By the time this issue hits the stands, the presents will have been purchased, wrapped and, most likely, opened already. With the work-intensive holidays behind us, everyone can finally sit back and take a breath. Go ahead, relax.
Now, snap out of it and get to ready to party. New Year's is right around the corner and there are celebrations aplenty -- from fancy galas to gourmet dinners, fireworks and rowdy pub affairs. Jan. 1 means resolutions to be more frugal, more svelte, more sober, but that can all wait until Friday. This Thursday, enjoy the party.
'Fire & Ice' New Year's Eve in Town Square: This is classic and family-friendly event and a great spot to enjoy the official city New Year's fireworks display. Head to Town Square, where there will be live music, dancers and fire jugglers, a food truck and live music courtesy of H3 and the SpeNerds. Organizers even promise a "3-D light production all around Town Square." Dance party starts at 5 p.m., fireworks start at 8 p.m. Free. See anchoragedowntown.org for more information.
'Great Gatsby' New Year's Party: Put on your sharpest suit or your shiniest frock and take a trip back to the roaring '20s at the Dena'ina Center. Full-service beer, wine and liquor. Buy tickets by Tuesday and pay $50. Pay $60 on Dec. 31. All VIP singles are $80. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday at the Dena'ina Center.
Gold Members New Year's Eve at Chilkoot Charlie's: Have you ever been at a New Year's party and found yourself wishing there were more gold-painted models? Well, fix that this year at Chilkoot Charlie's. The Homicidal Supermodels will rock the main stage and the Tall Boys from LA spin in the Ice Bar into 2015. In addition to gold-painted models, there will be body shots, giveaways at the front door and face-painting. And, of course, bars and dance floors aplenty. $20 or $40 VIP. Get tickets at koots.com.
Alyeska Torchlight Parade: Skiers and snowboarders will descend the mountain with torches in hand, creating a parade of lights from top to bottom. The action starts at 9 p.m. and the fireworks cap the festivities. Stake out a spot near the resort's Day Lodge for the best view of both the procession and fireworks. You can also ring in the New Year with ska band Nervis Rex at the nearby Sitzmark.
New Year's Eve at Hard Rock Cafe: Take your dress cue from your favorite era and dance the night away to the sound of rock music past and present. There will be costume contests for each decade (they didn't mention any restrictions, so we're hoping someone gets creative and dresses out of the 1890s). There are prizes for best team and individual costumes. Gourmet hors d'oeuvres and a Champagne toast at midnight. $50. Starts at 8 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe, 415 E St.
Rewind 2014: DJ Lefty will spin tunes from the '70s, '80s and '90s and there will be games, a light buffet and a Champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $65 per person and available through brownpapertickets.com. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. in the Hotel Captain Cook's ballroom.
New Year's Eve BLT party: What to wear to this party? The choices are black tie, lingerie or toga. Party favors, DJs and a midnight toast. 10 p.m. at Humpy's, 610 W. Sixth Ave. (276-2337)
New Year's Eve Blow Out at Tap Root: Ring in the new year with the Whipsaws and the Anna Lynch band. Featuring Jeffrey Johnston from the Rabbit Creek Ramblers on keys and "a very special performance of a classic album" 9 p.m., $15 advance online and $18 at the door. 3300 Spenard Road, taprootalaska.com.
Toast to the New Year: Enjoy a front row view of the Town Square fireworks while staying warm inside and enjoying coffee, cocoa or a cocktail. The Sawbuck, a traveling craft cocktail bar, is partnering with downtown co-working office space, The Boardroom, for this special New Year's Eve celebration. Tickets include choice of a craft cocktail, beer from Resolution Brewing, wine, light nibbles, coffee, cocoa and the opportunity to purchase additional cocktails. Tickets $25 at eventbrite.com, 8-10 p.m, The Boardroom, 601 W. Fifth Ave. second floor.
Crow's Nest: Prix fixe meal with two seatings at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. $125 with no wine; $175 with wine. Call 276-6000 after 5 p.m. or 343-2228 before 5 p.m. Hotel Captain Cook, 939 W. Fifth Ave.
Crush Wine Bistro and Cellar: This annual party features two seatings: The 6 p.m. seating is a three-course menu at $60 per person and $35 for paired wine. At the 9 p.m. seating, enjoy five courses for $80 per person and $45 for paired wine. This seating includes bubbles at midnight. DJ Public Access will spin late into the night and plenty of Champagne will be on hand. Call 865-9198. 343 W. Sixth Ave.
Glacier Brewhouse: Special menu with items individually priced: $9.95-$39.95. Call for reservations. 737 W. Fifth Ave., 274-2739; glacierbrewhouse.com.
Haute Quarter Grill: Special holiday menu includes surf 'n' turf, lobster, ribeye steak and scallops au gratin. 525 W. Fourth Ave, 622-4745. Serving 4:30-10 p.m.
Jens' Restaurant: Prix fixe at $85 per person. 701 W. 36th Ave., 561-5367; jensrestaurant.com.
Kinley's Restaurant: Prix fixe, $60 per person with optional wine pairing for $30 per person. 5-9 p.m., 3230 Seward Highway; 644-8953.
Kincaid Grill: Prix fixe, 5-10 p.m.; $80 per guest with an optional $20 wine pairing. Menu includes seven courses, including an amuse bouche and an intermezzo. Call or book reservation online. 6700 Jewel Lake Road, 243-0507; kincaidgrill.com.
Muse: A special menu will be on offer at the Anchorage Museum, 625 C St., 929-9200.
Orso: Serving dinner from 4-11 p.m. from regular menu. $30 and under. 737 W. Fifth Ave., 222-3232, orsoalaska.com.
Sacks Cafe: Prix fixe at $75 per person, 5-9 p.m. Courses include wine pairings. 328 G St.; 276-3546; sackscafe.com, email@example.com.
Seven Glaciers Restaurant: Prix fixe menu, five courses, $79. Alyeska Resort, alyeskaresort.com, 754-2237.
Snow Goose: Snow Goose will have an all-inclusive New Year's special with Caesar salad plus 12-oz. ribeye and prawns, chocolate torte and a choice of house wine or beer. $65. 3-10 p.m. 717 W. Third Ave., 277-7727, alaskabeers.com.
Torchon Bistro: A prix fixe "Nine-Course Gastronomic Journey" will be served from 5:30-9 p.m. $175 includes one pour of Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" champagne. 1921 W. Dimond Blvd., 563-8888, torchonbistro.com