If it's not enough to toast Dick Clark's memory or watch Kathy Griffin embarrass Anderson Cooper on CNN,
New Year's Eve in the Tampa Bay area has a wealth of experiences to choose from: eye-popping fireworks, legendary blues man B.B. King, a family-friendly festival, balloon drops full of cash or a chic party of sophisticates.
Grab a noisemaker and join in.
Hard Rock Parties and West Coast Toast
Might want to practice your dance moves. Dancing with the Stars' Karina Smirnoff will host the Seminole Hard Rock's Pop the Cork party, which includes four drink tickets, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, appetizers, entertainment by the Flats and admission to the West Coast Toast until 6 a.m. 21 and older only. $85 advance, $95 day of. Or, get to the poolside for a 21 and older only, standing room only party with live entertainment by Coo Coo Ca Choo, a complimentary champagne toast and cash bar: $35. The party continues a second time with California for a West Coast Toast featuring a DJ dance party starting at 1 a.m. and rocking around the clock until 6 a.m. Travel to different time zones across the country and watch ball drops via satellite. $25 (online at rocktampa.com). Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5223 N Orient Road, Tampa. (813) 627-7625. 9 p.m. Tuesday-6 a.m. Wednesday.
First Night St. Petersburg: This annual alcohol-free event has music, lights, dance, fire, bubbles, stories, creative fun and two fireworks displays. Some of the highlights: FirstKids at the Morean Arts Center starting at 4 p.m. will help kids make hats and masks and see a puppet show. There will be hands-on demos by artists of glass etching and clay creations in Williams Park. Musical stages will feature rock, jazz, bluegrass, opera, chamber music, hip-hop, alternative folk rock and sacred steel at multiple downtown venues, and the finale stage in North Straub Park will feature the alternative folk favorites Have Gun Will Travel and the sacred steel sounds of the Lee Boys. There will be fireworks at 8 p.m. and midnight. It's free to wander around, but you need a button to participate in activities and enter venues. Organizers also point out that the buttons help fund the annual event, which relies heavily on volunteers. $10 adults, $5 for kids in advance; $15 and $10 on Tuesday. Straub Park, Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue NE, St. Petersburg. (727) 823-8906. 4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday.
Noon Year's Day at the Library: Children can celebrate the arrival of the New Year and still get off to bed early with this party featuring children's crafts, games and prizes. Free. St. Petersburg Main Public Library, 3745 Ninth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 892-5296. 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Noon Year's Eve at the Zoo: Count down to noon with Radio Disney to celebrate the New Year with the entire family. Activities include games, arts and crafts, live entertainment and educational displays. Kids get to blow noisemakers, wear hats and toast in the Noon Year with juice. Included with regular zoo admission: $23.95, $21.95 seniors, $18.95 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free. Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552. 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Noon Year's Eve at Great Explorations: Kids can make party hats, collages and underwater fireworks at this "Noon Year's Eve" party with dance parties, crafts, giveaways, a balloon and bubble drop and an apple juice toast at noon. Included with regular admission: $10 ages 2-54, $9 ages 55 and older, 1 and younger free. Great Explorations Children's Museum, 1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Noon Year's Eve at the Museum: Kids probably won't make it until midnight, so the museum will celebrate the New Year at the top of every hour with balloon drops, party hats and noisemakers beginning at noon. Included with admission: $15, $12.50 military/seniors, $9.50 children, under 1 free. Glazer Children's Museum, 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861. 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday.
