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East Bay New Year’s Eve Guide

Need fun last minute ideas for kicking off 2012 in Oakland, Alameda or Berkeley?
By - posted 12/29/2011 No Comment

Cab fare and the cold city wind doesn’t sound like a fun or cheap New Year’s Eve to many East Bay denizens.

Thankfully we’ve put together a handy guide of where to see, be seen and ring it in locally in Oakland, Berkeley and beyond. Hip hop, comedy, ’60s go-go dancers and even meditation — the sunny side of the bay has got it all.

Kiss off 2011 and embrace 2012 in at one of these East Bay locations, from concerts to ethnic celebrations and dancing.

Your East Bay Area New Year’s Eve Events:
December 31, 2011

EAST BAY: Free  New Year’s Celebrations

Happy Hour, Free Appetizers & New Year’s Eve Party | Somar
Celebrate with DJs SoulProfess and WillieMaze and Jonana Barahona after 9pm, but come by early at 7pm for no cover and free appetizers. | 7p | FREE (before 9pm)

Hogmanay NYE Party: Bagpipes & Champagne | Commonwealth Cafe
The Commonwealth Cafe and Public House will host a daytime New Year’s Eve party with bagpipe players and complimentary champagne. | 2-6p | FREE

Free NYE Beer Toast | Beer Revolution
If you’re looking to get away from the clubs this year, but still have a good time this spot will have a special tap list and a free midnight toast. | 12p-1a | FREE

Taoist Midnight Meditation & Potluck | Taoism Center
The annual New Year’s Eve potluck dinner and midnight meditation may help you find the stillness within as we move into the new year. | 8p | FREE

“I Like Ludwig” Beethoven Concert | Berkeley
Join The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra as they ring in the New Year with music of Ludwig van Beethoven. | 8-10p | FREE

$10 and Under

NYE at The Layover Art & Music Bar | The Layover
Dance into the New Year with DJ’s Fee Dog and the Big Ponies crew. The party starts grooving at 8pm until closing with a champagne toast at midnight. | 8p | $5

1920′s Silent Movie Night: New Year’s Eve | Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum   
Bruce Loeb plays the piano live to accompany two silent films, The Iron Mask (1929), and Mud and Sand (1922). | 7:30p | $5

A Shakin’ NYE with The Barbary Coasters and Go-Go Dancers | Starry Plough
Shimmy and shake away 2011 with soul, surf and ’60s sounds of The Barbary Coasters, The Ogres and The Tomorrow Men. | 8:30p | $10 (in advance)

Eli’s All Day Punk Rock New Year’s Bash | Eli’s Mile High Club
This Oakland gallery and dive bar are throwing another New Year’s bash, this time with 14 punk and rock bands. | 2-midnight | $10

NYE with Loveseat’s Funky & Soulful Grooves | Jupiter
It’s time to ring in the New Year, and Jupiter will be blowing it out with some classic funk & soul grooves from Oakland’s own, Loveseat. | 9p | $10

Sky High NYE: DJs and Live Painting ’til 4am | The New Parish
Resident DJs Cali, Cecil, and Be Brown will spin this party is hosted by heyLove* and ms. nabong with live painiting by Jack Eastgate and noa. | 9p | $10 (presale)

EAST BAY: Worth the Splurge

Devin The Dude | Shattuck Down Low
Known for his laid back drawl, sing-song delivery and comedic antics, Devin the Dude is one captivating stage performer. | 9p | $25

New Blue Year NYE with Lovelight Blues Band | Van Kleef
This special party features live Oakland / Mississippi / Chicago Blues music by the The Lovelight Blues Band to heat up a long winter night. | 9:30p | $20

Super Bass NYE: Champagne and Buffet | Bench & Bar
Dance the night away until, nibble from the complimentary buffet, and toast champagne at midnight. | 9p-4a | $25 (presale)

Goth Swing NYE Bash with Lee Presson & The Nails | The Uptown
Be entertained by a gaggle of performers, the musical stylings of Lee Presson and a countdown at midnight with free champagne. | 9p | $12 (presale)

Homeroom New Year’s Eve: Mac & Cheese & Beer | Homeroom Oakland
Tired of overblown and over-priced New Year’s parties? For once go to a party that both you and your kids will enjoy. | 6-8p reserved seating | $25

Annual New Year’s Eve Balkan Bash | Berkeley
Join the annual all-night affair of Balkan music and dance, in honor of the late Ashkenaz founder David Nadel and the music he first featured. | 8p | $20

EAST BAY: Transportation Guide for New Years Eve

Free Taxi Rides Home
December 31, 2011 | 10pm to 4am

Revelers in Alameda, Oakland and San Francisco can get free cab rides home from 10pm to 4am within the city limits up to a $35 fare thanks to the Safe and Sober Free Cab Ride Home program from Berg Injury Lawyers. Nearly 500 free cab rides are paid for through this program each year. Full Details

AAA Tipsy Tow: Free Car Tow Home
December 31, 2011 | 6pm to 6am

AAA’s Tipsy Tow Program offers a free tow for drinking drivers in Northern California – members and non-members – from 6pm on New Year’s Eve (December 31, 2011) until 6am the next morning, in Northern California, Nevada and Utah. Full Details

Free Downtown Oakland B Shuttle: Downtown Oakland’s free Broadway shuttle will be running on New Year’s Eve from 6pm-1am.

Hop on and hop off at any stop between Embarcadero West (Jack London Square) and 27th Street. Shuttles run every 15 minutes.

BART: No special fares for New Years Eve 12/31/11, but there will be extended service until 3am. The best tip we can give is to buy your round trip ticket in advance to avoid a line on the way home.

New Years Eve BART details

AC Transit offers no special fares for New Years Eve.