When you’ve made it successfully through one year, and look forward to the start of a new one, it’s time to celebrate.
But what that celebration consists of can depend on what you want out of your New Year’s Eve.
Some are going for that party-all-night craziness filled with dancing and champagne. Others want a more family-friendly atmosphere that concludes without obliterating bedtimes for the kids.
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Intimate concerts, four-course meals and art-centric soirees are also available for the big night.
Central Indiana features a wide range of activities and events for the coming New Year’s celebration. The Daily Journal has put together some of the region’s best to fit nearly any taste, to ensure you start 2016 right.
Times Square for Hoosiers
Downtown Indy’s New Year’s Eve
Time: 8 p.m. Thursday to 12:30 a.m. Friday
Where: Georgia Street, downtown Indianapolis
What: Watching the ball drop is so passe. In downtown Indianapolis, organizers have a much more Indy-centric way to ring in the new year — with the lowering of an authentic IndyCar. This free community event will feature music from Indiana performers such as Kapslap, Corey Cox, Dave & Whitney and Izzy and the Rubbaband. Ride down the Alpine Slide and enjoy food from local restaurants. The car will drop at midnight, followed by fireworks.
For craft beer lovers
New Year’s Eve Busted Bash
Times: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Big Woods Brewing Company, 60 Molly Lane, Nashville
Cost: $15 general admission, or $45 for the four-course meal
What: A few miles south of Johnson County, the team at Quaff On! Brewing Co. has created a solid portfolio of craft beers in a rustic atmosphere. The brewery’s Nashville bar and eatery will host its inaugural New Year’s Eve party, featuring pizza, wings and a nacho bar, music by Coot Crabtree and the Road Killers, and of course the full line of Quaff On! brews.
More party, less booze
Family Friendly New Years Eve
Times: 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday
Where: Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis
Cost: $7 for members, $13 for non-members. Reservations are recommended at 232-1637
What: The excitement and energy that boils up from a large group of people at the stroke of midnight is hard to replicate. But for families, that late-night atmosphere isn’t something they want to be part of. The Indiana State Museum has created a solution, in the form of a party with music, face-painting, stilt-walkers and clowns that maintains the ambiance but takes out the alcohol-fueled mayhem. Be there at 8 p.m. for the balloon drop and countdown.
Times: 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday
Where: Union Station, 39 W. Jackson St., Indianapolis
Cost: $50 general admission; $110 VIP, and $129 VIP with dinner
What: New Year’s Eve is a chance for people to put on their best going-out clothes and celebrate in style. But at one of the area’s largest parties, the most important part of your outfit is the mask you wear. The annual Masquerade Ball at Indianapolis’ Union Station will feature three separate parties — a rockin’ cover band in the Grand Hall, dance music in the Club and a country atmosphere in the Iron Horse Lounge. Caricaturists, psychics, magicians and face-painters will also be working the crowd.
Celebrate the ‘80s while ushering in 2016
Times: 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday
Where: The Vogue Theater, 6259 N. College Ave., Indianapolis
Cost: $25 for general admission, $100 VIP seating in the balcony with open bar.
What: The end of one year is a chance to look back at the past 12 months. But Chicago’s premier ‘80s cover band is taking you farther back than that. Dance to cover versions of “I Ran So Far Away,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Dancing with Myself” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” pausing at midnight for a toast to the new year.
Dirty Fingernails New Year’s Eve Exhibition
Times: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday
Where: Indy Indie Artist Colony, 26 E. 14th St., Indianapolis
What: Start the new year with a little bit of culture, with more than 50 artists showcasing their work in the unique Indy Indie Artist Colony, the city’s largest artist colony featuring more than 70 creatives types living and working. This free event features food and alcoholic beverages while supplies last, and will spotlight daring art in all types of genres.
All of the festivities, no late night
Countdown to noon
Times: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday
Where: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian St.
Cost: Included with museum admission — $18.50 for youths ages 2 to 17, $21.50 for adults 18 to 59, and $20.50 for seniors 60 and up.
What: New Year’s Eve and its late-night countdown is often off-limits to young children with strict bedtimes. But parents and kids can celebrate the coming year together with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ noon-time party. Activity stations will help keep children and parents entertained, Grammy Award-winning artist Zak Morgan will keep people dancing, and participants can take part in ringing in 2016 with a massive balloon drop — even if it’s a little bit early.
Kick it with one of the Colts
Pat McAfee’s Ridiculous New Year’s Eve
Times: 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey Ave., Indianapolis
Cost: Tickets range from $50 to $130
What: On the football field, Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee may be one of the more inconspicuous players out there. But outside of game day, McAfee has developed an outsized persona with his combination of public appearances, burgeoning comedy career and local charity work. His most recent venture is a New Year’s Eve party, with a full theatre show led by McAfee and featuring music by the band Dude! A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Wish for Our Heroes, aimed at helping active-duty military members.
Wine and unwind
Chateau Thomas Winery
Times: 6 p.m. Thursday to 11 a.m. Friday
Where: Chateau Thomas Winery, 6291 Cambridge Way, Plainfield
Cost: Starts at $335 per couple
What: New Year’s Eve celebrations are always fun, but making your way back home at the end of the night can be a tricky, expensive proposition. Chateau Thomas Winery in Plainfield has come up with a solution — dinner, dancing, wine and a overnight stay at the nearby Staybridge/Holiday Inn. Cost includes an overnight hotel stay, dinner, either a bottle of red or a bottle of white wine of your selection, and a breakfast buffet on New Year’s Day. Reservations are required by calling 203-7846 or 203-7833.