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Free and Budget New Year’s Eve Parties in the D.C. Area
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Entertainment | by Shy |

New Year’s Eve 2020

If you prefer to keep things simple on the last night of the decade, avoiding sky-high cover charges and paying only for the drinks you consume, this is our annual guide to bars that will be open with no cover charge on Dec. 31.

Opera Ultra Lounge: Known to some in Chocolate City as the best party in The Nations Capital, Opera New Years Eve, should undoubtedly be at the top of your nightlife list when it comes to Washington DC. Opera Ultra Lounge is everything you would imagine, a classic District nightclub to be. This New Year’s Eve, enjoy a 1 hour premium open bar (9PM-10PM) along with a complimentary champagne toast, at Opera Ultra Lounge. Not only are these fabulous amenities offered, Dj Maravlous, will be in the building hosting the NYE midnight countdown. 1400 I Street NW.

All Souls Bar: The Shaw corner bar, known for its simple and affordable cocktails, opens as usual at 6 p.m. 725 T St. NW.

Astro Lab Brewing: The Silver Spring craft brewery is extending its hours until 1 a.m. Look for new beers, free party favors and a midnight toast. 8216 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.

Boundary Stone: Not only does Bloomingdale’s Boundary Stone keep the party free on New Year’s Eve, it offers happy hour from 4 to 10 p.m., including $5 DC Brau and house wines. Reed Appleseed, the host of the pub’s weekly open mic, performs starting at 9 p.m. 116 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

D.C. Reynolds: It’s just another night at Park View’s D.C. Reynolds, which means buy any drink between 5 and 9 p.m. and you’ll get one free. 3628 Georgia Ave. NW.

Free State: The month-long Sparking December celebration of champagne wraps up on New Year’s Eve with a party featuring “specialty cocktails and lots of bubbly.” Don’t worry — there will be plenty of Mid-Atlantic beers and spirits to go around, too. 501b G St. NW.

Galaxy Hut: The annual “No Cover, Nothing Stupid” party returns to Arlington’s coolest low-key neighborhood beer bar. 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.

Hellbender Brewing: Pints are $5 at the Northeast D.C. brewery’s all-night happy hour, while mobile pizza purveyor Cipolla Rossa provides brick-oven pies. 5788 Second St. NE.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon: Jack Rose is once again offering different parties on different floors on New Year’s Eve. The rooftop bar offers all-you-can-eat-and-drink “Pre-Bash New Year’s Eve” from 5 to 8 p.m. for $50 per person. The saloon is open as usual with no cover; special menus, including “the best whiskeys to try before the ball drops”; $40 bottomless champagne; extended happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m.; and food available until 1 a.m. 2007 18th St. NW.

La Jambe: There are two New Year’s Eve countdowns at the Shaw wine bar. First, at 6 p.m., La Jambe will celebrate the arrival of 2020 in Paris, showing French TV on a projection screen. At midnight, there’s free-flowing French Crémant for everyone. In between? French music, French food, a raffle, and $60 for unlimited champagne. Doors open at 4 p.m. 1550 Seventh St. NW.

Little Miss Whiskey’s: DJ Kangal spins yacht rock tunes all night — “smooth sounds for the rough seas ahead,” according to the bar. The mellow mood pairs well with one of H Street NE’s best beer lists. Admission is free before 9 p.m., and $10 after. 1104 H St. NE.

Maxwell Park: Counter stools at the popular Shaw wine bar are first-come, first-seated on New Year’s Eve, but reserving a table for two to 12 people requires a minimum tab starting at $200. 1336 Ninth St. NW.


Moreland’s Tavern: The family-friendly New Year’s Eve at Moreland’s Tavern starts with “ball drops” at 6 and 7:30 p.m., before adults take over with a DJ and dancing beginning at 9 p.m.. Reservations are required for the all-ages portion of the evening but not later. 5501 14th St. NW.

The Passenger: The Passenger is another bar throwing parties on multiple levels. The main bar is open with no cover and festive cocktails featuring sparkling wine, while the upstairs Hex Bar offers BurlHex: A $50 party with a burlesque show and tarot readings. 1539 Seventh St. NW.

Punch Bowl Social: The three-level Ballston bar — packed with video games, bowling lanes and private karaoke rooms — rings in 2020 with a space-themed “Party Like it’s 3199” bash. A DJ and a special punch are featured starting at 9 p.m., leading to a midnight balloon drop. 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.

Quarry House Tavern: On New Year’s Eve, Silver Spring’s venerable basement bar sticks to what it does best. Look for drink specials and discounted tater tots, among other deals. 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring.

Red Bear Brewing: “New Bear’s Eve” at the NoMa brewery brings a performance by pop singer Billy Winn; DJ Devin Trotter; and a midnight toast and balloon drop. Important note: The bar is 21-and-over only after 7 p.m. 209 M St. NE.

Red Derby: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the motto at the Red Derby, where the usual party plan — 1970s music and cocktails on the tented-and-heated rooftop deck, 1990s tunes and drinks on the main level — hasn’t changed. Themed attire, whether polyester or flannel, is welcome. There’s no cover, though table reservations are available ($20 per person), and drink packages are available; high rollers can opt for the $100-per-person ticket that includes unlimited Moet champagne, cocktails, beer and hors d’oeuvres. 3718 14th St. NW.

Showtime: The “No Cover New Year’s Eve Spectacular” kicks off with house band Granny and the Boys performing sweet funk and soul from 7 to 10 p.m., followed by DJ Mic Burns spinning vinyl into 2020. Cheap beer-and-a-shot combos and a free midnight toast keep things affordable. 113 Rhode Island Ave. NW.

Suns Cinema: Both levels of the arthouse theater and bar will be open for the appropriately named ‘Fin’ party, with DJ Pharoah Haqq and $20 bottles of sparkling wine. 3107 Mt. Pleasant St. NW.

Trade: Vagenesis — the winner of the D.C. Drag Wars Season 3 — hosts Trade’s annual party, with performances by Rosé Evergreen, Khaiya Darnell and Sirius Prism, and music from DJs Wess and StrikeStone. A free toast at midnight will be followed by other countdowns over the course of the party, “because why not?” 1410 14th St. NW.

Walters Sports Bar: At Walters, there’s no debate about the most memorable event of 2019: the Nationals winning the team’s first World Series. Flash back to that extraordinary night at this best-of-2019 party, which includes a showing of that pivotal Game 7, timed to show the final out at midnight. 10 N St. SE.