Also known as 'Amateur Night,' New Year's Eve offers everyone the chance to hit the reset button (or at least the booze button) and begin another year with a fresh perspective. Whether or not you intend to celebrate the beginnings of a new and better you in 2019, or cruise into the new year in the same debauched manner that defined 2018, plenty of local bars, clubs and attractions have a party for you.
Here's a rundown of some of the many festivities taking place around town.
New Year's Eve Party
For New Year's Eve, Punch Bowl Social will host a special party inspired by the '90s. There will be a balloon drop at midnight and special sparkling punch. Organizers encourage patrons to dress in era-appropriate threads (parachute pants and choker necklaces are highly recommended). There's no cover charge, and it all starts at 9 p.m. 1086 West 11th St., 216-239-1508, punchbowlsocial.com
If you go to see Ian Bagg tonight at Hilarities, you might want to think twice about sitting in the front row. The comic loves to pick on audience members and ask personal questions about their sexual preferences. Though he's not nearly as manic as Robin Williams, he still possesses Williams' unhinged energy. And he's a talker. He's been a regular on all the usual late-night shows and currently hosts his own podcast, The Ian Bagg Show, where he and a couple of pals riff on popular culture for two hours at a time. He performs two special New Year's Eve shows tonight at 7 and 10. Tickets start at $79.95.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com
Erich Bergen: The Hollywood Songbook
Erich Bergen, who currently stars as Blake Moran on the TV drama Madam Secretary, also sings and performs in concert venues all over the world. He joins the Cleveland Pops Orchestra tonight for a special New Year's Eve concert at Severance Hall. Expect to hear "songs from the big and small screen." A pop band and a rock band will be on hand for after-concert dancing that'll continue into the new year. There will be cash bars, refreshments and desserts for purchase as well as a balloon drop at midnight. Consult the Cleveland Orchestra website for ticket prices and more info.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.
The Freak Drop 2019 featuring Tropidelic/Zach Deputy/The Quasi Kings/Dutty
Last year, local rockers Tropidelic successfully launched their two-day Freakstomp Music Festival in Medina. The inaugural festival featured acts such as Vibe & Direct, Bumpin' Uglies, Sun-Dried Vibes and others, and this year's lineup included Afroman, Broccoli Samurai, and more. Tonight at the Beachland, Tropidelic keeps the Freak Drop vibe alive with a special New Year's Eve show, Freak Drop 2018. There will be live performances by Tropidelic and Zac Deputy. A special VIP package offers access to a pre-party, a photo op with the bands, free band merch, complimentary hors d'oeuvres and two complimentary drink tickets. It starts at 9 p.m., and tickets are $45 to $75.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com
Freedom Children Presents Pika's New Year's Eve
Hosted by Undergod & Angelswurld, tonight's New Year's Eve party at Now That's Class promises to be a rowdy good time. Tickets — $12 in advance, $15 at the door — include hors d'oeuvres and a glass of champagne for the toast at midnight. There will be four DJs, and a special performance by the terrific local hip-hop group Red Rose Panic. It all starts at 9 p.m.
11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576, nowthatsclass.net
New Year's Eve
Party Package 2018
Each year, Pickwick and Frolic throws a massive New Year's Eve party. This is year is no different. The New Year's Eve Package includes live music and dancing with Nitebridge, numerous hors d'oeuvres stations, a balloon drop, a sparkling toast at midnight, a live countdown from New York and a "Raise Your Glass: The NYE Cabaret" performance. It all starts at 9:30 p.m., and tickets cost $60.
East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com
Noon Year's Eve
For those who don't want to stay up until midnight to celebrate the New Year, the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo offers its annual Noon Year's Eve event. There will be music, dancing and crafts, and a ball drop at noon. All activities are included with zoo admission. You can also upgrade to a special VIP experience that includes brunch, a character meet-and-greet, and family-friendly activities. Check the zoo's website for more details regarding times and ticket prices.
3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500, clemetzoo.com
You may recognize foul-mouthed comic Jay Phillips from his small roles in Baby Mama or Semi Pro. Phillips, who's often compared to Richard Pryor, likes to make fun of white people who try to act cool by wearing Obama T-shirts. He performs special NYE shows tonight at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv, where he has performances scheduled through Sunday. Tickets are $30 to $45.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com
New Year's Eve Soiree
For the sixth consecutive year, Lago will host an extravagant New Year's Eve party. There will be dining, dancing and entertainment at the black-tie optional event. DJ Flaco Flash will be on hand, along with DJ Maestro and a French jazz band. There will also be a special countdown to midnight and confetti drop as 2018 becomes 2019. Full admission tickets include a decadent buffet dinner from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Riviera Ballroom. All-inclusive tickets are $200 per person or $350 per couple. For those who just want to partake in the late-night festivities, there's a $150 single ticket option that allows entry at 10 p.m.
1091 West 10th St., 216-862-8065, lagoeastbank.com
Studio 54 New Year's Eve
In keeping with the Studio 54 theme of tonight's New Year's Eve party at Luxe, DJ Mazi Jahi will spin New York-style disco from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Disco attire is preferred, and there will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. There's no cover, but for those interested in getting dinner, Luxe will have a special winter dinner menu and feature seasonal cocktails as well. The enclosed patio will be heated, and a second patio bar will be open.
6605 Detroit Ave., 216-920-0600, luxecleveland.com
The Sunrise Jones
This local group's members come from various bands, including the local, long-running Copperfoot. They jammed one night on a whim and decided they just wanted to play some covers that they were passionate about. The group grew from there and put together a setlist of fantastic covers. The band specializes in Beatles tunes, but you can expect to hear a wide mix of music at tonight's special New Year's Eve gig. The show starts at 9, and tickets are $25 to $30.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com