As 2018 approaches, the Tampa Bay area is ready to celebrate with champagne toasts and views of fireworks and — extra! extra! — dimpled Extra host and Saved by the Bell alum Mario Lopez, who will be in Tampa to ring in the new year.
But that’s not all that’s new this year. The construction tearing up Channelside means the New Year’s Eve fireworks in downtown Tampa has pushed the public viewing area to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park behind Amalie Arena.
Meanwhile, the Pied Piper New Year’s Eve party, which for years has taken place at Jackson’s Bistro on the downtown waterfront, will move to the TPepin Hospitality Centre and bring downtown’s other large fireworks display along with it. That’s also where Lopez will appear at Pied Piper’s NYE Twenty Eighteen Countdown.
And St. Petersburg’s family-friendly First Night celebration marks its 25th year with a wide variety of entertainment at multiple downtown locations, two sets of fireworks and a fire sculpture by local artist Andrew Panton inviting revelers to drop wishes and resolutions into a sculpture that will be set on fire at 11:30 p.m.
Here are the top ways to ring in the new year.
Pied Piper 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. $75 (prices increase with demand). TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St., Tampa. (813) 279-8335. piedpiperproductions.com. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Sunday.
The Florida Aquarium is transformed from a family play area to a 21 and older party, with live entertainment, food, drinks, champagne toast and a great view of the City of Tampa’s fireworks. $130-$220. 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
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. $57.07. A La Carte Event Pavilion, 4050 Dana Shores Drive, Tampa. (813) 447-8538. 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Guests 45 and older are invited to this New Year’s Eve "Senior American Bandstand" dance with music by DJ Jeremy Eubanks. $30 advance, $35 at the door. Tampa Bay Dance Club, 5601 Hanley Road, Tampa. (813) 390-7160. 8 p.m. Sunday.
James Bond 007 NYE Bash
Dress to kill at this all-inclusive party at the Beach Bar & Restaurant at the Bay Harbor Hotel. Live DJ, casing gaming, midnight fireworks, party favors, photos, champagne toast, open bar and hors d’oeuvres. $75-$450 at eventbrite.com. 7700 Courtney Campbell Parkway, Tampa. 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.
Whiskey Joe’s Beach Bash
Two stages with of live music, champagne toast, ball drop and midnight fireworks. Whiskey Joe’s, 7720 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. $10 and up at eventbrite.com.
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. $50-$150 (prices subject to change). Jackson’s Bistro Bar & Sushi, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. (813) 812-4950. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday.
NYE Wrap Party: 1.21-Gigawatt
Movie inspired costumes are encouraged for this Back to the Future themed New Year’s Eve party with appetizers, desserts, open wine and beer bar, dancing to live music by IDK Band and big screen viewing of the ball drop at midnight. 21 and older only. $99, $89 members. Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 274-8982. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Bar Crawl
Party animals can get their New Year’s Eve buzz started early on this guided bar crawl with a shot at each stop. Board a bus for beer pong, flip cup, corn hole, shotgun beers and entertainment. $20-$120. Franklin Manor, 912 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 955-2861. 2-8 p.m. Saturday.
New Year’s Eve After Party
DJ 0B7 keeps the party going until 4 a.m. after the new year begins. 21 and older only. $20. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 N Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 627-7625. Midnight-4 a.m. Monday.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise
The 21 and older celebration bids "bon voyage" to 2017 with an open bar, boarding photo, hand passed appetizers, gourmet food stations, DJ dancing, party favors, a champagne toast at midnight and a great view of the fireworks. Cocktail attire required, and there is no reserved seating. $149.95-$199.95. Yacht StarShip, 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 223-7999. Also taking place at Yacht Starship Sensation Dock, 25 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater. (813) 223-7999. 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve Junkanoo Jam
A Caribbean inspired New Year’s Eve party with live music, giveaways and themed drinks including Goombay Smash, Painkillers, Yuka Hula Hickey Dula, Zombie and Dark ‘N Stormy. In honor of 2018, drinks start at $2.18. No cover. Bahama Breeze, 3045 N Rocky Point Drive E, Tampa. Also at Bahama Breeze in Brandon Town Center. (813) 289-7922. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve at Byblos Cafe
The newly renovated restaurant throws an upscale New Year’s Eve party including a multi-course chef selected meal, DJ dancing, party favors, one free drink and a champagne toast at midnight. $90. 2832 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. (813) 805-7977. 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve at the Ritz
Disco Donnie serves as host for this 18 and older party entitled "Slushii." $25. Ritz Ybor, 1503 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 247-2555. 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday.
The annual upscale party takes place 10 stories up and takes on an "All That Glitters Is Gold" theme with premium open bar, champagne, live entertainment, DJ dancing and a view of the city of Tampa’s fireworks. Benefits the Debartolo Family Foundation. $175-$225. Fort Brooke Garage, 107 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 870-2255. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday.
