UPPER WEST SIDE — After the rush of holiday parties and end-of-year events, it can be a challenge to find the enthusiasm to plan another celebration. So, if you're still yearning to ring in the New Year by doing something out of the ordinary but didn't do the advance planning, we've done the work for you and rounded up special neighborhood happenings for families, singles, adults and foodies.
New Year's Eve
"Pirates of Penzance" at Symphony Space
Eye patches, pirates and the catchy tune "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General" make for an upbeat, family-friendly way to ring in the New Year, especially if you're a sucker for classic Gilbert and Sullivan musicals. There are still a few tickets left for "Pirates of Penzance," showing at 8 p.m. at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Broadway at West 95th Street. Tickets are $87 for adults, $79 for seniors and $44 for kids.
C72's Why Pay More Party
Forgo the frustrating search for a cab or the subway ride filled with rowdy riders and head for a party nearby with a reasonable entry fee. General admission to this dance party in the underground club at Columbus Avenue at West 72nd Street starts at $25 and includes a free midnight champagne toast. Group VIP tables climb steeply from there, starting at $250 and going up to $750, depending on how important you want to feel.
The Big Apple Circus' "Luminocity" Show
The Big Apple Circus at West 62nd Street is offering a special show, "Luminocity," starting at 9:30 p.m. and lasting until midnight, at which point champagne and sparkling cider will be proffered to celebrate the New Year's countdown. Despite the late timing, circus organizers said the show is appropriate for all ages. Kids under 3 who sit on a parent's lap can watch for free. And even the circus has a VIP section, with tickets as high as $175 for access to a lounge and special seating. Regular tickets start at $45. For a 20 percent discount, use the promo code NYESAVE for ages 12 and up and CHILD for 50 percent off tickets for ages 3 to 12. The best part? Dancing in the ring with the performers after midnight. (And there are goodie bags.)
Robert at the Museum of Arts and Design
Look back on 2013 while looking out on the neighborhood and Central Park from the ninth-floor restaurant and lounge at the Museum of Arts and Design. While the later seating at Robert is fully booked, there are still spots available at the early seating for a three-course prix-fixe menu at $95 each (not including, tax, tip or drinks). Diners can make a reservation anytime between 6 and 7:30 p.m. Classic French choices like filet mignon, foie gras and chocolate mousse give the menu a decadent feel.
Dinner at Nice Matin
If you're looking to shell out a little less for your last meal of 2013, Nice Matin is offering a $45 prix-fixe menu with a wider array of choices. Vegetarians can feast on an organic quinoa pilaf and meat-eaters can sink their teeth into Australian lamb chops or a Hudson Valley venison loin, among other options, including champagne with dessert. Dinner is served between 5 p.m. and midnight at the Amsterdam and West 79th Street restaurant.
Jazz and Dinner at Sarabeth's
You can enjoy a little ambiance and music without the big ticket cost at Sarabeth's on New Year's Eve. The homestyle neighborhood restaurant is bringing in a jazz trio between 8 p.m. and midnight to celebrate. The background jazz won't compete with conversation and will go well with the restaurant's additions to the menu, like a grilled bone-in ribeye steak with blue cheese, twice baked potato, asparagus and chimichurri sauce. Guests that make it to midnight get a complimentary glass of champagne. The restaurant is located on Amsterdam Avenue at West 80th Street.
New Year's Day
"E.T." at the Film Society at Lincoln Center
On New Year's Day, indulge in a little nostalgia as you settle into 2014 and all that lies ahead. The Film Society is screening "E.T. The Extraterrestrial," the 1982 hit produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, at 11 a.m. It's "a landmark in American film history," according to the society. Tickets are $8.50 each online and $7 at the box office, almost half the cost of a new flick, so you'll be starting the year in a budget-conscious way.
Free Fitness Fair at the JCC
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on New Year's Day, those not nursing a hangover can join in an array of free fitness classes and sports activities at the JCC in Manhattan, at West 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The fitness fair will feature Zumba, yoga and meditation classes, indoor cycling, and consultations with personal trainers and a nutritionist. There will also be a healthy cooking demonstration.