So, I did a little homework and found some fun things to do for all types of groups looking to celebrate.
Family Friendly This year marks the 15th Annual First Night Columbus . The event begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m.; admission is $8 in advance and $10 the day of. Celebrate community spirit, rich cultural heritage and the arts in a substance-free, family-friendly environment. This year there will be more than 150 entertainers in more than 15 downtown performance sites as well as hands-on activities.
Always a sure bet for a good time for both young and old is Magic Mountain Fun Center’s New Year's Eve Party , held at both the Reynoldsburg and Polaris locations from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Admission is $19.95 and gets you a buffet, unlimited video game play, a hat and noisemaker, prize filled balloon drops, two performing acts, family friendly challenge games and a coloring contest for the littlest party goers.
A Night on the Town If you are looking to make a night of it with family, friends or that special someone, there are several great hotel parties worth checking out. Usher in the new year and then stay overnight to ensure a safe start to your 2010. Note that most hotel events do offer a package price without an overnight stay as well.
New Years Eve Gala at The Columbus, A Renaissance Hotel . Doors open 9 p.m. and pricing ranges from $39-$59, with open bar and overnight packages available at an additional cost. The event includes five rooms of sound with live music, including Columbus’ own Saving Jane, hip hop and mash up, techno, house music and jazz acts.
New Year's Eve Party at The Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center . Couples packages are $189, singles packages are $109. Overnight packages are also available with an expanded New Year's Day breakfast buffet. All packages include a lavish prime rib buffet, specialty host bars, champagne toast at midnight, New Year's Eve Live from Times Square as well as entertainment and dancing by Team DJ.
New Years Eve with Hyatt and QFM 96 at the Arena District Hyatt Regency. A long-standing tradition in Columbus, the event takes place from 8 p.m.-2 p.m. Prices range from $109-$499 and include an open bar, an enormous all you can eat buffet and optional overnight stay. This year they'll feature 10 live musical acts of varying styles, ranging from hip hop to jazz to country and everything in-between.
If your idea of a night on the town involves bar hopping, let COTA be your designated driver. Check out the #21 Night Owl service - the route will run New Year's Eve from 8 p.m.-3 a.m. along High Street, with the last bus leaving the Arena District at 2:40 a.m. More details can be found on the COTA Web site .
Out of the Box I found two great events taking place in the Arena District on New Year’s Eve that would make a great pairing for a fun night out. Start by watching the Blue Jackets take on their arch rivals, the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m.; you can check out ticket prices here . When the game's over, head over to the A&R Music Bar for their throwback, Prom themed New Year’s Eve Celebration . Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is only $5.
New Year's Eve at The Funny Bone Comedy Club with Phil Palisoul . Located at Easton Town Center, The Funny Bone will have performances at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Packages range from $55-$290 and include a pre-show dinner buffet and the show. For the 10 p.m. performance, there will also be party favors and champagne toast at midnight.
Shadowbox’s The Shindig . Also located at Easton Town Center, Shadowbox is Columbus’ sketch comedy and rock-n-roll club. Doors open at 9 p.m. and admission is $60, including a dinner banquet, champagne toast, and over two hours of dancing to Shadowbox’s house band BillWho?
Looking for more ideas? Visit the Events Calendar and select “New Year’s Eve” from the dropdown category menu.
Whatever you decide to do, have fun and be safe. Here’s to 2010, may it be a year full of new Columbus experiences for you and your loved ones.