Things to Do

Last Hurrahs and First Hurrahs: Local New Year’s Eve Parties, Concerts, and More

Looking to go out to ring in 2008? Here’s our guide to local New Year’s Eve parties. If you have suggestions or tips of your own, leave them in the comments, and we’ll update our guide with them.

Hotel Parties | Concerts | Big Bashes | Free/No Cover Nights

Hotel Parties

The Hotel Washington (515 15th St., NW), a DC institution, is closing forever in 2008. So naturally, there’s a massive New Year’s Eve bash there. The group Professionals in the City is hosting a Last Hurrah party, which will take place all over the hotel’s bars and ballrooms—even on the Sky Terrace, well known for its great views of the White House and other parts of the city. Dress is black tie optional. 8 pm; tickets are $130 and up and can be purchased here.

The organization Big Night D.C. throws a . . . well, big party tonight at the Westin Washington D.C. City Center (1400 M St., NW). There will be DJs galore plus performances by Gonzo’s Nose, Laura Lea & Tripp Fabulous, and Justin Trawick. There’ll also be buffets, a “Vegas casino” room for mock gambling, ballrooms for dancing, and a balloon drop. Dress is black tie optional. If you like, you can reserve discounted rooms at the hotel. Tickets for the party start at $119.99 and go up to $150 as the date draws closer; purchase them here.

Euronet, an organization for international professionals, is throwing a party at the Sheraton National Hotel (900 S. Orme St., Arlington)—the License to Thrill Around the World Gala, inspired by international locales and (who else?) James Bond. Several rooms will have different themes, such as an Irish pub, an Icelandic martini bar, Bollywood dance performances, and more. Tickets are $149 and will rise to $189 as time goes on. Admission includes five hours of an open bar and buffets. 9 pm.


Want to celebrate in a bit of retro style? The Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW), of all places, is hosting its annual New Year’s Eve extravanganza with Peaches O’Dell and Her Orchestra. O’Dell, who has headlined for years at the Black Cat, plays a mix of swing music, 1940s standards, and salsa. On the lower floor’s backstage, a DJ will be spinning. 9:30 pm; tickets ($20 in advance, $25 at the door) can be purchased here.

Lots of hip DJs and the up-and-coming local pop band Georgie James are what you’ll find at the Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St., NE) December 31. There are three levels of tickets: General admission is $30; Silver Level (open-bar rail drinks from 8 pm until 1 am) is $50; Gold Level (top-shelf open bar until last call) $80. Champagne toast at midnight for everybody. 8 pm; buy tickets here.

Iota Club and Cafe
hosts the popular (and formerly local) Nashville group Last Train Home. The show starts at 9, but the cafe opens at 5, and you can make dinner reservations by calling 703-522-2868. Midnight champagne toast. $40; tickets available at the door.

If your ideal way of ringing in 2008 is pretending it’s 1988, then head to the State Theatre in Falls Church (220 N. Washington St.) for the Legwarmers’ concert. The popular local ’80s cover band will play throughout the night. 7 pm; $30.

The godfather of go-go, Chuck Brown, plays the 9:30 Club (815 V St., NW). Sugar Bear and Mambo Sauce open. 9 pm; $50. Buy tickets here.

Big Bashes

The Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) hosts cover bands Liquid A and Flip Like Wilson while a DJ spins on the lower level for the club’s New Year’s extravaganza. There’s no open bar, but included in the price are seven drink tickets. Tickets start at $85 and will rise to $105; you can pick them up in person at the ballroom when it’s open.

First Night Alexandria (King and Royal sts.) is for those seeking family fun: live music, dancing, storytellers, face painting, and more. At midnight, there will be a fireworks display. 5 pm to midnight. The price of a badge is $10 if purchased by December 25; $15 December 26 through 31; children ages 12 and under are free and don’t need a badge but must be accompanied by an adult wearing one. Buy badges here.

Dance into 2008 at the New Year’s Eve Grand Foyer Party at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St., NW). There will be swing dancing, live music from the National Symphony Orchestra, and gift bags. 8:30 pm. Tickets are $50 to  $90; purchase them here.

Go to Italy for New Year’s without leaving the District. The Embassy of Italy (3000 Whitehaven St., NW) will hold a New Year’s bash with a buffet of Italian cuisine, desserts, and open bars. There will be wine tastings, an opera performance, and even classic Italian films in the auditorium. 8 pm. Tickets are $159 but could increase at any time; get them here.

Radio station DC-101 hosts the Downtown Countdown at the Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Pl., NW)—five hours of open bars, buffets, and live music from the Pat McGee Band, Naughty by Nature, and the Washington Social Club. Dress is creative black tie. Tickets run $109 to $189. 8:30 pm; get tickets and more info here.

The Carnegie Library (801 K St., NW) is a cool space—and it’s hosting a masquerade New Year’s ball and concert this year. The bands Scythian, the Reflex (an ’80s band), and the Yamomanem Jazz Band will play, and there will be an all-night open bar and hors d’oeuvres. The dress is black tie/cocktail/costume—and of course, you’ve got to have a mask. $125 until December 15; $135 after December 15; $149 at the door. Tickets here.

Free/No Cover

The following bars are open for the night without a cover charge or admission; some are hosting DJs, live music, drink specials, and/or free Champagne toasts. Call each for more information.

Stetson’s, 1610 U St., NW, Washington; 202-667-6295.

Adam’s Mill, 1813 Adams Mill Rd., NW; 202-332-9577.

Bar Pilar, 1833 14th St., NW; 202-265-1751.

Continental Modern Pool Lounge
, 1911 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington; 703-465-7675.

Rhodeside Grill, 1836 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-243-0145.

Rí Rá Irish Pub, 4931 Elm St., Bethesda; 301-657-1122.

Wonderland Ballroom, 1101 Kenyon St., NW; 202-232-5263.