By Allie Castro
Think your only options for celebrating New Year's Eve in Bakersfield include a party at a friend's house or staying at home to watch the ball drop? Think again.
With so many options in the greater Bakersfield area to bring in the New Year, we've compiled a list of events, dinners and family-friendly options to help find you the night on the town that's perfect for you. Just remember to buy tickets ahead of time or make reservations.
The Padre Hotel
All four venues within The Padre will be going all out for the night. The Belvedere will host a reservations-only four-course dinner for $100 per person or $125 with wine. For $50 presale or $80 at the door, the ground floor party allows guests to go from dancing to DJ Chuck One in Brimstone or dancing to DJ Mike in Prospect Lounge. For $125 presale or $175 at the door, the second floor VIP party will feature a jazz quartet at Prairie Fire, a DJ for the later hours, hors d'oeuvres, an elegant dessert bar and champagne.
Both floors open at 8 p.m.
-- 1702 18th St., 427-4900, thepadrehotel.com; Reservations for The Belvedere can be made online or at the hostess stand.
Cafe Med Restaurant
This Bakersfield restaurant staple will serve dishes, such as tuna tartare, gourmet cheese trays, lobster alfredo and prime rib, and feature a dessert bar during two seating -- from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The restaurant will also host dancing and live music provided by Jon Ranger and the Lonely Avenue Band, as well as Bunky Spurling.
The first seating is open to all ages for $49.95 per person ($17.95 for kids 12 and under), and the second is a 12 and older event for $59.95 per person. Champagne and party favors will be provided during the second seating.
-- 4809 Stockdale Highway, 834-4433, cafemedrestaurant.com
Buck Owen's Crystal Palace
The Palace is known for hosting great parties and concerts, so for New Year's Eve, it will go big with both.
The evening will start with a plated dinner starting at 6 p.m. that will feature your choice of steak, stuffed chicken breast, prime rib or salmon. Mento Buru and the Crystal Palace house band Stampede will take turns on stage throughout the night, ensuring that as far as the music goes, there will be a little something for everyone. Tickets with dinner are $80 per person or $44 without dinner. The Palace will turn into a nightclub at 10 p.m., so guests under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.
-- 2800 Buck Owens Boulevard, 328-7560, buckowens.com
The Nile Nightclub
One of the largest parties of the night kicks off at 8 p.m. with an intimate sit-down dinner for 200 people. For $25, guests are provided with dinner, champagne for the toast and a countdown topped off by a midnight balloon drop. And of course, after dinner, the nightclub will kick into full swing with lights, DJ Andy One and plenty of dancing.
For those who already have dinner plans, the club will open its doors again at midnight at a reduced entry fee of $10. Presale tickets are available now.
Make sure you dress to impress and leave the kids at home as this is a 21 and older event.
-- 1721 19th St., 323-8575, nilebarandnightclub.com
For those who want to make the night a family affair, both Rollerama skate locations will be opening their doors to families looking to stay active. Fifteen dollars (plus a $3 skate rental fee) gets you in the door at 7:30 p.m. to skate and play games until the ball drops. The snack bar will be stocked, and plenty of prizes will be awarded during the games and races. The venues will also be handing out noise makers to help ring in the New Year. For those whose nights are already booked, both locations will also be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a reduced fee of $6, which includes rental skates.
-- 1004 34th St., 327-7589; 7850 Brimhall Rd, 589-7555; rollerama.com
For those who want a more relaxed New Year's Eve experience, check out DoubleTree's blues concert featuring saxophonist Darren Goldestein. Goldstein will alternate with a deejay from Buckley Radio to keep the music going all night. For those looking for a party, Club Odyssey bar and nightclub will open its doors at 9 p.m. For a $15 cover fee, guests can dance the night away with DJ-spun tunes and will receive a goodie bag full of New Year's Eve staples, like hats and noisemakers. For both events, come dressed to impress.
-- 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, 323-7111
For $20, guests will be treated to a catered dinner while enjoying the musical stylings of the ultimate party band Jukebox at one of Bakersfield's newest hotspots.
Video DJs Mickey Rock and Quiz will take over after the band, matching the music to video feeds on the various televisions and projector screens in the club until the ball drops. The club will also be hosting drink specials throughout the night, or guest can call the club to reserve VIP bottle service throughout the evening.
This is a 21-and-over event.
-- 4208 Rosedale Highway, 633-1116; For VIP service, call Marty at 496-5028
Eagle Mountain Casino
If 2012 has brought you good fortune, head to Eagle Mountain to milk that lucky streak for all its worth.
The casino will be doing hourly giveaways for Summit Club members (it's free to join), with five people set to win $1,000 each hour from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. The casino will also feature a $15 prime buffet from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., which will feature prime rib and specialty side dishes and desserts.
Summit Club members will also receive $15 credit on their club card to use on the slot machines.
Eagle Mountain Casino is an 18-and-older venue.
-- 681 South Tule Reservation Road in Porterville, 559-788-6220, eaglemtncasino.com
The Mark Restaurant
The Mark's chef has prepared a special five-course dinner (along with regular dinner menu options), and guests can choose from one of The Mark's 120 wines or its champagne special for the perfect pairing.
Funk and jazz band Frank Tremble will be on hand to keep the party going. Because of first-year liquor licensing terms, last call will be at 11:30 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to take a cab to your next destination to see the ball drop after a great meal.
-- 1623 19th St., 322-7665
Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar
For this themed-dinner, the chefs will pick out their favorite dishes from the year's menu and the perfect wine pairings to go with them. This year's highlights will include cinnamon beignets with gingerbread ice cream and fresh sturgeon with green apple guacamole. For those with dietary restrictions, a vegetarian menu will also be on hand, as well as a non-alcoholic beverage tasting with each course.
The first seating will include four courses for $55 beginning at 6 p.m. The second seating will include six courses for $70 and will stay open until the New Year has begun.
This event is open to all ages.
-- 3310 Truxtun Avenue, #160, 864-0397, valentienrestaurant.com