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How to Celebrate the New Year if First Night Isn't for You

Here are our top six places to party like it’s 2018.

Love it or hate it, New Year’s Eve is a big deal. Most people have the next day off, so why not end one year — and start another — on a high note? Highmark’s annual First Night promises to have something for everyone, but not everybody wants to watch the ball raise up over Downtown. Here are some ideas for those who would rather celebrate a little differently.

If you want to dance 

Spirit NYE - At Spirit, a $20 ticket gets you into the multistory party with live music, DJs, complimentary champagne and free pizza. New Orleans-based act Water Seed will play in the upstairs hall with Lyndsey Smith and the Soul Distribution, Junk Foods and DJ Femi. Sleazy McQueen, “The U.S. King of Cosmic Disco,” will take over the basement.

​Cattivo, a Gothic Masquerade Ball - Proceeds from the 3rd annual Gothic New Year’s Masquerade Ball benefit Autism Research Institute. The $10 ticket with a mask (or $15 without a mask) includes a night of dancing to post-punk, goth and synth music and artistic performances by circus-themed entertainers. The midnight mask reveal coincides with a champagne toast to welcome and 2018 and “wave goodbye to the horrors of 2017.”

photo shutterstock

If you have kids and don’t want to stay out late

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium's Noon Year's Eve - Start 2018 half a day early with a countdown to noon and a ball drop. Crafts and live entertainment inside the PPG Aquarium will keep the little ones busy until the big moment. The 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. event leaves enough time for a nap afterward and is included in the price of zoo admission.

Children's Museum Countdown to Noon - Bring the kids to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for another bedtime friendly celebration. Listen to live music by jazz musician Lee Robinson and Iska Band. Saturday Light Brigade radio emcee, Larry Berger, will be there interviewing the kids. The Countdown to Noon event is included in museum admission for the day.

If you want to stay low-key 

FlowerHouse Brunch Buffet - For those who may have to work in the evening, or would just rather celebrate earlier in the day, check out Wilkinsburg art center FlowerHouse. The “Cupcakes & Cocktails,” brunch buffet runs from noon to 4 p.m. and includes a mimosa bar so you can toast to 2018 for $35 per ticket.

If you want to treat yourself

Il Tetto Prix Fixe NYE - There is no shortage of incredible places to eat in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve: Nearly every restaurant that offers banquet space is running some kind of prix fixe, multi-course celebratory meal. This meal in the rooftop setting at Il Tetto, though, sounds too good to resist. The $150 price tag gets you five drink tickets for any beer, wine or cocktail, an appetizer buffet of braised pork belly, veal parmesan, seafood mac & cheese, dips, salads, cheeses and desserts, and a champagne toast at midnight.

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