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A list of what to do around the Bay Area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    12 Ways to Effortlessly Surprise Your Friends and Co-Workers
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    Fireworks go off in the air as people celebrate Chinese New Year in Chinatown, San Francisco.

    The Bay Area knows how to throw New Year's parties.

    There is something for everyone whether you want to see traditional fireworks, have an amazing five course meal or celebrate New Years Japanese style.
     
    Here are just a few highlights.  Please note that events may change without notice.   For complete details, consult the Web site and phone numbers listed. 

     New Year's Eve Fireworks
    San Francisco Ferry Building
    Embarcadero
     
    A fireworks display will launch from barges located 1,000 feet out in the bay. Crissy Field, Aquatic Park, the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf and PIER 39 traditionally provide optimal views of the firework display.  Admission: Free. Time: midnight. For more information, visit www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com or contact 415-391-2000, info@ferrybuildingmarketplace.com. Media contact: Jane Connors, 415-983-8001, jane_connors@equityoffice.com.  
     
    Beach Blanket Babylon
    Club Fugazi
    North Beach
     
    Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon, the nation's longest running musical, rings in 2009 with two New Year's Eve performances featuring tap dancing Christmas trees and parodies on Christmas carols. Ticket: $65-$190. Time: Guests attending the 7 p.m. show receive champagne and See's chocolates. The second show, at 10:15 p.m., ends at the stroke of midnight with champagne and See's chocolates, followed by dancing until 1:30 a.m. For more information, contact 415-421-4222, or beachblanketbabylon.com. Media contact: Kevin Kopjak, 415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.
     
    23rd Annual Japanese New Year Bell Ringing Ceremony
    Asian Art Museum
    Civic Center

    A sixteenth-century Japanese bronze bell will be struck 108 times with a custom-hewn log. According to Japanese custom, this symbolically welcomes the New Year and curbs the 108 mortal desires. It is hoped that with each reverberation the bad experiences, wrong deeds, and ill luck of the past year will be wiped away. Ticket: Free with museum admission. Time: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, contact 415-581-3500 or www.asianart.org. Media contact: Michele Dilworth, 415-581-3713 , pr@asianart.org.
     
    Joy Behar
    Castro Theatre
    The Castro

    Count down to 2009 with Joy Behar from The View. Enjoy stand up comedy, and commentary at the Castro Theatre. Ticket: $39-$100. Time: 10:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Box Office at 415-392-4400, or visit www.CityBoxOffice.com

    New Year’s Eve at City Hall
    City Hall
    Civic Center

    New Year’s Eve 2009 at City Hall will feature three rooms of music and entertainment. A special performance by The Desired Temptations, a Bay Area Go-Go dancing troupe, will follow a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Proceeds from the event will benefit the City of Dreams, a volunteer based youth development and mentorship program. Ticket: $100-$150. Time: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. For more information, contact 415-701-2323 or http://www.nye2009cityhall.com.

    Napa Style New Year
    The Press Club
    Yerba Buena

    Celebrate New Year’s at the Press Club, San Francisco's newest urban wine tasting collective. Guests may purchase tickets for $125 before Dec. 18 and enjoy a wide selection of wine from Press Club's eight world-class wineries perfectly paired with gourmet food. The venue will also feature DJ music and an expanded menu offering which includes a premium roster of beer and champagne for the midnight toast. Admission: $125. Time: 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. For more information, visit www.pressclubsf.com or contact 415-774-5000.

    New Year’s Eve at Infusion Lounge
    Infusion Lounge
    Union Square

    The Infusion Lounge will feature two rooms of music and entertainment including acrobatic performances, and a hosted premium bar before midnight. Six thousand square feet encompasses a private VIP room, dance floor and main lounge. Ticket: $150. Time: 9 p.m.-3 a.m. For more information, contact 415-350-4011 or vip@infusionlounge.com.
    New Year's Eve Cruises

    Hornblower Cruises-Pier 3
    Embarcadero
    Premier Cruise

    Celebrate New Year's and view fireworks on a Hornblower yacht. Enjoy a four-course seated dinner, top shelf bar, after dinner liqueurs, champagne, New Year's Eve party favors, and a live band. Time: 9 p.m.

    Belle Cruise

    Enjoy a New Year's Eve buffet dinner, open standard cocktail bar, including after dinner liqueurs, house champagne, New Year's Eve party favors, pre-boarding photograph and D.J. Time: 9 p.m. For more information or ticket prices, contact 888-467-6256 or www.hornblower.com.

