The 10 Best Bars to Celebrate the New Year in Iowa!

Nothing signifies the passing of time quite like the end of a calendar year, and whether you want to give cheers for making it through this past year, or you want to celebrate all the fun that the new one will surely be serving up, a great place to find plenty of social interaction is a friendly, neighborhood bar. If your neighborhood happens to be in the state of Iowa, you don’t have to look very far to find a drinking establishment to celebrate in. Spread across the state, these 10 excellent Iowa bars will help you close out the year with a bang!  

1. The Mill, Iowa City, IA

Serving as a great bar to catch live shows, meet new friends, and have a good time during any season of the year, the Mill of Iowa City really comes to life for New Year’s Eve. Throughout the entire last weekend of 2017, the Mill is packed with fun shows to check out, and on the last day of the year itself, an epic dance party is set to take place. To really put a fun finish to the year, the Mill is serving up the excitement all night long. 


A post shared by Reidwell Turner (@reidwell) on

2. Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA

Throughout the last weekend of 2017, the Vaudeville Mews of Des Moines is hosting live shows that pay tribute to your favorite performances of the year. Hitting the stage on Saturday, Rockinfreakapotamus rocks the house and covers the Red Hot Chili Peppers with high energy. On Sunday, the last day of the year, Pale Blue Erf channels the Grateful Dead with a heady performance that will end the year on a high note. 

Last nite was so fun :’) • Photo: @moon.bath

A post shared by Street Heat (@streetheatdsm) on

3. Des Moines Social Club, Des Moines, IA

It should come as no surprise that the Social Club of Des Moines provides a pretty good shindig when it comes to the end of the year in the capital city. For 2017, the Des Moines Social Club is going throwback with a 1990s-themed “Saved by the Bash” filled with live performances and art experiences, plus over 700 people in attendance. For one of the biggest and best ends to the old year, and beginnings for the new one, the Des Moines Social Club will be serving up all the fun.

#DesMoinesSocialClub #NewOrleansJazz holiday party

A post shared by Kevin Reed (@kevlar325) on

4. DG’s Tap House, Ames, IA

The collegiate-inspired city of Ames knows how to celebrate the new year right, and if you happen to be a student at Iowa State University, or a fun-loving community member, DG’s Tap House is the bar where you’ll want to be. DG’s throws down on some of the best live music and parties throughout the year in Ames, and come the end of the year, this local Tap House pulls out all the stops with multiple bands, cash prizes and a high-volume party throughout the night. 

5. Dublin City Pub, Cedar Rapids, IA

For a great taste of the local flavor of fun in Cedar Rapids this New Year’s Eve, the Dublin City Pub will be serving up great libations and ambiance all night long. Irish heritage or not, all are welcome at the Dublin City Pub, and come the end of the year, this community staple pub will be sure to provide a great time to catch up with old friends and make some new acquaintances.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Stacie Shannon. (@stacielmaa) on

6. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Sioux City, IA

Come the new year in Sioux City, few establishments throw as big of a party as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Featuring great drink specials, a lively crowd of people and a special performance by the electric and entertaining “Spazmatics,” the Hard Rock Hotel will be throwing a bash to always remember. Book your stay now, and you won’t even have to worry about getting back home after the big party.  

❤ if you got rained on during @jakeowenofficial Battery Park performance last year. #Thisishardrock #livemusic #concertphotography #rainyday

A post shared by Hard Rock Hotel Sioux City 🤘 (@hardrockhotelsc) on

7. Analog Arcade Bar, Davenport, IA

To game the last night of the year away, a hip place to be is the Analog Arcade Bar of Davenport. Featuring dozens of classic pinball machines, electronic and classic video games, plus skee-ball lanes, the Analog Arcade Bar not only provides plenty of reasons to play, but also comes complete with a fun atmosphere to share with friends. Come the end of the year, you can expect all the arcade games to be plugged in and ready for some fun. 

Come get some. #movember #tagtheqc #downtowndavenport

A post shared by C.F. Maidlow (@cfmaidlow) on

8. Octopus College Hill, Cedar Falls, IA

As one of the best bars to celebrate anything in Cedar Falls, the Octopus College Hill, sometimes better known simply as The Hill, has a long-standing reputation for serving up the fun come New Year’s Eve. For 2018, the Hill is packing the night with plenty of live music, great drink selections and plenty of good cheer amongst the crowd. If you enjoy live music, friendly people and a collegiate atmosphere that likes to stay up late, The Hill is the spot you’ll want to check out this New Year’s Eve.  

9. Ameristar Casino Hotel, Council Bluffs, IA

With an ability to provide a wide assortment of entertainment throughout the year, the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs will be sure to be packed with fun for the end of the year. Whether your ticket for excitement includes gambling, dining or listening to live music, you’ll find it at the Ameristar Casino Hotel, and best yet, at the end of the night you can simply take an elevator ride upstairs to get your first good sleep of the new year.

Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being.

A post shared by Brad (@insta_brad_) on

10. The Lift, Dubuque, IA

Slightly hidden off Lower Main Street in Dubuque, The Lift is a TV-free basement pub that is primed for social interaction. The Lift served up a proper Irish wake for 2016 last year, and for the end of 2017, you can expect a similar style of fun to bring in the new year. A great place to meet friends new and old, The Lift is all about sharing the fun, and will surely provide a great place to begin the new year in 2018. 

The stage is set and @hoodsmoke is ready to play Dubuque tonight! #hoodsmoke #rougharoundthehedges #livemusic #dubuque #thelift

A post shared by Sarah Marie Young (@sarahmarieyoungmusic) on

Select a Iowa town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
New Year's and First Night Celebrations Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Find Bars Near You
Enter City / State or Zip code below
Select your town to find the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you:

Adair County

Adams County

Allamakee County

Appanoose County

Audubon County

Benton County

Black Hawk County

Boone County

Bremer County

Buchanan County

Buena Vista County

Butler County

Calhoun County

Carroll County

Cass County

Cedar County

Cerro Gordo County

Cherokee County

Chickasaw County

Clarke County

Clay County

Clayton County

Clinton County

Crawford County

Dallas County

Davis County

Decatur County

Delaware County

Des Moines County

Dickinson County

Dubuque County

Emmet County

Fayette County

Floyd County

Franklin County

Fremont County

Greene County

Grundy County

Guthrie County

Hamilton County

Hancock County

Hardin County

Harrison County

Henry County

Howard County

Humboldt County

Ida County

Iowa County

Jackson County

Jasper County

Jefferson County

Johnson County

Jones County

Keokuk County

Kossuth County

Lee County

Linn County

Louisa County

Lucas County

Lyon County

Madison County

Mahaska County

Marion County

Marshall County

Mills County

Mitchell County

Monona County

Monroe County

Montgomery County

Muscatine County

Obrien County

Osceola County

Page County

Palo Alto County

Plymouth County

Pocahontas County

Polk County

Pottawattamie County

Poweshiek County

Ringgold County

Sac County

Scott County

Shelby County

Sioux County

Story County

Tama County

Taylor County

Union County

Van Buren County

Wapello County

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County

Webster County

Winnebago County

Winneshiek County

Woodbury County

Worth County

Wright County