Freebies for New Year’s Eve

WASHINGTON — Pack your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with plenty of food, drink and activities for all ages. WTOP has compiled a list of free events and offers to send off 2015 and ring in 2016.

  • The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering free SoberRides home from 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve until 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.
  • You can ride Metrorail and Metro buses free between midnight and 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day. You do have to use a SmarTrip card or paper fare card to enter and exit the Metrorail system, or show a SmarTrip card to board a bus.
  • Got kids who can’t stay up ’til midnight? They can join the noon countdown at Noon Yards Eve at the Capital Riverfront. There will also be trackless trains, music, face painting, crafts and a balloon drop.
  • At the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor, the huge hotel atrium is decorated with more than 2 million lights, and there are nightly fountain shows and indoor “snowfalls” to enjoy for no charge through Jan. 3.
  • The holiday exhibit “Season’s Greenings: Pollination Station” at the United States Botanic Gardenis open free on New Year’s Eve from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • New Year’s Eve is the last day to see the annual Festival of Lights at the Washington, D.C. Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Kensington. The Temple grounds are illuminated by 650,000 lights.
  • The Conservatory Winter Display and Garden Railway Exhibit at Brookside Gardens. is also open and free on New Year’s Eve.
  • Brickside Food & Drink‘s New Year’s Eve party is open with no cover until they reach capacity. There will be a free buffet starting at 9 p.m. and a free Champagne toast at midnight.
  • There’s no charge to watch the midnight fireworks finale of First Night Alexandria.  But to take part in other activities, you’ll need a badge. They’re $30 for adults, and free for active military or for kids 12 and younger.
  • Downtown Annapolis will welcome the New Year with family-friendly entertainment starting at 3 p.m., as well as a midnight fireworks display.
  • At the annual Krumpe’s Donut Drop in downtown Hagerstown, they count down to a giant doughnut drop at 7 p.m.  Come for free doughnuts, hot chocolate, coffee and popcorn, as well as free family fun.
  • Watch Night in Falls Church is a free, family-friendly celebration with live music, activities, balloon artists, an obstacle course, free food while it lasts, and much more.
  • The New Year’s Eve Spectacular in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor starts at 9 p.m. with live music by the band What’s Next, followed by a midnight fireworks and lights show.
  • If you’re in Ocean City for New Year’s Eve, head to Northside Park for fireworks at midnight, along with live entertainment and hot chocolate.
  • New Year’s Eve at The Dubliner means no cover charge, a free champagne toast and party favors at midnight, plus live music by Brendan’s Voyage.
  • There’s no cover charge to get into Sol Mexican Grill’s New Year’s Eve party. There will be drink specials all night and a free midnight champagne toast. Reservations are strongly recommended.
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon’s New Year’s Eve party is “no cover, no minimum, no pressure.”
  • At Lucky Bar in DC, there’s no ticket required, a free champagne toast at midnight and party favors all night long on New Year’s Eve.
  • Bar Dupont is throwing a “Mad Men”-themed New Year’s Eve party with a DJ and free admission.
  • Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown does not charge a cover on New Year’s Eve. There will be a free midnight champagne toast and free party favors, and food and drink specials.
  • Enjoy a free champagne toast and all day happy hour at the main bar at Sudhouse on New Year’s Eve. There’s no cover charge.
Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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