We know it takes time to decide what you want to do for New Year's, especially in a town that has everything from fancy-schmancy NYE balls to grungy dive-bar drink-all-the-PBR-you-can-handle shindigs. So to help you narrow down your choices, here are a few of our faves.
For those who want an excuse to get glamorous, the Platinum Ball at the Hippodrome, the Rose Ball at the Johnson-Hagood Stadium, and the Snyder Grand Ball at the Aquarium are all good bets with great music, awesome food, and freely-flowing booze. If you really want to step up the entertainment factor, though, try Charleston Unmasked — they've got a long lineup of performers slated for the evening. And if you want to celebrate on the water, head to Mt. P. for the Countdown on the Yorktown. Just be ready to pay a premium in exchange for the classy experience.
If ticket prices in the triple digits aren't what you planned on, check out the Red's ice House party, where $80 gets you dinner, well drinks and beer and wine, plus champagne. On Upper King, Barsa's hosting a New Year's masquerade, which features music by Whiskey Diablo, a photo booth, and a champagne toast at midnight. Other drinks aren't included in the $30 ticket price, but there will be drink specials and the kitchen will stay open till 1 a.m. Mercury Bar is also hosting an NYE bash, with DJ MikeTech, dancing, and a champagne toast at midnight, all for $30.
If you prefer a quieter New Year's, book a reservation at one of the tons of restaurants that are doing a special NYE dinner. Try the prix-fixe menus at Husk, McCrady's, 82 Queen, Circa 1886, or Charleston Grill or go a la carte at Mercato. Most places are offering complimentary champagne at midnight.
Families seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to NYE, but there are a couple cool things going on for those with kiddos. The City of Charleston is throwing Happy New Year Charleston, which is alcohol-free and will have live music and arts events. The James Island County Park Holiday Festival of Lights is hosting a Winter Carnival with rides and fireworks. And the Children's Museum is throwing Noon Year's Eve for families, with art projects, confetti, and a ball drop at noon.
Of course, you can always just head to your favorite bar to ring in the New Year. Mac's Place, Moe's Crosstown, the Blind Tiger, and the Recovery Room are all having low-key celebrations with live music. There are also a handful of music shows, like the Royal Tinfoil at Home Team BBQ and Sol Driven Train at the Pour House.
For more options of how to say goodbye to 2012, check out our New Year's Eve listings.