Want to stay close to home? There are plentiful choices -- for the party-goer, dancer and gastronome. Here are some possibilities that look promising.
1029 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. Dinner begins at 5 p.m., the show at 8:30 p.m.
635 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park. Four-course Prix Fixe for $64.50 (exclusive of beverage, tax and gratuity). A limited regular menu, Prix Fixe menu items, and children’s menu will be available a la carte. Party favors and a champagne toast ring in the New Year at midnight. Last seating at 11:00pm.
British Bankers Club, 1090 El Camino Real. From 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. Nine-course dinner, gourmet appetizers in Russian style with a bottle of vodka, cognac or champagne, raffle drawing, and performances from professional dance troupe, the Snow Princess, Ded Moroz (Santa Claus) andSnagurochka (the New Year princess). Grant Ball features DJ D-Gree from 12:30 a.m.
Outside the immediate area
2209 Broadway St. Beginning at 9 p.m. at Club Fox, Redwood City. Why "Satisfaction50?" 2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones, and the club has invited a tribute band to lead the party.
2215 Broadway St. in Redwood City. Beginning at 9 p.m., The Fox Theatre line-up features Lenny Williams, lead vocalist of the '70s funk and soul group, Tower of Power, and Earl Thomas ("Introducing The Blues Ambassadors").
1041 Middlefield Road in Redwood City. Beginning at 5:30pm, Donato Enoteca serves the regular a la carte menu until 8p.m., then introduces its $68 4-course prix fixe menu. Live jazz. Valet parking.
Beginning at 8pm, Sofitel San Francisco Bay in Redwood City offers parties in three venues.
1400 Broadway in Burlingame. Beginning at 9pm, the popular nightspot offers dinner, dancing and drink specials.
236 South B St. in San Mateo. Drinks and dancing with and drink specials and no cover before 11 p.m. Two DJs and V.I.P. bottle service.
Family-friendly and who-needs-to-drink? events.
Looking specifically for something alcohol-free? Maybe you're clean and sober, or maybe you're just not that into drinking. You may have to travel a bit, but family-friendly and non-drinking events abound.
640 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 31. A New Year countdown with Cheeky Monkey Toys for kids and their parents. Crafts, and a balloon drop at the stroke of -- 12 noon.
San Francisco. Begins at midnight. Head out to Embarcadero - Pier 14 or take a Hornblower Yacht and watch them from the water.
Boogie Woogie Ballroom, 551 Foster City Blvd. Suite G in Foster City
Salsa drop-in dance lesson from 8 to 9 p.m. Two professional dance performance showcases, non-alcoholic toast at midnight, prize drawings, party favors, catered hors d'oeuvres and desserts, and waffles, juice and coffee available at midnight.
Holbrook-Palmer Park, 150 Watkins Ave. in Atherton. From 8 p.m. to midnight. Carriage House hosts a merry and free-flying evening of English and American folk music and dance (think "barn dance" and you'll get the idea). Live caller and music.
There's also a Contra Dance at Palo Alto Masonic Temple, 461 Florence St. in Palo Alto. Admission $20, members $16, students $10. Guest are asked to bBring potluck treats, to supplement provided refreshments.
Mountain View Masonic Lodge, 890 Church St. in Mountain View. 8 pm to 1 am. New Year's Eve Dance, produce by SCCYPAA ("Young at Heart AA"), a Los Gatos-based group. Suggested donation: $10 pre-sale ticket, $15 at the door.
Good Shepherd Church, Fifth and O'Neill in Belmont. From noon Saturday through 1 p.m. on Monday.
New Year's Day
Palo Alto Baylands Athletic Center, 1900 Geng Road in Palo Alto. 9:30 a.m. on New Year's Day. Run/walk this 5K or 10K supporting the education of young women in Africa and Pakistan along with the Second Harvest Food Bank locally.
Had a bit too much to drink counting down to 2012 and now need a safe ride home?
AAA Tipsy Tow: The Automobile Association of America (AAA) has a service calleed "Tipsy Tow" that offers a free tow for drinking drivers in Northern California – members and non-members alike – from 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve until 6 a.m. on New Year's Day. The program encompasses Northern California, Nevada and Utah.
For Tipsy Tow, call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and tell the operator “I need a Tipsy Tow” for a free tow of up to five miles. Service is restricted to a one-way ride for the driver and his or her vehicle to the driver’s home.
SamTrans: Free rides on all routes (including RediWheels and RediCoast) from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. Regular schedule operates on New Year’s Eve, but Sunday schedule operates on New Year’s Day.
CalTrain: Free rides after 11 p.m. and there is extended service after midnight. If you're partying in the city, four extra trains depart San Francisco southbound -- 12:45 a.m., 1:15 a.m., 1:45 a.m., and 2:15 a.m. -- making all local weekend stops to the San Jose Diridon Station.
And if you need any further convincing that it's wise to stay off the roadways if you or someone you know had one too many before climbing into the driver's seat, Assemblyman Jerry Hill's billcracking down on repeat drunk drivers takes effect Jan. 1. It empowers a judge to suspend a driver's license for 10 years after a third DUI conviction.