2011 New Year’s Eve Parties in DC

To help you say goodbye to the year in style, we’ve compiled a roundup of the best parties in Washington. So grab a glass of bubbly, pucker up, and get ready for the greatest New Year’s Eve yet.

By: Samantha Miller

Washingtonians can enjoy after-hours access to museum exhibits during the Newseum's Headliners Ball. Photograph by Gary Cline, StudioEquiShots, LLC

Parties and Galas

WORLD GALA: The Hyatt Regency Crystal City and Professionals in the City are joining forces for this year’s Passport to the World Gala: An International Red Carpet Affair. Inspired by New Year’s traditions abroad, the event features steel drums from Jamaica, pop songs from India, and salsa lessons from Spain. Plus, there will be several buffet stations, open bars, dance floors, and more. Tickets ($99 for the party alone, $139 with dinner until 5 PM on Friday, December 9) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. 9 PM to 2 AM.

New Year's In Washington:

Parties and Galas

Concerts

Restaurants

Kid-Friendly

JAMES BOND: If you prefer your cocktails shaken, not stirred, the Washington Plaza’s infamous 007 party is your best bet for a stealthy New Year’s Eve. Spies-in-training can try their hand at mock casino gambling, dance to music from four deejays, practice their gun-wielding skills for photo ops, and more. Several buffets and open bars will be on hand. Tickets (starting at $149) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. Doors open at 9:30 PM.

BIG NIGHT DC:
One of the area’s biggest New Year’s Eve parties is back at the Gaylord National Resort with 15 themed party areas, five dance floors, a dozen bands and deejays, multiple food and beverage stations, and more. Tickets (starting at $129.99, including food and drinks) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. 9 PM to 3 AM.

MAD MEN: Channel your inner Don or Betty Draper during Hudson’s Mad Men New Year’s Eve Party. Admission includes appetizers, a four-hour open bar, and a Champagne toast. Sixties-era clothing is recommended. Tickets (starting at $100) can be purchased through Eventbrite. 9 PM to 2 AM.

HEADLINERS BALL: The Newseum’s annual New Year’s party features food and specialty cocktails from Wolfgang Puck, music by Round Midnight and DJ Scientific Beats, after-hours access to museum exhibits, and more. Tickets (starting at $180) can be purchased through the museum’s Web site. 8 PM.

W HOTEL:
The hotel’s swanky rooftop soirée includes a premium open bar from 8 to 10 PM, small bites throughout the night, a photo booth, live entertainment, and dancing. Tickets ($200) can be purchased here. 8 PM to 2 AM.

DOWNTOWN COUNTDOWN:
Grab some friends and head to the Hilton Washington and Towers for a concert from Third Eye Blind, deejays, comedy acts, a five-hour open bar, a full dinner buffet, and a midnight balloon drop. Tickets (starting at $149) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. 9 PM to 2 AM.

BLACK-TIE GALA: Yuletide Ball is throwing a black-tie gala at the JW Marriott Hotel. Guests can enjoy a performance by US National Latin dance champions Maxim Kozhevnikov and Anastasia Grigoreva, along with hors d’oeuvres, a four-course dinner, and a Champagne toast. Tickets (starting at $175) can be purchased by calling 301-972-2416. 7 PM.

CELEBRATION OF MANY NATIONS: Ring in the New Year at the Omni Shoreham with A Celebration of Many Nations. This massive party includes ten international-themed celebrations, eight party rooms, an aerial performance, live music, caricatures, karaoke, an open bar, a midnight Champagne toast, a balloon drop, and a whole lot more. Tickets (starting at $114) can be purchased by calling 202-234-0700. 9 PM to 2 AM.

END OF THE WORLD: Eden Lounge's End of the World 2010 New Year's Party will feature four deejays, party favors, and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight. Semiformal dress required. Tickets ($30) can be purchased by calling 202-491-2165. Doors open at 9 PM.

JOSEPHINE: Dance the night away to music by DJ N'dys. Tickets ($40 per person or $75 per couple) can be purchased through the event's Web site. 9 PM to 3 AM.

PUBLIC BAR: The 18th Street hotspot is offering happy hour prices from 8 to 10 PM, an appetizer buffet from 10 to midnight, an open bar from 10 to 1, and a Champagne toast. Tickets ($80) can be purchased through the event's Web site.

LOST SOCIETY: The newly opened U Street bar is hosting a New Year's dinner at 7:30 PM, followed by music by deejays Gavin Holland and Chris Burns at 9. Tickets ($25 to $250) can be purchased by calling 202-618-8868.

Concerts

BALL DROP BURLESQUE: Red Palace is throwing a bodacious New Year’s Bash with three burlesque shows, live music, go-go dancing, and a full bar. Performers include Scotty the Blue Bunny, Dr. Lucky, Lil’ Steph, and Miss Joule, to name a few. Tickets can be purchased online for $30 or at the door for $40. Doors open at 8 PM, and shows are at 9, 10, and 11.

9:30 CLUB: Spend New Year’s with indie rock band Drive-by Truckers. Tickets ($55) include a complimentary Champagne toast, and can be purchased through the club’s Web site. Doors open at 8 PM.

KENNEDY CENTER:
If classical music is more your speed, guitarist Pepe Romero is joining the National Symphony Orchestra for a concert at 8:30 PM. The program features selections form Rossini, Enesco, DeFalla, Bernstein, Copland, Tchaikovsky, and others. Admission includes an after-party with dancing and a balloon drop. Tickets ($50 to $95) can be purchased through the KenCen’s Web site.

BLACK CAT:
Swing dance band Peaches O’Dell and Her Orchestra will be performing throughout the night, with Tony Anthony and His Malvivants playing between sets. Tickets ($25) can be purchased through the club’s Web site. Doors open at 8 PM.

