So the world didn't end—that's reason enough to go out and celebrate. On top of that, the wretched/glorious (people had different seats in the arena) span of time known as 2012 is coming to an end. Dancing, music, food, Champagne and balloons are custom, but there's some unusual ways to celebrate throughout the North Bay, too, for a variety of ticket prices. In case your savings went toward enough cans of Spam, evaporated milk and Cup-O-Noodles to last through the apocalypse, fear not! There are still plenty of affordable ways to party the year away. And midnight kisses are still free, right?
Children of all ages ring in the new year at the Schulz Museum's Charlie Brown New Year celebration, with two chances to toast with friends of the Peanuts gang. At noon (the "other" 12 o'clock), watch the up/down balloon drop and toast with root beer; at 3pm, ice cream is added for a root beer float toast. Why not do both? There's also plenty of hands-on crafts and more kid fun, free with admission.
How do rhinos toast at midnight? Reserve a spot at Safari West for a wild New Year's Eve adventure with KZST's Brent Farris as he hosts this year's Romp with the Beasts. For $100, guests can dine, dance, drink and encounter furry friends; or, for $500, two adults can do all of the above, and spend the night among wild animals and wake up next to Brent Farris to breakfast in a luxury safari tent.
You've got your dancing shoes strapped on tight, but where to guide them? Onye and the Messengers, a nine-piece Afro-worldbeat band, should get them kicking. A force for world peace and love between all peoples bring the year to an end at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa with DJs Loisaida, Broken Record, Kudjo, E Drum and Bankshot on the decks for $10–$15.
It can be tough (and expensive) to find a babysitter on New Year's Eve, but the Flamingo Hotel has you covered. Each $75 adult admission to their family NYE celebration includes one child's ticket, with additional child's tickets available for $20. Fiz-Nik Rick DJs, and there's a casino room for adults while kids can hang out in the movie room; there's even an infant and toddler room. Everyone who's not conked out by midnight can toast the new year, and an adults-only party gets swinging in the Lounge for $30 with Groove Foundation.
Choppin' Broccoli brings the '80s back in the best way possible, with tunes by Van Halen, Prince, Billy Idol and others at Russian River Brewing Company. No cover charge. Don't be suspired to hear some Beastie Boys right after a Duran Duran tune. Oh, yeah, and all that delicious beer. So much beer . . .
A chance to win $100,000? And a disco party? It's happening at River Rock Casino, with four wheel spins throughout the night for prizes between $10,000 and $100,000. What casino experience would be complete without a prime-rib buffet ($19.99)? If 2012 wasn't your year, maybe the final hours will bring good luck.
Poverty and strife have never been so funny with 'A Couple of Blaguards,' which follows the McCourt brothers' life in impoverished Ireland and their escape to America. Starring Tim Kniffin and Steven Abbott, the play opens New Year's Eve and runs through Jan. 20, with a special anniversary gala after the opening show. Tickets are $25–$35 for the play, $65-$75 for the gala.