Getting dressed up, dancing into the morning and kissing that special someone at midnight are all part of celebrating New Year’s Eve.
But there are plenty of other options in the Capital Region, from Saratoga Springs’ popular First Night celebration to private parties to just staying home and watching a good movie. And after the celebrating is all over and the new year rolls in on Jan. 1, hardy folks can celebrate by taking a very brisk dip in the beautiful waters of Lake George.
Some New Year’s celebrations offer a chance to support a good cause while enjoying great food and entertainment. You’ll be able to do just that at the 7th Annual Last Night Gala taking place from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Franklin Plaza in downtown Albany. Money raised goes to support St. Peter’s Hospital.
Brian Cody of radio station WFLY is again hosting the event, which will include gourmet food stations, a holiday martini bar, cocktails and champagne toast and a fireworks display at midnight. Psychics will also be on hand throughout the night to give participants a glimpse into what 2012 will bring.
Of course, what party would be complete without live music provided by local band The Refrigerators along with dancing in the grand ballroom? In the upstairs ballroom, local jazz artist John Charles Cook will perform.
Prices for the event start at $175 per guest, with the option of becoming an honoree guest at $200 per person (which includes a 90-minute pre-party reception starting at 7:30 p.m.).
There are also options for people looking to ring in 2012 with the kids but not willing to stay up all night and get dressed in fancy clothes. The Children’s Museum of Science and Technology in Troy is holding its 7th Annual Noon Year’s Eve Celebration, in which the noon hour is celebrated, beginning at 10 a.m. on Dec. 31.
Leading up to noon, families can visit and tour the museum and take part in a variety of activities and games. Children will have the opportunity to make their own “noon year’s eve” noisemakers and party hats. Children will also have the opportunity to get their faces painted.
Just before noon, there will be a countdown to “noon year’s,” followed by a parade around the museum, when the children will get to show off their party hats and noisemakers.
This New Year’s bash will start at 10 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. CMOST is located at 2050 Jordan Road in the Rensselaer Technology Park. The cost for this event is $5 per person. The program is geared toward children 2 and older.
Saratoga’s 16th year
First Night Saratoga remains one of the bigger bashes in the region, and thousands are expected to attend the New Year’s Eve event, now in its 16th year. Starting at 5:30 p.m. and lasting until after midnight, First Night Saratoga has an “Art Unleashed” theme this year. The theme will include a “Live Concert” video exhibition allowing people to play and create a live piece of original music known as “Saratoga in B-flat.” The collaborative music program was conceived by Darren Soloman and put together with YouTube video contributions submitted by local area residents playing instruments or singing.
People interested in taking part in this year’s “Saratoga in B-flat” may submit a link to a one- to two-minute audition video posted on YouTube to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to be a part of First Night Saratoga? Then you’ll need to pick up your button — they’re $15 each at The Arts Center, Stewart’s Shops, Adirondack Trust branches and Price Choppers across the region and at the Saratoga Springs YMCA beginning Dec. 1.
First Night Saratoga will once again begin with a road race. The 14th annual First Night Saratoga 5K USATF-certified race will be run at 5:30 p.m. starting at the Skidmore College Athletic Complex.
You’ll want to get your registration in early; registration is limited to 1,500, and the race fills up quickly. There is no race-day registration. The race costs $30. For more information or to register for the event, visit www.saratoga-arts.org/firstnight/5krun.php.
If going out to ring in the New Year just isn’t for you or the current economy still has limited your spending, there’s always home sweet home.
You can gather up your closest friends and relatives, put together some simple snacks (chips, dip, crackers and cheese), pick up a bottle of bubbly and then spend this New Year’s Eve watching the Times Square ball drop from the comfort of your living room.
This year, Ryan Seacrest will again do the honors of hosting ABC’s annual “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” In its 40th year, this event will feature Lady Gaga performing live from Times Square along with teen pop star Justin Bieber. The special kicks off at 10 p.m. on WTEN. Before 10, the network will present two hours of performances from the past 40 years.
Seacrest will have his usual competition, too: Carson Daly will host “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” on NBC starting at 10 p.m.