New Year’s Eve is a gala event. Break out your tuxedos and evening gowns. Almost every high-end restaurant in the valley offers something special to ring in the New Year, usually a dazzling multicourse prix-fixe menu, often served with wine pairings and entertainment.
Casinos and country clubs also offer great New Year’s Eve events. Celebrate with drinks and entertainment by the musical group Mrs. Robinson at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino • Resort • Spa. Festivities begin at 9 p.m. (1-800-585-3737; www.hotwatercasino.com). Rockers might be interested in Desperado, the Eagles tribute band ringing in the New Year at Spotlight 29 Casino (1-866-377-6829 www.spotlight29.com)
Looking for something different?
Head to Temecula and celebrate at Wilson Creek Winery. The theme is a Prohibition Era speakeasy, so wear your fedoras and flapper dresses. Overnight packages, including shuttle service, are available through Embassy Suites (1-951-699-9463; www.wilsoncreekwinery.com).
If you enjoy being entertained by the music dance of yesteryear, get tickets to New Year’s Eve performances at the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies (1:30 p.m., matinee; 7 p.m, evening). These special shows kick off with a champagne reception, where each patron receives a goody bag, hat, and noisemaker (1-760-327-0225; www.psfollies.com).
The active type should check out the New Year’s Swing Dance Classic & Swing’n New Year’s Dance Camp at Renaissance Palm Springs. Dancers from all over the world attend this event. Enjoy professional performers, great dance classes catering to all levels of experience, amazing music, cocktails, and more. This event, Dec. 29–Jan. 1, concludes with an elegant New Year’s Eve gala and masquerade ball (1-805-405-2946; www.peoplewhodance.net).
For a more traditional evening out, hit the popular Indian Wells hot spot, Vicky’s of Santa Fe. Indulge in dinner from Vicky’s regular menu, while bringing in the New Year with special entertainment by singer and vocal impressionist Lizann Warner. Warner’s impersonations include Judy Garland, Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, Nora Jones, Cher, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, and others (1-760-345-9770; www.vickysofsantafe.com).
This list covers a fraction of New Year’s Eve events in and around the Coachella Valley. Visit our expanded online calendar of New Year’s Eve offerings and events throughout 2012.