Tradewinds Rockin' In The Midnight Hour: Partiers 21 and older will enjoy entertainment from the Greg Billings Band, a dance contest, an open bar, complimentary glass of champagne, balloon drop, noisemakers, hors d'oeuvres and food including lobster shepherd's pie, Thai vegetable spring rolls, a pasta station and more. From 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., there will be a luau themed party for ages 4 to 12 complete with games, crafts and dinner, and a Teen Bash for ages 13 to 17 with graffiti T-shirts, dancing and singing. $140 adults; $50 ages 13-17; $30-$60 ages 4-12. Tradewinds Island Grand Resort, 5500 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-2258. 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
B.B. King: The legendary bluesman, 88, will help downtown Clearwater's Capitol Theatre celebrate its first New Year's Eve concert in the newly renovated hall. Shaun Hopper will open the show and tickets are $86-$150. If you can't make the New Year's bash, he has an encore show on Jan. 2 at the Cap that runs $69-$125. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tuesday at 9 p.m.
New Year's Eve @ Jackson's: One of Tampa Bay's best-known celebrations includes indoor and outdoor party areas, an independent fireworks display (they claim it's bigger than Channelside's), party favors, balloon drop, entertainment and a champagne toast. $25 general, $50 VIP, $125 VIP Plus. Jackson's Bistro Bar & Sushi, 601 S Harbour Island Blvd., Tampa. (813) 277-0112. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at the Club at Treasure Island: Club members and their guests can get an all access concert pass for live music by Dance Express, Star Power, Night Grooves, That Pack and the Village People. $75. The Club at Treasure Island, 400 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island. (727) 367-4511. 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Hulk Hogan's Masquerade Ball: Hulk Hogan hosts his second annual New Year's Eve masquerade party with a giant fireworks display, passed appetizers, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Expect appearances by celebrity professional wrestlers. 21 and older only. VIP cabanas and room packages available. $40. Hogan's Beach, 7700 Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. (813) 281-8900. 8 p.m.-3 a.m. Tuesday.
Comedy with Carl Labove: The comedian and close friend of Sam Kinison performs at this New Year's Eve party with an open bar, party favors, champagne toast, DJ dancing and a continental breakfast. $75. Side Splitters Comedy Club, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. (813) 960-1197. 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
2013 Rockin' New Year's Eve with Marvelous Marvin: Marvelous Marvin of 106.3 FM Radio serves as special guest for an evening of live music by SPF 40, hors d'oeuvres, dinner buffet, dancing, party favors and a champagne toast. $59.95. Show Palace Dinner Theatre, 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson. (727) 863-7949. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Bash by the Bay: Tampa Bay Club Sport celebrates with five bars, music by the five-piece Top 40s cover band Wild Ginger, multiple DJs, party favors, food and fireworks over the bay. $105 advance, $120 at the door. Whiskey Joe's Bar and Grill, 7720 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. (813) 281-0577. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
CineBistro Groovy '70s New Year's Eve: Channel the new movie American Hustle for CineBistro's party with food and drink specials, a big screen countdown, complimentary champagne toast and prizes for best dressed couple. Included with movie ticket. CineBistro at Hyde Park Village, 1609 W Swann Ave., Tampa. (813) 514-8300. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
End of the Year Party: Dance the night away to music by DJs Ninjai and Brian B at Club Plush's early 18 and older, dress to impress New Year's Eve party for curvy, plus-sized ladies and big men. Includes a champagne toast at midnight and a slideshow of pictures from all the club's 2013 parties. $5, $10 after 10 p.m. Glo UltraLounge, 8831 W Hillsborough Ave., Tampa. (813) 388-8229. 9 p.m. Saturday.
Festa Exotica 2014 — Caliente New Year: A Carnival Fest themed party with upscale appetizers, a buffet, bottle service, champagne toast at midnight, party favors, two DJ's, live music by Bobby Friss and a live broadcast of the ball drop in New York City. $80-$140 (non-member); free-$70 (members). Caliente Resort and Spa, 21240 Gran Via Blvd., Land O'Lakes. (813) 996-3700. 7 p.m. Tuesday.
