Of all of the holidays on the calendar, New Year’s Eve is the one universally recognized as an excuse to party.

But not everyone is looking forward to the same kind of celebration of a new year.

Some might want the dancing into the wee hours of the night. Others might prefer a gourmet dinner and good glass of wine before watching the page turn on 2014.

Throughout Johnson County and central Indiana, dozens of parties will be planned. To figure out the best soiree, rager or candle-lit dinner for your vision of New Year’s Eve, the Daily Journal has compiled some of the most unique events going on.

Story continues below gallery

A quiet night with friends

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Richard’s Kitchen and Market, 229 S. Main St., Franklin

Cost: $75 per person

What: Franklin’s resident chef Richard Goss will be opening up his table for a special multi-course tasting menu on New Year’s Eve. He will be preparing some of his favorite dishes while his wife, Meg Goss, pairs each with a unique wine selection. The event will be small — only 20 seats are available — and reservations must be made.

Information: richardskitchen.com or 738-5451.

Shake your groove thing

Underground New Year’s Eve

When: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St., Indianapolis

Cost: $30 to $125

What: Mummies are more appropriate for Halloween than New Year’s Eve. But Indianapolis’ premier undead funk machine Here Come the Mummies leading the festivities will likely have no problem getting people out of their seats and dancing until 2015. Live music will be featured in three different venues at the Old National Centre, from DJs spinning the best dance music to eclectic rock from Cosby Sweater and Groovatron.

Information: oldnationalcentre.com

Indianapolis’ closest thing to times square

Downtown Indy New Year’s Eve

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Georgia Street, Indianapolis

Cost: Free

What: No celebration will match New York City’s for pure scale and craziness. But Downtown Indianapolis officials have created a new tradition they hope creates its own fun. This public party will feature music from White Panda, Corey Cox and DJ Lockstar, an alpine slide, food trucks and a beer tent. At midnight, watch as instead of a ball dropping, a suspended IndyCar descends to mark the new year.

Information: downtownindy.org

A Belgian tradition

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Thursday, Taxman Brewing Co., 13 Baldwin St., Bargersville

Cost: $60

What: Johnson County’s Belgian-inspired brewery is hoping to ring in the New Year with style. Taxman Brewing Co. will be featuring dinner and dancing, with food such as prime rib, sea bass and chicken to go with the breweries floral, hoppy beers. Hor d’oeuvres and live music will keep the party going until midnight, when everyone will take part in a champaign toast.

Information: taxmanbrewing.com

Starting 2015 with art

New Year’s Eve at the IMA

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday to 1 a.m. Thursday, Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 N. Michigan Ave.

Cost: $125 to $200

What: The Indianapolis Museum of Art is known for its collection of one-of-a-kind art. But on New Year’s Eve, revelers will have the chance to see a one-time only installation by the museum’s resident artists, Know No Stranger. In an imaginative setting, enjoy music by the Impalas and others, sip wild drinks by mixologists from Union 50, Late Harvest and St. Elmo Steak House and snack on unlimited international cuisine.

Information: imamuseum.org

Rockin’ into the early morning

Ciroc the New Year

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday, Regions Tower, 211 N. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis

Cost: $130

What: For partiers who like their music loud and thumping, their dancefloors packed and their entrance straight out of a Hollywood event, the annual Ciroc the New Year is the best bet. Conducted in the rooftop space at the Regions Tower, Indy’s best DJs will spin electronic dance music all night long. Photographers will capture the glamour as you arrive, making you feel like a celebrity for at least one night.

Information: cirocnewyears.com

Laugh in the new year

New Year’s Eve Comedy Celebration

When: 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Athenaeum, 401 E. Michigan St., Indianapolis

Cost: $20 for adults, $18 for students and seniors.

What: Welcome the coming year with Indianapolis’ only competitive improv team, ComedySportz. The unique performance group stages “matches,” which feature teams of comedians squaring off to see who can make the audience laugh more. The troupe has staged early and late performances on New Year’s Eve, before a countdown to midnight.

Information: indycomedysportz.com

For foodies and film buffs

New Year’s Eve Short Film Dinner

When: 6 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, Milktooth, 534 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis

Cost: $70 per person with a $35 optional beer, wine and cocktail pairing.

What: As a New Year’s resolution, vow to take your taste buds on a culinary and cultural adventure. Milktooth, an Indianapolis brunch-lunch eatery, is offering a five-course meal featuring items such as a Hokkaido scallop and uni wild rice pancake and goose liver mousse. At the same time, the restaurant will pair an award-winning short film with each dish. Two seatings are available. Reservations required.

Information: milktoothindy.com

Clandestine celebration

Indianapolis New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball

When: 8:45 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday, Union Station, 123 W. Louisiana St., Indianapolis

Cost: $49; a VIP ticket including free food and two drink tickets are $110

What: Like a scene out of Mardi Gras, the annual Masquerade Ball in downtown Indianapolis will transform historic Union Square into a den of incognito indulgence. Masked partiers can roam among three different complexes, dancing to ’80s and ’90s hits one minute, relaxing to acoustic jams the next, then shaking it loose to the top DJ beats. Magicians and psychics will add to the mysterious vibe.

Information: indynewyears.com

New year in Paris

Passport to France dinner

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Propylaeum, 1410 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis

Cost: $76 per person, plus tax and gratuity

What: You may not be able to spend New Year’s Eve in the City of Lights, but the staff at the Propylaeum will be bringing the best of the region to central Indiana. This eight-course dinner will start with an aperitif and end with a decadent dessert, as each dish is paired with a specific wine from the famous regions throughout France. Diners will learn about the wine they are drinking, all while taking in the quaint decor of the Propylaeum’s carriage house. Reservations required.

Information: thepropylaeum.org

Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rtrares@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2727.