Thanks, Mayans. You royally mucked up the month of December by inciting a ridiculous amount of dialogue about the end of the world, and now everybody already threw raging parties to celebrate even when we all knew perfectly well your ancient theory was bullshit.
New Year’s Eve is kind of pissed about it. You totally tried to steal its thunder. That’s supposed to be the token time during the holidays when you’re able to abandon family obligations and any sense of responsibility. That’s the day for parties and dancing and drinking and debauchery.
With the multitude of wild and wacky end of the world parties that took place not so long ago around these parts, we at CityBeat had to search high and low for cool happenings that one-up any kind of lame, primal goat-sacrifice the Mayans would’ve held in honor of the arrival of the New Year.
And we did it. Here are a slew of our cherry-picked NYE events, categorized by your chosen means of celebrating (or coping with) the world’s very much alive transition into 2013. — Hannah McCartney
Bogart’s will host The Afghan Whigs with special guest Scrawl. Their Cincy show Oct. 25 was a sold-out affair, so get your tickets today! 8 p.m. $65. 2621 Vine St., Corryville. 513-872-8801, bogarts.com.
Bootsy Collins’ New Year’s Eve Funk Bash comes to Turfway Park this year. Come see Bootsy’s first performance in the Queen City in 25 years after you watch the thoroughbred races. Enjoy cocktails, a DJ and a midnight champagne toast. Prices vary from free to a $125 VIP ticket. 5:30 p.m.-1:45 a.m. 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, Ky. 859-371-0200, turfway.com.
Blue Wisp Jazz Club opens its door and stage for a New Year’s Eve Jazz celebration. Listen to live music from Eugene Goss in the Rosemary Clooney room and Mike Wade in the front bar area. $75 cover includes a buffet dinner with dessert and two drink tickets. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8:30 p.m. Buffet starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. Doors open for music and drinks at 10 p.m. to all others with a $30 cover charge. 700 Race St., Downtown. 513-241-9477, thebluewisp.com.
The Comet will be rockin’ into the New Year with The Slippery Lips and Automagik. 8 p.m. 4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside. 513-541-8900, cometbar.com.
Madison Theater rings in the New Year with Le Castle Vania and Zoogma in a Celebration of Life. Krowd Khemistry and Infected Angel are set to perform as well. 18 and up only. $20. 8 p.m. 730 Madison Ave., Covington. 859-491-2444, madisontheateronline.com.
MOTR Pub hosts a free show by You, You’re Awesome. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. motrpub.com.
Northside Tavern hosts PROJECTMILL’s monthly dance party, DANCE_MF, so you can swing, sashay and shake your way into the wee hours of 2013. Free. 21 and up. 10 p.m. 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside. 513-542-3603, northsidetav.com.
Southgate House Revival brings in the New Year with debauchery brought on by non-stop tunage from Mardou, The Pinstripes, Homemade Drugs, Quailbones, The Yugos, Molly Sullivan and more. $15. 8:30 p.m. Additional $3 at the door for ages 18-20. 111 E. Sixth St., Newport. 859-431-2201, southgatehouse.com.
aliveOne’s New Year’s Eve shindig requires formal attire to set the mood for a swanky transition into 2013. Music from DJ K-Smuv and DJ Will Ross. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP for guaranteed admission. 941 Pavilion St., Mount Adams. aliveone.com.
Igby’s party calls for cocktail attire and guests looking for a good time. Appetizers and bottle specials. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $20 in advance. 122 E. Sixth St., Downtown. 513-246-4396, igbysbar.com.
Know Theatre’s 7th Annual NYE Speakeasy Party includes raucous room games, tasty appetizers and two bars serving classic martinis, sidecars and Manhattans. There will be an upstairs DJ and a champagne toast at midnight. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $15 in advance or $25 beginning Dec. 24 at noon.
1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. knowtheatre.com.
