New Year’s Eve has a reputation as the biggest party night of the year.

Countless people will spill out of their homes Sunday to remember the past 12 months, and start 2018 out with a bang. But not everyone wants to celebrate the same way.

Some like the crazy party with hundreds of other like-minded revelers. Others prefer a more reserved, relaxed atmosphere. Young children — and in all honesty, their parents — will likely be asleep by the time the ball drops at midnight.

Story continues below gallery

Picking the right party can be a challenge. Luckily, options are available at events throughout Johnson County and central Indiana.

To help you pick the one that’s right for your interests and budget, the Daily Journal has put together a sampling of the events lined up for the big night.

Start your celebrating really early

Happy Noon Year

Details: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Franklin branch of the Johnson County Public Library, 401 State St.; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Clark Pleasant branch, 530 Tracy Road, New Whiteland

Cost: Free

What: The Johnson County Public Library’s traditional family-friendly end-of-the-year celebration will be conducted a few days earlier this year. With New Year’s Eve falling on a Sunday, events will be Friday and Saturday instead, with music, dancing, games and crafts for people who can’t have too many opportunities to ring in the new year.

All the fun, none of the late bedtimes

Countdown to Noon

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian St.

Cost: Included with museum admission

What: The youngest New Year’s partyers aren’t going to make it to midnight. So, to give them a chance to celebrate 2018 as well, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will move up the festivities 12 hours. Listen to Grammy Award-nominated musician Zak Morgan, create a paper time capsule to remember the past year and take part in the countdown at noon and again at 1 p.m.

A celebration the whole family can enjoy

Family New Year’s Eve

Details: 6 p.m. Sunday, Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

Cost: $15, children under 4 are free.

What: Heading out on one of the booziest nights of the year with the kids in tow may seem like a bad idea to many families. To tap into the energy of New Year’s at a more family-friendly environment, the Indiana State Museum will host its annual alcohol-free year-end celebration. Kids can have their faces painted, watch magicians and do a variety of activities leading up to a balloon drop and countdown at 8 p.m.

Relive an Indy indie legend

Richard Edwards & His Nuclear So & Sos

Details: 8 p.m. Sunday, Hi-Fi, 1043 Virginia Ave., Suite 4, Indianapolis

Cost: $35; $100 VIP packages include a table and admission for four people

What: Edwards’ former band, Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos, were known for their bombastic, multi-instrumental live shows. Edwards is now a solo artist, having released his debut earlier this year, but the Indianapolis native will bring together members of the old band to perform songs from different eras of Margot music, as well as Edwards’ new stuff.

Rock with a few of Franklin’s best

NYE at the Willard with Ben Morris and Scott Parkhurst

Details: 8 p.m. Sunday, The Willard, 99 N. Main St., Franklin

Cost: Free

What: As lead singer of the R&B-blues-rock band Cadillac Scot and the Snakecharmers, Parkhurst has built a following with his muscular, rootsy sound. He’ll celebrate the start of 2018 at one of Franklin’s most historic venues, performing from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Local musician Ben Morris will warm up the crowd from 8 to 10 p.m.

Celebrating country-style

New Year’s Eve in the Barn

Details: 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday, The Barn at Bay Horse Inn, 1468 W. Stones Crossing Road, Greenwood

Cost: $25

What: The Barn at Bay Horse Inn blends rustic charm with elegant accents. Organizers have the same idea for the venue’s New Year’s Eve party, one that straddles the line between chic and country. Jam out to Nashville, Tennessee’s Smoke ‘n Guns while enjoying food from Johnson’s BBQ Shack and Chomp’z Truck. A cash bar will also be available.

Champagne and craft brew

New Year’s Eve at Big Woods

When: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday, Big Woods Franklin, 1800 E. King St.

Cost: In advance, $50 per person, or $90 per couple; $75 at the door

What: Quaff On! Brewing Co., the beer-maker behind the Big Woods restaurant locations, is know for making delicious ales, porters and other styles. Those brews will be showcased during special New Year’s festivities, which will feature music by local favorite Tastes Like Chicken, an appetizer buffet and a champagne toast at midnight. VIP dinner packages for earlier in the evening are also available.

Biggest party in town

Downtown Indy Inc.’s New Year’s Eve

Details: 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Georgia Street, downtown Indianapolis

Cost: Free

What: Want to your New Year’s bash to include thousands of fellow revelers? Then check out the two full blocks of DJs, bands and other entertainment put on along the Georgia Street party district. Beer and food vendors will be selling on site, and the evening will culminate with a Hoosier twist on the Times Square ball drop: An IndyCar that will be lowered to recognize the start of 2018, among fireworks and fanfare.

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