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Birmingham, Al 35203
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Bham Events: New Year's Eve

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The problem with nights of high expectations is that we try too hard. We aim for memorable and end up with chaotic. One tried-and-true way to avoid the party anarchy is to pick an event with ticketing or reservations. You can still do some party-hopping, but we like a solid anchor event for the evening.

To help, we’ve created some New Year’s Eve categories and corresponding event options:

For the Foodie
We have friends who steadfastly avoid restaurants on New Year’s Eve, but we swear by special menus and reserved seating. El Barrio has our favorite setup – we love it so much we suggested it as a Christmas gift – offering seatings at 5:30 and 8:30. The $70/person fixed price gets you four courses, plus a glass of champagne. We still remember the scallops from last year, and the only thing better than bubbly is a Barrio margarita. Call 868-3737 or use their website contact form to reserve a place.

For the Groundlings Fan
Local improv group Extemporaneous Theatre Company will hold this year’s final performance of “To Mock a Killing Bird” at Fifth Avenue Antiques. The venue alone holds our interest, and it’s the perfect fit for a Clue-inspired evening. The premise? Guests at a holiday party find that murder is the evening’s aperitif. “When the police arrive, the audience is invited to help in the investigation to solve this hilarious improvised yuletide homicide,” the official synopsis explains. “Can you solve the case – or will the killing bird mock YOU?” Tickets are available online or at the door.

For the Supporter of the Arts
If old world masters are more your speed, consider the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s “New Year’s Eve: A Viennese Celebration.” Ticket prices ($34/$59/$74 per person) include samplings from the waltz and opera canons along with a glass of champagne. And honestly, it’s hard to get more memorable than the Alabama Theatre. Tickets available online.

For the Standard Partygoer Who Wants a Guaranteed Seat
Sometimes, you just want to show up and know that your entire evening is planned, ball drop included. Old Car Heaven and Das Haus both have evening-long celebrations this year. II Da Maxx is playing Old Car Heaven’s event. Tickets are $60/person or $100/couple, which includes heavy hor d’oeuvres and midnight champagne. An extra $15/person reserves a seat, and an extra $100 holds a table for eight. Call 326-8902 for seating reservations or purchase  tickets only online. Das Haus has a throwback option with music by ragtime act The King Quartet. This twenties-themed event is limited to 250 people, with tickets available at $20/person, also including heavy hor d’oeuvres and midnight champagne. Claim a six-person table for $100, which includes the ticket price for one of your guests. Call 907-9499 for tickets.

And remember, living in Birmingham means all the action is a cheap cab ride away. So go ahead and download Yellow Cab’s Taxi Hail app, or call 222-2222 to see if any of the places on your list participate in the Safe Ride Home program, which makes your ride free.

Happy planning!