Couch Assassin's Top Picks for NYE Bashes

By Sam Cowan — Sun, 20/12/2015 - 13:40

Well, it’s that time of year again, folks! A time for reflection, for promises to make better decisions in the New Year, and especially time for a plethora of festivities before the great hibernation. Granted, it’s looking more and more like there might not be a hibernation this year, but isn’t that all the more reason to celebrate? Specifically, if you’re looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve, you’ve come to the right place! As per tradition, we at Couch Assassin have compiled a list of various types of NYE events to say goodbye to 2015 and ring in 2016. Looking to get fancy? Don’t want to stay out late or spend money? There’s something for everyone here!

For your convenience, the events are separated into the following four types:

FANCY: Higher price, themed and/or formal dress, may feature a meal or a show.
FRUGAL: Free or very low price.
FAMILY: Earlier start and/or end time, possibly alcohol free, children’s activities featured.
FROLIC: Not formal, mid-range price, main objective is partying to the max.

Without further ado, (in no particular order), check out our top picks for December 31st below!

New Year’s Eve Celebration @ the NAC
Where: National Arts Centre, Panorama Room (53 Elgin St.)
When: 5pm to 8pm OR 8:30pm to 2am
Price: $46 per person (5pm option), or $160 per couple (8:30pm option).
Details: There are two options available.
5pm to 8pm: A three course meal and admission to a Broadway show, The Wizard of Oz. No countdown or dancing included. $46 per person.
8:30pm to 2am: A three course meal and dancing to a DJ from Quality Entertainment. Includes party favours and a sparkling toast at midnight. $160 per couple.
Dinner menu includes: “Follow the yellow brick road” salad (appetizer); Tin man’s tenderloin or Scarecrow’s salmon filet or Lion’s lasagnetta of grilled vegetables (main course); “There’s no place like home” ruby red velvet cake (dessert).

Sens Skills Competition
Where: Canadian Tire Centre (1000 Palladium Dr., Kanata)
When: 11am
Price: $20, $15 and $12.50
Details: For those looking for something to do during the day, the Ottawa Senators are hosting a skills competition at the Canadian Tire Centre at 11am. The team splits into two groups and competes against each other in various skill events, including puck control, fastest skater, hardest shot, accuracy shooting, skills challenge, and a 3-on-3 competition. Chris Phillips will lead one team while Erik Karlsson leads the other. There will be a countdown to celebrate the New Year at noon instead of midnight. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Ottawa Senators Foundation.

The Scottish Society of Ottawa’s Hogmanay
Type: Family; Frugal
Where: Lansdowne Park (450 Queen Elizabeth Dr.); Aberdeen Pavillion and Horticulture Building
When: 5pm to midnight
Price: FREE
Details: In Scotland, Hogmanay celebrations on New Year’s Eve are the highlight of the festive season, bringing people together to sing, dance, and celebrate new beginnings. Events will take place both at the Aberdeen Pavillion and the Horticulture Building. The Aberdeen Pavillion features live music from Bobby Watt and Écosse, The American Rogues, The Start, and the Glengarry Pipe Band. There will be dancing, vendors, a food court, and scotch tasting. The Horticulture Building features children’s entertainment, including storytellers, face painters, balloon artists, a light juggler, and a magic show. There will be an early countdown to 2016 at 7pm (midnight in Scotland) with balloons and confetti. A second countdown at midnight will feature fireworks.

Glamour and Class New Year’s Eve
Frolic; Frugal
Where:  St. Joseph Parish Hall (151 Laurier Av.)
When: TBD
Price: Early bird tickets $20 and $25. More at the door.
Details: This event uniquely features a “be your own bartender” (BYOB) policy before 12:30am. Entertainment is provided by DJ Fusion & Selekta Shellz, DJ Criss Cross, Firesquad, and Earthquake Int’l. Sound. There will be a balloon drop at midnight and prizes throughout the night. All bottles must be in by 12:30am, plastic bottles only. Refreshments and food will be available for purchase.

Escape Manor's New Year's Eve Bootlegger's Ball
Type: Fancy
Where: Farm Team Cellar (208 Sparks St.)
When: 9pm to 2am
Price: Advance tickets are 20.16 (+tax & service fee)
Details: This video dance party is prohibition themed (think Boardwalk Empire). There will be a champagne toast at midnight and prizes for the best prohibition style outfit. Bring a non-perishable food item or a $1 donation for the Ottawa Food Bank and receive a key that may open one of three crates full of prizing from Beau's, Escape Manor, Farm Team Cookhouse & Cellar, Woody's Pub and more.  

New Year’s Eve on Sparks Street
Type: Family; Frugal
Where: Sparks St., just west of Metcalfe
When: 7pm to midnight
Price: FREE
Details: This outdoor concert features live musical performances from Cold Creek County, Silver Creek, and Angela Marie. There will be a midnight countdown with fireworks and a maple leaf drop (Times Square style, but Canadian).

New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl Ottawa
Where: Tequila Jacks (to start); Flybar Nightclub; The Great Canadian Cabin.
When: 8:30pm to 3am
Price: $25
Details: Present your Club Crawl ticket at Tequila Jacks (104 Clarence St.) to receive your bracelet, which will grant you access to three downtown nightclubs: Tequila Jacks, Flybar, and The Cabin. All clubs are within walking distance of each other. No lines or cover! You must get your bracelet before 9:30pm or entrance to the other locations is not guaranteed. Purchase tickets at or

Rick Chiarelli’s Alcohol-Free Family New Year’s Eve Celebration
Family; Frugal
Where: Ben Franklin Place (101 Centrepointe Dr.)
When: 6:30pm to 10pm
Price: FREE
Details: This family friendly, alcohol free event features numerous activities, such as sleigh rides, skating, live music, magic, juggling, and even a bouncy castle. There will be early fireworks at 10pm.

Targ NYE Quarantine
Type: Frolic; Frugal
Where: House of Targ (1077 Bank St.)
When:  9pm to 2am
Price: $10
Details: Admission supposedly includes a protective suit at this quarantine themed party. Expect to pretend you have been exposed to the deadly virus “2015” and that you are being decontaminated throughout the night. Apparently, the cure to the virus is drinking, dancing to DJ KJ Maxx and DJ Remi Royale, playing pinball, and eating perogies.

California Dreamin'
: Fancy
Where: Ottawa Marriott Hotel (100 Kent St.)
When: 7pm to 2am
Price: $85
Details: This event features dancing to DJ Ray Ray, who will be playing the hottest hits, including both Top 40 and blasts from the past. There will be California style hors d’oeuvres from 9-11pm, and a dessert bar at midnight. Admission also includes access to a photo booth, party favours, and one free beverage (alcoholic or otherwise). There will be a draw shortly after midnight, and one lucky guest will win a trip for 2 to California! If you’re planning on staying the night, the hotel is having a room special at $169 (regular $219).

Whatever way you decide to ring in the New Year, we hope you will do so surrounded by loved ones. Be safe and have a great 2016!

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