Welcome New Year with fun, fireworks, music and mirth

THE BALTIMORE SUN

New Year's Eve is tomorrow night, and if you still haven't made plans, here are a few options. Festivities run the gamut from lavish, expensive evenings bathed in champagne to low-key affairs awash in Natty Boh. Some go to the wee hours of the morning, while others end at more respectable hours. Whatever you do, be safe and have a fabulous new year.

SCENE

Big Night at the 1st Mariner Arena. Open bars, 14 themed party areas, plus five dance floors. Balloons. Disc jockeys. Champagne. Tickets are $109-$159. The Web site warns that the ticket prices are also getting bigger and bigger, so visit www.bignightbaltimore .com for the final word on cost. First Mariner Arena is at 201 W. Baltimore St. Call 800-955-5566.

Maceo Parker at Rams Head Live. Hear the funk legend jam at the new Rams Head in Baltimore. (We think the paint there is dry now.) The Melvin Sparks Band also plays. Tickets to this 21-and-older show are $66. The price includes a champagne toast at midnight and admission to an after party with the Melvin Sparks Band. Doors open at 9 p.m. Rams Head Live is in the Power Plant Live complex at 20 Market Place. Visit www.ramsheadlive.com.

Underground New Year's Eve Party at Ottobar. Features brit-pop, indie and new wave dance music. Champagne toasts at midnight. The night owls will be rewarded with bagels and doughnuts for breakfast. Tickets are $5. Doors open at 9 p.m. The Ottobar is at 2549 N. Howard St. Call 410-662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com. Tickets are available at Reptilian Records and at www.mission tix.com.

Prankster at Fletcher's. Catch hometown singer Mary Prankster at Fletcher's upstairs and expect a Natty Boh toast at midnight. Landis McCord from the All Mighty Senators spins downstairs. Tickets are $15. Doors open at 9 p.m. Fletcher's is at 701 S. Bond St. Call 410-558-1889 or visit www .fletchersbar.com.

SR-71 at the Recher Theatre. The hometown boys rock out at the Recher Theatre. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door. The doors open at 8 p.m. to this all-ages show. Ticket price includes a hot and cold buffet, and, of course, a champagne toast at midnight. The Recher Theatre is at 512 York Road in Towson. Call 410-337-7178 or visit www.recher theatre.com.

Right Foot Red at the Hard Rock Cafe. Party with Right Foot Red at Hard Rock. This "ultimate party band" covers the '70s, '80s, '90s and today. (Sound familiar?) Good views of the fireworks and an open bar. The 21-and-older event goes from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $65 (not including tax). The Hard Rock Cafe is at 601 E. Pratt St. Call 410-347-7625.

Bazaar at Red Maple. You've got several options at this Mount Vernon lounge. Multi-course dinner and admission to a South Asian themed party is $70. Dinner is served at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The party starts at 9:30 p.m. and features several DJs, belly dancing, congas and Bollywood screenings. If you skip dinner, admission to the party is $25. Red Maple is at 930 N. Charles St. Call 410-547-0149 or visit www.930redmaple.com.

The All Mighty Senators at the Funk Box. The act goes on at 2 a.m. and tickets are $20. Planning to be asleep then? Funk band the Bridge goes on at a more, um, energetic hour (7 p.m.). Tickets are $59 in advance. That buys you an open bar and surf and turf. Tickets for the whole shebang are $79 in advance. The Funk Box is at 8-10 E. Cross St. Call 410-625-2000 or 410-547-SEAT for tickets. Visit www.thefunkbox.com.

Deanna Bogart at the Rams Head Tavern. Rams Head favorite Bogart plays. Tickets are $99 and include dinner. The Rams Head will roll out a dance floor so people will get a chance to groove. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Call 410-268-4545 or visit www.ramsheadtavern.com. The Rams Head Tavern is at 33 West St. in Annapolis.

Three bands at the Royal. Experimental rock band Dark Water Transit (profiled in this week's Meet the Band on Page 5) plays with ... so I had to... and the Expanding Man. Free beer and food. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $12. The Royal is at 1542 Light St. Call 410-783-7776 or visit www.theroyalbaltimore .com.

Multiple DJs at Sonar Lounge. It's called Ultra-Taxlo-World. The gifted will immediately understand this refers to a blending of Ultraworld, an electronic DJ-oriented night and Taxidermy Lodge, an indie dance night. Essentially they are stuffing 21 DJs in three rooms and going all night. Tickets cost $15 and doors open at 8 p.m. Sonar is at 407 E. Saratoga St. Call 410-327-8333 or visit www.sonar lounge.com.

Live music at the Talking Head. Rock bands from 9:45 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. Tickets cost $7 and also buy admission to the above party at Sonar Lounge. The Talking Head is at 203 E. Davis St. Call 410-962-5588 or visit www.talkingheadclub.com.

Dave Attell at the Improv. Funny man and author Attell does two shows in Baltimore. The early show includes dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Attell goes on at 7:30 p.m. The late show starts at 10:30 p.m. (Doors open at 9:45.) Ticket price to the late show includes appetizers and a bottomless glass of champagne. Tickets to each show cost $77. All shows are 21 and older. The Baltimore Improv is at 6 Market Place in the Power Plant Live complex. Call 410-727-8500 or visit www.improv.com.

