New Year's Eve Celebrations

San Francisco Will Celebrate New Year’s Eve With Bells, Fireworks, Parties

Wednesday, December 19 2012 07:55   Western Travel Buzz
As another year draws to a close, the San Francisco Travel Association has assembled a list of fun events focusing on the last few days of 2012, setting stage for some fresh starts and some favorite places for a New Year's Eve toast.

Public transit is highly recommended when traveling around San Francisco. For bus schedules and information on San Francisco's cable cars, historic streetcars and light rail system, visit or call 511 ( or (510) 893-8729 if calling from outside area code 415. And remember, Muni rides are free from 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012 until 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2013.

New Year's Eve highlights in the City include:

27th Annual Japanese Bell Ringing Ceremony
Dec. 30, 2012
Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St.,
Parting is such sweet sorrow, so make it count when you say goodbye to 2012. Gather your loved ones and take a swing at an actual object from the museum's collection. Literally "ring in" the New Year by gently striking a 2,100-lb. 16th-century bronze bell from a temple in Japan. Reflect peacefully upon the passing year while symbolically greeting the new one. Stick around afterwards for art activities. Members can take a swing at the bell earlier in the morning. Tickets are free with museum admission. For more information on scheduling and how to purchase tickets visit

sf_newyear_fireworksFireworks by the Bay
Dec. 31, 2012
Mission Street on The Embarcadero Pier 14
The City and County of San Francisco's New Year's Eve free, midnight fireworks show will be staged from barges located 1,000 feet out in the bay off of Pier 14 (foot of Mission Street on The Embarcadero). The best public viewing locations are the wide sidewalks that run on both sides of The Embarcadero between Mission and Howard Streets. The pyrotechnics can also be viewed along The Embarcadero in the vicinity of Washington Street and Justin Herman Plaza. There is zero tolerance for alcohol at this family friendly event. And remember Muni rides are free from 8 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2012 until 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2013.

California Twilight Cruise with Red and White Fleet
Dec. 31, 2012
Pier 43 ½,
On this casual two-hour cruise, passengers enjoy views of the city's stunning sunset over the Pacific Ocean, live guitar entertainment, hearty appetizers from the buffet and a beverage from the bar. Nestled into the warm and cozy atmosphere of Red and White Fleet's historic ferry boats, passengers on the cruise sail along the San Francisco skyline with its modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks, past Alcatraz and cruise under the legendary Golden Gate Bridge.
Tickets are $58 per person.

"Beach Blanket Babylon" at Club Fugazi
Dec. 31, 2012
678 Green St.,
Beach Blanket Babylon rings in 2013 with two special performances on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 at 7 and 10:15 p.m. Both shows feature a pastiche of the best and worst of 2012 - Beach Blanket Babylon style. Guests at each show will receive champagne and truffles. The second show - ending at the stroke of midnight - features post-show dancing until 1:30 a.m. Packed with hilarious spoofs of pop culture and political characters, outrageously gigantic hats and one show-stopping number after another, the show continues to dazzle audiences at Club Fugazi in San Francisco's North Beach district. 

New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball at Davies Symphony Hall
Dec. 31, 2012
201 Van Ness Ave.,
The San Francisco Symphony welcomes 2013 with its annual New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball Dec. 31, 2012. Michael Francis leads the orchestra and soprano Susanna Phillips in a concert with the Orchestra of well-loved waltzes, and masked party-goers dance the night away before and after the Orchestra's performance to the big band sounds of the Peter Mintun Orchestra, the swing music of the Martini Brothers, and Super Diamond playing Neil Diamond covers. Revelers anticipate the countdown to 2013 with complimentary sparkling wine, beginning right after the Orchestra concert, and culminating in a celebratory toast and a massive balloon drop at midnight. Doors open and entertainment begins at 8 p.m. Concert begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $85-$195 and can be purchased at

San Francisco nternational Ball at the Palace Hotel
Dec. 31, 2012
2 New Montgomery St.,
Celebrate the New Year in luxury at the Palace Hotel's New Year's Eve dinner dance. Reservations are available from 6-9 p.m. at the Pied Piper Bar & Grill. Enjoy dancing to the music of the Cosmo Alley Cats as chefs prepe a delicious five-course prix fixe menu priced at $95 per person. Festive party favors and a champagne toast are included.

New Year's Eve at the W San Francisco
Dec. 31, 2012
181 Third St.,
Ring in 2013 with style and splendor at the W San Francisco. Enjoy live DJ sets by six top San Francisco's DJs while indulging in a four-hour premium open bar from 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. The evening will conclude with party favors, midnight balloon drops and a one-of-a-kind countdown.

'Passport to the World' 2013 at Westin St. Francis
Dec. 31, 2012
335 Powell St.,
This glitzy, landmark event will feature a diverse mix of music, fashion, art, culture and sophistication. Venture from room to room, experiencing different music and entertainment throughout. Enjoy all-inclusive beverages, a stylish fashion show, live 80's cover band, 15 DJs from around the world, live art, stilt-walkers and exhibitionists. Visit for more details.

New Year's Eve Reception and Dinner at Top of the Mark
Dec. 31, 2012
Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, 999 California St.
Toast the New Year at one of San Francisco's most iconic destinations - Top of the Mark. From 6:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m., enjoy a special reception, entertainment, dinner, dancing and a Champagne toast at midnight. Start your evening with Champagne and hors d'oeuvres. Following the reception, guests will enjoy a seated four-course dinner with a bottle of Moet & Chandon Imperial before dancing the night away and toasting the New Year with a glass of Moet Chandon Rose. Rounding out the festivities is live entertainment from pianist Michael Athens and the Megatones, a Bay Area rock and roll band. Reservations are required. The InterContinental Mark Hopkins lobby will also celebrate the New Year with live music from 5 - 9 p.m. by the Al Marshall Trio. Regular reservations are $375 per person; window seating is $425 per person.

Dec. 31, 2012
495 Geary St.,
Known for its over-the-top parties, New Year's Eve is the perfect holiday to spend in the opulent atmosphere at CLIFT. Connecting the space between Velvet Room and Redwood Room, and featuring live music, delicious cocktails and an exuberant and sexy vibe, CLIFT is a prime location to ring in the New Year. Featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, and a hosted premium bar from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. and passed appetizers from 9-10 p.m. Early bird tickets are $150; table tickets are $15,000.

When in San Francisco, make time to visit the San Francisco Visitor Information Center. Located at 900 Market St. on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza near the cable car turnaround at the foot of Powell Street, the center is open Monday-Saturday and offers personalized suggestions on what to see and do in and around the City.


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