As January 1st approaches, the question everyone starts to ask is, "What are you doing for New Year's?" Some people want to go all out with fireworks and champagne toasts, while others just want to hang out with friends and hear some good music. Here are some options for New Year's Eve in Baltimore depending on your mood:
Mega Parties: You know the types. Multiple bands, multiple floors, and clocking in around $100. My experience, though, is these are usually worth it as you enjoy live entertainment and close to five hours of open-bar time.
- The grandaddy of these parties is the 9th annual New Years Eve Deck Party on the U.S.S. Constellation. From 10 p.m.-1 a.m., guests dine on an all-inclusive menu and sip local beer, wine, and mulled cider. At midnight, watch fireworks and sip champagne from the deck of the ship.
- Right around the corner is Mother's Downtown Countdown at The Hyatt Regency. Guests enjoy a five-hour open bar, various buffet stations, and bands and DJs from the '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s. The event also features a comedy tent and a great view of the fireworks.
- Similarly, there's the Charm City Countdown, which will transform Port Discovery into a party venue. The event will feature six bands and DJs, open bar and food, and a five-story adult climbing structure. Proceeds will benefit EpiCenter Baltimore and Caring Communities.
- If you want to party Federal Hill-style, head over to Mad River's New Year's Eve Party. There will be top-shelf open bar, shooters, a buffet, champagne and party favors from 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Live Music: If enjoying some live music on New Year's is more your thing, there's plenty to do in Baltimore from major concerts to intimate shows.
- The Ottobar will feature local band J. Roddy Walston and The Business (which will be celebrating its recent sign with Farifax/Vagrant Records), as well as Young Sir Jim, Hollywood, and more. Guests can enjoy a free buffet, $2 Bohs and rail drinks, and the venue will stay open until 5 a.m.
- Over at The 8x10 Club, the North Carolina-based, eccentric group Southern Culture on the Skids will perform. From 3 a.m. to sunrise, the club will host another show with the band Second Self. This show is free with a ticket from the first 8x10 or one from this next event.
- Rams Head Live's Cosmic New Year will feature Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra playing three sets (including a rare acoustic one). Guests can also enjoy an opening set from Baltimore's own The Bridge, as well as finger foods, champagne, and party favors. Again, a ticket to the Dark Star show gets you in free to the late-night show at The 8x10.
- A little further up town, The Wind-Up Space is hosting a New Year's Eve Soul Dance Party with local cover band The Bellevederes, folk singer Tommy Tucker, and more. Plus, free champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
- Nearby, Joe Squared will host the JW Group, featuring Jeron White and his band's fusion of jazz and drum-and-bass beats.
- The party starts at 11 p.m. over at Golden West Cafe when indie-pop group The Matrimonials take the stage.
- One of the cooler things happening this New Year's is the Free Taxlo Party at Sonar. From 9 p.m.-4 a.m., the venue hosts local hip-hop acts the Get 'Em Mamis, Height and Friends, and Aasha Adore, plus DJs Simon Phoenix and Cullen Stalin.
Family Fun: If you are less interested in partying the night away and more interested in keeping the little ones entertained, then try these family-friendly events.
- Attend Midnight Noon at the Maryland Science Center, which will feature crafts, a puppet show, food, and a performance by local kids band (and Grammy nominees!) Milkshake. The fun runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. New Year's Eve day.
- Or you could head on over to Port Discovery for their Noontime New Year. The event includes MPT's host Bob Heck, milk and cookies, cultural programs from around the world, and a performance by the Hilltop Hightops.
- If your kids are creative types, head to The Walters Art Museum for its Winter Break Activities. On both New Year's Eve and Day—from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.—kids can create artwork celebrating everything from holidays to heroes using the museum's ArtCarts as a guide.
Now you have no excuse to say you haven't heard of much going on this year. Of course, I couldn't touch on all the events. Any you guys want to add?
[Image: courtesy of baltssc.com]