Top 5 Spots in Chattanooga to Celebrate New Year's Eve (bring it on 2020!)

December 29, 2019

Christmas may be over, but it’s not time to put away the sequins & sparkles just yet because New Year’s Eve is upon us! So much has happened in the past year, and I can’t believe we’re closing the book on 2019 already. 

So for today’s post, I just wanted to share a fun & sparkly NYE look, and countdown the ways you can celebrate NYE this year – whether you’re local to Chattanooga or off in some faraway dreamland (if you’re reading this from the comfort of a beachfront condo balcony, just know that I hate you. Just kidding. But really, I kind of hate you, as I write this from dreary & cold TN). 

My style is eclectic and really changes based on the season. But one constant is my love affair with shiny things: sequins, glitter, metallics, crystal…show me something sparkly, and I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I also love the Gatsby vibe as a general theme for NYE, so I paired the 2 together and went for a 1920s inspired flapper look with a modern spin. Overdone & cliché? Maybe – but there’s a reason. It’s a classic and timeless look.

This particular dress is from Forever21 several seasons ago (clearance, baby!), but I've found a few comps from Forever21 here, Lulus, or Amazon Prime! My wedges are Kelsi Dagger (also a few years old) but these Forever21 crystal heels (save) are a great option, or these Gianni Bini sandals, if you want to splurge!

A dress like this deserves to be seen, so I took it out for a spin at one of my favorite local haunts, Alchemy. The cocktails are strong, the music is hot, and it all felt very Gatsby. Unfortunately, Alchemy will be closed this NYE for a private party (hey – how do I get invited to that!?) but there’s still plenty of city offerings to ring in the New Year in style…

…which brings me to my NYE plans list. Chattanooga has a lot going on this time of year, and there are several spots throwing their own soiree for NYE. So let’s jump in to my picks for the top 5 New Years parties in Chattanooga this year.

  1. New Year’s Eve at the Read House
    One place I’ve been dying to spend NYE is the Read House. They throw an actual Gatsby-inspired NYE party, but I haven’t made it there yet. And that’s why it’s number 1 on my list. This year, they will have a 10 piece band and your ticket also includes a full bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast, and a late night dessert and coffee bar.
  2. West Village New Year’s Eve
    This one is a FREE event! No ticket required! You only pay for any food & drinks you might want. The West Village is an area of downtown that throws awesome block parties and offers something for everyone. This year there will be food trucks, specialty cocktails, kids activities, a laser light show, a 7:30pm ball drop for the kids (or tired old mommies like me), fire performers, giveaways, and fireworks!
  3. Back Inn Café’s New Year’s Eve Dinner
    If you haven't made it to the Bluff View Art District yet, you're seriously missing out. It's one of my favorite spots in Chattanooga and home to some truly delicious restaurants, including Back Inn Cafe. This year, they are hosting a NYE dinner with options from their new winter menu and the setting is incredibly cozy (drinks by the fireplace? Yes, please). I had Christmas brunch here one year and was lucky enough to visit on a day where the snow started coming down. Watching the snow fall on the bluff during Christmas brunch was truly magical. Here's to hoping a NYE dinner has some magical surprises in store!
  4. Roaring ‘20s New Years Eve at the Granfalloon
    The fun kicks off at 9pm and you can enjoy music, dancing, a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, photo booth, and a champagne toast. Be sure to dress to the 9s in your best 20s attire because there will be a costume contest for best dressed. One of the best part is that all proceeds will go to benefit the Chattanooga Autism Center.
  5. New Year Extravaganza at London Calling
    One of my favorite bars in Chatt is throwing a special NYE party this year, complete with a confetti drop! I'm not entirely sure what that is, but it sounds super fun! Doors open at 5 and you can enjoy bellydancers, champagne deals all night ($5 glasses and $20 bottles), and a DJ. Plus, of course, you will need to get fully glam for this event as well. Dress to impress!

“Ok, Shell, but like, I don’t live anywhere near Chattanooga. So what about me?” Fear not, dear friend! I’ve compiled a list for you, too. I’ve also thrown in some ideas for those of us (like me this year. Hi) who are phoning it in on NYE because we either couldn’t get a babysitter and/or literally cannot fathom the idea of making it past 9:30 on a Tuesday night. I hear you. 

Getting glammed up takes work and planning, especially if you have kids. So putting that kind of effort into an evening just to do a big countdown at 11:59PM (if you make it that far) and then immediately rush home to relieve the sitter can be a little stressful. That’s what live streams are for, anyway. I can watch the shiny ball drop from the comfort of my couch & in yoga pants just the same. 

Whether you want a glam night out or prefer to stick to sweats & order-in Chinese food, here are just a few ideas to celebrate NYE this year:
  • Check FaceBook for local events in your town. Tons of bars and hotels throw their own NYE parties and it’s easy to find them just by browsing events.
  • Throw your own bash! Stock up on champagne (or channel your inner Martha Stuart and make some fancy cocktails & whip up a cheese board) and break out the party games. There are also tons of DIY New Years themed cocktail party games on Pinterest or you can snag this fun one from Etsy. When I throw parties, I also like to create a makeshift photo booth. Amazon has a lot of cute/cheap backdrops, and you can get really creative with the décor.
  • Phone it in. Just turn on the TV, order in a pizza, and tell all your girls to come over in their PJs & sweats for the ultimate lazy-girl’s NYE. Potluck it with drinks and have everyone bring a different type of  wine or champagne.
  • See the first movie of the New Year. If you can make it to midnight, a midnight movie showing might just be for you!
  • Celebrate from somewhere new! If you have the time & the means, spend New Years somewhere different this year. If Times Square is your thing, go for it! If you want to be spontaneous, just roll a dice on a map and see where it lands. Or maybe just pick somewhere within driving distance, or see where the next cheapest flight out may take you! Exploring a new city in the New Year sounds like a great way to kick off 2020.
  • Not going to make it even close to midnight? Celebrate early – or late! Plan a NYE lunch or dinner as a family, a couple, or with friends, or celebrate 2020 with a New Years Day brunch. Many places won’t be open New Years Day, but you could host your own version, or plan for January 2nd!

So let’s bust out the crystal drinkware and kick up those heels, ladies  (or slippers. No judgement), because it’s time to drink champagne and dance on the table!

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