Some ideas for welcoming 2015 in style
From Snoop Dogg to Shakespeare, there is something for everyone on New Year's Eve - if your wallet can handle the costs of creativity.
Looking to bid farewell (or good riddance) to 2014 in style? Celebrities, hotels, family-style restaurants, and the occasional private jet company want to help make that happen. All you need is a sense of adventure and the entirety of your personal savings.
From dinner at Applebee's to globe-hopping via chartered plane, here are five extravagant, elaborate, or just-plain-weird ways to party on New Year's Eve, in declining order of affordability:
$125-$250: Live it up in Las Vegas, where multiple venues on the Strip are partnering with pop stars to host New Year's parties, including Iggy Azalea, Tony Bennett, and Snoop Dogg. All have the usual trappings of a New Year's celebration - music, open bar, large crowds - but the latter event, dubbed "the Snoopadelic cabaret," dresses itself up a bit more by adopting a Roaring Twenties theme. In what is either a ploy to appeal to patrons with two X chromosomes or a giant step back for feminism (or both), tickets to many of these events are $75 to $100 cheaper for women than for men. Thanks?
$150 and up: If a literary theme sounds appealing, a few hundred dollars will send you back to medieval Scotland, where Macbeth and his wife are up to their usual high jinks. New York's McKittrick Hotel, home to the immersive not-quite-Shakespeare experience "Sleep No More," is hosting a masquerade ball this New Year's Eve. The ball and the play that precedes it are akin to an elaborate haunted house - patrons wear masks and follow actors as they stage elements of the Bard's original work.
$375: Cap off 2014 (and preempt any health-conscious New Year's resolutions) with the most expensive onion rings you've ever eaten. Applebee's, which has two locations within the New York Police Department's pre-ball drop "lockdown zone" in Times Square, is selling $375 tickets to dinner on Dec. 31. To mitigate the fact that you just spent several hundred bucks on what's usually a $10 meal, the family-style chain restaurant will offer a buffet, dance floor, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. A word of warning, though: Patrons aren't guaranteed a good spot to watch the ball drop - for that, you'll have to leave the party early and stand around Times Square in the cold with everybody else.
$1,100: The classier folk among us might prefer a catered meal and a night at the opera. For those who have the funds (and the ability to get to Australia by Wednesday), the Sydney Opera House offers a three-course meal and a showing of Puccini's La Boheme (ironically about 19th-century penniless Parisians). The $1,100 ticket fee covers drinks, canapés, dinner, a personal butler, entertainment, and a $100 donation to diabetes research. Bonus: It's summer in Australia now.
$14,246: Celebrate the New Year twice by hopping across the International Date Line via private plane. Charter jet company Private Fly is marketing a 13-hour flight for 15 people that departs Sydney at 2 a.m. on Jan. 1 and lands in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. on the 31st - all for the low, low price of 9,157 British pounds ($14,246) per person. "While other partygoers are waking to a New Year and sore heads back in Sydney, the night is still young in LA. You'll land refreshed and ready to start all over again," the promotional materials read. And that's only the suggested itinerary. Truly dedicated revelers could book a plane from Samoa, located just west of the International Date Line and one of the first countries to see the New Year, to American Samoa, which is about 100 miles east and 25 hours behind, allowing them to be among the first and the last people to ring in 2015.