As you ring in the new year, there are some tips to make the most out of your experience. Pre-planning your celebration and transportation will save you money, time, and help to keep you safe as you head home. Connecticut has live entertainment, music, shows, fireworks and dance parties being hosted across the state. Whatever your New Year’s Eve plans this year, have fun and be safe.

Taxi Cabs

Taxi cabs are a great resource for getting home safely on New Year’s Eve, especially due to the likelihood of drinking by party goers. Whether it be pre-planned transportation or a last minute decision, most are open 24/7 or extended hours. One company in the Greater Hartford area and Hartford County is The Yellow Cab Company. They are available 24 hours a day and conveniently accept cash and credit or debit card payment. The Yellow Cab Company services the following Connecticut towns: Hartford, East Hartford, West Hartford, New Britain, Newington, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Farmington, Simsbury, Granby, Windsor, East Windsor, South Windsor, Windsor Locks, Manchester, Vernon and Enfield. Reserve a cab with at least 24 hours advance request or call 860-666-6666. Program the number into your phone for easy access.

Family Friendly Party

Ring in the new year at a pre-planned New Year’s Eve party held at a local club. It will give life to new traditions without the messy clean up after everyone goes home. The Italian Center at 1620 Newfield Avenue in Stamford is hosting their annual party from 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. There will be food, dancing, and children’s entertainment, making it a family-friendly event. Reservations are required by calling (203) 322-6941. The party is open to members as well as non-members of the club. Tickets will gain you access to buffet style dinner, dessert, complimentary beer, wine and champagne toast as the clock strikes 12:00, music, entertainment, as well as videos and games for the children.

Live Entertainment

Both of Connecticut’s casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, are offering live entertainment on New Year’s Eve. Foxwoods will be hosting the Imagine Dragons concert at the Grand Hotel at 10 p.m. Ticket prices range from $95 to $275 per ticket. Mohegan Sun will have Little Big Town at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7:30 p.m. Check out free music entertainment at their Wolf Den. The Boogie Wonder Band will start their show at 8 p.m. for those 21 and older. The Wolf Den’s seating area is  first-come-first-serve, however, it is also open and can be heard while walking past or standing nearby to view the band. Foxwood is located in Mashantucket and Mohegan Sun is located in Uncasville. Both have an arena as well as gambling, shopping, restaurants and hotels. Due to the popularity of New Year’s Eve, early reservations are recommended for hotels and restaurants, or consider taking a taxi back to a nearby hotel which might be a cheaper price.

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First Night Hartford is celebrating their 27th anniversary of creating a fun and safe new years eve celebration on Dec. 31. There will be multiple forms of entertainment including carousel rides, live musical performances, face painting, trivia, a magic show, fortune tellers, horse-drawn wagon rides and an aerialist. Two of the highlights of First Night Hartford are the ice skating and two firework shows at Bushnell Park. Stop by Bushnell Park at 6 p.m. and midnight to catch the firework displays. Fireworks will also be at First Night Westport, although their festivities end by 10 p.m.

Dancing New Year’s Eve CT

Dancing New Year’s Eve CT is an event being held by the Sheraton Hotel in Stamford. It is a one-stop shop for dancing, fun, food and drinks to ring in the new year. It also has easy access for hotel accommodations so that you do not have to drive home. There are a few package options — full package or party option. The party option is slightly cheaper and includes dancing lessons of salsa, hustle and west coast swing from 3 to 6 p.m., dance party and New Year’s Eve celebration from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., open bar and a midnight champagne toast. The full package includes all of the items in the party option as well as a buffet from 8 to 10 p.m. The earlier you purchase tickets the cheaper the price. There are also payment options for party-goers under the age of 21 and under the age of 16. Get a group of family or friends together, book hotel rooms and spend the night dancing into 2016.

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Kimberly Ord is a freelance writer and lifetime resident of Connecticut. Her work can be found at