CINCINNATI — While this New Year's Eve promises to be like none other due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are a few safe and fun things to do before ringing in 2021 this Thursday.
UC Health Ice Rink, 502 Vine St., Downtown: The bad news: Fountain Square’s traditional New Year’s Eve Blast is canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The good news: Everyone who reserves a time on the rink’s ice this New Year’s Eve will receive a free pair of 2021 glasses to sport while skating. Additionally, a “Faux Family Countdown” to the New Year will take place at the conclusion of Fountain Square’s Winter Wonder Light Show that takes place at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., New Year’s Eve. For more information visit myfountainsquare.com.
A Festival of Lights (multiple locations): Want to venture out of your house, but remain safely gathered with your immediate family this New Year’s Eve? Then don’t forget all of the light displays that will still be twinkling on New Year’s Eve. "Winter Nights, River Lights" in Newport, Sharon Woods' “Holiday in Lights" and “Light Up The Fair” in Burlington are just a few of the nighttime holiday light displays open on New Year’s Eve. For more information visit www.wcpo.com.
Happy Zoo Year: Ring in the New Year outdoors early and socially distanced at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens' annual event. Happy Zoo Year returns from 1-9 p.m. New Year’s Eve. All of the zoo’s “party animals” will be there, along with a special moment to ring in 2021 a bit early. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Summit Park Ice Rink: Tell 2020 to “put a sock in it” on its way out with the folks at Warm 98.5 at the Summit Park Ice Rink in Blue ash. From noon to 5:30 p.m., the staff at the rink will be giving out socks, New Year’s Eve hats and decorations. Reservations for skating are required. For more information visit www.summitparkblueash.com.
New Year's Eve Around the World at Arnold’s: Seating is very limited for this one, so you had better call in reservations ASAP if you hope to attend this unique dining experience to ring in the New Year at Cincinnati's oldest continuously operating bar. Starting at 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., Arnold's will ring in the New Year as it happens from around the world. That's right. You'll be able to welcome in 2021 starting with folks in Paris all the way through Brazil. There will be food, drink, live music and party favors. Again, though, seating is limited so visit the event Facebook page for more information.
New Year's Eve Dinner and Drag Supper Club: Enjoy one heck of a show before ringing in the New Year at Butcher & Barrel. The Downtown eatery will host a socially distanced four-course meal and Champagne toast with live performances from some of Cincinnati's favorite drag queens. Reservations are $75 per person and limited. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
CincyHop NYE Dance: CincyHop will put a virtual spin to ring in the New Year with this online-only event from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. New Year's Eve. A collection of local DJs will spin records via Zoom for you as you say goodbye to 2020. The event is free, but a charitable donation to support the DJs is welcome. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
New Year's Eve: A New Beginning: While not technically a "local" event, this one says goodbye to 2020 while reminding us how in some ways the year has forced us all to be more creative and drew us closer together. That's right. You'll be able to ring in 2021 from the comfort of home with this first-ever live-stream performance from Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and the Dayton Philharmonic. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Smoke Justis Welcomes The Chuck Brisbin Trio: With plenty of outdoor seating and heaters, Smoke Justis promises a fun and safe way to celebrate before ringing in the New Year. This Covington restaurant located at the foot of the Roebling Suspension Bridge will serve food and music from 7-11 p.m. New Year's Eve with the Chuck Brisbin Trio. For more information visit the event Facebook page.