How to party for New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is still weeks away, but as the holidays fly by, it will be here before you know it. And if you’re anything like me, the thought of planning for it is anxiety-inducing. So many options. What to do? Where to go? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

If you’re looking for a transformative experience, an opportunity to reflect on your personal evolution and get inspired for the future while still drinking and dancing the night away (and have some cash to throw into the evening), then InspireTruth at the Portland Art Museum downtown is probably perfect for you. Boasting two stages, two lounges and many interactive environments, this party in Portland Art Museum’s Mark Building promises to deliver the best of all the meaningful intention-setting associated with a new year, and all the fun of a raging (yet ecologically conscientious) party. Some general admission tickets are still available for $99. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the fun won’t wind down until 4:30 a.m.

If your ideal evening includes Axl Rose, head-banging, leather, pizza and beer, then check out Brew Year’s Eve at the Aladdin Theater in southeast Portland with Guns N’ Roses tribute band Appetite for Deception, Motorbreath (Metallica tribute) and Sacred Heart (Dio tribute). Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door.

If your evening won’t be complete without a little alt-country-rock-bluegrass twang in a funky elementary school-turned-hotel-movie theater-restaurant-brewery and you’d like the option of ending the night in the same building it began, then McMenamins Kennedy School New Year’s Eve Celebration in northeast Portland, featuring About World’s Finest and the About Freak Mountain Ramblers, is your gig. Tickets can be as reasonable as $20 in advance or you can add much more if you up the ante with one of their tempting packages. Tunes are from 9 p.m. till 12:30 a.m.

If marrying yourself to a single location sounds like the worst idea ever, and yet you don’t want the hassle of designating drivers and spending all your money on cab fares, then consider the 16th Annual New Year’s Eve BarFly Bus + Ball. Paying $30 to $45 gets you into a secret pre-party, chauffeured around Portland for a pub crawl, as well as snacks, drink specials, a complimentary champagne toast and other typical NYE accoutrements. Celebrate from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.

If you absolutely cannot wait to kick off your “new you” healthy lifestyle in 2016, consider ringing in the new year with the First Run 5K Run/Walk or 10K Run along the waterfront. Starting and ending at the World Trade Center, enjoy food and beverages (including Deschutes Brewery beer), music and dancing, and a costume contest with prizes. The festivities start at 10 p.m. and the runners will be off at the stroke of midnight!

And finally, if the only way to do something right is to do it yourself, consider throwing your own shindig. Also, there’s no shame in abstaining from amateur antics all together and spending the evening in your lounge pants, with your cat, catching up on John Oliver with a pint of Coconut Bliss. Or maybe that’s just me.

Still not sure? There’s time. And a Facebook page for that. But whatever you end up doing, make sure to do it safely; if you’re drinking, then take a cab, Uber, Lyft or use transit (which is free after 8 p.m. on Dec. 31).