Keystone Bar & Grill (both the Hyde Park and Covington location) will host No Hassle N.Y.E. Because the holiday falls on a Monday, enjoy half off all mac and cheese dishes until midnight, when you can ravage a complimentary mac and cheese bar. Morning-after New Year’s Day brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. featuring a full bloody mary and mimosa menu. Keystone Covington, 313 Greenup St., 859-261-6777; Keystone Hyde Park, 3384 Erie Ave., 513-321-2150. keystonebar.com.
Lackman Bar hosts a free New Year’s Eve celebration in its cozy digs featuring $5 Bulleit cocktails and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Free. 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-0741, lackmanbar.com.
Lakeridge Hall is having a dinner party with a hot buffet, beer, soft drinks, snacks, a wine fountain, hats, noisemakers and music by DJ Larry Robers. Attendees may also BYOB. 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. $40. Reservations are required. 7210 Pippin Road, Mount Airy. 513-521-1112, lakeridgehall.com.
The Madison Center hosts a swanky New Year’s Eve, featuring a full buffet dinner, open bar, party favors, a midnight breakfast buffet after the champagne toast all while listening to music by the Naked Karate Girls. Get dressed to the nines. $99. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. 700 Madison Ave., Covington. 859-261-1117, thecovingtonmadison.com.
Mount Adams Pavilion hosts the 2013 New Year’s Eve Ball. Hear DJs spinning on two levels, enjoy an hors d’oeuvre bar, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Cocktail attire. $35 in advance, $40 at the door. 9 p.m. 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams. 513-774-9200, mountadamspavilion.com.
The Newport Syndicate hosts hours of live entertainment leading up to the New Year. The Rusty Griswolds will perform in the Grand Ballroom, U102 DJ Mark McFadden will tear it up downstairs and the Dueling Piano Players duel it out in the Gangster’s Dueling Piano Bar. Doors open at 8 p.m. for those with VIP tickets for $100, 8:30 p.m. for the Premier Package for $80, and 9 p.m. for the Piano Package for $60. 18 E. Fifth St., Newport. 859-491-8000, newportsyndicate.com.
PLAY’s New Year’s Eve celebration includes Ace of Spaces and music from DJ D-Lo. VIP tables available. Complimentary glass of champagne included. Tickets $25 and up. Call 513-500-6923 for reservations. 35 E. Seventh St., Downtown. playcincy.com.
Pulse Nightclub has the hottest party for those 18 and up. Head to Pulse’s New Year’s Eve for a night of dancing and drinking, if you’re over 21. Count down to the New Year in style. $10 in advance, $20 at the door for those 21+. $20 in advance, $30 at the door for those under 21. 700 W. Pete Rose Way, Downtown. 513-721-2582, pulsecincy.com.
Righteous Room’s Stress Free NYE focuses on two activities: dancin’ and drinkin’. No cover, plus DJ Jake the Ripper spinning tunes in the back courtyard. Call 513-381-4408 for VIP tables. 641 Walnut St., Downtown. therighteousroom.com.
The Stand hosts a free New Year’s Eve celebration with DJ Zach Louis. VIP table reservations available. Email email@example.com to RSVP for guaranteed admission. 3195 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout. 513-871-5006, thestandcincy.com.
Arnold’s Bar and Grill hosts a cozy NYE shindig at the oldest bar in the city. Expect their regular menu plus extra specials. Music by Todd Hepburn in the bar from 6:30 p.m-8:30 p.m. and tunes from Cincinnati Dancing Pigs in the covered courtyard at 9 p.m. $15 seating in courtyard includes party favors, champagne toast at midnight and coffee and beignets after the countdown. Reservations required. 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown. 513-421-6234, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.
Blinkers Tavern hosts a special NYE extravaganza with music and dancing with DJ Lunaman. Order a three-course dinner or regular dinner entrees, and receive party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. 5 p.m-close. Call now to reserve space. 318 Greenup St., Covington. 859-360-0840, blinkerstavern.com.