    New Year’s Eve Gala featuring Broadway performers
    Davies Symphony Hall
    Civic Center

    Ring in the New Year with pre-concert entertainment featuring the Martini Brothers. Broadway performers Mazzie and Danieley will also sing classics from American musical theater. Dance to the Peter Minton Orchestra; enjoy party favors, complimentary champagne, and desserts following the concert. Special dinner packages are available. Ticket: $110, mention code 27681. Time: 8 p.m. For more information, contact 415-864-6000, or www.sfsymphony.org.

    New Year’s Eve at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
    Nob Hill
    The Dining Room
     
    Usher in the New Year with chef Ron Siegel’s seven-course tasting menu. Guests will enjoy a live band and dancing. Ticket: $500 per person, including wine pairing, tax and gratuity. Dinner served 7-9 p.m..

    The Terrace

    Celebrate the New Year in The Terrace with chef Jacob Anaya’s three or five course dinner menu including a glass of champagne. The three-course menu is $100 per adult, $50 per child (5-12). The five-course menu is $130 per adult, and $65 per child (5-12). Time: 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. For more information, contact 415-296-7465 or www.ritzcarlton.com.

    Screening of the 1925 classic, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
    Grace Cathedral
    Nob Hill

    Ring in the New Year with a screening of, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” starring Lon Chaney. The film will be shown on a large screen in Grace Cathedral Nave. New York organist Dorothy Papakakos will accompany the film on the cathedral’s Aeolian-Skinner organ. Admission: $20 per adult; $10 per student and seniors. Time: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. For more information, contact 415-749-6300 or www.gracecathedral.org.


    New Year’s Day, Thursday Jan. 1, 2009

    New Year's Day Brunch/Dinner Buffet
    Top of the Mark, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
    Nob Hill

    This New Year's Day brunch/dinner buffet will feature international dishes and live entertainment. Ticket: $95 per adult, $55 per child (4-12). Time: 10:30-2:30 p.m. For more information, contact 415- 616-6916, or www.topofthemark.com.

    New Year's Day Brunch/Dinner Cruise
    Hornblower
    Embarcadero

    Admire San Francisco from the bay on New Year’s day aboard the Hornblower for either brunch or a seated dinner. Ticket: $72-$94. Time: 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. For more information, contact 888-467-6256 or visit www.hornblower.com.

    New Year’s Day Cabaret Concert
    Davies Symphony Hall
    Civic Center

    Start the New Year by enjoying an afternoon of duets from Marin, a three-time Tony Award nominee, and Jason a Theater World Award winner. Ticket: $20 mention code 27681. Time: 2 p.m. For more information, contact 415-864-6000, or www.sfsymphony.org.

    New Year’s Day at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
    Nob Hill
    Jazz Brunch in The Terrace

    Kick off 2009 with a gourmet jazz brunch in The Terrace. An extensive buffet featuring a caviar station with American sturgeon, salmon, golden caviar, an egg omelet station, sushi bar, smoked salmon, oysters, hand carved meats, cheeses, fruits, and salads. Ticket: $120 for adults, $60 per child (5-12). Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, contact 415-296-7465 or www.ritzcarlton.com.

    New Year’s Eve Beyond The Bay

    New Year’s Eve On Board the USS Hornet Museum
    USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier in Alameda, Pier 3
    Alameda

    Enjoy live music, party favors, a silent auction, cash bars, food concessions, midnight countdown, and a view of the Bay. From swing to rock, the USS Hornet features three large dance floors on the enclosed, heated hangar deck. Ticket: $50-$98 per person and includes free parking. An optional buffet dinner is available for purchase. Time: 8 p.m.-1 a.m. For more information, contact 510-521-8448, ext. 282 or www.uss-hornet.org.

    New Years Eve Airship Flight
    Moffett Field
    Mountain View

    Enjoy a special New Year's Eve on the U.S. airship for an hour flight over San Francisco's skyline. The flight also includes a champagne gift per couple. Ticket: $595 plus tax. Time: One-hour flights between 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m. For more information, contact 650-969-8100 or www.airshipventures.com.

    Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel New Year’s Eve Celebration
    Sofitel San Francisco Bay Hotel
    Redwood City

    The second annual event will showcase a variety of entertainment, food and beverage offerings and overnight room packages. The line-up of entertainment includes KISS radio’s Michael Erickson, Mambo Caribe, and resident DJ Maniac Mike. Tickets: $85 per person includes a glass of champagne and party favors. Time: Dinner will be served from 6 p.m.-11 p.m. and the event starts at 8 p.m.-1 a.m. For more information, contact 650-508-7150.

    Spirited New Year’s Gala
    Napa Valley Wine Train
    Napa

    Celebrate New Year’s on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Enjoy a five-course meal, sparkling wines from Domaine Chandon, and a dance band. Ticket: $225 per person; $75 per person for the After Party only. Time: the sparkling wine reception begins at 5:30. Attire: Think James Bond. For more information, contact 1-800-427-4124 or www.winetrain.com.

    New Year’s Eve Party at Domaine Chandon
    Yountville

    Enjoy New Year’s Eve roaring 20’s, with a six course-tasting menu paired with Domaine Chandon wine. Dinner and party tickets: $255 (plus tax and gratuity). Party tickets: $75. Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m. Live band and dancing from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. For more information, contact 888-242-6366 or www.chandon.com.

    New Year’s Eve Dinner at Poggio’s
    Sausalito


    Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a four-course dinner made of organic herbs and vegetables. The ticket price is to be determined. For more information, contact 415-332-7771 or www.poggiotrattoria.

    New Year’s Eve at The Ritz-Carlton
    Half Moon Bay
    Gala in the Ballroom

    The Ritz-Carlton ballroom is transformed into a dinner party, complete with a 12- piece band. This annual celebration features a reception and five-course dinner, including a dessert buffet. At midnight, balloons spill onto the dance floor with a champagne toast. Ticket: $248 per guest plus tax and gratuity. Time: 7:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 8:30 p.m.

    Teen Lounge

    Young ladies and gentlemen will enjoy a party of their own with movies, games, a buffet and countdown complete with hats, noisemakers, a balloon drop and a toast of sparkling apple cider. New for 2008 is the Teen lounge, open exclusively for 13-18 year-olds. Ticket: $110 per child (5-14); each additional sibling receives a $20 discount. Time: 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. For more information, contact 650-712-7000 or www.ritzcarlton.com.

    New Year’s Day Beyond the Bay

    New Year’s Day Brunch in Navio
    The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

    Start the New Year off with Navio’s brunch, complete with a bloody Mary bar. Ticket: $110 per guest plus tax and gratuity, $55 per child (5-12), complimentary for children four and younger. There will be three seatings 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact 650-712-7000 or www.ritzcarlton.com.
     

    New Year’s Day Whale Celebration
    San Francisco Bay Whale Watching
    Sausalito

    Take a trip under the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands. There will be an expert naturalist on board to narrate the trip. Ticket: $105 per person. Time: 8 a.m. For more information, contact 415-331-6267, or www.sfbaywhalewatching.com/.

    “Dame Edna Live and Intimate”
    San Francisco Post Street Theatre
    Union Square
     
    Following the National success of previous Tony attracting shows such as, “The Royal Tour” and “Back with a Vengeance,” Dame Edna Everage will appear at San Francisco’s Post Street Theatre on New Year’s Eve. The show will include a display of new theatrical infrastructure addressing an exciting range of cutting edge comedy solutions. The preview performance schedule is: Nov. 20 and 21 at 8 p.m., Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The regular performance schedule is: Tues.-Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sun. at 5 p.m. Opening night tickets: $55, regular performances: $58-$78. For more information, contact 415-771-6900, or www.ticketmaster.com. Media contact: Kevin Kopjak, 415-296-0677, kevink@charleszukow.com.

    “Moulin Rouge” Parisian Pleasures New Year’s Event
    Evergreen Lodge
    Yosemite

    Enjoy a New Year’s celebration at the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite, including dinners and activities nightly. “Cabaret Gaming Nights,” a New Year's Eve feast and Moulin Rouge Parisian Pleasures party (complete with music, dancing, fire dancers and more), capped off by a New Year's brunch. Admission: $50 for New Year’s Eve Dinner from 5-10 p.m.; $50 for New Year’s Eve party from 8:30 p.m.-Late, $20 for Champagne Brunch from 9 a.m.-noon. For more information, contact 209-379-2606 or http://www.evergreenlodge.com/newyears.html.

    For the latest ideas and events for New Years Eve and New Years Day, visit the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site at www.onlyinsanfrancisco.com.