The symbolic centre of New York City has become a global tradition for celebrating New Year's Eve. Times Square features star-studded musical performances

Top destinations to ring in the new year

Resolve to kick start your new year by counting down to midnight in a unique way.

Resolve to kick start your new year by counting down to midnight in a unique way.

There are plenty of places to be as you celebrate, whether you are looking for a family friendly event or an all-night party.

Rio de Janeiro

Nothing compares with New Year’s Eve in Rio. Midnight is celebrated all along the beaches, but especially on Copacabana where 2.5 million people crowd together on the beach and road.

Almost everyone wears white, the champagne bottles pop and the cracks of fireworks create a breathtaking atmosphere. Crowds surge to the beach, which is illuminated by thousands of candles as Christian and Afro-Brazilian religions mix and make their offerings and promises for the new year. The surf is full of red roses and white gladioli as people make their offerings to the Queen of the Sea and even small boats are launched full of flowers.

Los Angeles

From intimate gourmet dinners to huge dance parties, L.A. is ready to welcome 2012 with open arms.

The largest free New Year’s Eve celebration takes place at Universal CityWalk Hollywood. Two stages featuring live performances and fireworks add to the festivities. Or, what better way to close out 2011 than by cheering on the Vancouver Canucks, who face off against the L.A. Kings at the Staples Center.

Don’t leave L.A. at the stroke of midnight. On Jan. 2 at 8 a.m., join the millions of viewers around the world who will watch the 123rd annual Rose Parade in Pasadena. The parade features beautiful pageantry and tradition of magnificent floral floats and spirited marching bands.

Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will host the New Year’s Eve celebration known as America’s Party.

This includes a spectacular fireworks show fired from eight rooftop locations along the Las Vegas Strip off the following properties; Tropicana, MGM Grand, Aria, Planet Hollywood, Caesar’s Palace, Treasure Island, The Venetian and the Stratosphere.

For the first time in five years, legendary band Guns N’ Roses is on a U.S. tour and will stop in Vegas on New Year’s Eve at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Or, check out the New Year, New Possibilities 2012 tour stop with icon Stevie Wonder at the Cosmopolitan. With bright lights, big glamour and one of the most exciting getaways on the planet, Las Vegas is a great place to kick of the new year.

New York

New Year’s Eve at the symbolic centre of New York City has become more than just a celebration — it’s a global tradition. The world holds its breath and cheers as the clock strikes 12.

As the famous New Year’s Eve ball descends, an estimated one million people in Times Square, millions nationwide and over a billion watching throughout the world are united in bidding a collective farewell to the departing year.

The celebration features star-studded musical performances, balloons, pom-poms, confetti, a colourful pyrotechnic display and about a million of your closest friends. Expect to arrive early to get the best viewing section.

Visit the wishing wall in Times Square Visitor Center. Post your personal goal or dream and it will be added to the confetti that flutters down in the heart of Times Square on NYE.

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