Photo: Lake George Steamboat Company.
How are you bidding 2013 adieu and welcoming 2014? There’s no shortage of diverse options in New York State. Here are a few of our favorites in each region.
The expanse of Lake George is the perfect setting for a sparkling new year’s celebration. Restaurants lining the lake’s shores host NYE meals with stunning views, but what better way to enjoy the spectacle than from the water itself? The Lake George Steamboat Company offers three New Year’s Cruise options: at dinnertime ($49), at midnight ($97), and a Jan. 1 champagne brunch ($53). For More Information: Lake George Steamboat Company.
The State’s second largest new year’s celebration (after NYC) is hosted by the Spa City. Join 15,000 to 20,000 other revelers in Saratoga Springs for First Night Saratoga, which offers so much more than a 10-second countdown and a fireworks show — though it goes without saying that those are part of the festivities. Purchase a $15 button (available in many local banks and grocery stores) for an all-access pass to the 35 venues and 70 performances that constitute this all-evening celebration. The schedule of the full line-up, running from 5:30pm to midnight, is HERE.
Hunter Mountain resort, located in Hunter, rings in the new year in perfect ski style. Not only do they host a fireworks show above the shimmering snow, but they showcase another parade of lights as well. Starting at 6:40 p.m., children and then adults will ski down the mountain carrying plastic lights in the Torchlight Parade. All guests of the resort are welcome to watch. Check out the incredible visual from 2012:
First Night Onenota is a festive way to ring in 2014. A parade on Main Street starting at 5:00 p.m. kicks off an evening of artistic exploration and musical enjoyment, with a huge array of events in a packed schedule — from Indonesian dance to Broadway tunes to juggling. Round out the aurally and visually stimulating evening with the fireworks show at 10:30 p.m.
Want one last indulgence before the New Year’s Diet Resolutions take effect? Head to Quincy Cellars in Ripley for the four-course, wine pairing New Year’s Eve Winemaker’s Dinner. Cocktails begin at 6:00 p.m., dinner is served at 7:00 p.m., and musician MJT performs. $75, plus tax and tip.
The new year will bring worries enough; for now, let someone else do all the work by enjoying the complete package offered by the Harbor Hotel’s Disco New Year’s Eve party in Watkins Glen. Starting at $339 per couple, you’ll be treated to a suite (no worries about driving home), champagne, cocktail reception, dinner, live music and disco dancing, open bar, midnight champagne toast and New Year’s brunch.
As the clock ticks forward, time travel backward to the roaring ’20s, a decidedly great time to party. Kingston brings that joie de vivre to life with the Uptown Kingston neighborhood’s cabaret evening. Similar to the First Night events in other towns, this evening of free, public events takes a sassy twist. Check out the burlesque shows, swing dancing, vaudeville and a midnight ball drop hosted by festive characters dressed as Baby New Year and Father Time. Local lounge BSP Kingston will feature an emcee, burlesque, midnight dance party for $25. Be sure to head to Stockade Tavern for exquisite Prohibition-era cocktails to toast 2014.
Want to enjoy a Hamptons hot spot in the off-season? Head to The Living Room restaurant at c/o The Maidstone. Select a 5:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. seating and prepare to indulge (one of the perks of being on the beach when it’s not swimsuit season). For $125, enjoy a six-course dinner and a glass of champagne. The food is fresh and local, and the restaurant’s philosophy is in line with the New York Slow Food Movement, reminding you to savor every bite as you savor the last minutes of 2013.
Some say you might be nuts to visit Times Square for New Year’s Eve. Another way to be nutty is to run the New York Road Runners’ Emerald Nuts 4M race in Central Park. Spirits are high following the dancing at 10:00 p.m., and the runners’ race outfits are crazier than usual in anticipation of the costume contest at 11:00 p.m. The gun sounds at midnight on-the-dot, and runners speed through Central Park as a fireworks show (unrelated to the Times Square festivities) takes place overhead. We hear champagne is a great motivator to improve your time…
One of the best parts about New Year’s Eve is staying up past bedtime. Holiday Valley resort in Ellicottville even lets you ski past bedtime. On New Year’s Eve day, slopes are open until 10:00 p.m., and the converted into paths for the special holiday torchlight parade. Head down the mountain to at 11:30 p.m. and catch the midnight fireworks show.
Bonnie Castle Resort in Alexandria Bay offers a glimpse of the Thousand Islands and Boldt Castle even when it’s too cold to enjoy a day on the water. Ranging from $325 to $400 based on the size of the room, enjoy an overnight stay at the hotel, as well as a four-course dinner, live music, champagne at midnight and New Year’s brunch. And make a resolution to explore the islands during the summer!
For the 26th year, spectators will gather in Buffalo’s Roosevelt Plaza, a few blocks from the heart of downtown, to watch the ball drop from the Electric Tower. Beginning at 10:30 p.m., visitors to this free event will be treated to musical entertainment headlined by Buffalo Idol winner Caitlin Koch, as well as wall projections of images from the New Years celebrations in both Buffalo and Times Square. After the clock strikes 12, a spectacular fireworks show lights up the sky. For More Information: visit this Buffalo News article.