Kansas City Connection: In the mood to celebrate New Year's

New Year’s Eve is often written off by those who consider themselves true socialites. “It’s amateur hour,” some scoff. “Overrated,” others sneer. But behind the dismissive comments is a legitimate fear of missing out on a night that, with a little bit of planning and good luck, can provide a memorable end to one year and a buoyant start to the next.

Thankfully, Kansas City Connection’s compact but selective New Year’s Eve guide will help you pick from some of the area’s best options, conveniently categorized by what you’re in the mood for. We’ve included a few daytime/family-friendly options as well.

If you’re in the mood to swing...

Swing dance, that is... Dave Stephens, the Kansas City native turned international swing band star, will be at Union Station on New Year’s Eve for a special New Years Swingin’ Eve event featuring swing dance lessons, hot appetizers, a balloon drop, and unlimited drinks (with the “Unlimited” ticket option, which is $90 a person as opposed to the regular $60 admission). Visit unionstation.org for more information.

If you want Prohibition-themed decadence...

Step into the self-proclaimed “swankiest New Year’s celebration in Kansas City,” Starlight Theater’s “Prohibition” party, from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m., includes top-shelf liquor, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live music, casino games, fortune tellers, balloons, confetti, champagne and more, all in a 12,000-foot climate-controlled setting. Visit newyearskc.com for more information.

If you’re a cowboy at heart...

Saddle up for the “Midnight Rodeo” at the Madrid Theater at 3810 Main St. Featuring country music performer Travis Martin and DJ Mr. Kristopher, as well as all-inclusive drinks and party favors, this party will make country folks feel right at home in the city. The Rodeo lasts from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., with tickets on sale at kansascity-newyearseve.com.

If you’re a punk rocker with a slim billfold...

Head to RecordBar, where only $15 will get you admission to see one of Kansas City’s finest punk outfits and all-around best bands, Radkey, along with several others. To get tickets to this 18 and over show, visit therecordbar.com.

If you’ve always wanted to see a Daft Punk cover band at a casino...

Head to VooDoo, the music venue at Harrah’s Casino (1 Riverboat Drive in North Kansas City) for “One More Time,” a tribute to Daft Punk starting at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are available through Ticketmaster, or at the door for $33.

If ’80s cover bands are more your speed...

The Well (at 7421 Broadway in the Waldo Neighborhood) will be open until 3 a.m., with entertainment provided by DJ Vinyl Ritchy and the area’s top ’80s cover band, The Zeros. (The Well also has excellent burgers.)

If you’re an aviation buff...

Visit the National Airline History Museum for the Hangar 9 celebration, featuring six open bars, a heated 30,000-foot venue (one-third of which is the dance floor), light shows and aerial performers, catered food and drink, a balloon drop and red carpet flight tours over Kansas City. An all-inclusive package is $100 in advance for a limited time, and will be $150 at the door. Visit hangar9nye.com for more information.

If you want the “ball drop” experience without flying to NYC...

Go to the Power and Light District, where a Times Square-style ball drop will take place at midnight, along with fireworks, live music and all the food-and-drink specials 10 different bars and clubs can offer. Visit nye-live.com for more information. Tickets start at $45.

If you’d rather be laughing...

Visit Stanford and Sons (7328 W. 119th St. in Overland Park) for 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. shows featuring Saturday Night Live’s Jeff Richards. Visit stanfordscomedyclub.com for details. Or head to Comedy City (3600 Broadway) for entertainment by the Jackson County 5 and the Black Eyed Ops, as well as an improv jam featuring several comedy troupes. Tickets are $30 and include a champagne and cupcake toast at midnight.

If you’d rather wait until New Year’s Day to booze it up...

Head to the Brick (1727 McGee) for the 15th annual Hair of the Dog Day, with $1 bloody marys and plenty of greasy eats — a Kansas City tradition.

If you’ve got the kids in tow and want to do your celebrating early...

Visit “Noon Year’s Eve” at Science City in Union Station, which includes science demos, stage shows, access to two new exhibits, and a balloon drop, from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is the same as usual Science City rates ($13.50 for adults, $11.50 for children 2 through 12).

Or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wonderscope Children’s Museum (5700 King St. in Shawnee), kids will be treated to performances by Mr. Stinky Feet, storytime, a countdown to noon (with balloons) and snacks, noisemakers and more. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door or in advance at wonderscope.org.

Happy New Year, and see you in 2015!

— Lucas Wetzel is a writer and editor from Kansas City, Mo. Know of an upcoming event in Kansas City you’d like to see featured in Kansas City Connection? Email us about it at kcconnection@ljworld.com.

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