By Ashley Close
Every December it happens. You spend a half-fortune on a new dress and shoes, and hours dreaming up your hair and make up in preparation for that perfect New Year’s Eve party you cannot wait to go to. Then it hits you. There is no party. But, just wait. Maybe your friends’ coworkers’ cousin is having a chic soirée at their loft downtown with that fabulous view of the rivers. Or, you will meet a new beau at your office holiday party who will invite you to (and pay for) that $200 per person all-you-can-eat-and-drink gala at that new club in Station Square. If only!
Let’s be real. New Year’s Eve does not happen for you. You have to make it happen. Whether you are heading out with a group of friends, a date or even by yourself (just make sure to check in with someone during the evening if you are taking on the city alone), there are a few places to go and tools to utilize to make sure you stay safe and have fun.
Probably the most important thing to line up is transportation. Cabs in the city are going to be very difficult to come across, so book your rides early. If there is a large group of people, DD Limo Service is a great option to ensure safe drop off and pick up from your destination. The drivers are friendly and the limos can safely hold up to 10 people. If you are not heading out with a large group, and need reliable drop off and pick up times, Classy Cab is a great option. Their fleet of spacious vehicles (which even include ‘green’ options) is available by appointment, or outside of many Downtown restaurants and venues. It is also helpful to be-friend a cab driver. Take their card and get their cell phone number. Even if it takes a while for them to get to you, you can get a realistic gauge of how long it will take.
As far as activities available for the last evening of the year, Pittsburgh luckily caters to many tastes and moods. If you are making it a date night, a great way to start the evening would be Six Penn in the heart of the Cultural District, or Eleven on Smallman Street. A small spoil for a special night, they offer great dinner options nearby the action downtown.
First Night hosts as many as 150 family-friendly activities as well as some adult-oriented options such as comedy shows and even dance classes. There is a fireworks display, a parade, and a plethora of arts and crafts stations that would even appeal to a grown up. All of this for only $8. (And you get a button to wear around. Awesome.)
If you are still looking for an all-inclusive option for a night out with friends, many of the areas most popular clubs and bars offer New Year’s Eve events. Most of these options run upwards of $150 per person, but include full dinner buffets, hors’ dourves and open bars with premium liquor selections. So, although the price might seem steep, you would probably end up spending that much by the end of the night anyway. Check with your favorite venues early, because these tickets tend to sell out fast.
Throw Your Own Party
If fancy dinners, clubs and fireworks are not your thing, head down to Mike Feinberg Co. in the Strip District, get some awesome decorations, and stay in with your loved ones. Because we all know, the best part about New Year’s Eve is not the drinking, or the socializing, or that cute pair of shoes you bought just for the occasion and will never wear again. It’s the fact that this year, the Steelers are playing on New Year’s Day.
Ashley is a native of Pittsburgh with an English degree from Chatham College. She spends her time stalking the New Kids on the Block on Twitter, and making wishlists on e-commerce sites she cannot afford. She also does yoga. Sometimes. You can follow her on Twitter and maybe someday she’ll say something interesting.