Where to Ring in the New Year in Downtown Des Moines
It’s almost time to ring in the New Year! Explore the list below for 15 ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) ranging from family- and kid-friendly ideas to arts and cultural events and — of course! — party and nightlife options, too. Cheers to 2023!
New Year's Eve for Kids + Families in Downtown Des Moines
Outdoor Ice Skating in Downtown DSM
Check Sessions Online | Brenton Skating Plaza
Skate in the open air with the Downtown DSM skyline as a lovely winter backdrop! Brenton Skating Plaza is open on New Year’s Eve from 11 a.m. to Midnight, and New Year’s Day starting at 3:30 p.m. Advanced, online reservations for skating is recommended during the month of December and special holidays.
Noon Year’s Eve
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Science Center of Iowa
Join the fun in saying “See ya later!” to 2022! There will be festive activities, science experiences, a mascot visit and the infamous ball drop, too.
Noon Year's Eve Party! Fiesta de año nuevo al mediodía!
11:30 – 12:30 p.m. | Des Moines Public Library’s Central Library
Celebrate the New Year with a Noon Year’s Eve Party for kids! Glow in the dark slime-making, crafts, snacks, music, games and a countdown to Noon will make for a fun time for the family (recommended for ages 5 to 12).
Snow Globe Des Moines
Check Available Reservation Times | Exile Brewing Co.
It’s the final day of this immersive holiday experience at Exile! Be sure to secure your reservation online (and do so early) so you don’t miss out on more than a mile of Christmas lights, tons of holiday photo ops and the whole venue decked out while you enjoy hot and tasty eats and drinks from this brewpub. In case you’re wondering: Yes, even the bathrooms are merrily decorated!
NYE Party + Nightlife Events in Downtown Des Moines
English New Year’s Eve Party
Starts at Noon; Ball Drops at 6 p.m. | Tonic on Court
You’ll find all the bells and whistles here, including champagne toast, party favors and a DJ — all culminating with the famed ball drop (taking place at 6 p.m. instead of Midnight).
NYE Party with Pianopalooza and The June Bugs
Doors Open at 7 p.m.; Show Starts at 9 p.m. | Wooly’s
Dance, drink and be merry! Booth spaces are available for purchase, but reserve now as they typically sell out! Attendees will be entered to win a “Golden Ticket” — i.e., a pair of tickets to all Wooly’s concerts taking place during 2023.
New Year’s Eve Party with Music by Dustin Sheridan and Casa Bonita
Starts at 9 p.m. | PLATFORM
This new house music dance and night club on Walnut Street will provide a great party scene for the countdown to Midnight! More information about bottle service and signature cocktails is available on the PLATFORM website.
Starts at 9 p.m. | Nightingale Cocktail
This immersive experience includes a Winter Wonderland Holiday Pop-up along with unlimited handcrafted cocktails, open bar, live DJ, party favors, champagne toast at Midnight plus appetizers and desserts to ring in the New Year.
New Year’s Eve Toast
Starts at 10 p.m. | Voodoo Lounge
This Downtown DSM nightlife venue will feature bottle service and VIP table opportunities with music by DJ RAJ and J HENNY, keeping the party vibe going all night long.
New Year’s Eve: Party Like It’s 1999
Starts at 10 p.m. | The Garden
Come dressed in your best ‘90s costume and enjoy the festivities: drag show, massive dance party, table reservations, no cover and food available for purchase.
New Year’s Eve at the Republic on Grand
See Package Options for Times | The Republic on Grand
Celebrate the kickoff to 2023 with the “best view of Downtown DSM.” Three package options are available, including an elevated dinner, bubble party or combo package featuring an overnight stay at the hotel plus additional perks.
Arts + Culture Events for NYE in Downtown Des Moines
Black Light New Year’s Eve Painting Class
7 – 9 p.m. | Bottle & Bottega by Painting with a Twist
Grab a friend or two (or come solo!) for this fun NYE art class. The artwork theme will be a neon champagne piece, which will glow under black light. This painting class is available for ages 18 and older and BYOB; adults aged 21+ with a photo ID can bring their own wine or beer if desired.
New Year’s Eve Pops: Frank and the Great Ladies of Song
8 p.m. | Des Moines Civic Center
The Des Moines Symphony will take to the stage for their well-loved New Year’s Eve Pops concert. This year the music will highlight songs from Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and more — with vocal performances by Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare, along with conductor Joseph Giunta.
The Wild Party: Noce’s 8th Annual NYE Celebration
8 p.m. | Noce
Wind down the old year and ring in the new with music from the Max Wellman Band, The Nate Sparks Band and more — plus food from Tangerine Food Company, gaming tables with professional dealers, champagne cocktails and other fun things to do. Don’t wait to get your tickets! This show has sold out each of the past seven years.
Comedy Kickback – 4th Annual BIAS NYE Show
9:30 p.m. | TeeHee’s Comedy Club
With entertainment provided by Black Iowa Streams, Inc., attendees will laugh the night away and also experience some fun variety to spice up the show as the year comes to a close! Doors open at 9 p.m. and show starts at 9:30 p.m.
10 p.m. | Stoner Theater
Even if you’ve seen this comedy improv troupe before … no two shows are the same! The comedians will perform improv-style comedy using audience suggestions. Come for the laughs, stay for the fun.
P.S.: Looking for something to do on New Year’s Day in Downtown DSM? Brenton Skating Plaza is open for outdoor ice skating (weather permitting) and the Iowa Wolves take on the Raptors 905 in NBA G-League basketball starting at 2 p.m.
For these upcoming events and more, find tips on Downtown Des Moines (DSM) parking and navigation. For additional upcoming events, visit the Downtown DSM events calendar. Plus, follow @downtownDSMUSA on Instagram for more epic, things-you-just-can’t-miss happening around Downtown.
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