Adios (and good riddance) to 2020: New Year’s Eve celebrations just a short drive away

New Year's 2021
New Year's 2021

For most people, 2021 can’t arrive soon enough. Despite COVID-19, there are several parties to help you wish 2020 a happy goodbye, if cabin fever has you inclined to take a little road trip. However, due to current restrictions, the ball will mostly be dropping at 10 p.m.

So, although you can’t really party like it’s 1999 (with one exception, see below), here are some New Year’s Eve parties that are worth the drive.

ExploreRing in the New Year — at least metaphorically — at these Dayton-area events

MASKerade at Taft’s Ale House

This artisanal brewpub is throwing a New Year’s Eve party that includes a five-course dinner and Taft’s own brews and specialty cocktails. Your ticket includes a welcome beer or cocktail, $1 off all pints, a specialty cocktail menu with the dinner courses in mind, and a champagne toast with dessert. The five-course meal includes Roasted Beet Salad, Kaase Spaetzle, Bruised Pork Shank, and Chocolate Bark. Seating will be limited for social distancing purposes.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m.

Where: Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Cincinnati

Cost: $100 per person (tip included)

More Info: 513-334-1393 or

NYE 2021 Live Music and Comedy The Forum Columbus

This socially distanced New Year’s party entails an evening of comedy and live music. The comedian, Pierre, has appeared on Def Comedy Jam and BET Comicview, in films such as “BAPS” and “How To Be A Player,” and has toured with Mary J. Blige and Patti Labelle.

The musical entertainment will be performed by the Quan Howell Project, featuring Columbus native Quan Howell, who got his start singing in his church choir.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 5-10 p.m.

Where: The Forum, 144 N. Wall St., Columbus

Cost: $25-$500

More Info: 614-972-6004 or search the event on

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Throwback Thursday 90s New Year’s Eve and Celebration

Cartridge Brewing just opened in Maineville in the fall, and they’re not wasting any time. Their first New Year’s Eve party will have a 1990s theme. Staff will be wearing grunge flannel, crop tops, Doc Martens, and “Clueless”-style plaid (and they encourage you to do the same), while Austin Ellis (Team Adam from “The Voice”) will be performing acoustic versions of ’90s hits.

Each course of the five-course meal will be paired with a craft beer and curated wine as appropriate. A sparkling wine toast will accompany course #5 and there’s a designated driver option as well. The meal includes Lobster Bisque, Stuffed Quail, Braised Short Rib, Strawberry Marble Cheesecake, and more. This party is limited to 100 people with no parties greater than six allowed for social distancing purposes. The ball will drop at 9:15 p.m. and you’ll have a stemless flute to take home.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 6-10 p.m.

Where: Cartridge Brewing, 1411 Grandin Road, Maineville

Cost: $135 per person, $75 for designated driver (tip included)

More Info: 513-697-3434 or

European New Year Keg Drop at Dead Low Brewing

This downtown Cincinnati brewery is cleverly spinning their New Year’s COVID-19 party as a celebration of European New Year’s (i.e. it may only be 7 p.m. in Cincinnati, but it’s midnight in London!).

The full Dead Low Brewing menu will be available, but there will also be food and drink specials reflecting the European countries ringing in 2021 throughout the evening. There will be two keg drops, one at 6 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m. just before last call. There will be a celebratory toast for each. Reservations are required and limited.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 4-10 p.m.

Where: Dead Low Brewing, 5959 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati

Cost: Inquire at with number of people in your party, time of arrival, and contact info

More Info: 513-800-1231 or

A local family plans to open Little River Bar & Grill. Tonya and Dale Lusby, and Crystal Stewart hope to be open in December.
A local family plans to open Little River Bar & Grill. Tonya and Dale Lusby, and Crystal Stewart hope to be open in December.

New Year’s Bash – Roaring Twenties Style!

There have been plenty of Prohibition-themed New Year’s parties at various locales in the past, but thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, you can genuinely feel for the first time that you’re getting away with something in a speakeasy.

This is the first ever such New Year’s party for the Little River Bar and Grill. Come dressed as a flapper, gangster, or silent movie star, and enjoy an evening that includes music, karaoke, champagne toasts, and a live ball drop with fireworks.

Your reservation also includes a steak, ribs, or chicken dinner with two sides, champagne, and party favors.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 6-10 p.m.

Where: Little River Bar and Grill, 5527 Oregonia Road, Oregonia

Cost: $30-$50

More Info: 513-932-4000 or

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New Year’s Eve Party by Bucketheads

Want to spend New Year’s in a sporting atmosphere? This sports bar known for its expansive and diverse menu has you covered. Your admission includes appetizers, a three-course plated dinner (choice of chicken, beef, or fish), ten drink tickets, five shot tickets, party favors, and a souvenir champagne class.

A DJ will provide the entertainment, and there’ll be a “midnight” toast. Admission is limited due to COVID-19.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, time TBA due to COVID-19

Where: Bucketheads, 6507 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati

Cost: $80

More Info: 513-574-5600 or

Big changes at J.D. Legends
Big changes at J.D. Legends

That Arena Rock Show at J.D. Legends

J.D. Legends, a multi-entertainment venue that includes bowling, volleyball, a restaurant, and concerts, is throwing a New Year’s Party that pays homage to 1970s and ’80s arena hard rock and heavy metal. That Arena Rock Show will blast the sounds of Aerosmith, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses, and more.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 7-10 p.m.

Where: J.D. Legends, 65 Millard Drive, Franklin

Cost: $25-$35

More Info: 937-746-4950 or

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New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise

You can bring in the New Year on the scenic Ohio River with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop. Dinner is a three-entrée buffet that includes steak, baked chicken, whipped potatoes, and more. There will also be party favors, live entertainment, and a split of champagne.

Due to COVID-19, there will be reduced seating for social distancing. And because Kentucky has no curfew, you can celebrate the New Year as it actually happens.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Where: BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky.

Cost: $112 (adults), $72 (kids)

More Info: 800-261-8586 or

New Year’s Eve Party at Rollarena

Beechmont Rollarena is throwing a New Year’s Eve party. Admission includes hat, noisemaker, balloon, and a lei. Balloon drop balloons will be passed out but not dropped. There will also be raffles throughout the evening. The winner will be announced at 9:45 p.m.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 6-10 p.m.

Where: Beechmont Rollarena, 3988 Commercial Blvd., Cincinnati

Cost: $12 + fee for skates

More Info: 513-753-6868 or

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New Year’s Eve Bash with Audio Graffiti

Ring in the New Year with Audio Graffit, a Cincinnati-based party band that performs ’90s hits and current country, dance, and singalongs. Dinner is a buffet that includes fried chicken, wedding beef, au gratin potatoes, and more. After dinner, it’s cosmic bowling and dancing to Audio Graffiti.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 4:45-10 p.m.

Where: Community Lanes, 356 E. 3rd St., Minster

Cost: $35

More Info: Email

New Year’s Eve Tasting

Come out for a socially distanced wine tasting. There will be three separate tasting times (3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m.) that will allow 10 people to participate. You can come in groups of two or four. There will be four wines featured and a cheese board.

How to Go:

When: Dec. 31, 4-9:30 p.m.

Where: Wine on High Bar & Retail, 789 N. High St., Columbus

Cost: $70-$140

More Info: 614-214-8466 or search the event at

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