10 Things to Do in San Francisco on New Years Eve For Less Than $100

Jessica Nemire

10 Things to Do in San Francisco on New Years Eve For Less Than $100

If you've been in San Francisco for longer than a few days, there's two things you might notice:

1. We love any excuse for a celebration

2. Going out for said celebrations can get expensive

New Years Eve is no exception to either of these rules. San Francisco has lots and lots of events going on to celebrate the last day of the year - and most of them are expensive and/or will require you standing in a massive queue to get in the venue.

We put together this eclectic list of what we think are going to be some of the most fun things to do in San Francisco on New Year's Eve - without breaking the bank, because helping you have an amazing time without breaking the bank is what we do over here at Pacific Tradewinds Hostel!

Please note that all prices here include the extra fees that will be slapped on your ticket after you purchase it online. That’s why so many of the prices listed seem arbitrary. We wanted to make sure there were no surprises - the price we listed here is exactly how much your ticket will be if you buy it online ahead of time. (Provided that they're not sold out!)

ALSO, most of these events on this list are fairy close to our awesomely located hostel, but if you aren't staying with us - or you are, but want to go somewhere farther away - MUNI (our metro system) is free all night long on New Year's Eve! So no need to pay for an expensive Lyft or Uber, because like many events, that is also something that will become widlly expensive on New Year's Eve.

Without further ado, here are 10 things to do in San Francisco on New Years Eve UNDER $100:

1. Watch the Fireworks Show in Front of the Bay Bridge - Free - All ages

If you haven't seen the Bay Bridge at night yet, it's an absolute San Francisco must. Also, it's only a 30 minute walk from our hostel! The cables of the Bay Bridge are adorned with a LED light display shooting up and down its cables, making it stunning to look at any day after it gets dark. With fireworks exploding in front of it, it will be even cooler! Every year, there's a massive fireworks show along The Embarcadero at midnight that gives you an amazing view of the Bay Bridge. However, because this event is free and awesome and in one of the most touristy areas of San Francisco, you'll probably also get an amazing view of the backs of peoples' heads. If you want to catch the fireworks show, but you'd prefer to get away from crowds, consider walking the 15 minutes to Telegraph Hill instead. You'll likely still be able to see the fireworks without the thousands of other people. No matter where you go to see fireworks, make sure you get there around 23:00 or 23:30, because the fireworks start right at midnight and only last for 15 minutes! 

2. Free Arcade Games and Celebration at Coin Op - Free - 21+

If you're not into clubs or crowds, and your bank account is mad at you, Coin-Op on New Year's Eve might be the way to go. Coin-Op is popular bar/arcade combo with all your favorite arcade games, like Pac-Man and several variations of pinball. Usually, their games are coin-operated but on the last Sunday of the month AND also New Year's Eve, you can play all their games for 100% FREE! They'll also have drink discounts and a ball drop at midnight.

3. Comedy Show and 90s Hip-hop Dance Party - $17.55 - 21+

This event is farther from our hostel than the rest of them are, but remember when we told you MUNI is free all night?! Also, as far as we know, Neck of the Woods is the only venue offering free pre-rolled joints at their New Year's Eve event. Yep, you read that correctly! Neck of the Woods is beginning their night by hosting a comedy show at 20:30. As soon as the comedians leave, the 90s hip-hop dance party starts! Boogie to Biggie and shuffle to Ashanti from 10:00 until 2:00. The party is co-hosted by a well-known cannabis company, so they'll be handing out free joints and other marijuana treats as long as supplies last. They will also be handing out free champagne at midnight to properly toast to 2020. Tickets to the dance party WITHOUT the comedy show are $22.85, but the site mentions that if you buy a ticket for the comedy show and come at 20:30 for the laughs, it's OK with them if you stay for the rest of the night. So you'll get a dance party, champagne, AND a comedy show for $5 less than the original price. We call that a deal.

4. Bar Crawl 'Til The Ball Falls - $19.01 - 21+

We unfortunately can't take credit for this epic event name, as that's what this awesome bar crawl has named itself. Buy your bar crawl wristband online, and head to the Boardroom (12 minutes walking from our hostel) to pick up your wristband between 18:00 and 23:00. Once you have your wristband, you can start crawlin'! The wristband gets you into all participating bars until 2:00 without having to pay an entry fee, plus access to drink discounts all night. They'll release the list of participating bars 24 hours before the event starts, but the price might go up by then, too. Because the start bar is so close to the hostel, we are assuming that the other participating bars will also be within equal stumbling distance to your dorm bed.

5. Hip-hop/Reggaeton Dance Party Super Close To The Hostel - $22.09 - 21+

Love dancing, don't love having to worry about public transportation at the end of a night out? We gotchu. Cosmo Bar and Lounge in North Beach will have several DJs spinning your favorite hip-hop and reggaeton dance hits from 21:00 until 2:00. They'll also have a live video countdown and balloon drop at midnight. The best part? They're only an 8 minute walk from our hostel, so when you're done dancing the night away you can be back in your bed in less than 10 minutes. How amazing is that?! If you come in after midnight, just please remember to keep the noise level down so you don't wake up any sleeping hostel guests!

6. 70s and 80s Dance Party at the Cat Club  - $28.16 - 21+

70s and 80s music afficionados should look no further than the historic Cat Club on NYE. They'll feature 70s hits in the back of the club and 80s hits in the front, so you can boogie on a budget all night long. The show starts at 21:30 and goes until 3:00, unlike most other shows on this list, which end at the usual San Francisco time of 2:00.

7. Dance with Afrolicious at Monarch - $48.14 - 21+

Popular San Francisco-based band Afrolicious is bringing their Latin fusion and Afrobeat sounds to Monarch to keep your booty shaking all night. If you're not into EDM or hip-hop, and you want to check out a popular San Francisco club by grooving to a local San Franciso band, Monarch is the place you should be on the last night of 2019.

8. Great Gatsby Themed Party with OPEN BAR - $75.79 - 21+

Usually, events with an open bar in San Francisco on New Years Eve are upwards of $150. At SoMa lounge Bergerac, however, you can get unlimited alcohol from 21:00 to 2:00 for less than $76!! The party is Great Gatsby themed, so if you don't have anything with beads or feathers in your suitcase, head on down to the awesomely cheap store Daiso 10 minutes away to see if they have any last-minute costumes to get you into character. Want to go but don't think you'll drink enough for an open bar to be worth it? You can purchase a non-open bar ticket for $43.99 and get down like Gatsby without the unlimited alcohol.

9. Ring In the New Year with Benny Benassi - $77.68 - 21+

A countless number of big-name DJs grace San Francisco on the last night of the year, but most of them do so for upwards of $150. However, at the popular nightclub Temple, you can see EDM legend Benny Benassi for roughly $78. ($77.68, to be exact!) The show starts at 22:00 and doesn't end until 4:00, so get ready to ring in the new year in style with one of the biggest names in electronic music.

10. Watch the Sunset with Your Hostel Friends - Free - All ages 

Our lovely community manager has a cheesy tradition of watching the last sunset of the year every year with champagne (if you're 21+) and friends! We'll be walking to the Bay Bridge at 16:30 to watch the last sunset of the year near one of the most iconic San Francisco landmarks!

In San Francisco for New Year's Eve but don't see anything on this list you want to do? Join our Facebook group, tell Jess what you're hoping to do on NYE, and she'll find something for you to do!


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