Winter Wonderland: New Year’s Eve
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in glittering style with DJ dancing, a live band, two floors of open bar, appetizers, buffet, and a champagne toast at midnight. $135. The Birchwood, 340 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-1080. 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday.
Grand Glow NYE
DJ dancing, two drink tickets, food stations, a "glow" lounge, "glow" party favors, "glow" balloon drop and a champagne toast at midnight. $50, $25 hotel guests. Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach, 100 Coronado Drive, Clearwater. (727) 281-9544. 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sunday.
Gulfport New Year’s Eve Gala
Dancing to live music by the Urban Gypsies, cash bar, desserts, complimentary champagne toast, a photo, popcorn and party favors. $35. Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S, Gulfport. (727) 344-3711. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
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. $200. Morean Arts Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-7872, ext. 8. 8 p.m. Sunday.
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. $15 (price may increase). Starts at Caddy’s, 217 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Toll-free 1-877-820-2582. 2-7 p.m. Sunday.
New Year’s 2018 at the Hollander
Enjoy live music by the Sol Band and an optional $50 per couple dinner gala before walking to the downtown St. Petersburg New Year’s Eve fireworks or lounging poolside. Regular menu also available. Parking included with any purchase. No cover. Hollander Hotel, 421 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 873-7900. 4 p.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve 2018
An "all-you-can-responsibly-drink party" with music by the 69 Boyz and Boyz Wit Da Bass. $40-$60, $10 ages 18-20. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550. 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve Dinner/Dance Party
Senior singles 50 and older can spend New Year’s Eve with a buffet dinner and dancing to live music by the Ray Curtis Band. BYOB welcome. $20. Colreavy Hall, 820 Jasmine Way, Clearwater. (727) 544-3735. 7:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sunday.
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. $35-$40. Shephard’s Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach. (727) 442-5107. 8 p.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve at Crescent Oaks
Enjoy a cocktail hour with butler-passed appetizers before a three course dinner, dancing to music by DJ Clay, karaoke and a champagne toast. Includes party favors. $64.95, $49.95 members. Crescent Oaks Country Club, 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd., Tarpon Springs. (727) 937-4653, ext. 2. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve at Mastry’s
Put on a prom dress and tuxedo for a "bad prom" themed party with beer releases. Free (food/drink additional). Mastry’s Brewing Company, 7701 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach. (727) 202-8045. 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve at Peggy O’s
Peggy O’s greets the New Year with live music, free party favors and a champagne toast. Add an optional surf and turf dinner for $17.99. No cover. Peggy O’s Kitchen and Taps, 1026 Florida Ave., Palm Harbor. (727) 787-7734. 6 p.m. Sunday.
New Year’s at the Cantina
New Year’s Eve Mexican style with three floors of festivities including free hats, tiaras, noisemakers and beads, music and four bars with special drinks at each bar. No cover. Red Mesa Cantina, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 896-8226. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday.
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. $75. Manhattan Casino, 642 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 420-2819. 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
Swingin’ the New Year
All-ages dance with music by The Jive Aces, balloon drop, party favors, noisemakers, chocolates, giveaways and cash bar. 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. $35. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (813) 579-4645. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
Toast by the Coast
The TradeWinds Island Grand invites revelers to don their best duds for an evening of gourmet food, dancing to live music by Motel Funk, an open bar, champagne toast and party favors. $110. 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-2258. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
007: New Year
The clothing optional resort opens its gates at 7 p.m. for a formal 007 themed night of "mystery, secrecy and seduction" with appetizer, canapes, dinner and live music by Smokey and the Angels. $100-$110, free-$90 members. Caliente Resort and Spa, 21240 Gran Via Blvd., Land O’Lakes. (813) 996-3700. 7 p.m. Sunday.
Aripeka Elks New Year’s Eve Celebration
Join the Elks to ring in the new year. Prime rib dinner, music provided by the Belaires, open bar and champagne toast at midnight. $65, includes dinner and entertainment. Aripeka Elks Lodge 2520, 9135 Denton Ave., Hudson. (727) 868-2994. 6 p.m. Sunday.
Elks New Year’s Eve Gala
The semi-formal evening with a prime rib dinner and dancing to music by the Pauly Gee band. No meal tickets sold at the door. $20, $30 with dinner. Brooksville Elks Lodge 2582, 13383 County Line Road, Spring Hill. (352) 799-7148. 6 p.m. Sunday.
Latin American Civic and Cultural Association New Year’s Eve Dance
Dance to the music of DJ Willie Matos. Bring your own beverage. Small coolers are permitted, ice provided. $20, $15 members. Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. (352) 683-6742. 8 p.m. Sunday.
Waterfront New Year’s Eve
Ring in the New Year at this VIP party in the Grand Ballroom that includes a la carte dinner options, party favors, cash bar and DJ dancing. $149. Pier 22 Restaurant, 1200 First Ave. W, Bradenton. (727) 748-8087. 4 p.m. Sunday.