Cantrell at the Baltimore Comedy Factory. Last comic standing Rob Cantrell appears for shows at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tickets are $25. The Comedy Factory is at 36 Light St. Call 410-547-7798 or visit www.balti morecomedy.com.

New Year's Party at the Thunderdome. A bunch 'o bands scheduled to play include To a Science, Coal and Whiskey & the Kidney Stones. Doors open at 7 p.m. Open bar from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include hot and cold buffet. The Thunderdome is at 3612 S. Hanover St. Call 410-354-4700 or visit www.thunderdomeonline .com.

DJs at the Hippo. Traditional New Year's party at Mount Vernon's gay bar. DJs Shawn Q and Blake Rodgers spin. Tickets are $15 and include champagne at midnight and a continental breakfast. Doors open at 10 p.m. The Hippo is at 1 W. Eager St. Call 410-547-0069 or www.club hippo.com.

Glamorous Life Party at One. Go-go dancers, hip-hop and house music. The $55 tickets include open bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and a champagne toast. An additional $70 buys access to VIP rooms and a chocolaty dessert buffet. Party goes from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. One is at 300 E. Saratoga St. Call 410-230-0049 or visit www.onebaltimore.com.

New Year's Eve at Little Havana. Open bar, full dinner buffet, continental breakfast and desserts, champagne toast at midnight, great view of fireworks. Eighties cover band the Real Geniuses play. Tickets are $85 cash or $90 charge. The party goes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Little Havana is at 1325 Key Highway. Call 410-837-9903 or visit www.littlehavanas.com.

Latin jazz at the 13th Floor. Patrick Albans plays with members of the Gloria Estefan band. Tickets are $100 and include an open bar, buffet and a champagne toast. Just below there is a reggae party on the 12th floor. Danny Dread plays and the $50 tickets include finger food and open bar. The 13th Floor is in the Belvedere Hotel at 1 E. Chase St. Call 410-332-1000 for tickets.

New Year's Eve at Top of the World. Karaoke and limbo games. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer view of fireworks. Cash bar. The party goes from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children. Top of the World is at 401 E. Pratt St. Call 410-837-VIEW or visit www.viewbaltimore.org.

FAMILY

First Night for Families at Maryland Science Center. Kids can run around various exhibits, movies will be shown at the IMAX theater, and there will be food, face-painting and balloons. Excellent indoor view of the fireworks. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. It goes from 7 p.m. to the end of fireworks. The Maryland Science Center is at 601 Light St. Call 410-685-5225 or visit www.marylandsciencecenter .org.

Noontime New Year Celebration at Port Discovery. Count down to the new year 12 hours early at Baltimore's children's museum. Milk and cookie toast at noon. Events go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and take place in the atrium outside of the museum. Noontime New Year's events are free and do not require admission to the museum. (However, if you choose, admission into the museum is $11 for adults and $8.50 for ages 3 to 12.) Port Discovery is at 35 Market Place. Call 410-864-2680 or visit www.portdiscovery.org.

Ocean City New Year's Eve Family Celebration. Entertainment in Ocean City's convention center from 8 p.m. to midnight when a giant beach ball descends. Doors open at 7 p.m. DJs, comedy, juggling and live music inside the hall. Advance admission is $20 for adults and $10 for ages 4 to 17. Visit www.specialeventpro.com. The Roland E. Powell Convention Center is at 4001 Coastal Highway in Ocean City.

OUTSIDE

Fireworks at the Harbor. At the stroke of midnight, Charm City explodes and explodes and explodes. The New Year's fireworks go off from a barge in the Inner Harbor. The display is long and (if it is anything like last year's) it is extensive. Best views are from roof decks of super-fancy Federal Hill townhouses. But a dock on the pier is pretty great, too. Free.

Skating Party at Baltimore Ice Rink at Harbor Point. Skating exhibition from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Rink open for skating from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Great view of fireworks. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children younger than 12. Skate rental is $3. The ice rink is at 900 block of S. Caroline St. in Fells Point. Call 410-522-3213.

New Year's Eve Deck Party Aboard the Constellation. Champagne and light fare. Good view of the fireworks. The event goes from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $65 for nonmembers, $50 for members. Call 410-539-1797, ext. 422, or visit www.constellation.org.

First Night Annapolis. Hundreds of performers and artists descend upon downtown Annapolis. Programs geared toward children start at 3 p.m. and festivities continue until the fireworks at midnight. Events are alcohol-free. The celebration and performances take place in the streets near the harbor. Call 410-268-8553 or visit www.first nightannapolis.org.

Live Music at Inner Harbor Amphitheatre. A cappella band Part Harmony goes on at 9 p.m. and 11-piece Bobby & the Believers perform funk and big band covers starting at 10 p.m. The Inner Harbor Amphitheatre is at Pratt and Light streets.

For more club events, see Page 27.

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