For some, the shift from one year to the next is a time for reflection and contemplation. For others, it's the best excuse of the year for a bang-up party. No matter how you choose to mark it, New Year's Eve is symbolic moment: an annual opportunity to take stock, celebrate and begin again.
Below, you'll find 10 different ways to ring in the New Year, from DJs and dance parties to feasts and religious ceremonies. No matter how you choose to spend Dec. 31, have fun, stay safe and Happy New Year, one and all.
1. Party like it's 2015
Mountain View's newest nightclub is promising a New Year's Eve to impress even the most particular nightlife aficionados. With multiple bars, a state-of-the-art sound-system, LED video wall and DJ spinning house and hip hop, Opal is the place for those seeking a high-adrenaline New Year's experience. As the clock strikes midnight, clubbers can join the DJ's countdown and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast. Private rooms are open for booking, and VIP bottle and table service is available.
Where: Opal, 251 Castro St., Mountain View
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 9:30 p.m. to Thursday, Jan. 1, at 2:30 a.m.
Cost: $25 general admission, $55 VIP
Info: Go to [palnights.com opalnights.com or call 650-318-6732.
2. Be grateful for the New Year
Looking for a nightclub experience without the thumping techno? Over at Redwood City's Club Fox, Grateful Dead cover band the China Cats will be playing familiar favorites. The ensemble prides itself on a repertoire that spans the Dead's entire career and oeuvre, from the greatest bluegrassy hits to the most obscure tunes. But it's not all nostalgia: Club Fox will be marking the stroke of midnight with a balloon drop and champagne. Sorry kids; this one's for party-goers age 21 and up.
Where: Club Fox, 2209 Broadway St., Redwood City
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31; doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m.
Cost: $25 in advance, $35 day of show
Info: Go to clubfoxrwc.com or call 877-435-9849.
3. Feast your way into 2015
Many restaurants around the Midpeninsula will be offering special menus and live music on New Year's Eve, but for something a little different, head to Morocco's Restaurant in Mountain View. There, you'll find tantalizing belly dancing, live jazz music and a lavish eight-course menu featuring delicacies like 25-spice braised lamb or chicken and vegetarian tagine. Early birds can enjoy a slightly smaller discounted menu, and the chef will keep the ovens hot until midnight for those who want small plates and drinks.
Where: Morocco's Restaurant, 873 Castro St., Mountain View
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $35-$65 depending on time and menu
Info: Go to moroccosrestaurant.com or call 650-968-1502.
4. Meditate and contemplate
If New Year's resolutions are your thing, you might want to consider a ceremony designed to help you clarify your goals and let go of limitations. The spiritual community Ananda Palo Alto will hold a New Year's Eve service that includes meditation, chanting and a symbolic fire ceremony during which participants will be encouraged to "burn up and release the energy of the past." Both the meditation and worship service are free and open to all, regardless of denomination.
Where: Ananda Palo Alto, 2171 El Camino Real
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, meditation 5-7 p.m.; worship service 7:30 p.m.
Info: Go to anandapaloalto.org or call 650-323-3363.
5. Start the year with art
Many businesses are closed on New Year's Day, but not Stanford's Cantor Arts Center, which opens its doors to the public Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Among the works on view are a self-portrait by Andy Warhol, contemporary Chinese landscape paintings and photographs of 1950s America by Robert Frank. The first days of 2015 are also the last chance to catch sculptor Richard Serra's "Sequence" a 67-foot long work of contoured steel that critics call one of the artist's greatest achievements before it moves to SFMOMA later in the month.
Where: Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Info: Go to museum.stanford.edu or call 650-723-4177.
6. Honor your elders
For those who've seen more than a few new years come and go, there's a special way to mark the start of 2015. On Jan. 31, the City of Palo Alto hosts its 30th annual senior New Year's Eve champagne brunch: an afternoon of feasting and celebration featuring live music, dancing and raffle prizes. It's a chance of the elders of our community to raise their glasses (at noon) for a champagne toast to ring in the New Year. (For those who don't make the cut, a ticket to the brunch makes a great stocking stuffer for grandma.)
Where: Cubberley Community Center Pavilion, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: $15 in advance; $18 at the door
Info: Go to cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-329-2350.
7. Dance with pride and joy
Looking for a truly funky dance party to celebrate the start of 2015? Boogie through the end of this year and into the next with soul band Pride & Joy and DJ Dinero at Redwood City's Fox Theatre. Known for their infectious pop/soul covers and dynamic performances, Pride & Joy promises to keep the danceable hits coming into the wee hours. A VIP pass gets you upstairs access, appetizers and drinks.
Where: Fox Theatre, Redwood City
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31; doors open at 9 p.m., band starts at 10 p.m.
Cost: $50 general admission, $105 VIP
Info: Go to foxrwc.com or call 650-369-7770.
8. Spend New Year's on the green
Whether or not you know a sand trap from a water hole, you're welcome at Emerald Hills Golf Course on Dec. 31, when the club hosts its New Year's Eve bash. The party tees off at 7 p.m. with cocktails, and a set menu (including filet mignon and chocolate lava cake) is served at 8 p.m. Leave your clubs at home, trade your golf balls for a ballgown and dance 'til the ball drops. RSVP by Dec. 21.
Where: Emerald Hills Golf Course, 938 Wilmington Way, Redwood City
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Info: Go to eventbrite.com or call 650-369-4200.
9. Live it up, Latin-style
Send 2014 out with a bang at Monte Carlo, Mountain View's hottest Latin nightclub. The club is planning a New Year's Eve to remember (or not, as the case may be) complete with party favors, live music from Banda Exclusiva, DJs playing top 40 American and Latin hits, a midnight ball drop and a complimentary champagne toast. Forget "Auld Lang Syne" and get ready for a night of livin' la vida loca.
Where: Monte Carlo Night Club, 228 Castro St., Mountain View
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 9:30 p.m.-Thursday, Jan 1, 2 a.m.
Info: Go to montecarloniteclub.com or call 650-988-1500.
10. Dance with the stars
For a different kind of dance party, check out Mountain View's Cheryl Burke Dance studio, where the evening starts with a social dance class at 8 p.m., followed by live music by Metro Big Band. The ballroom studio, run by a former "Dancing with the Stars" champ, boasts a 14,000-square-foot floating floor. Appetizers will be served, and 2015 will be ushered in with a balloon drop and an apple cider toast. Reserve your tickets before Dec. 22 for a discount.
Where: Cheryl Burke Dance, 1400 N. Shoreline Blvd. #A-1, Mountain View
When: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.
Info: Go to cherylburkedance.com or call 650-864-9150.