Each year as the calendar flips over we’re offered a rare opportunity for self-reflection. It’s a chance to look back on the past 12 months, once filled with hope and promise, to see what we did with last year’s clean slate.

Unless you’re one of those obnoxious resolution keepers, you’re probably still stuck in the same dead-end job, your love life’s as stagnant as an accounting firm’s holiday party and the added miles on your odometer are starting to show. But no matter how big of a bust 2013 was, it’s not too late to end on a high note.

Go big on New Year’s Eve and start fresh in 2014 — hopefully without a hangover.

Lavish bashes

Crystal Ball at International Market Square: For its 10th-annual NYE event, Crystal Ball organizers tapped inimitable party-boy crooner Har Mar Superstar to headline the five-level party, which features a stable of local DJs (including Strangelove and Fresko) and more than 25 bars. Shuttle services run to Uptown and downtown Minneapolis stops and there’s no shortage of VIP options for “big ballers only” (sorry, smaller ballers).

8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31, $40-$50 general admission, 275 Market St., Mpls.,



A Masked Affair at Muse Event Center: Celebrate the new year with semi-anonymity at this upscale masquerade. Partygoers can snag discounted Venetian masks at Twin Cities Magic and Costume Co., but some complimentary masks will be available at the door. Entertainment includes aerialists, mannequin models and two rooms of DJs bumping everything from house to top 40, plus Crave hors d’oeuvres.

9 p.m.-2 a.m. (8 p.m. VIP doors),

$30-$60, Dec. 31, 107 3rd Av. N., Mpls., 612-367-6931, www.nyempls.com

Dinner and drinks

Icehouse: The Eat Street restaurant and music venue offers a $100 package deal for a five-course feast with wine pairings and admittance to the late show starring electro-rockers Solid Gold and their DJ side project Year of the Horse. Skip the food and vino and cover is just $20, which includes a midnight champagne toast.

5-10 p.m. dinner, 10 p.m. show, Dec. 31, 2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-276-6523, www.icehousempls.com



Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar: The Nordic restaurant and its companion cocktail lair host a three-pronged party, starting with a 5-9 p.m. reception on the second floor, featuring champagne, aperitifs and a string quartet of Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. If you can score a dinner reservation, the Bachelor Farmer is doing an $85, 5½-course menu with wine and cocktail pairings available. Marvel opens at 9 p.m. for a dance party with DJ Jonathan Ackerman, face painting and a special menu featuring sparkling cocktails and a NYE punch.

5 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31, 50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, www.thebachelorfarmer.com


Heartland: Led by culinary guru Lenny Russo, St. Paul’s farm-to-table standard setter is ringing in 2014 with a trio of prix fixe menus. The four-course feasts are $75 and an a la carte menu will be available for walk-in guests in the lounge.

Dec. 31, 289 E. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-699-3536, www.heartlandrestaurant.com

Bars and clubs

Get Cryphy at First Avenue: Hip-hop DJ crew Get Cryphy leads the First Ave festivities alongside Forever Young’s DJ Foolproof and MC Cloud, Roy Freedom and DJ Smitty, with host Ian Rans. Too Much Love’s Sovietpanda, Jim Frick and Buju Fanta of the recently retired Wak Lyf crew, and Slamdunkapher anchor the Record Room. Tickets are $5 until Christmas Day ($10 after) and swell to $20 at the door.

8 p.m. Dec. 31, $5-$20, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., 612-338-8388, www.first-avenue.com


Transmission in Berlin: Two of the Twin Cities’ most reputable DJs, Jake Rudh and Shannon Blowtorch, are merging their respective Transmission and Berlin dance nights into a single NYE bash “for adults” (no drunken couple’s drama, please and thank you) at Hell’s Kitchen. Look for drink specials and a mix of new wave, nu disco, electro, indie faves and more.

10 p.m., Dec. 31, $10, 21-plus, 80 S. 9th St., Mpls., 612-332-4700,



Stella’s Fish Cafe Party Like a Rock Bass: We had no idea these freshwater fish were down to rage, but the Uptown seafood shop wants you to “party like a rock bass,” which apparently means an open bar (calls, taps and house wine) and some sort of rave theme. It pays to plan ahead, as tickets to this party — featuring DJs, a balloon drop, food buffets and Stella’s heated rooftop — jump from $60 in advance to $100 at the door.

10 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31, 1400 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-824-8862,



SNL Legends at Mystic Lake: The casino caps a five-night, New York-themed New Year’s celebration with two shows featuring “Saturday Night Live” stars Rob Schneider, Tim Meadows and Chris Kattan. The party spills onto the casino floor (where there’s no cover) with street performers and NYC-style street food, while turntable technician DJ Mad Mardigan spins from the Promenade Stage.

7 and 10 p.m. Dec. 31, $45, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake,



Louie Anderson: The famous St. Paul-reared comedian has made a habit of home-state New Year’s Eve shows, and the tradition continues this year with a pair of Burnsville Performance Arts Center gigs. The former “Family Feud” host and short-lived reality-TV high diver now resides in Las Vegas, where he has a residency at the Plaza Hotel and Casino.

7 and 10 p.m. Tue., $33-$103, all ages, Burnsville Performance Art Center, 12600 Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville,

952-895-4685, www.burnsvillepac.com


Club lines and big-ticket dinners not your thing? For a sportier celebration, head to Buck Hill. The slopes are open until midnight, when 2014 is ushered in with a fireworks display. Magicians perform in the chalet throughout the evening and the Rhythm Junkies play Tucker’s bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Discounted late-night lift tickets are available.

4 p.m.-1 a.m. Tue., 15400 Buck Hill Rd., Burnsville, 952-435-7174, www.buckhill.com

St. Paul WinterSkate: NYE doesn’t have to be about open bars and sweaty dance floors. Get your romance on in downtown St. Paul, where Winterskate is open until 11 p.m. Sandwich your hand-holding ice skating session with a candlelit dinner and a glass of champagne at any of the nearby restaurants.

11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tue., 75 5th St., St. Paul, www.wellsfargowinterskate.com


New and Notes

Far North, new gin

Shortly after northeast Minneapolis’ Norseman Distillery brought its vodka to market, another startup spirit-maker’s first product is hitting the shelves. Run by a husband-wife team on a Hallock, Minn., farm, Far North Spirits launches its Solveig gin Friday (1-4 p.m.), with tastings at South Lyndale Liquors, and Monday (4-7 p.m.) at Elevated Beer Wine & Spirits. Co-owner Cheri Reese said the botanicals in the rye-based gin are distilled separately and blended, as certain flavors can be lost when distilling them together. “It’s a lot more labor-intensive,” she said. Look for a spiced rum in February and a rye whiskey down the road.

DJ throwdown

So much for peace on Earth and goodwill toward all during the holidays. Friday’s Christmas DJ battle at Marquee pits six local DJs against each other in a bloodthirsty mix-off for party-rocking supremacy. The winner earns an opening slot at an upcoming Sound in Motion show, a nifty plaque and other prizes. Each competitor has 30 minutes to wow the crowd, and audience members are given five voting tickets to distribute among their faves. Ballot-stuffing tip: Snag an additional ticket for every PBR you order. SIM DJs Jack Trash and Zak Michaels also perform.

10 p.m., 21-plus, 731 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-6115, www.marqueempls.com


Michael Rietmulder writes about bars, beer and nightlife.