5 budget-friendly ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in metro Atlanta

Don’t start 2017 with costly activities that are going to destroy your budget. There are some free or cheap ways to celebrate the New Year in metro Atlanta without compromising on the fun.

Our list also doubles as the perfect New Year’s Eve guide for procrastinators, too. None of the items on our list requires a ticket, so they’re perfect for anyone who forgot to make reservations in advance.

Here are five things to do on New Year’s Eve:

Peach Drop

Join family, friends and thousands of metro Atlanta residents and visitors to watch as an 800-pound peach is dropped in downtown Atlanta.

A pending sale of Underground Atlanta may take place early in the new year, but it won’t affect the New Year’s Eve celebration this year. Ne-Yo and Collective Soul are on the bill..

7 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.) Dec. 31. Free. Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St., Atlanta. 

New Year’s Eve on Marietta Square

If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve drop with an element of surprise, head to Marietta Square. The daylong celebration will include carnival games, an escape room-style competition, live music and more.

Write your 2017 dreams and goals on a giant Resolution Wall or watch the Ice Warriors ice sculpture competition before finding out what the surprise drop will be at midnight. Last year’s inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration involved a gymnast being “dropped” (or lowered) from a cube that was designed by Kennesaw State University.

2 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Marietta Square, 4 Depot St., Marietta.

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza

Ring in 2017 with a fireworks show and the rise of Duluth’s icon outside City Hall. Before the midnight celebration, bounce on inflatables or take a trip down a giant snow slide. Country singer Craig Campbell, a Georgia native, also will perform at the family-friendly event.

7 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. City Hall, 3167 Main St., Duluth.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade

Tickets to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl long have been sold out, but the parade before the big game is a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family. The festivities will kick off on Peachtree Street and feature mascots, marching bands, cheerleaders, floats, classic cars and more. The free parade is an Atlanta tradition and a fun way to celebrate the end of 2016 with loved ones who won’t be awake at midnight.

9 a.m. Dec. 31. Free. Baker Street and Peachtree Street.

Kids’ Early New Year’s Eve Celebration

Head to Stone Mountain Park for another family-friendly celebration on New Year’s Eve. The park will hold its Stone Mountain Christmas activities as usual at 2 p.m, culminating with the Snow Angel Fireworks and a Snowfall Finale at 8:30 p.m. Following costumed characters, music and more, get in place at 8:59 p.m. for an early New Year’s countdown. The countdown will be punctuated with snowfall instead of a traditional “drop” at 9 p.m.

2-9 p.m. Dec. 31. $25.95 child (ages 3-11), $31.95 adult, $5 (advance discount). Crossroads at Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain.

Edgewood bars

Bar hop on Atlanta’s Edgewood Avenue for a casual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy a plate of Noni’s garlic fries before heading to Mother for a cover charge that won’t exceed $10. Ring in the New Year at the bar with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Or, enjoy free champagne shooters and a game of ping pong at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium.

Various locations.

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