10 Crazy New Year's Eve Drops

Sure, you can watch the ball drop from New York City’s Times Square—or you can head to one of these other destinations to witness something more unusual.

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Wiener Christkindlmarkt

Wiener Christkindlmarkt

Travel to Vienna, Austria, to explore the Wiener Christkindlmarkt. This traditional Christmas market, located in City Hall Square, has 145 stalls selling spiced wine, gingerbread, unique arts and crafts and much more. 960 1280

  

White Party Week

White Party Week

Experience the Miami Beach lifestyle, and enjoy good food and drink during six days of all-male and all-female parties, including the Women’s White Party Weekend. Party-goers spend money that goes to Care Resource, a organization that funds multiple HIV/AIDS programs. 960 1280

  

Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights

Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights

If you’re visiting Chicago during the holidays, check out this illuminated festival. It’s known for its holiday-inspired store window displays, and its star-studded Disney procession on opening day. Be sure to get a front row seat to see the parade, live music and fireworks. 960 1280

  

Catalan Christmas Fair

Catalan Christmas Fair

This fair, held outside of the Barcelona Cathedral, has 300 stalls selling seasonal goods, including Catalan nativity figures, mistletoe, Christmas trees and delicious treats like Christmas biscuits. 960 1280

  

Sushi Drop

Sushi Drop

Celebrate your New Year’s Eve in Key West, watching a campy, extravagantly dressed drag queen being lowered from the Bourbon Street Pub, in a large, red, high-heel shoe. Once the drag queen has dropped, ring in the New Year at the fabulous block party. 960 1280

  

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival

It’s 1 of the largest ice festivals in the world, and it attracts 1,000s of people to Northeastern China, to see snow carvings, ice sculptures, fireworks. There’s also skiing, ice sliding and swimming, for those who can take the chilly, subzero dip in the Songhua River. 960 1280

  

Taste of London

Taste of London

Formerly "Taste of Christmas," This annual event in London has the UK’s leading chefs demonstrate their techniques for holiday food preparation. There are also special tasting workshops for wine, cheese and chocolate. 960 1280

  

Melbourne's Midsumma

Melbourne's Midsumma

This annual LGBTQ arts and culture festival celebrates queer arts with exhibitions, musical and theater performances, live bands, picnics, dance parties and sporting events. 960 1280

  

New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach

New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach

Spend New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach, Brazil’s second largest event outside of Carnival. Dance to live DJs, sip champagne at midnight, celebrate African traditions, watch fireworks and don't forget to wear white. Brazilians believe it symbolizes good luck. 960 1280

  

GFest

GFest

GFest, organized by Wise Thoughts, is London’s annual arts festival, featuring leading and upcoming LGBTQ artists. It includes musical performances, dance, visual arts, theater, LGBTQ short films, debates, workshops and parties. 960 1280

  

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Blowing Rock Winterfest

Blowing Rock Winterfest

Head to the mountains of North Carolina for the annual Blowing Rock Winterfest. This lively winterfest features a plunge into the icy waters of Lake Chetola, followed by the chance to warm up with hot chocolate and chili in downtown Blowing Rock.

When: Late January

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Todd Bush Photography  

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Run for your life! This group of New Year’s revelers rushes from the freezing waters of Vancouver’s English Bay. 2014 marks the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim’s 94th year, making it one of the largest and oldest clubs of its kind in the world.

When: New Year's Day

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Reuters   

Courage Polar Bear Dip

Courage Polar Bear Dip

Courage, lads! Since its start in 1985, the annual Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ontario, has become the largest polar bear dip for charity in Canada. Money raised supports clean water projects organized by the advocacy organization World Vision Canada.

When: New Year’s Day 

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Courage Polar Bear Dip  

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge

Seattle Polar Bear Plunge

They’re freezin’ for a reason. Plungers take to the waters off Seattle’s Matthews Beach for the city’s annual polar bear plunge. Now in its 12th year, the Seattle Polar Bear Plunge is one of 8 statewide plunges to benefit Special Olympics Washington.

When: New Year’s Day

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mordac, flickr   

Aruba New Year's Plunge

Aruba New Year's Plunge

In search of warmer climes to take the plunge? Head to Aruba for the Caribbean island’s annual Aruba New Year's Plunge. Hundreds of people gather at MooMba Beach for the “Unox Nieuwjaarsduik” (New Year’s plunge), which takes place at noon sharp. The event is open to everyone; no charge.

When: New Year’s Day 

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Aruba Daily Newspaper  

Coney Island Plunge

Coney Island Plunge

Cold enough for you? These 2 brave guys take part in the annual Coney Island Plunge organized by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, the oldest ice swimming club in the US. The yearly dip into the Atlantic begins at 1 p.m. sharp; afterward, if you’re still breathing, check out the famous Coney Island boardwalk.