GAYbor's New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball: Esme Russell and Amy DeMilo host this year's gay masquerade countdown to midnight featuring music by DJs Charles Machado, Ranny and Brianna Lee, ball drop countdown from Times Square, a champagne toast, $1,000 balloon drop, masks, party favors, 12 dancers and $1 drinks from 9 to 10 p.m. Free before 9:30 p.m., $5 after. The Honey Pot, 1507 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 247-4663. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
HOT New Year's Eve: Join HOT 101.5 for DJ music, go-go dancers, LED screens and a midnight toast. $25-$75. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 893-7832. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Jannus Live New Year's Eve Bash: A lineup of DJs from 93.3 FLZ keeps the all-ages party going. An optional $25 all-you-can-drink package available to anyone 21 and older with proof of age. No cover, $25 unlimited drinks. Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0550. 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Naked New Year's: The Postcard Inn and Naked Turtle Rum team up for a party with a bonfire and a beachfront concert. No cover. Postcard Inn, 6300 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 367-2711. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
New Blue Year 2014: The Blue Martini's annual formal New Year's Eve dance party features select open bar, hand rolled sushi and appetizers until 10 p.m. and live Top 40 music by Tom Sartori all night. $40. Blue Martini, Bay Street at International Plaza, 2223 N West Shore Blvd., Tampa. (813) 873-2583. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Tommy Mara and the Crests Celebrate: The evening kicks off with hors d'oeuvres, followed by a dinner buffet, dancing to live music, party favors, champagne toast and continental breakfast. $79.95. Palace Grand, 275 Della Court, Spring Hill. (727) 863-7949. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Fireworks Cruise: Cocktail attire is required for this 21 and older only floating New Year's Eve party with an open bar, gourmet food stations, DJ dancing, party favors, champagne toast at midnight and a front row seat for the fireworks at Channelside. $129.95. Yacht StarShip, 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 223-7999. 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Saddlebrook Gala: This black-tie optional event begins with an hour-long cocktail party with hors d'oeuvres on the Fountain Terrace. Move to the Tropics Restaurant for a gourmet dinner with table side open bar and fine wine service during dinner. After dinner, dance into the wee hours with music by DJ Lex Macar, cash bar, champagne toast at midnight and a balloon drop. $145 (reservations required). Saddlebrook, 5700 Saddlebrook Way, Wesley Chapel. (813) 907-4716. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Hotel Party Package: Plan ahead for a safe New Year's Eve party with a room for two, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne welcome tray, five-course surf and turf dinner for two at Aqua, a rooftop party featuring panoramic views of fireworks in Tampa and Clearwater and a champagne toast at midnight. $550 per couple (includes all taxes and gratuities). The Westin Tampa Bay, 7627 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. (813) 775-2076. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Atlantic Dance Party: Business casual to formal attire required to dance in the new year at Atlantic Dance's party with dancing to a video DJ on the main stage, three cash bars and party favors. 21 and older only. $37, $75 VIP. Atlantic Dance at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, 2101 EPCOT Resort Blvd., Lake Buena Vista. (407) 939-6200. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Shephard's Beach Party: With a balloon drop, champagne toast, party favors, fireworks viewing, live music by All the Answers and dancing to music by DJs Ray and Brandon James. $30 advance, $35 day of (21 and older only). Shephard's Beach Resort, 619 S Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater. (727) 441-6875. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Cafe Dufrain Black Tie Barbecue: Don your tuxedo for this "Black Tie Barbecue" New Year's Eve dinner featuring smoked prime rib, Denver lamb ribs, smoked tofu curry noodles, braised bacon kale and other fancy trimmings. $35. Cafe Dufrain, 707 Harbour Post Drive, Tampa. (813) 275-9701. Seatings start at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Push Ultra Lounge Rooftop Party: The newly renovated Push opens for a 21 and older only rooftop and main bar New Year's Eve party with two DJs. Table reservations are available. $20 advance, $25 day of. Push Ultra Lounge, 128 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 871-7874. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Tuesday.
