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Countdown to a Kiss

Whether you want to dress up and do the town or have an early night of fun with the children, there's something for everyone in Green Country this New Year's Eve.

Michele Chiappetta
December 1, 2016

Let’s face it. New Year’s Eve is either people’s favorite holiday or it’s hated, and there is a clear reason why. Those who love a party and a drink have it made and can go out on the town anywhere to find it. Those who want something quiet stay at home and watch the ball drop on TV broadcasts of New York City. Either way, it’s the same thing year after year. Right?

Wrong! This Dec, 31 doesn’t have to
be the same old, same old. Ringing in 
the New Year can be as exciting or low
 key a celebration as fits your lifestyle, personality and wallet. And these days, there are more options than ever for those who want to do something creative and different from the norm.

The Tulsa area offers a wide variety of choices when it comes to ringing in 2017 in style, fun, meditation or family, depending on what fits your needs. Whatever you opt for, make it a goal to look over this entire list and try something you’ve never tried before. That way, you can already say you’ve accomplished one goal — a bit of personal growth — before Jan. 1 is even over.

So, whether you want to dress up and do the town as a couple or have an early night of fun with the children, there's something for everyone in Green Country this New Year's Eve.

Run, Tulsa, Run
If you want to do something good for your body, run from 2016 into 2017 at Runner World’s annual Race into the New Year 5K. The chip-timed race starts at 11:45 p.m. Dec. 31 and is open to runners and walkers. There will be music, champagne along the course, a grand finale 
of fireworks at midnight, and food to fuel you after you cross the finish line. Attendees will receive party hats and noisemakers to help ring in the New Year.

Bar Hop Responsibly 
If a night of pounding the streets with your pals for a bar hop is your favorite way to ring in the new year, head downtown and hit places like Soundpony, Woody’s Corner Bar and the Max Retropub. Ride the Tulsa LOOP, a transit bus that circles around downtown’s points of interest. Pace yourself so you don’t get sick. And stick with your trusted friends for safety.

Do a Movie Marathon
What’s a better time for a movie marathon than New Year's weekend? You can run flicks back to back all day,
all night, and into the next morning. Invite friends to pop in for potluck. Pick any lm franchise you like (Bond,
 Star Trek, Star Wars). If that doesn’t suit your fancy, pick a director (Hitchcock, Kubrick, Allen), actor (Bullock, Hanks, Cumberbatch), or binge watch a TV series you’ve missed (Orange Is the New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards).

Whether you want to dress up and do the town as a couple or have an early night of fun with the children, there's something for everyone in Green Country this New Year's Eve.

Throw a Themed Party
Kick your house party up a notch by giving it a theme. Have everyone pull out their Halloween costumes and play dress up. Do a 1920s flapper party with big band music playing. Celebrate the latest Star Wars film with a party of your own. Or have everyone wear cocktail attire and do a wine tasting with cheese, fruit and chocolate.

Hit a Concert
Why sit around listening to the radio or your pal acting as amateur DJ when you can get your music live on New Year’s Eve? The Turnpike Troubadours are playing Cain’s Ballroom Dec. 31. Watch them with a side of barbecue from Oklahoma Joe’s, which is serving eats that night from 8-10 p.m. River Spirit’s Margaritaville will boast two stages manned by the Chris Hyde Band and The Sellouts.

Attend a Powwow
Enjoy traditional Native American dancing at the New Year's Eve Powwow in Muskogee. The event starts at 1 p.m. with various dances until the grand entry begins at 7 p.m. Part of the fun is watching the contests for fancy dance, straight dance, jingle dress and fancy shawl. It’s a great way to celebrate with your family, and it’s sponsored by the Friends of Sobriety, which makes it ideal for those who don’t want to be tempted to drink.

Family Fun Night
If your idea of fun (or your wallet’s idea of fun) is staying home with the family, you can still make 
it different from the usual evening of pizza and cartoons. Let everyone wear pajamas all day. Make countdown bags filled with cool treats that can be opened at the start of each hour until midnight. Ring in 2017 with a piñata game. Take family selfies or have professional portraits done.

Run a Game Tournament
You can do this a number of ways, from simple card games like Gin Rummy and War to a full-on comic convention-style tabletop competition. You can even do video game marathons. But whatever you do, invite a lot of people and have a lot of game options available so people can switch teammates, competitors and games all night. Play for pennies, sticks of gum or other, more lucrative stakes.

Tips for Making it Through New Year's Eve Safe and Sound

One of the biggest reasons many people don’t like to celebrate New Year’s Eve is the holiday’s bad reputation. And while lots of alcohol can lead to trouble, you can avoid getting into bad situations with some planning and preparation. Here are a few tips to help you out.

Know Your Limits
Many people feel like they aren’t having a successful New Year’s Eve unless they drink too much or party harder than their bodies can handle. But you’ll be safer and healthier if you choose to honor your personal limits. That goes for food as well as alcohol. Remind yourself how horrible you’ll feel the next day if you overdo it. And then stop before you hit that point.

Don't Drive
Whether or not you plan to drink this New Year’s Eve, you can plan ahead of time to have a sober driver take care of you. It takes the guess work out of the equation, Designate a driver, hire a limo, use downtown Tulsa’s trolley system, or host a party at your home and let your friends crash there for the night.

Lower Your Expectations
Perfection doesn’t exist in this world. So, don’t expect your New Year’s Eve to mimic the glitz of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. Instead, enjoy the quirks of the day because the imperfections are what make things memorable. If you’re not flush with cash, or if you’re alone instead of with a special someone, don’t sweat it. Enjoy yourself anyway. Things can change a lot in a year’s time.