Now that all the shopping, gift-giving and gift-returning of the season is nearly over, our thoughts turn to good ol' New Year's Eve. And, this year we have a lot to celebrate, having survived the whole Mayan end-of-the-world myth.
Question remains...what to do to welcome 2013?
Should you stay in, or should you venture out?
Are you looking for a rowdy party atmosphere from which to ring in the New Year, or feeling the need for something low key and relaxing?
More importantly, are there any funds left in the budget to pay for it all?!
Luckily, the Crystal Lake area has plenty of local establishments that have planned New Year's Eve celebrations. You can pick from a list of dinners, parties and musical entertainment.
#1 Holiday Inn: Crystal Lake
The Holiday Inn-Crystal Lake is holding a New Year's Eve bash with Star 105.5 with dancing and live music by "Modern Day Romeos." The hotel, located at 8000 Route 31 and Three Oaks Road, has two packages to choose from - the first includes overnight accommodations.
Full Package - $329.00 per couple
Includes all items in the Dinner & Party package plus deluxe overnight accommodations and preferred seating.
Dinner & Party Package - $179.00 per couple
Dinner for two in Holiday Inn's "beautifully decorated ballroom," champagne toast at midnight, three hours open bar from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Dinner Buffet includes: Mixed green salad with two dressings, penne pasta salad with vegetables, beef bourguignon, lemon pepper chicken, seasonal fresh vegetable medley, Chef’s potato selection, warm dinner rolls, elaborate sweet table, coffee and ice tea
For reservations call 815-477-7000
#2 The London Pub and Grill
The London Pub is hosting New Year's Eve dinner specials from 5 to 9 p.m. along with party packages to follow. The pub, at 394 W. Route 14 in Crystal Lake, is promising to have the "biggest balloon drop" in McHenry County, live entertainment by the Cue Balls (playing holiday party, dance and pop music), party hats, favors, and champagne toast with countdown at midnight.
New Year's Eve patrons can choose from the following options (prices are per person):
OPTION 1 $29.50, Choice of two entrees: Salmon Doria or Chicken Oscar with choice of salad, or lobster bisque. Chef's New Years Eve dessert.
OPTION 2 $35.50 Choice of two entrees: Surf and Turf (Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail) or Reef and Beef (New York Strip Steak and Jumbo Shrimp) includes choice of potato, vegetable of the day with choice of salad, or lobster bisque, and Chef's New Years Eve dessert.
OPTION 3 $42.50 Choice of two entrees: Lobster Hennessy or Steak and Claw (filet and Alaskan King Crab) with choice of salad or lobster bisque and Chef's New Years Eve dessert.
Call for reserved seating at 815-893-0004.
#3 Finn McCool's "Irish Eve 2013"
New Year's Eve at Finn McCool's is free - as in no cover charge, according Finn McCool's webpage. Located at 72 N. Williams St. in historic Downtown Crystal Lake, McCool's has lined up a DJ for musical entertainment and will have a multi-media video countdown and balloon drop at midnight.
#4 Duke's Alehouse and Kitchen
Duke's is hosting a "Karaoke New Year's Eve Party" starting at 10 p.m. Located at 110 N. Main St., also in historic Downtown Crystal Lake, Duke's is making it easy and affordable to welcome the New Year.
For starters, there's no cover charge to get in Monday night, and Duke's will have the following drink specials: $1.50 Lite and Coors Light pints; $3.50 Captain Morgan cocktails and $3.50 for Jim Beam cocktails.
#5 D'Andrea Banquets
Ring the New Year in with style at D'Andrea Banquets and Conference Center, 4419 Northwest Highway in Crystal Lake. For the $90 package you will get:
6:30 to 8 p.m.: Hors' deuvres/premium open bar.
9 p.m.: live DJ and dancing
8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.: Open bar, party hats and favors champagne toast and balloon drop
Reservations are suggested: 815-459-7234
#6 Fire Bar and Grill
Fire Bar and Grill, 435 Angela Lane in Crystal Lake, is offering a New Year's Eve party package. For $55, you will get an open bar from 8 p.m. until midnight and a four-course buffet.
The UFC Band will perform, there will be guest DJs, a champagne toast at midnight and a balloon drop. Fire Bar will be open until 4 a.m.
There is also a shuttle available to the Holiday Inn Express, 2595 Bunker Hill Drive in Algonquin, from Fire Bar and Grill for those who book 10 or more rooms. The room cost is $99 per person and $109 for double occupancy for those who use promo code "Fire Bar" when booking at 847-458-6000. The Fire Bar phone number is 815-459-3473.
#7 Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
Lou Malnati's is holding "Family Friendly" New Year's parties with two seatings: 4 and 7 p.m. Parents, kids, family and friends will have a deliciously good time ringing in the New Year - and not delaying bedtime! Lou's is known nationwide for its authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
Lou Malnati's is located at 8515 Redtail Dr. (at the corner of Ackman Road) in Lakewood. Limited seating will be available in the bar area.
Call for reservations at 815-477-8100