Our 2012/2013 New Year’s Eve Party Picks in Honolulu, Hawaii

Here's your guide to the best places to be on New Year's Eve.
Fireworks above Aloha Tower.

Photo: istock

Slip into your favorite Catwoman or Spiderman costume for the Sheraton Waikiki’s superhero-themed party at RumFire. The hotel’s decorations are designed to evoke a “post-apocalyptic metropolis of destruction,” reminding you of the impending doomsday scenario. Playboy playmate DJ Blondie, DJ Betty and DJ SHO entertain you, while you party like there’s no tomorrow in VIP rooms: Bacardi Batcave, Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, Ketel Kryptonite Room and Xavier’s School for the Gifted. And watch world record-breaking BASE jumper Miles Daisher leap down from atop the hotel just before midnight. 21+, 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., $75 presale, $85 before midnight, $40 after midnight, $20 after 1 a.m., Sheraton Waikiki, 2255 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki. 922-4422, rumfirewaikiki.com.

The Lux at the Trump invites you to a celebration reminiscent of a scene from James Bond movie Casino Royale. Dress to impress (black tie and gown optional) and mingle with celebrities, models and executives. Try your luck at the black jack, roulette and craps tables for a chance to win door prizes. Dance to music from Tahiti Rey and Jason Alan, and take home a free copy of their new hit single “Ocean Eyes.” View Waikiki fireworks from the hotel and streamed video from the New York Times Square ball drop. Guests will receive champagne toast and party favors. 21+, 8:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., $100+, Trump International Hotel and Towers Waikiki Beach Walk 6th Floor, 223 Saratoga Road, 721-7777, NewYearsEveHawaii.EventBrite.com.

Make a trip to Aloha Tower Marketplace for a celebration featuring more than 50 performers. You’ll be greeted by cartoon characters and 12-foot-tall stilt walkers when you enter this block party spanning 10 acres. Enjoy a fashion show, Cirque Hawaii’s fire knife performers, Chinese lion dancers, street musicians and more. Watch the sky light up with a majestic “The Sky of Lighters” fireworks show at midnight. 21+, 7 p.m., $25 presale, $30 general admission, $50 general admission with express entry, $100+ VIP, Aloha Tower Marketplace, 1 Aloha Tower Marketplace, alohatowernye.com.

The Kakaako Waterfront Park’s “Party of the Year” caters to all ages. Keep the little ones occupied at the EK Fernandez Ferris Wheel and light shows. Adults can indulge in drinks at the beer garden and food from Eat the Street vendors. Hang out with the world’s best surfers at Vans Triple Crown wrap-up party. Dance to all types of music from Top 40 hits music videos projected on big screens and live music from deejays and reggae band Fiji. Reserve VIP seats ($75 adults only) for an elevated view in the middle of the party. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. and continue every hour, ending with a grand finale at midnight. All ages, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., free children under 10, $25 general admission, $75+ VIP, Kakaako Waterfront Park, 102 Ohe Street, 745-3000, www.nyehawaii.com.

New Year’s Eve celebrations occupy this swanky Modern Honolulu hotel with six designated party areas: the lounge, pool decks, the study, Modern Honolulu ballroom, Addiction nightclub and VIP Sun Suite. Bust out your dance moves to live music from L.A., Miami and Hawaii top deejays. Sip on the hotel’s signature “Merry and Modern” cocktail, while you relax on the pool deck to watch midnight fireworks over Waikiki. 21+, 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., $75 general admission, $100 VIP, The Modern Honolulu Hotel, 1775 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 943-5820, themodernhonolulu.com.

If you are looking for a laid-back alternative to crowded parties, spend your evening with Grammy Award-winning musician John Cruz at ARTS at Marks Garage. Each show is limited to 100 people, so you’ll experience an intimate performance from this performer known for the Hawaiian classic “Island Style.” Enjoy an early performance with enough time to grab drinks at a nearby bar and catch a midnight fireworks show at Aloha Tower. 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., $20 general admission, $35 reserved seating first three rows, The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave., 521-2903, johncruz.com.

Fireworks fanatics can celebrate with the state's largest New Year’s Eve aerial fireworks show at the Ko Olina Resort. At midnight, you can enjoy a free 15-minute display of more than $100,000 worth explosives and pyrotechnics over the resort's four lagoons. Bring your kids early around 7:30 p.m. to watch a free family-friendly movie at Lagoon 4. Coolers, backpacks and alcoholic beverages are not allowed to this event. Free, midnight, Ko Olina Resort, 92-1480 Aliinui Drive, 679-1090, koolina.com. Here's a tip: Hang out at Off the Hook bar for some drinks until midnight. Or, cruise into the New Year aboard a 61-foot powered catamaran ($109 per person) complete with pupu, cocktails, champagne toast with front row views of the fireworks.

Catch a glimpse of the fireworks display off Ko Olina from the Aulani Beach Lagoon. Hit the beach with the family for this party with deejays, Disney characters, beverages and desserts. You can upgrade to the dinner package if you are craving more than just sweets. Welcome the new year with top hats, glow sticks, noisemakers and a midnight champagne toast (apple cider for the kids). Cheers! Entertainment package only (10 p.m. to 12 a.m., $69 for guests ages 10 and up, $39 for kids ages 3 to 9, free for 2 and under); Entertainment and Dinner package (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. dinner, $165 guests 10 and up, $85 for keiki ages 3 to 9, free for 2 and under), Aulani Beach Lagoon, 92-1185 Aliinui Drive, 674-6200, resorts.disney.go.com/aulani-hawaii-resort/activities-amenities/new-years-eve-beach-party

(12/28/2012 updated)