Sparkling eves: Places to ring in the New Year - both near and far

Plenty of options - both near and far - to celebrate New Year's Eve

December 12, 2010|By Stephanie Citron, Special to The Baltimore Sun

On New Year's Eve, energy is high and the air is filled with electric verve in anticipation of what's to come. Is there any better time to celebrate?

Whether you prefer to party gala-style with friends or celebrate at a chic and romantic bed and breakfast with that special someone, the options are abundant. And if driving on New Year's Eve is a downer for you, there are plenty of getaway packages where the elevator will be your only transportation. We've found the festivities, large and small, at lovely locales all within a few hours' drive.

You can celebrate like a rock star with tickets to a big-name concert then hang out with the band over cocktails. Afterward, mosey upstairs to your ensuite bed. Prefer more elegance? Deck out in black-tie duds for a cocktail soiree before a five-course-gourmet dinner with supper club entertainment. That leads into an uber-glam gala ball and a midnight balloon drop, showering your champagne toast. Then retire to your feather bed accommodations.

If you and the gang prefer a ramped up New Year's Eve, check out one of the city-sponsored events in Washington or Philadelphia offering all-inclusive parties with a multitude of venues under one roof, including live bands, comedy shows, karaoke open bar, buffets, and midnight fireworks, with complimentary trolley service back to your hotel.

Whatever you choose, make your reservations early, because many of these galas sell out.

Downtown Baltimore

Intercontinental Harbor Court Hotel

Celebrate: "Ultimate 2011 New Year's Eve" includes a private one-hour cocktail party for six with live music and gourmet dinner prepared by the executive chef. Afterward, the group moves on to the exclusive Zebra Room to enjoy two bottles of Veuve Clicquot, and access to the Explorers Lounge for dancing, a chocolate buffet and indoor front row view of the midnight fireworks over the Harbor.

Stay: This package includes overnight accommodations for two in the Presidential suite, with VIP rose petal turndown, keepsake champagne glasses, round trip limousine transport to and from the hotel, and the above celebration package for $11,000.

If you don't have that much dough, a celebration for two at Brighton's restaurant plus dancing and views of the fireworks and a courtyard room starts at $399 per couple.

Info: 410-234-0550, ask for the Presidential package or the New Years Eve package.

Harbor Magic Hotels

Celebrate: "New Year's At The Top of the World" includes dancing, food, drinks and music by a DJ in a celebration on the 27th floor/observation level of the Baltimore World Trade Center. And, of course, at midnight — fireworks on the Inner Harbor.

Stay: Package includes party favors, champagne in your guest room, overnight accommodations, tickets to the Top Of the World Party and breakfast. Brookshire Suites begins at $419 per couple; Admiral Fell Inn begins at $449; and Pier 5 Hotel starts at $569.

Sail: Harbor Magic's three-hour "Inner Harbor Gala Cruise" departs at 9:30 p.m. from the Pier 5 Hotel aboard a private yacht featuring a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner seating and dancing with a DJ and views of the fireworks on the harbor. The package includes overnight accommodations, breakfast, party favors, in-room champagne, and two cruise tickets. The package is $529 per couple at Brookshire Suites; $559 at Admiral Fell Inn; and $679 at Pier 5 Hotel.

Info: 866-583-4162,


The Atlantic Hotel, Berlin.

Celebrate: "Elegant New Year's Eve Soiree" includes a champagne and hors d'oeuvres reception, a five-course dinner with supper club entertainment and dancing to live jazz. Watch the ball drop at midnight outside the hotel with hot chocolate, hot cider and roasted chestnuts. Package is $120 per person.

Stay: The "Victorian Romance Package" includes two nights in a deluxe room, champagne, flowers, turn-down service with chocolates and dinner for two in Drummer's Cafe. Package begins at $386 per couple.

Info: 410-641-3589,

Loews Hotel, Annapolis

Celebrate: Pat McGee's "Down the Hatch" New Year's Eve 2010 features an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, a champagne toast at midnight, music by the Pat McGee Band and a dance party with a DJ. Party tickets begin at $109 per person, and reservations are required. Go to

Stay: Guests attending "Down the Hatch" event qualify for Lowes New Year's Eve overnight rate of $199, which includes breakfast. Make reservations by phone and mention Pat McGee's New Year's Eve.

Info: 410-263-7777

Antrim 1840, Taneytown

Celebrate: "Stunning New Year's Eve" begins with a raw bar and hors d' oeuvres passed throughout the festively decorated mansion, leading to a seven-course dinner with music and dancing on the veranda. The New Year is heralded with a Scottish bagpiper performing "Auld Lang Syne" followed by a champagne toast. Tickets are $150 per person.

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