Well, it looks like another year has flown by, and with it, all of high and lows, the hardships and achievements of 2010. I think we all need to take a moment to look back at the last 12 months, learn and grow from them, and then welcome 2011 with a big bang! If you haven’t made any plans yet for New Year’s Eve, don’t worry; here’s a quick guide to give you some ideas on how to usher in the New Year with joy and fun!
Citytv New Year’s Bash at Nathan Phillips Square
The official NYE party of Toronto, the New Year’s Bash at Nathan Phillips Square is a long-running annual city institution, whether you choose to attend it in person or enjoy it live on TV at home. It’s certainly fun and exciting to be one of the thousands of Torontonians packed into the Square to watch the musical performances, this year featuring Shawn Desman, Blake McGrath, Danny Fernandes, and Divine Brown, and to eventually count down to the New Year in the heart of the city. It’s equally enjoyable to tune in at home, with loved ones, food, and warmth for company, and a bottle of champagne at the ready for the big moment.
The New Year’s Bash goes live at 10p.m. December 31st on Citytv.
Toronto Zoo’s New Year’s Eve Family Countdown
For a great family-oriented event, the Toronto Zoo is offering special animal visits and talks by zookeepers on New Year’s Eve. In addition, there will be a Justin Bieber tribute and a magic show to entertain kids and adults. For sweets lovers, the front courtyard at the Zoo will have Beavertails, popcorn, and cotton candy for sale.
Since this is an outdoor event, make sure everyone is dressed warmly! Doors to the NYE Family Countdown open at 5:30p.m., and the event runs to 9p.m. Tickets are $15 for teens and adults, $10 for seniors of 65 years and older, $10 for kids 4 to 12, and free for children 3 and under. It is recommended that tickets be bought in advance at the official webpage.
Comedy Shows And Dinner Galas
You can find special comedy performances and festive dining all over the city on New Year’s Eve. The Second City is playing “Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes”, a sketch show with original songs about irritating but awesome family members and neighbours, from now to January 2. Yuk Yuks and Massey Hall are also presenting their annual comedy specials. For information on tickets and schedules, go to the toronto.com guide.
If you would like to dine out during New Year’s Eve, there are many options to choose from, many of which include live music, DJs, and dancing. Ring in the New Year with a gorgeous view of Toronto at the CN Tower, or attend a themed party at the Sheraton (“New York, New York”), Kultura (19th century Impressionist-period Paris), or the Drake Hotel (Prohibition, with live jazz). There’s also plenty of good ol’ beer at the Bier Markt.
Be aware that most NYE dinner galas require reservation. You can find prices and RSVP online.
Free Public Transit
Finally, another welcome annual NYE tradition returns: free public transit! TTC is free from midnight on New Year’s Eve to 4a.m. GO Transit is also offering free service starting at 7pm, running all night to their regular end of service hours. Free rides are also being provided on the transit systems that connect downtown Toronto to neighbouring cities, like Mississauga Transit, Brampton Transit, Durham Region Transit, YRT, and Viva.