Where to be for NYE

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    Arts and Culture

    For a mid-sized city, Cincinnati boasts an unusually vibrant cultural scene.


    If theater’s your thing, consider attending the 7:30 p.m. showing of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at Playhouse in the Park in Eden Park. The Broadway show is a comedic musical about the modern-day suburban mating game. Tickets can be purchased on the Playhouse Web site.



    Fans of the classics will appreciate “Alice in Wonderland” downtown at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. The play starts at noon, so you’ll still have time for some New Year’s Eve mischief. Tickets can be purchased on the Ensemble’s Web site.


    The musically inclined should consider a night with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The New Year’s Eve Concert & Gala Ball is presented by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to benefit the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra. Get in the festive mood with a 7:30 p.m. concert featuring your favorite hits from the big band and Sinatra songbook. After the concert, ring in the New Year in the Music Hall Ballroom with a seated dinner, open bar and live music and dancing to Julie Spangler and Randomonium.


    Artsy types should gravitate to Eden Park to the Cincinnati Art Museum’s “Highlights of Permanent Collection Tour.” Take a peak at the museum’s world-class collection.


    Food and Wine

    One thing’s for sure: Foodies will not go home hungry after a New Year’s night out in the Queen City.


    If you made a resolution to get healthier in 2009, a visit to the Northside Farmers Winter Market on Knowlton Street might be just your dream come true. The market boasts fresh organic produce in an artistic and family friendly environment. Head over to the Northside between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and you’ll find everything from honey to salsa.



    Sports & Recreation

    If winter has you going stir-crazy, an adrenaline rush might do you some good. There are plenty of high-energy New Year’s alternatives for the gym rats out there. Here’s a few:


    Basketball season is upon us all, so there’s no better time than now to see the Muskies in full glory. Watch XU take on Robert Morris at 6 p.m at the Cintas Center. Tickets run $18 to $23. See the team’s official Web site for more information.


    You can’t put the unlikely words of “sports” and “New Year’s Eve” in the same sentence without thinking of the Cincinnati Sports League’s (CSL) infamous New Year’s Eve bash. Held at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley, this athlete-infused event features The Paul Otten Band, and includes light appetizers and a midnight toast. Admission is $70, but RSVP soon because it’s always a sell-out celebration. Burn some calories in the heart of downtown in Fountain Square. The U.S. Bank Ice Rink on Fountain Square is located in the center of the redesigned Square, in view of the fountain. At 7,000 square feet, it is about the size of the rink at New York’s Rockefeller Center. The center is available for private groups if you want to organize a Ladies Night Out. Cost is $2.50 for admission and $2.50 for skate rental, payable by cash or credit card. On New Year’s Eve, the rink is open until 10 p.m. — plenty of time to burn off all that champagne. See the Web site for more information.


    Just For Fun

    Sometimes you just want to let loose, and there’s no better time than New Year’s.


    Relieve office stress with a show at Go Bananas Comedy Club in Montgomery. “Cincinnati’s own Josh Sneed is quickly making his mark as one of the top young comics in the business,” according to the club’s Web site. It’s no wonder he’s opened for such acts as Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook and Lewis Black. The 10 p.m. show package (21 and up) includes a ticket to the show, a cheese and veggie plate, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. All tickets must be pre-paid with a credit card prior to arrival.


    See the city in a new light with a carriage ride. Several local companies offer seasonal rides. Carriage Occasions offers horse-drawn carriage rides or tours in downtown Cincinnati, Covington and Newport, according to the company’s Web site. An added perk: They can organize custom carriage rides that could include a three-city-wide horse-drawn carriage tour. Their carriage rides start at $35 per horse carriage in all three cities: Cincinnati, Covington and Newport. Visit the Web site or call (812) 744-5592 or (513)309-3251 for more information.1108SENSIBLE.gif


    Elegant Carriages also runs horse-drawn carriages and guided city tours seven days a week, year-round in Cincinnati, Newport, Covington and Madison. Get a group together for a private party. Visit the Web site or call (859) 491-7655 to make a reservation.


    If you’re feeling bold (and in key), head over to Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at 10 Fountain Square around 9 p.m. for some karaoke and open mic fun. Sing or request a tune in a lively downtown setting. Who knows, maybe a talent agent will discover you as the next “American Idol”! Call (513) 621-1588 for more information.


    Get out your dancing shoes and head to the Covington-based Madison for Q-102’s annual New Year’s Eve party. For $99, you get premium open bar for the entire evening, full buffet dinner including hors d’oeuvres, three levels of entertainment which includes live music from The Websters, LuLu’s Closet, and Maize Music, party favors, champagne and free parking. Not a shabby way to start 2009!


    Editor’s note: if you’re looking for the perfect outfit to wear for one of the above-mentioned fêtes, check out this week’s fashion article for some great suggestions!


    Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography

    Location: The McAlpin

    Models (left to right): Irvetta McMurtry, Amanda Turner, Kelly Haugen and Tonia Murphy of New View Management Group, Inc.
    Makeup Artistry: Trina Paul

    Hair Styling: Liz Carter of Rustic Pear Hair Designs