New Year’s Eve in the hubs

Thinking of heading off-island for the New Year? There are oodles of options within a plane ride of giddy Grand Cayman. Here’s some of our picks…

New York

There’s only one place to be in NYC this new year – as every new year – and that is Times Square. Annually, hundreds of thousands of people head to the famous spot to party hard, waiting for the ball drop that will mark 2011, among many other possibilities, Try Carnival in University place – rated the Number One wildest party experience in the city – or head to the Chelsea Loft and rub shoulders with the hip crowds and A-list revellers.


New Year’s Eve is traditionally spent with family enjoying pork roasts plus plenty of drinking and dancing into the early hours. Other traditions include burning a doll to discard the old year and the eating of 12 grapes to coincide with the tolls of the midnight bell, a custom shared by many Spanish-speaking countries. Havana being Havana, there’s always a party going on and the music, of course, will be top quality.


The biggest thing this year will be the fireworks display on the South Bank, immediately after the new year is chimed in by Big Ben. In the past, Trafalgar Square would have drawn massive crowds keen to get up close and personal with the famous fountains, but for something very different, why not try a riverboat cruise along the river ThamesThat’s presuming that it’s not frozen solid, of course.


If its exclusive sounds and celeb-spotting at the clubs you want, then there’s only one place to be – South Beach. The hottest tickets are at Mansion, SET or the hip-hop palace of SOBE Live – you will pay in excess of $200 for the privilege, though, so heading to the beach near Ocean Drive and 8th Street with pals will get you one of the biggest and best free fireworks celebrations at midnight. A kid-friendly outing could be the Bayfront Park Amphitheater, a free event featuring live performances by musicians and midnight fireworks.

Washington, DC

How about some jazz? The Kennedy Center’s got Jon Faddis and his big band, backing Nnenna Freelon. Live comedy at the Improv club this year features Erin Jackson, seen on Comedy Central and the Ellen DeGeneres Show.


There’s only one word at New Year and that is Junkanoo, the multi-coloured, multi-costumed parade of fun, street dance, food and fiesta that makes memories forever. Not just a street parade, but a masquerade, a musical celebration, and a quite remarkable experience. The costumes, themed music, prizes and beautifully-designed aesthetic mark out an irresistible New Year’s holiday just a short hop from Cayman.

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