Jag’s Steak and Seafood hosts a New Year’s Winter Wonderland Celebration. Make dinner and bar reservations for your party and roll in the new year with party favors, a midnight champagne toast and live entertainments from Don Stiens and Paul Hawthorne from 5-9:30 p.m. and The Company at 10 p.m. 5890 West Chester Road, West Chester. 513-860-5353, jags.com.
Mecklenburg Gardens holds “Midnight in Munich,” a German-themed family-friendly NYE celebration that celebrates the new year at 6 p.m., which marks the strike of midnight in Munich, one of Cincinnati’s beloved sister cities. Das Boots, accordions, roasted pig and plenty of other Oktoberfest throwbacks. $30. 302 E. University Ave., Clifton. 513-221-5353, mecklenburgs.net.
York Street Cafe has your NYE dinner and partyplans set for you. Enjoy dinner and then dance the night away to SwingTime Big Band. Reservations are being taken for evening festivities. 738 York St., Newport, Ky. 859-261-9675, yorkstonline.com.
BB RiverBoats is hosting a special New Year’s Eve Cruise with a three-entree buffet, entertainment, champagne and party favors in front of the spectacular Cincinnati skyline. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $80. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport. bbriverboats.com.
The Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra presents “A Night at the Moulin Rouge,” a fun, lighthearted, world-class concert followed by the classiest party in Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. Concert tickets start at just $10, while Ball tickets start at $185 and include the concert, plated dinner, drinks and a midnight champagne toast. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-744-3258, cincinnatisymphony.org.
Funny Bone on the Levee hosts New Year’s Eve with standup comedian Ian Bagg (for a laugh-laden night of fancified fun. Several shows; some include pre-show buffets. See website for ticket times, prices and details. Newport on the Levee. 859-957-2000, funnybonecentral.com.
Go Bananas wants you to laugh your way into 2013 with a performance from local funny man Mike Vecchione. Tickets to his hour and a half show also include a cheese and veggie plate, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight, for the later event. Two performances at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. 21 and up. $20-$40. 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery. 513-984-9288, gobananascomedy.com.
Just Do It For The Kids
The Cincinnati Zoo is having an early New Year’s Eve countdown for you and your little ones. Father Time and Baby ZOO Year will be out and about for a meet and greet. The early 9 p.m. countdown begins at 8:55 p.m. and is followed by fireworks. $15 for ages 13 and up, $10 for children 2-12. 5-9 p.m. 3400 Vine St., Avondale. 513-281-4700, cincinnatizoo.org.
Fox 19’s Tricia Macke and Ben Swan and Rewind’s Jay Kruz host the New Year’s Eve Blast on Fountain Square. Free ice skating, live music from Flynnville Train and The X Factor contestant Arin Ray, DJ spinning by Pillo and Tweet and fireworks at midnight. Free, with VIP package options. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown. myfountainsquare.com.
Great Wolf Lodge’s Snowball event will entertain kids and adults alike with including face paining, a balloon artist, carnival games, a separate kid and adult dance party, a dinner buffet and some tricks from magician Bo Gerard. Activities included in price of room. 2501 Great Wolf Drive, Mason. 800-913-9653, greatwolf.com.
Oakley Square will come alive for the Pipsqueak Theater New Year’s Eve for families with live entertainers, food and beverage vendors and an early fireworks show at 9 p.m. From 9 p.m. until 1 a.m., the Sly Band takes the stage and guests can enjoy more beverages, food, a Red Bull Ice Carving Exhibition, party favors and DJs. Free. Oakley.
Perfect North Slopes offers skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers a wintry New Year’s Eve. DJ music, torchlight parade, fireworks. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $28 for children and seniors, $35 for adults plus $25 ski/snowboard rental fee. 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, Ind. 513-381-7517, perfectnorth.com.
Woodland Mound Park hosts a family-friendly celebration under the stars, including crafts, games, face painting and balloon art. A ball drop and a sparkling grape juice toast happens at 9 p.m. 6-9 p.m. $4; vehicle permit required. 8250 Old Kellogg Road, Anderson. 513-521-7275, greatparks.org.