here are many delightful ways to pass from this year and into the next — most of them involve you being subdued by demon alcohol — but there are also an amazing array of happenings at which local artistic masters will inspire you with their creativity, passion and finesse. If you’re ready to graduate from binge drinking to sipping the good stuff, from tripping over your feet to tripping the light fantastic, from gobbling up finger food to experiencing excellence in dining, then we have some ideas for you.
NYE Speakeasy Party
Know Theatre of Cincinnati and CityBeat offer you a chance to party like it’s 1923. Wear your flapper dresses, fedoras and double-breasted suits and check out Cincinnati’s super-secret underground party. The drinks are classic — Manhattans and Sidecars — and the dance floor is crowded. Just a taste of Prohibition mixed with a dash of 21st century. It’s a cocktail for excitement. There are also casino games, swingin’ dolls and wiseguys, a table full of grub and a champagne toast. Food provided by Arnold’s Bar & Grill, Mayberry, Skirtz & Johnston, Shanghai Mama’s and Washington Platform. Proceeds benefit Know Theatre. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 8 p.m. 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-300-5669 or www.knowtheatre.com.
Jazz and Dining at Schwartz Point
The clock fixed in its stone facade of the flat iron building conveys the timeless beauty within. Entering, you’ll find an intimate venue that is framed by oriental rugs hanging from the walls. Among these walls there are no right angles, so it’s an excellent place to hear some of the city’s best Jazz, including the ivories of Ed Moss. The Ed Moss Trio is the entertainment for the night. He’s also the proprietor and a hell of cook. A champagne toast and a fine buffet meal are included with the $15 admission. 9 p.m. 1901 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-651-2236.
The Cincinnati Dinner Train
It’s not quite the Orient Express, but it’s as close as you’ll get in this rivertown. The Cincinnati Dinner Train, besides being a trip from Madisonville to the riverfront and back, is also a trip into the elegance of the 1940s. The polished wood interior of the cars and fine dining will make you feel like you’re in a film. But this time, you’re the star. A four-course meal is included during the three-hour ride. First seating at 6 p.m, second seating at 10 p.m. $74.50. 4725 Madison Road, Madisonville, 513-791-7245.
The Ball on the Square
The 20th Century Theater hosts The Ball on the Square. Fire and Ice is the theme and you’ll see it played out with live performances on three stages. “The ultimate party band,” The Sly Band is among the acts. The Cincinnati Circus entertains with fire performers, stilt walkers, magicians and more. There’s also an ice carving exhibition, fireworks by Rozzi and a ball drop. Food and drinks, adult and otherwise, are available for purchase. Free. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, 513-731-8000.
Turfway Park’s Track Bash
If your experience last New Year’s Eve seemed light on vices, Turfway Park has you covered. With free general admission and two tiers of on-site parties, you can watch the horse races with hot dogs and beer or champagne and upscale hors d’oeuvres. There’s free general admission to the basic party, with live racing, $2.50 beers, $3.50 well drinks and drafts and $2 champagne. For $75 a person you can move up to the Homestretch and Top of the Park rooms, both of which include a buffet dinner, beer, wine and mixed drinks, party favors and a champagne toast. Races begin at 5:30 p.m. There’s a mysterious something called the bubble lounge, too. 5 p.m. Turfway Park, 7500 Turfway Road, Florence, 859-371-0200.