Black and White New Year's Eve Party: Enter a world of contrasts, as all decor and a buffet are featured in a black and white themed party. Choose from two packages: The Black and White Sparkling Flight includes two glasses of white bubbles and one glass of black bubbles ($25); or upgrade to VIP for a table reservation, bottle of sparkling or other wine selection ($75). Proper attire required. Ybor City Wine Bar, 1600 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 999-4966. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Black and White Party at The Drynk: Ring in the New Year at this 21-and-older Black and White party with a red carpet entry through paparazzi, party favors, balloon drop, champagne toast at midnight, DJ dancing and a live projection of the Times Square ball drop. $25. The Drynk Soho, 302 S Howard Ave., Tampa. (813) 251-5552. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Tuesday.
Safety Harbor Resort '80s Prom: Sip on a complimentary welcome cocktail before dancing the night away to live music by the Martha Quinn Band. Dress as if you're going to a 1980s senior prom for a chance to be voted prom king and queen. Includes champagne toast at midnight, party favors and a televised ball drop from New York City. Upgrade to VIP and add a buffet dinner with dessert. Room packages available starting at $339 per couple. $30, $99 VIP. Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, 105 N Bayshore Drive, Safety Harbor. (727) 726-1161. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday.
Country Dancing at Dallas Bull: Make sure to eat a big meal before this party. New Year's Eve at the Bull includes country dancing, a champagne toast at midnight and all-you-can-drink all night long. $40 advance, $50 at the door. The Dallas Bull, 3322 U.S. 301, Tampa. (813) 987-2855. 7 p.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve in Dunedin: Two venues join for one big New Year's Eve party with dancing to live music by the Black Honkeys, champagne toast, party favors and a balloon drop at midnight. Table reservations available. $15. Chic-A-Boom Room, 319 Main St, Dunedin. (727) 736-0206. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Murder Mystery Train: Board the train for New Year's Eve on the rails with a murder mystery dinner and champagne toast at midnight. $125. Seminole Gulf Railway/Colonial Station, 2805 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Toll-free 1-800-736-4853. 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Vegas-Style on the Bay: Mattison's at Van Wezel brings in the New Year with a formal Vegas-style gaming party with black jack, roulette, slot machines, Texas hold'em poker, craps, indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, dancing, shows, live music, cash bar and televised viewing of the ball drop in Times Square. $75. Mattison's Bayside, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. (941) 921-3400. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday.
Peabody's Rockin' New Year's Eve: DJ Trix provides the music for a party on the Palms nightclub dance floor. Includes two full-service bars, a balloon drop, champagne toast at midnight and a chance to win a $100 bar tab. $10 advance, $12 night of. Peabody's Billiards, 15333 Amberly Drive, Tampa. (813) 972-1725. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Pre-New Year's Eve Celebration: Mature crowds who don't like to be out late on a weeknight can celebrate New Year's Eve early at this red carpet, formal party with DJ dancing and live entertainment by Au'Niece, Marlon Boone and Nathan Mitchell. $28, $40 VIP. Embassy Suites Tampa — USF, 3705 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa. (813) 849-8463. 7 p.m.-midnight Saturday.
Hyde Park Rooftop Eve: The annual upscale Rooftop Eve New Year's party takes on a French twist to become the Rooftop Moulin Rouge. Don a mask for the midnight reveal and enjoy complimentary spirits, champagne, live entertainment and a view of Tampa's fireworks. $175. Hyde Park Village, 1621 W Snow Circle, Tampa. (813) 251-3500. 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Seniors Almost New Year Party: This indoor event features refreshments, music, games and friends. Free. Keystone Park, 17928 Gunn Highway, Odessa. (813) 264-3819. 5-9 p.m. Saturday.
Silverthorn New Year's Eve Party: Matthew McGee opens, and Cover to Cover headlines this black tie optional celebration including appetizers, dinner buffet, champagne toast and continental breakfast. $75. Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Spring Hill. (352) 799-4653. 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Swingin' the New Year: Dress to impress for this all-ages dance with music by the 18-piece Tom Kats Big Band, a countdown to midnight and balloon drop, party favors, noisemakers, chocolates, prize giveaways, cash bar and New Year's decor. There's also a vintage fashion photo shoot and contest. New Year's or upscale vintage attire encouraged. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with a swing dance lesson from 8 to 9 p.m. $30. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 669-7830. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday.
