Haven't Planned for New Year's? It's Not Too Late
Several area venues are still taking reservations; First Night Morris is the biggest party of the group.
Maybe you really do want to just curl up in your flannel pajamas, grab some sushi and a small bottle of champagne, and watch When Harry Met Sally for the 50th time this New Year's Eve. Maybe you and your loved ones really do just want to camp out in the living room with some comfort food and enjoy the festivities from a distance.
Or maybe the holiday shuffle has gotten the better of you, and you just haven't had time to think about New Year's. Don't worry: We've done some thinking for you. And here's what we've come up with:
Hotel Close to Home
The Sheraton Parsippany Hotel offers a relaxing stay in Parsippany for $189 per night, which includes a bottle of champagne in your room upon arrival, a champagne toast with party favors at midnight in the Tipperary Pub and breakfast for two on New Year's Day. The hotel is offering a special late check-out at 4 p.m., so you can sleep in and take your time waking up to the New Year. The hotel is located at 199 Smith Road and can be reached at 973-515-2000.
First Night Morris County: The biggest bang for your buck.
In its 19th year, First Night Morris County in Morristown promises to be a spectacular way to ride in 2011. As long as you're dressed in layers and wear comfortable shoes, this event offers the biggest bang for your buck, with an admission price of $20 per person, which gives you access to 21 venues within easy walking distance and access to 80 performances. It touts itself at the biggest NYE celebration in the state.
You'll enjoy a wide range of entertainment including jazz, world music, rock and choral music. There will also be poetry, storytelling, theatre, dance and comedy presentations. Shuttles will be available through Atlantic Health Systems for those who need a ride throughout town.
The town-wide celebration begins at 7 p.m. Two fireworks displays will be featured, at 9:15 p.m. and midnight. Tickets are $20 per person if purchased before Dec. 31, and are $70 for a four-pack. When purchased on New Year's Eve, tickets are $25 per person. For more information see our preview of First Night, and to purchase tickets go to FirstNightMorris.com.
The Mansion at Natirar in Peapack: Splashy, fun and elegant
If you feel like treating yourself to a more lavish night out, the Mansion at Natirar is opening its doors for this special occasion. The party will take place in the ballroom of this spectacular mansion overlooking the rolling hills of Somerset County.
But this isn't your grandfather's ballroom. Having been recently transformed, this historic building offers a warm and inviting party atmosphere with couches and a live DJ playing dance tunes for all ages and tastes. Enjoy the countdown to the New Year with a live feed from Times Square.
The mansion is just steps away from Ninety Acres Restaurant and Culinary Center, which opened last year. Ninety Acres and the Mansion were once part of the original estate called Kate Macy Ladd, built in the early 1900s. The center was co-founded by Sir Richard Branson (the industrialist behind the Virgin Group of 400-plus companies) and Bob Wojtowicz, who is also the owner of the property.
For a $150 admission fee, there will be an open bar featuring special drinks such as the Winter Break, a delicious combination of apple cider, spiced rum, maple spice and orange juice and the Jersey Pine Barrens, with pine infusion, apple schnapps, fresh Granny Smith apple juice and cranberries.
The decadent dessert buffet will feature grape shooters with pomegranate gelee, yogurt panna cotta with mango and mint, milk chocolate mousse with pistachio brittle and an assortment of truffles, tartlets, cakes, cookies and petit fours.
The estate's beautifully renovated classic architecture serves as an idyllic venue promises a rare treat for ringing in the New Year.
To book your New Year's Eve reservations for the party, call 908-901-9500. For more information about Natirar, visit www.Natirar.com/
Affordable hotel packages: A $99 New Year's deal
The Somerset Hills Hotel in Warren and Hotel Indigo in Basking Ridge are offering $99 packages that include an overnight stay for a single or couple at either hotel, plus admission to the party at the Tap Room at the Somerset Hills Hotel.
The party includes chef's choice passed hors d'oeuvres, party hats and favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. Enjoy dancing to popular tunes with a live DJ.
For those who just want to join the party, admission fee is $40. The hotel is offering a coffee bar from 1 to 3 a.m. and free shuttle between hotels for guests. Both are pet-friendly hotels, so bring your four legged family members.
The Somerset Hills Hotel is located at 200 Liberty Corner Road, and Hotel Indigo is less than a mile away at 80 Allen Road. For reservations, call: 908-647-6700 or TheSomersethillsHotel.com and NJBoutiqueHotel.com.
Cornacopia Cruise Line: Dance on the Water
If you feel like trying something very different, head to Hoboken and a short cab ride to Pier 12 and Sinatra Drive (15 blocks by cab) and depart on the Cornucopia Majesty—a floating New Year's Eve party on the Hudson River featuring dinner and dancing. The ship boards at 9:30 p.m., sails at 10 p.m. and returns at 2 a.m. For $179, the package includes a premium open bar, champagne toast, buffet dinner and party favors. Enjoy the fireworks display over the Manhattan skyline from the Statue of Liberty area on the water.
For more information call 1-800-924-8477 or 732-697-9500 or visit Cornucopiacruise.com/holidays.asp.
Also worth checking out:
- At Shanghai Jazz, at 24 Main Street in Madison, you can enjoy the acclaimed Tony DeSare Trio and Asian cuisine with a choice of first and second seatings. There are five-course and seven-course tasting menus. First seating is $99 (until 8:30 p.m.); second seating is $159 (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.). Call 973-822-2899 to make reservations.
- The Stanhope House, which was build in 1794 and which bills itself as the last great American Roadhouse, is offering the opportunity to hear two bands for a a $15 or $20 cover charge (it's $15 if you purchase a ticket in advance). Music legends like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Paul Butterfield, and Richie Havens have played the Stanhope House; on the bill for NYE are the Shadetree Mechanics and Too Stupid To Quit. The Stanhope House offers dinner and a pub menu. For more information, call 973-347-7777 or see StanhopeHouseNJ.com