When: Jan. 1

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Getty Images  

Russian Orthodox Epiphany

Russian Orthodox Epiphany

In the name of the …wow, this water is cold! A Russian man celebrates the Russian Orthodox Epiphany with a dip in frigid waters. The age-old ritual commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, but we have a feeling the Jordan’s waters were a lot less cold.

When: Mid-January

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Reuters  

Tybee Polar Plunge

Tybee Polar Plunge

Thousands of people flock to Tybee Island, near Savannah, GA, for the annual Tybee Polar Plunge plunge into the brisk waters of the Atlantic. Plungers register for a nominal fee, with proceeds going toward the historic Tybee Post Theater, built in 1930.

When: New Year’s Day

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Tybee Polar Plunge   

Scotland's Loony Dook

Scotland's Loony Dook

Showing their white-and-blue Scottish pride, these 2 “loony dookers” take a dip in Scotland’s River Forth. The annual Loony Dook event in Scotland began in 1987 with a handful of participants; the event has since grown into a New Year’s rite of passage for thousands.

 

When: New Year’s Day 

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Lee Carson, flickr  

Baltimore PlungeFest

Baltimore PlungeFest

Holy moly, ma, Darth Vader’s not wearing any clothes under that cape! This wickedly cool plunger takes a dip in the Chesapeake Bay’s cold waters near Baltimore. The annual Baltimore PlungeFest kicks off in Annapolis, MD’s Sandy Point State Park, with proceeds going to Special Olympics Maryland.

When: Late January

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Steve Ruark Photography  

Chicago Polar Plunge

Chicago Polar Plunge

Skip the clothes, grab a wig! Celebrate the New Year (and a good cause) with hundreds of revelers who dive into the icy waters of Chicago’s Lake Michigan in early spring. 2015 marks Chicago Polar Plunge’s 15th year, with proceeds going toward Special Olympics Chicago.

When: Early March

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Grace Trivino, flickr   

Netherlands New Year's

Netherlands New Year's

Wearing colorful vestments, this man takes a dip in the waters off Scheveningen, a beachside resort town in the Netherlands. The annual event began in 1960, and attracts more than 10,000 people, who plunge into the icy North Sea on New Year’s Day.

When: Jan. 1

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Reuters  

Sydney

Sydney

Fireworks explode above the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House. Thousands of people lined the harbor to watch the country's biggest fireworks show. 960 1280
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam, Netherlands

New Year's Eve fireworks illuminate the sky over the Erasmus Bridge crossing the Nieuwe Maas River in Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands. 960 1280

Reuters  

Berlin

Berlin

An explosion of fireworks light up the Quadriga sculpture atop the Brandenburg Gate during a New Year's Eve party in Berlin. 960 1280

Reuters/Tobias Schwarz  

New York City

New York City

At NYC’s Times Square, confetti rains down on thousands of revelers celebrate the beginning of a new year at the stroke of midnight. 960 1280

Reuters/ Kena Betancur   

Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

People stroll down the Silvesterpfad aka New Year’s Eve Trail at Stephansplatz during New Year's Eve celebrations in Vienna. 960 1280

Reuters/Lisi Niesner   

Toronto

Toronto

Spectators can watch the fireworks explode over Toronto's waterfront, one of the best New Year's Eve celebrations in the world. 960 1280
Scotland

Scotland

Two New Year revelers kiss as they take part in the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh's 4-day festival includes a torchlight procession, street party, resolution concert and more. 960 1280

By Robbie Shade (Fireworks over Edinburgh) [CC BY 2.0]  

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Fireworks explode above Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. More than 2 million people gather along Rio's most famous beach to witness the 15-minute fireworks display and celebrate the New Year. 960 1280
Egypt

Egypt

Thousands of people flock to an amazing concert held in front of the 4,500-year-old pyramids in Egypt. A popular artist uses his techno-wizardry to entertain spectators from sunset to sunrise at the Millennium New Year's celebration. 960 1280

Khaled Desouki/Stringer/Getty Images  

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Revellers take part in New Year celebrations in Hong Kong's Times Square. 960 1280

Reuters  

London

London

Fireworks explode behind The Big Ben clock tower during New Year celebrations in London. 960 1280

Reuters  

Paris

Paris

Thousands of revellers celebrate the New Year on the Champs Elysees in Paris. 960 1280

Reuters  

Prague

Prague

Local residents and foreign tourists celebrate New Year's Eve at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic. 960 1280

Getty  

Moscow

Moscow

Fireworks explode over St. Basil Cathedral at Red Square during New Year's Day celebrations in Moscow. 960 1280

Reuters  

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