8 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in San Diego

Even in strange times like these, there are ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in San Diego that are both fun and safe.

Check out these eight ways to have a fantastic New Year’s Eve in San Diego by experiencing all the city has to offer.


Take Advantage of San Diego’s Weather

Living in San Diego sure does have its perks, and the weather is certainly one of them. As small gatherings outdoors are much safer than indoor parties, take advantage of those mild temperatures, and host your bubble friends and family outside.

New Year’s Eve party ideas for this year are all about keeping things simple, safe, and fun. Have a few snacks on hand and a beverage option or two. Dress up the space with twinkle lights and festive decor. Offer up fun glittered accessories to your guests, like 2021 glasses, jeweled tiaras, and silly hats. If you have reasonable neighbors, play music for a festive mood, and have some noisemakers ready for the ball drop.

For additional precautions, offer easy access to a hand sanitizer station, and don’t forget to mask up when you’re not actively eating or drinking.

Friends at a New Year's Eve party

Celebrate at Home in a Festive Way

You don’t need to be all dressed up with nowhere to go, even if you have nowhere to go. You can still get fancy and celebrate New Year’s Eve at home.

New Year’s Eve party ideas at home can be as simple as preparing a special meal to honor the night’s significance or pulling those board games out of the closet for some healthy competition. Consider making the space a bit more festive for the night with fun lighting or easy-to-remove decor.

If you’re lucky enough to live in downtown San Diego, look into available amenities in your building. You may have access to a clubhouse or recreation room, for example, that would make for additional entertaining space for a small gathering.

Friends playing boardgames

Finish the Year Off With a Delicious Meal

Outdoor dining is a low-risk way to go out on New Year’s Eve when you don’t have many other options.

If you live in a foodie paradise like downtown San Diego, celebrate in Little Italy with a wealth of delicious options for dining out. The walkable neighborhood is home to the best Italian food in the city, on top of offerings from celebrity chefs and more casual eateries if you’re not looking to break the bank. Just make sure to check in on whether reservations are recommended or required on that night, as it is one of the most popular evenings out for locals.

NYE dinner

Introduce New Traditions

If you’re spending the evening at home, it can be the perfect time to introduce new traditions. Consider acknowledging the end of the year in a tangible way. Write down and tear up any negative events from the past that you’d like to let go of, for example, or jot down your intentions for the new year.

You could also explore traditions as they relate to your heritage or cultural traditions that you find intriguing. In Spain, the tradition is to pop 12 grapes into your mouth at midnight—one by one at each stroke, not all at once!—in recognition of the 12 months of the year. Colombians carry an empty suitcase around the block on the holiday as a way to usher in a year of travel, a good luck tradition that certainly is timely at the moment.

Family making new NYE traditions

Host a Virtual Party

If you’re missing friends and family but unable to spend the evening celebrating the new year with them, consider taking advantage of virtual options to come together in a unique way. Host a virtual wine tasting where everyone is tasting the same wines at the same time. Consider adding a charcuterie plate to complete the spread.

Get comfy in your pajamas and have a pajama dance party. If you’re not leaving the house, you may as well be comfortable at home!

Alcohol doesn’t have to factor into the evening, either. Set up a virtual game online, complete a craft together, or just put the same televised programming on with your virtual pals so that everyone can watch and comment on the same New Year’s Eve coverage.

Virtual NYE party

Hit the Beach

Living in San Diego, you have options for spending time outdoors, no matter the time of year. Consider spending New Year’s Eve at the beach for the ultimate in New Year’s Eve events, San Diego style, even if you don’t think you’ll make it to midnight. While alcohol is not allowed at San Diego beaches, picnics are. Bring some treats, sand toys, and layers for when the sun goes down to bring in the new year in a wholesome way.

If the weather feels chilly, seek out beaches that allow bonfires. Just do some research ahead of time to find out how late you can stay at the beach you choose and whether you need to reserve fire pits ahead of time.

Beach picnic

Take a Staycation

If staying at home doesn’t sound exciting enough, consider a staycation at a sleek local hotel. If you’re really feeling fancy, book something with a spa, heated pool, or room services to bring in the new year in an indulgent way.

Those who live downtown may like a staycation closer to the beach for a change of scenery and the relaxing sound of crashing waves or even perhaps a remote hillside retreat in North County with fire pits and alfresco dining. Make the most of living in a city like San Diego, popular with tourists and many accommodation options.

Couple enjoying room service

Find the Silver Linings

No matter what you decide to do this New Year’s Eve, make sure that you’re not only staying safe but acknowledging the start of something new. Find the silver linings in the year you’ve had, and think about all that you’re looking forward to in the coming year.

Polaroids of memories

Are You Ready to Celebrate, San Diego?

If finding a new apartment is one of your resolutions for the coming year, schedule a visit to see the Allegro Towers, the best luxury apartments in San Diego’s Little Italy.