DO NOT AVOID: We're of the uncontroversial, pretty-much-on-the-nose opinion that many people claim to avoid New Year's Eve because there's only ever one brand of New Year's Eve that dominates the discussion. We're talking the big party, the cramped room, the favors, the pointy paper hats, the kissing at midnight. There are other celebratory ways to welcome the year, and a couple of offbeat paths, too. One is to skip the cramped, hot room and head for the animals. Literally, we mean; Safari Park in Santa Rosa is throwing a Dec. 31 whoopdidoo that has one tantalizing moniker: Romp with the Beasts.
NOPE... You won't want to *actually* romp with a rhino, like, close-up, because no matter how cuh-razy New Year's Eve gets, that's, uh, not going to happen, but can you raise a glass and dance not too far from the beautiful creatures of this expansive reserve? You can. It's a whole dinner and dance to-do, in fact, and a DJ'll be in house. Or park, if you prefer. Tickets are a hundred bucks a person, and that includes a glass of bubbly when one year turns into the next.
YOU CAN EVEN SPEND THE NIGHT: Yep, this is true, and not just on New Year's Eve, but other nights of the year. But NYE is a fine night to bed down among -- or not far from -- the giraffes and meerkats. If you do want to wake up in 2014 inside the roariest, purriest place in greater NorCal, that's $378, including the dinner and dance.