Light Up the Bay
The City of Tampa moves its count down to 2018 to Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park. To make more viewing room, the park will not feature food, drink or entertainment. Free. Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa. (813) 839-7300. 10 p.m. Sunday.
Noon Year’s Eve
Count down to noon and celebrate the New Year with the family at Lowry Park Zoo. Includes interactive entertainment and DJ dancing. Kids get to blow noisemakers and wear hats. Included with regular zoo admission: $32.95, $24.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552. Noon Sunday.
Kids can celebrate the New Year at the top of every hour. Included with admission: $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $9.50 children, 1 and younger free. Glazer Children’s Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. 1-6 p.m. Sunday.
Happy Noon Year
Kids can bring noisemakers to enjoy stories and a balloon drop at the stroke of 1 p.m. Free. Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library, 2902 W Bearss Ave., Tampa. (813) 273-3652. 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
New Year’s Eve Apollo Beach
For the fifth year, Circles once again brings what it says is Florida’s largest New Year’s Eve fireworks display at midnight. DJD2 will be spinning on the outdoor stage before the midnight fireworks. Smokin’ Bowls food truck on hand for late night eats. Free. Circles Waterfront Restaurant, 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd., Apollo Beach. (813) 641-3275. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday.
Ice Skating at Tampa’s Winter Village
The outdoor skating rink will have extended hours to midnight for New Year’s Eve. Each 90-minute session includes skate rental. $13. Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 221-3686. 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday.
New Year’s Eve Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens brings in the New Year with rides all night, pumping music, a park wide countdown and fireworks in Gwazi Park. Included with daily admission: $99, $79 3-9, 2 and younger free. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. (888) 800-5447. 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve Celebration Service
Bring in the new year humbly with prayer, praise, worship, testimonies, spoken word, refreshments and a year in review video. Free. Cypress Point Community Church, 15820 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa. (813) 994-2789. 10 p.m. Sunday.
First Night St. Petersburg
A family-oriented celebration that includes music, art and entertainment at more than 20 venues. Fireworks at 8 p.m. and midnight. This year’s headliner is the Ryan Montbleau Band. It’s free to wander around, but you need a button to participate in activities, enter venues and ride the trolley. Buttons help fund the annual volunteer-driven event. $12, $5 6-12, 5 and younger free (advance); $15, $10 6-12, 5 and younger free (day of). Straub Park at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. See a map and schedule at firstnightstpete.com. (727) 823-8906. 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday.
Light it Up Clearwater Beach
Fireworks will be shot off Sand Key in a midnight display visible along all of Clearwater Beach. Free. Clearwater Beach, 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater. (727) 447-7600. Midnight Sunday.
Largo Noon Year’s Eve
Adults and seniors can celebrate the New Year early with an afternoon of dancing, entertainment, door prizes and a champagne toast at noon. $7. Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road, Largo. (727) 518-3131. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday.
Noon Year’s Eve at Great Explorations
Kids can make their own party hat and join in a dance party before counting down to the noon balloon drop. Included with regular admission: $10, $9 seniors, 1 and younger free. Great Explorations Children’s Museum, 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Rock Around the Clock
Children ages 4 to 12 can enjoy games, crafts and dinner at a "Rock Around the Clock" themed New Year’s Eve party. Teens ages 13 to 17 have a little "cooler" "Midnight in Miami" themed party. $60, $30 additional child (12 and younger); $50 teen. Tradewinds Island Grand Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-2258. 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Sunday.
Legloland 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. $75, $65 seniors/3-12, 2 and younger free. Legoland Florida, 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven. (877) 350-5346. 7 p.m. today-Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday.
New Year’s Eve at SeaWorld
SeaWorld celebrates the New Year with a special fireworks display, entertainment through out the park, interactive DJ stations, craft beers and food. Included with daily admission (beer/food additional). $99, $94 ages 3-9.7007 SeaWorld Drive (Interstate 4, Exit 71), Orlando. (800) 327-2424. 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday.
Downtown St. Petersburg: At 8 p.m. and midnight near Straub Park at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. firstnightstpete.com.
Downtown Tampa: Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park, 601 Old Water St., Tampa, opens at 10 p.m. Sunday for a midnight show. thetampariverwalk.com/fireworks.
Clearwater Beach: A midnight display off of Sand Key can be seen along all of Clearwater Beach.
Apollo Beach: It’s free to watch and no cover at Circles Waterfront Restaurant, 1212 Apollo Beach Blvd.
East Tampa: Pied Piper Productions party will have its own fireworks display at TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N 50th St., Tampa. 21 and older only. All-inclusive tickets start at $75.
Busch Gardens: The Tampa theme park will stay open till 1 a.m. and have a park-wide count down and fireworks. Included with admission.
Rocky Point: Whiskey Joe’s and the adjacent Bay Harbor Hotel, at 7700 Courtney Campbell Parkway, Tampa, have midnight fireworks. Party entry is $10 and up at Whiskey Joe’s, and $15-$400 at Bay Harbor’s James Bond Party.