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21C Museum Hotel: Where art, music, and drinking come together for a sure-to-be-memorable New Year's Eve party. ADDRESS: 609 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 / Image courtesy of 21C Museum Hotel // Published: 12.16.16

10 Parties That'll Make Sure Your NYE Lives Up To The Hype

Well friends, 2016 is rapidly coming to a close.

On the one hand, blah blah blah, what-year-it-has-been [insert sad face emoji]. (This is for the folks who got married, had babies, bought a new car, and/or experienced other life-affirming moments from the past 340-something days.) On the other, 2016 kiiinda sucked, and many are eager to slip into 2017 with the notion that "it can't get worse." I mean... David Bowie can’t die again, right?

Whatever your persuasion, New Year's Eve is there to, well, make you forget about it.

BUT, how often does New Year's live up to the hype? Uh, never. (Sad trombone.)

This year it will, though. Wanna know why? Because we’ve got your back. No more random bars, no more awkward house parties, no more “we’ll just figure it out later.” Nope. Stick with us and you’ll go far.

FOUNTAIN SQUARE: The Big Outdoor Bash

It’s out in the fresh air of, um, late December, so you should probably bring a coat. But all the other infectious attributes of outdoor celebrations remain: clean air, ample elbow room, mulled wine, and the sense that this is where New Year's Eve is really happening.

RHINEGEIST: The Brewery Brew-Ha-Ha

I would say more on the topic, but it would be entirely redundant of what you already know. Long-story short: Rhinegeist is the bomb. Consider yourself informed.

CSO: The Swanky Ball

Music Hall was the place to be for New Year's before 2016 came along and put it out of commission (albeit temporarily). Now it’s the Taft Theater, but nothing's been lost in the translation. In fact, the “Speakeasy” theme fits more appropriately at the Taft, which was built in 1928 and is better suited to the swinging tunes of the '20s than the Gilded Age Music Hall.

THE CINCINNATI ZOO: The Place To Ring In The ZOO Year

Unfortunately, I can't take credit for the “Happy ZOO Year” event. You can thank the geniuses in their marketing department for that one. While you're at it, you should thank the Zoo for putting on a kid-friendly New Year's Eve happening. The Festival of Lights will be there in full swing, but so will the Madcap Puppet Theater and (drumroll please) fireworks.

IVY LOUNGE: The Bottle Service Bonanza

What’s better than two floors of New Year's Eve festivities? That’s right, three floors of New Year's Eve festivities. So says Ivy Lounge, whose offerings include three DJs, a balloon drop, and VIP packages.

MT. ADAMS PAVILION: The Hilltop Option

The real question with Mt. Adams Pavilion isn’t whether it will be an enjoyable place to spend the night of December 31st, it’s whether the night of December 31st will be any more fun than a regular weekday. The answer is, most definitively, "YASS!" Cocktail attire, champagne toast, unbeatable view of Downtown Cincinnati? Yep, this is the place.

HOTEL COVINGTON: The Party Across The River

If you’re looking for a spot on the southern bank of the Ohio River to celebrate New Year's, this is it. Dinner looks mighty appetizing, but the real party is in the lobby. Four bars, a DJ, a dance floor, hors d’oeuvres... and no cover? Whoomp, there it is. Sans couver? Oui.

21C: The I-Promise-You’re-Not-Hallucinating-Yellow-Penguins Thing

Start with a chive and creme fraîche apple... you know what? Let’s just skip ahead. Music? Video? Avante-garde art? This might be the only place in Cincinnati to experience all three in one night. $150 gets you an open premium bar. Oh, and there were tater tots... chive and creme fraîche apple tater tots. So there.

KNOW THEATRE: The One With Giggle Juice

Who knew the Know Theatre had an outstanding New Year's Eve party? Not me. But my ignorance shouldn’t dissuade you from this speakeasy bonanza. It’ll be packed. It’ll be rowdy. It’ll be everything you want December 31st to be. Consider this Over-the-Rhine's New Year's Eve party. Why? Because I said so. And because anyone who's decided on Rhinegeist will have stopped reading this article already.

FIRST MIDNIGHT @JACK CASINO: The Only Party With A 360-Degree Photobooth (i.e. Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner)

There will be the uszh... DJs, champagne toast, gorgeous guys & gals. But the newest & best addition to this swankfest is a 360-degree photobooth. Is it cool if we just drop the mic right now and walk away? ... 'Cause yeah, that wins. Hands down, that makes it the best party/ way to spend NYE2017.

Oh, And...

Make sure to pad that stomach with some delicious grub (“pad that stomach” being blasphemy for ordering a filet from Boca, et cetera). Often the parties will offer you some light hors d’oeuvres, but you’ll want something more substantial — and delicious.

These four places have special menus for the evening:

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Happy 2017 folks. Drink responsibly, have way too much fun, check out our gallery. Cheers!