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New Year's Eve in Minnesota: Where to go, how to get home safely

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It's New Year's Eve – have you got your evening planned? If you're still looking for ideas on how and where to ring in the new year, we've got you covered.

From live music to fancy dinners, kid-friendly activities to outdoor adventures, you'll likely find something that strikes your fancy.

The first ball drop of the day already took place – at the Como Zoo in St. Paul. Check out the video:

The zoo will have another ball drop on New Year's Day, also at noon, in the visitors center.

For your evening plans, here are some sites to check out:

Twin Cities metro area

Star Tribune: List of the music and bar options in the Twin Cities.

City Pages: More nightlife in the Twin Cities.

One note for jazz lovers: The old Artists Quarter jazz spot in downtown St. Paul is reopening just in time for New Year's Eve, under the name Vieux Carre. More from the Star Tribune.

St. Paul Pioneer Press: Family friendly activities, indoor and outdoor.

Greater Minnesota

St. Cloud Times: List of events in central Minnesota

Twin Ports Nightlife: List of events in the Duluth-Superior area.

Fargo Monthly: Events in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Brainerd.com: Brainerd Lakes area activities

Bemidji Chamber of Commerce: Bemidji area activities.

Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau: Events in the Rochester area

Odds and ends

MPR News: Are you hosting a party? Five tips for a successful bash.

Minnesota DNR: Candlelight walks at several state parks.

How to get home safely

There are a few options besides taking a cab, especially in the Twin Cities metro area.

Ride-share services like Uber and Lyft are expected to be popular options.

There are also a number of designated driver services, which drive people home in their own cars while a second car follows to escort the driver. MPR News has more details.

The Duluth Transit Authority is also providing free rides on all regular bus routes starting at 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve and running through around 2:20 a.m. Thursday.

Isanti County residents have a free ride available through a program called Safe Cab. A District Court Judge, James Dehn, brought together bar owners, law enforcement, and cab companies to develop Safe Cab, which operates throughout the year but is used more heavily during the holidays.

The next morning

If you're looking for something to do on New Year's Day, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal has a list of 15 Twin Cities restaurants that are serving hangover brunch.

Of course, there's also football. The Minnesota Gophers play Missouri in the Citrus Bowl at noon on ABC – it's but one of many bowl games scheduled for Jan. 1.

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