3526 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103
The best place to view fireworks in the city, without a doubt, will be from the festival grounds. Admission to First Night is just $10 for adults, $5 for kids, and your admission button gets you into dozens of concerts, shows, performances and activities. The event is alcohol-free and is a magical place to ring in the New Year. Fireworks are scheduled at 9 p.m. (for kiddies who can’t stay up late) and midnight. Swaying with the crowd in the street, snuggled in a warm coat, watching fireworks and singing “Auld Lang Syne” is a heartwarming way to bring in the city’s 250th year.
First Night River Bend
Lewis & Clark Community College
5800 Godfrey Road
Godfrey, IL 62035
If you live on the Illinois side, or just prefer to party outside the city, the First Night event in Godfrey is for you. Like all First Night celebrations, this one is alcohol-free and celebrates the New Year with art performances and activities. The schedule hasn’t been announced for this year, but fireworks have always been offered at 9 p.m. and midnight in the past. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and a cozy hat and enjoy the show.
111 Westport Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63146
Westport Plaza starts the party early, with fireworks at 6 p.m. View the fireworks from the outdoor village, then catch a free carriage ride in front of the St. Louis Bread Company location from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Westport offers plenty of dinner and entertainment options to finish off your New Year’s celebration.
St. Louis, MO 63104
St. Louis’s beautiful French neighborhood should offer a great view of the First Night fireworks at Grand Center at 9 p.m. and midnight. The Square offers lots of tasty restaurants, brew pubs and upscale bars to ring in the New Year. Bailey’s Chocolate Bar offers a particularly decadent way to celebrate. Fireworks should be visible from the park, looking to the northwest.
Pere Marquette Lodge
13653 Lodge Blvd.
Grafton, IL 62037
(618 ) 786-2331
The lodge at Pere Marquette offers a New Year’s Eve extravaganza, with a buffet dinner, cocktails, live music and a midnight toast. If you can tear yourself away and look downriver at 9 p.m. or midnight, you should be able to view the fireworks from Godfrey’s First Night Riverbend celebration. Book a room at the lodge and you won’t have to worry about driving home in that New Year’s Eve traffic.
Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at Lauren@LaurenHaas.com