Now that Christmas is behind us, have you made your plans for New Year’s Eve? The options narrow with each passing day, but even if you’ve waited till the last minute, here are some ideas to help you ring in 2009.
- Make reservations for dinner out. Ok, all the really great spots may be booked up (or maybe not given the economy right now). I’d suggest taking a look at Open Table and see what is available. (This is a great site for reservations any time of year.)
- Fireworks at the Space Needle. You may still be able to get reservations for dinner or for one of the parties held there, but the real party is outside and it’s FREE. The fireworks display at midnight attracts tons of viewers both in person and on television. It’s great fun, even though it’s going to be cold, to be out on the street with friends and strangers welcoming the New Year.
- Area casinos offer a variety of entertainment and parties, and although nowhere near as elaborate as what you’d find in Vegas, it should be fun for those willing to take a gamble on 2009. Many have adjacent hotels, allowing you to stay close.
- Check Ticketmaster for tickets to various venues around the city. There’s comedy, music, and a variety of other performances, so chances are you’ll find something to snag your interest. There are tickets to many performances still available, and if you can’t find decent seats, consider the General Admission option (standing only) at the Paramount for Presidents of the United States. There is also reserved balcony seating available.
- Catch one or two of the end-of-year new movie releases. Fandango allows you to buy your tickets online in advance letting you avoid at least part of the lines.
- For the kids (grades 2-8), there’s a sleep over at the Pacific Science Center. It’s a little bit science and a lot of excitement as 2009 is welcomed in. At midnight the kids can watch the fireworks at the Space Needle from a kid-safe environment.
- First Night in Tacoma is family friendly and alcohol-free, with a variety of events planned at downtown venues.
- For a more reflective transition from one year to the next, many area houses of worship have special services and activities. Giving thanks and praying for a better 2009 is not a bad idea.
- Make hotel reservations, and combine a couple of these ideas for a festive night out. If room rates seem a little high for your budget, and you don’t mind selecting an area to stay in without knowing the name of your hotel, Hotwire delivers great hotel bargains. I use them a lot when I book a room downtown, and have never been disappointed.
- Stay home. Whether it’s by choice or because you didn’t plan early enough, there is a lot of New Year television programming. Movies, sports, and you can watch the fireworks at the Space Needle or the ball dropping in Times Square all from the comfort of your own home. And go ahead and go outside and bang pots and pans, or shout Happy New Year’s to your neighbors. After all, it’s only one night of the year.
Image credit: flickr