How will you spend the last night of 2013?

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Confession: I have never been a fan of New Year’s eve.

Counter Confession: It can pretty much be the best night of the year.

Keep your expectations low, keep your group size low, plan your night with as few people who think they’re in charge and plan early. That’s it. The four secret keys to a successful and fun NYE.

Fact: Places are busy and venues sell out before Christmas.

Hence the plan early. Online tickets go on sale pretty much right after Thanksgiving. I get it, your group might change, but you’re telling me you don’t have an idea of who you want to spend NYE with in the first two weeks? Get out there and buy some tickets man.

Fact: There is no super secret last minute party you should hold out for.

You already know where you like to dance/party/drink/eat. Odds are better than not that they are hosting a party or event of some kind and that it will be a good night. Think about it – if you like spending a night there, you’ll have fun on NYE. You already know the staff, bartenders and maybe the manager.

Fact: There are dinner/dance packages.

Typically you can combine tickets to reduce cost. Anything done in advance will 99% certainly yield you a better price. Venues WANT to sell out early. Saves us a tonne of worry.

Fact: Cabs Suuuuuuck.

Get a group and book transportation ahead of time. You will not, I repeat WILL NOT find a cab for your group of 9 (because that’s 2 cabs) on NYE. It won’t happen. Doesn’t everyone else wish Vancouver had Uber?

Free, unsolicited advice is great isn’t it?

Here’s my pick for NYE:

Dinner: The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar.

Seatings for dinner start at 6pm. Dinner is $50 for a 5 course designed by Chef Alvin Pillay. He pretty much built the kitchen here and will be cooking that night so you know it will be good. Trust me – the value is there. Cocktail pairings by myself (Trevor Kallies) and local Glasswipe Jay Jones. Tickets for dinner here.

The late night is a JetSet Crew party – so you know there will be cocktails and champagne flowing. DJ & Band playing, dessert bar, balloon drop. This party will be insane.

2nd Choice: The Butcher & Bullock

Two words: Midnight Carvery. Meat and Beer just like the Butcher does best.

Best bet for a rad night: The Three Brits

20% off food if you live in the west end. Custom cocktails for the night to ring in the new year and the West End’s best beer lineup.