SIGNATURE THEATRE:
Join the cast of Signature Theatre’s Hairspray as they ring in the New Year. Partygoers are invited to catch an 8 PM showing of the hit musical, then count down to 2012 with the show’s stars. The party includes hors d’oeuvres, two drinks, and a Champagne toast. Tickets ($100) can be purchased through the theater’s Web site.

BLUES ALLEY: Jazz lovers have two chances to catch Monty Alexander and the Michael Bowie Band tonight. Admission includes a three-course dinner with nonalcoholic beverages. 8 PM ($100) and 10 ($150; also includes unlimited Champagne by the glass and festive noisemakers). Tickets can be purchased through the club’s Web site.

STATE THEATRE: Break out the blue eyeliner and Keds for the venue’s Retro Dance Party, featuring music from ’80s cover band The Legwarmers. Tickets ($50) can be purchased through the theater’s Web site. Doors open at 8 PM.

WOOLLY MAMMOTH: During the theater's "From Woolly With Love" celebration, guests can catch a showing of Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies, followed by desserts from José Andrés Catering, an open bar, and a midnight Champagne toast with the cast. Tickets ($110 to $130) can be purchased through the Web site. 10 PM.

And don’t miss:

The Tom Cunningham Orchestra at Glen Echo Park, 9 PM to 12:30 AM. Tickets ($25) can be purchased at the door.

Moombahton Massive X
at U Street Music Hall, 9 PM. Tickets ($15) can be purchased through Ticketfly.

Restoring Poetry in Music
with DJ Damu at Iota Club and Cafe, 8 PM. Tickets ($20 in advance, $25 the day of) can be purchased at the door.

Restaurants

LINCOLN: Relive the Roaring Twenties during Lincoln Restaurant’s (1110 Vermont Ave., NW) New Year’s celebration. Start the night off with a six-course dinner prepared by executive chef Demetrio Zavala, followed by live music from David Akers and the Epitome and DJ Cassidy. Tickets ($65 general admission, $150 dinner package) can be purchased through Eventbrite. Dinner seating begins at 7 PM.

ART AND SOUL: Foodies won’t want to miss Art and Soul’s four-course dinner. The New Orleans–inspired spread includes baked oysters, duck crepes, classic cocktails, and more. Guests can dance to live jazz music, strike a pose with vintage cars, and partake in a midnight Champagne toast. Tickets ($75 to $85) can be reserved by calling 202-393-7777. The first seating starts at 5:30 PM.

EATONVILLE:
The Southern restaurant is offering two prix-fixe dinners tonight. At 6:30 PM, guests can enjoy a three-course meal with music from NeoGroove Movement ($39 plus tax and gratuity). The 9:30 option includes a four-course dinner, a Champagne toast, music from NeoGroove, party favors, and a ball drop ($59 plus tax and gratuity). Reservations can be made by calling 202-332-9672.

MAD FOX: The Falls Church brewing company’s celebration includes a concert with the Tom Principato Band, a full buffet from 10 PM to 12:30 AM, and a midnight Champagne toast. Tickets ($35 until December 15, $40 after) can be reserved by calling 703-942-6840.

DOGFISH HEAD:
The Fairfax Dogfish Head Alehouse is hosting a five-course beer dinner. Admission ($75) includes a Champagne toast at midnight and a concert from Mercury Rising. 9:30 PM.

CHARLIE PALMER STEAK: For one night only, the steakhouse is offering a six-course dinner featuring terrine of foie gras and tuna, butter-poached Maine lobster, grilled dry-aged strip loin, and other dishes. An optional wine pairing can be added for $45. Reservations ($100) can be made by calling 202-547-8100. 5 to 10:30 PM.

CHURCHKEY:
Craft beer lovers won’t want to miss ChurchKey’s Suds, Spirits, and Sliders party. Guests can enjoy more than 50 craft beers, small plates, an unlimited bar, photo booth, and tunes spun by DJ John Bowen. And once the clock strikes midnight, egg-and-cheese biscuit sandwiches and gourmet grilled cheese will be served. Tickets ($150) can be purchased through Living Social. But hurry, there are only 150 spots available. 9 PM to 2 AM.

Kid-Friendly

MIDNIGHT NOON: Why should adults have all the fun? Pint-size partiers can ring in the New Year at the Maryland Science Center. Rock out to the Grammy-nominated kids’ band Milkshake, make your own party hat and noisemaker, then watch the ball drop—all before naptime! Free with center admission ($11.95 children, $14.95 adults). 10 AM to 2 PM.

WATCH NIGHT:
Bring the whole family to the Watch Night Celebration in Falls Church. The free festival includes live music, a 66-foot dragon obstacle course, a Velcro wall, face-painting, magic shows, a scavenger hunt, dance lessons, and a whole lot more. Complimentary popcorn and refreshments will be served. 7 PM to midnight.

FIRST NIGHT:
There’s something for everyone at Alexandria’s First Night celebration. A giant scavenger hunt kicks things off at 1 PM, followed by a slew of musical performances and other activities—including storytime, magic shows, face-painting, and a dance party at midnight. Check out the complete schedule here. Tickets (starting at $15) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. The event is alcohol-free.

ARTSPACE HERNDON:
The Virginia gallery is hosting an open house with hands-on activities and storytelling (free; 7 to 9 PM), a singalong bonfire for all ages (free; 9 to 10), and an adults-only concert at 10:30 PM. The concert features jazz quartet Al Robertson and Friends, desserts, a Champagne toast, and a cash bar. Tickets ($15 until December 18, $20 after) can be purchased through the gallery’s Web site.