THEME PARKS AND ATTRACTIONS
Aqua-Eve: The aquarium is transformed from a family play area to a 21 and older party, complete with hors d'oeuvres, dinner, dessert, unlimited beer and wine, live music and entertainment and access to all of the galleries. Catch the midnight fireworks display from shore, or climb aboard the Bay Spirit II for a cruise around the harbor, which includes drinks, desserts and a champagne toast. $110. Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 273-4000. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at Busch Gardens: Busch Gardens brings in the New Year with extended hours, rides all night, DJ music and fireworks at midnight. Included with daily admission: $89, $81 ages 3-9. Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. (813) 987-5600. 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at Epcot: Each year Epcot's World Showcase turns into a super party zone. The overly explosive, special ending to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and laser show is so popular, they've doubled up and will offer two shows at 6:30 and 11:40 p.m. DJ dance parties take place throughout the park all day long. Future World attractions and the World Showcase remain open until 1 a.m. This year adds special themed dinners with a tribute to the film Fantasia in the World ShowPlace ($68.67, $44.37 ages 3-10) and Monsieur Paul's chef select three-course meal ($75). Included with daily admission: $90, $84 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. Epcot at Walt Disney World, 1515 N Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 934-7639. 8 a.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at Disney's Hollywood Studios: The park's iconic sorcerers hat takes center stage as the set for the "Lights, Camera, Happy New Year" fireworks display accompanied by the Mulch, Sweat and Shears New Year's Eve Spectacular concert. The park closes to the general public at midnight, but resort guests have extra magic hours until 2 a.m. $90, $84 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hollywood Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 939-6244. 8 a.m.-midnight Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at the Magic Kingdom: If you plan to see the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom, get there early and plan to stay for the entire day. The park annually fills to capacity and is closed by mid morning. The main attraction of the day is the Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks at 11:50 p.m. and DJ dance parties in front of the castle (check daily times guide). Resort guests have extra magic hours starting at 7 a.m., but the park doesn't open to the general public until 8 a.m. and remains open until 1 a.m. $95, $89 ages 3-9, 2 and younger free. Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 934-7639. 8 a.m. Tuesday.
Legoland Kid's New Year's Eve: Kids ages 2 to 12 can watch the giant LEGO brick drop at this very kid-friendly midnight (Kid Standard Time) — otherwise known as 7 p.m. — including fireworks to be viewed through special effects glasses and a DJ dance party. $75, $65 seniors and ages 3-12. Legoland Florida, One Legoland Way, Winter Haven. Toll-free 1-877-350-5346. 7 p.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at SeaWorld: SeaWorld celebrates the New Year and their connection to the sea and sea life with extended hours, a special fireworks display and musical tributes. Included with daily admission. $92, $84 ages 3-9. SeaWorld, 7007 SeaWorld Drive (Interstate 4, Exit 71), Orlando. Toll-free 1-800-327-2424. 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve at Universal Citywalk: Universal invites you to "Pick Your Poison" with admission to up to six party venues, unlimited gourmet food, a giant dance floor with 360-degree DJ platform, champagne toast at midnight and a pyrotechnics display. Theme park admission not included. $119. Universal Citywalk, 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando. (407) 363-8000. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Tuesday.
New Year's Eve with Disney Quest: Bid adieu to 2013 with games, music and dancing in Disney's five floor gaming facility filled with virtual reality, 3D encounters and classic video games. Disney Quest closes to the general public at 7 p.m. and reopens for the all ages New Year's Eve party including meet and greets with Disney characters, two DJ dance parties, a confetti drop, party favors, food and drinks. Please be aware that parking will be tricky because of construction at Downtown Disney $55 advance, $65 day of. Disney Quest, 1590 E Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 939-1929. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday.