A New Year's Eve events roundup
FRIDAY, DEC. 31
We don't know about you, but we're feeling '22.
As to whether everything will be alright in the upcoming new year? Well, we won't make promises we can't keep. But we will make a New Year's Eve event guide you can keep next to you, should you be still in search of plans.
If it seems like one of those nights you ditch the whole scene (too crowded/too many cool kids/too much concern about COVID), we don't blame you either. Just know these venues are taking precautionary measures to ensure you bounce back from '21 less like Taylor and more like Billie — Happier Than Ever.
Noon Year's Eve at the expERIEnce Children's Museum
Celebrate the new year before the sun goes down at Noon Year's Eve, an long-running tradition at the expERIEnce Children's Museum. The activities unfold at two separate and easily digestible three-hour sessions featuring party hats, entertainment, fun, and music from DJ Bill Page — with a balloon drop signaling each session's final hour. Optionally, families can pick up a NYE Kit-to-Go with everything needed for an imaginative, crafty, and playful celebration at home.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (balloon drops at noon and 4 p.m.) // 420 French St. // $5 members, $10 non-members ($30 members, $40 non-members for to-go kit) // eriechildrensmuseum.org
New Year's Eve in Hollywood at Splash Lagoon
Flush down 2021 in an inner-tube at Splash Lagoon, Erie's one and only indoor waterpark and resort. In addition to the usual attractions, admission on Dec. 31 includes numerous activity stations and games, an animal show, a dance party, movie character appearances, and a midnight ball drop. A great way to get your feet wet for 2022.
10 a.m. to midnight (Jan. 1) // 8091 Peach St. // See splashlagoon.com for admission rates
Family-Friendly NYE Bash at Playport Arcade
Grab 2022 by the joystick at Playport Arcade's Family-Friendly New Year's Eve Bash. Enjoy $1.50 Smith's hot dogs all day, free glow pool at 5 p.m., and watch the ball drop on the virtual reality screen while balloons rain down upon you like the Space Invaders in real-time (with a complimentary glass of sparkling grape juice in hand). A prize giveaway will be announced at night's end (need not be present to win).
Opens at noon, party 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (Jan. 1) // 2730 W. 12th St. // See playporterie.com for admission rates
A Little Night Music in Concert at Erie Playhouse
The Erie Playhouse pays tribute to Stephen Sondheim, the recently passed titan of musical theater, with A Little Night Music. The highly acclaimed "journey through the phases of love in waltz time" debuted on Broadway in 1973, winning Tony awards for Best Musical (lyrics and music by Sondheim), Best Book (written by Hugh Wheeler), and Best Original Score (orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick). The Playhouse's one-night only production stars Susan Lechner, Mandy Berlin, Will Steadman, Leah Mathie, Patrick Thiem, Christine Daugherty, Kate Neubert-Lechner, Brendan Daugherty, Kate Thiem, Ian Brady, Shawn Clerkin, Benjamin Snyder, Sophie Minstiveris, Joleen Jeffery, and Karalyn Headley.
7:30 p.m. // 13 W. 10th St. // $30 plus taxes and fees // erieplayhouse.org
Greg Morton at Kellar's
If anyone has the voice to ring in the new year, it's Greg Morton. From the time he stepped up to a mic at 16-year-old as a department store PA announcer, he has consistently wowed crowds. Recently appearing on the Season 14 premiere of America's Got Talent, Morton has also performed on Just For Laughs, Comedy Central's Premium Blend, Comics Unleashed, and his own Dry Bar Comedy special. Opening for his New Year's Eve performance at Kellar's will be Lisa Chimenti Foster, with Kellar's owner and impresario Bobby Borgia presiding as master of ceremonies. At the show's conclusion, attendees will be treated to complimentary dessert and champagne..
8 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m., toast at 10 p.m.) // 1402 State St. // $50 // kellarsmagic.com
New Year's Eve Party at PI Downs & Casino
Take a gamble on a good time at Presque Isle Downs and Casino's annual New Year's Eve gala. The party begins downstairs at 9 p.m. before moving upstairs to Churchill's Bourbon and Brews for the duration. DJ Butch Knight of Dynamic Sounds will be replaying the best beats of the past century, from the 1920s to today, so dress appropriately for your favorite decade — whether that be as a flapper or a breakdancer.
9 p.m. to 1 a.m. // 8199 Perry Hwy. // No cover // presqueisledowns.com
Boogie on the Bay: The Parisian Way
Ever think to yourself, "Isn't it about time Eiffel into something?" Wait no longer, because the Bayfront Convention Center is bringing back its annual Boogie on the Bay, this time in a very Parisian way. Attire yourself in the finest European fashions while savoring the bayfront's certain je nais se quois. Dance to live music from The Chozen Few (No diggity, we bouta baguette up). An individual ticket gets you four drink tickets, hors d'oeuvres, and champagne toast at midnight. The hotel package includes everything previously mentioned for two plus accommodations at either the Sheraton Bayfront or Courtyard Bayfront. You will roux the day you pass up on this opportunity.
9 p.m. to 1 a.m. // 1 Sassafras Pier // $70 individual, $250 hotel package // Proof of full vaccination required or negative test required within 72 hours of event // erieevents.com
The BIG New Year's Eve Bash at BIGBAR
In case you didn't know everything's BIGger at BIGBAR, let us spell it out for you. The BIG New Year's Eve Bash is notoriously B-I-G. At midnight, a BIG balloon will drop. You'll see the ball drop in New York City on 30 BIG screens. And if you've got a BIG appetite, the kitchen will be serving up BIG slices for $1 all the way until 2 a.m. (full menu until 10 p.m.) On a side note, all attendees will receive free party favors and champagne of reasonable proportions with their $5 cover.
9 p.m. to 2 a.m. // 14 E. 10th St. // $5 cover // bigbar.net
Chestnut Grove's New Year's Eve Bash
With an invigorating sonic blend that is equal parts bluesy, rootsy, and groovy, Chestnut Grove is a strong candidate to rock in the new year. Opening for them on the King's Rook Club's downstairs stage will be the fiery collective Aria and the Voiceless, ensuring the evening moves along at a consistent intensity. Snatch a smoke or a drink between sets at a more conversational level in the upstairs lounge as DJ Jay spins the beats.
9 p.m. to 3 a.m. // 1921 Peach St. // facebook.com/kingsrookclub