for 'Noon Year's Eve.'
    Build something new at LEGOLAND for 'Noon Year's Eve.'
  • Experience a dino-friendly celebration 65 million years in the making. (2014, Gene Phillips)
    Experience a dino-friendly celebration 65 million years in the making. (2014, Gene Phillips)

Updated Nov. 29, 2017

Sure, you can dust off the little black dress or tuxedo and celebrate the new year at a big bash, but maybe you’d just as soon spend a little (or nothing) and wear your lucky jeans to ring in 2018. If the latter sounds more like you, check our list for free and cheap things to do on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta.

Freebies

  • New Year’s Eve Bash The Battery Atlanta . The kids/family party starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. DJ Rekka appears on the Fox Stage, and stage show performances include Panfilov Trained Pets and James Maltman Circus Acts. The Heavy Hitters and Home Depot Tools make appearances. Also, Hope & Will’s Sandlot at SunTrust Park is open, and the ice skating rink stays open until 7 p.m. Admission to The Battery is free, but you will need to spend some cash inside. The adult party begins at 9 and runs until 12:30 p.m. DJ Rekka remains on the Fox Stage; stage show performances feature Fear No Ice plus aerialists and acrobats. Charles Esten from CMT’s Nashville is the featured performance at the Georgia Power Pavilion. Of course, there is a countdown to New Year’s, with fireworks, at midnight. Intrepid folks stay for a late-night party. Admission to The Battery is free, but some things inside will require payment. All parking decks are open.

Cheapies

  • New Year’s Eve Artstravaganza/NYE Balloon-Drop Ball . This two-part event starts with a cultural evening of art, music and food. The 7:30 to 9 p.m. events are open to children, and kiddos younger than 10 do not need a ticket. Starting at 10 p.m. and going until 2 a.m., the adult New Year’s Eve party begins. See the midnight balloon drop plus fireworks from the balcony and patio. Price is $15. The balloon drop is for those 18 years and older.

  • The Earl. Punk Atlanta trio The Coathangers performs. Expect a little classic rock mixed with country ballads and golden oldies pop and, of course, the band’s punk sounds. $20 advance; $25 day of show.

  • Dad's Garage Theatre New Year's Eve Show . There are two shows, one starting at 7 p.m. for those who want to ring in the New Year somewhere else and one starting at 10 p.m. for those wanting to ring in the New Year with funny people. Expect a cavalcade of ridiculous improvised games and scenes. Adults only. $30.50 online; $32.50 by phone and at door. VIP, $40.50 online; $42.50 by phone (not available at door).  Laugh your way into 2018.

  • Variety Playhouse NYE. Hear rock-fusion four-piece band TAUK, featuring Naughty Horns with special guest Naughty Professor. Adults only. Cost is $25 to $30.

  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History Noon Year’s Eve. Ring in the New Year early with Atlanta’s biggest party animals. Uh, that’d be dinosaurs. This family celebration includes a countdown to a balloon drop at noon. There are separate special tickets for the party (and they include general admission and all exhibits). Prices are as follows: $8 for members and $20 for non-members. If you want the party plus a movie on the giant screen, the price is $14 members and $26 non-members.

  • Kids’ Early New Year’s Eve Celebration at Stone Mountain Park. Kids can celebrate the New Year and still get to bed early. Festivities include costumed characters, music and dance-a-longs. The early countdown begins at 8:59 p.m., and when the clock strikes 9 p.m. snow and fireworks usher in the New Year. Early New Year’s Eve is included with the Christmas Adventure Pass, which runs $31.95 for adults and $29.95 for children.

  • Skyline Park’s Noon Year’s Eve . Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with music, a balloon artist and more. The countdown begins at 11:59 a.m.,  followed by a balloon release. $15.

  • New Year’s Eve Bubble Bash at The Children’s Museum. This  NYE party for kids features a live DJ, games, bubble wrap fireworks and a confetti-countdown to the new year. Session 1 runs from  10 a.m. to  12: 30 p.m.; session 2 from  2 p.m. to  4:30 p.m. $8 members, $18 non-members.   

Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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