If your New Year’s resolutions include more fun and games, round up your wackiest friends and make your way through the secret red door adjacent to BlackStack Brewing in St. Paul. Find yourself in Can Can Wonderland (cancanwonderland.com), a zany alternative universe filled with live music, adult beverages, vintage arcade games, mini golf, and other amusements.
For an elegant evening to remember, reserve the best seats in the house at Orchestra Hall (minnesotaorchestra.org) for A New Year Celebration: Vänskä Conducts Bernstein, Copland, and Gershwin. Enjoy “Rhapsody in Blue,” “An American in Paris,” “Remembering Gatsby: Foxtrot for Orchestra,” and other timeless pieces, then adjourn to the lobby for an after-party with Champagne and vintage jazz by Belle Amour.
If you’re craving a glamorous New York-style experience without leaving the Twin Cities, meet up with hundreds of your closest friends at Crystal Ball (crystalballmn.com), a glittering annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza. Alight from your limo at the IDS Center and ascend to Windows on Minnesota on the 50th floor for cocktails, dancing, entertainment, and Instagrammable views of the Minneapple.
For an invigorating, next-best-thing-to-the-Rockies celebration, make tracks to Vail Resorts-owned Afton Alps (aftonalps.com) in Hastings. After an evening of schussing and snowboarding under the lights, slip into your most luxurious après-ski wear for a bonfire, live music, contests, fireworks, and other family-friendly activities.
Ready to go far from the madding crowd? Pack your long johns and snowshoes, settle your dog in the back seat, and head way up north. Check in at pet-friendly Surfside on Lake Superior (bluefinbay.com/surfside) and spend a restorative weekend breathing crystalline air, listening to crashing waves, and watching nature’s best fireworks display—the elusive and awe-inspiring aurora borealis.