Print URL:

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 31

By Times staff
Published: December 28, 2017 Updated: December 28, 2017 at 12:54 PM
TP_390366_SANT_weekend Luis Santana | Times (1/1/2015 Tampa, FL) DJ Magic Mike performs on stage for a crowd of thousands at Jackson's Bistro annual New Years Eve celebration in Tampa.[Photo Luis Santana | Times]

NYE 2018: The waterfront venue’s 20th annual New Year’s Eve party features a balloon drop, champagne toast, fireworks viewing, party favors and DJ dancing. Upgrade to VIP Plus for open bar, appetizers, reserved dance floor and a private DJ. 21 and older only. The party goes until 3 a.m. 9 p.m., Jackson’s Bistro Bar & Sushi, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. $50-$150 (prices subject to change). (813) 812-4950.

First Night St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg rings in the New Year with this family oriented celebration of the arts that includes music, art and entertainment at more than 20 venues. This year’s headliner is the Ryan Montbleau Band. It’s free to wander around, but you need a button to participate in activities and enter venues. 4 p.m., Straub Park (Center), at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. $12, $5 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free (advance); $15, $10 ages 6-12, 5 and younger free (day of). (727) 823-8906.

Light it Up Clearwater Beach: Fireworks will be shot off Sand Key in a midnight display that can be seen along all of Clearwater Beach. Midnight, Clearwater Beach, 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater. Free. (727) 447-7600.

NYE Pregame Pub Crawl: White attire required for this five stop early New Year’s Eve pub crawl with a free drink at each stop. Stops include Caddy’s on Central, Yard of Ale, The Landing, Thirsty First and One Night Stand. 2 p.m., Caddy’s on Central, 217 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $15 (price may increase). Toll-free 1-877-820-2582.

Outback Bowl Parade: Marching bands and cheerleaders from the Michigan Wolverines and the South Carolina Gamecocks combine for this New Year’s Eve parade and pep rally with floats, walking units and more. The parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. and runs along Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. 5:30 p.m., Ybor City, 1700 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 874-2695 .

Sunset Cinema at Pier 60: Despicable Me 3 (PG): Bring blankets or low lawn chairs to watch free movies on a jumbo sized screen. No alcohol. Shows start around dusk. 6 p.m., Pier 60, 10 Pier 60 Drive, Clearwater Beach. Free. (727) 449-1036.

Carl LaBove: One of the original Outlaws of Comedy, the veteran comic has also appeared on the Tonight Show, Seinfeld and Roseanne. 7:30 and 10:30 p.m., Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. $14-$16.50. (813) 960-1197.

Jim Gaffigan: Usher in 2018 with a laugh as the family-friendly comic and actor embarks on the Noble Ape tour. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $32-$66. (813) 301-2500.

New Year’s Eve Party at Shephard’s: Shephard’s counts down to 2018 with live music by New Divide, dancing to DJ Ray, balloon drop, champagne toast, party favors, four bars and a viewing of the Clearwater Beach fireworks. 21 and older only. 8 p.m., Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. $35-$40. (727) 442-5107.

Masque 100: The Party of the Century: The Morean Arts Center celebrates 100 years of art in St. Petersburg with a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball featuring food, a dessert bar, fire breathers, dancers, aerialists, acrobats and roaming performance artists. 8 p.m., Morean Arts Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. $200. (727) 822-7872, ext. 8.

Salute to Vienna: A New Year’s Concert: The annual tradition features Strauss waltzes, polkas and operetta performed by the Strauss Symphony of America, accompanied by professional ballroom and ballet dancers. 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $35-$100. (727) 791-7400.

Gulfport New Year’s Eve Gala: Gulfport’s formal New Year’s Eve party includes dancing to live music bythe Urban Gypsies, cash bar, desserts, complimentary champagne toast, a photo, popcorn and party favors. The party goes on until 1 a.m. 8 p.m., Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfport. $35. (727) 344-3711.

New Year’s Eve 2018: An "all-you-can-responsibly-drink party" with music by the 69 Boyz and Boyz Wit Da Bass. The party ends at 12:30 a.m. 8 p.m., Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $40-$60, $10 ages 18-20. (727) 565-0550.

New Year’s Eve at the Mahattan Casino: Don your best cocktail attire for this event hosted by the Callaloo Group, the new tenants of the historic venue. The party includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and a carving station, cocktails and Champagne, live R&B music from the MSG Band and a special appearance by Cleo Hart. 8:30 p.m., Manhattan Casino, 642 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. $75. (727) 420-2819.

Aqua-Eve: The aquarium is transformed from a family play area to a 21 and older party, complete with live entertainment, food, drinks, champagne toast and a great view of the City of Tampa’s fireworks. The party goes until 1 a.m. 9 p.m., Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $130-$220. (813) 273-4000.

New Year’s Eve 2018: Mario Lopez hosts the popular Pied Piper Productions New Year’s Eve party with indoor and outdoor party areas, an expanded professional fireworks show and music by platinum selling artist and DJ Magic Mike. 21 and older only. The party ends at 2:30 a.m. 9 p.m., TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St., Tampa. $75 (prices increase with demand). (813) 279-8335.

Swingin’ the New Year: Dress to impress for this all-ages dance with music by The Jive Aces, a countdown to midnight and balloon drop, party favors, noisemakers, chocolates, prize giveaways, cash bar and New Year’s decor. There’s also a vintage fashion photo shoot and contest. New Year’s or vintage attire encouraged. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with a swing dance lesson from 8 to 9 p.m. The party goes until 1 a.m 9 p.m., Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $30 advance, $35 after Dec. 10. (813) 579-4645.

Diamonds Are Forever: Tampa NYE: Dress to kill for this 007/James Bond themed chic party with a red carpet fashion review, backdrop photos, champagne toast, balloon drop, appetizer buffet, DJ dancing, casino tables, best dressed contest and a silent auction. The party goes until 1:30 a.m. 9:30 p.m., A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. $57.07. (813) 447-8538.

New Year’s Eve at the Ritz: Disco Donnie hosts this 18 and older party with Slushii headlining. The party goes until 3 a.m. 10 p.m., Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. $25. (813) 247-2555.

Sam Tripoli: New Year’s Eve Celebration: The former co-host of Spike TV’s Wild World of Spike also co-hosts two All Things Comedy podcasts, has numerous television credits, and received one of only two standing ovations on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. $25 show only; $35 includes a choice of snack, champagne toast and party favor. 10 p.m., Improv Comedy Theater, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. $12-$16. (813) 864-4000.


Kid’s New Year’s Eve: Kids can countdown with a DJ dance party, missing clock hunt, mosaic building, giant LEGO brick drop (Dec. 31 only) and Lego themed fireworks. Included with admission. 8 p.m., Legoland Florida, 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven. $75, $65 seniors/ages 3-12, 2 and younger free. (877) 350-5346.

Downtown Countdown: Kids can celebrate the New Year at the top of every hour. Included with admission. 1 p.m., Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $9.50 children, 1 and younger free. (813) 443-3861.


Find more parties at