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Come greet or mistreat New Year's

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / December 18, 2005

Whether you're bidding 2005 a fond farewell or good riddance, New Year's Eve is a cause for celebration. For those of you who have not yet finalized your plans, here are a few choice options:

If you have always wanted to see 15,000 Mummers strut down the street on New Year's Day, the centrally located Marriott Philadelphia has a New Year's Eve Package that includes a night in a deluxe room, overnight parking, and a three-course dinner for two. The cost is $259 a couple, with the dinner gratuity included.

For this and other offers, visit www.gophila.com and click on Things to Do, then Philadelphia Holiday Festival, then New Year's Eve Events and Hotel Packages.

For those heading to Las Vegas (with or without your Elvis costume), one alternative to the dizzy doings on the Strip is the New Year's Eve Bash downtown under the lighted canopy of the Fremont Street Experience. For $40, you can party all night to the sounds of Cheap Trick, Gin Blossoms, and Spin Doctors, and join Mayor Oscar Goodman and 12,000 other partygoers in attempting the world's largest toast.

Visit vegas.com/newyears.

If, on the other hand, New York, Toronto, or Miami Beach are in your plans, www.noo.com is a site for browsing events and buying tickets to festivities. (If New York is your choice, consider bringing along a gently used coat for distribution by New York Cares. Dec. 31 is the collection deadline, and drop-off locations can be found at www.nycares.org.)

In Boston, the Langham Hilton prepares you for the inevitable with a Bed & Bloody Mary Recovery Brunch Package. You get overnight accommodation in a superior room, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot upon arrival, First Night Boston buttons for two, New Year's Day Brunch in Cafe Fleuri for two, use of the health club and pool facilities, extended checkout until 3 p.m., and valet parking. Prices begin at $400 per room, with all taxes and tips included.

Call 617-451-1900 or 800-791-7761 or visit www.langhamhotels.com/langham/boston.

Like Boston and many other cities, Newport, R.I., celebrates New Year's Eve with an activity-filled First Night. Unlike any other city, however, Newport also has ''Murder Under a Moonless Night" at the Astors' Beechwood Mansion. Guests sneak into a speakeasy, where a murder is committed -- a murder that must be solved before the New Year. The event takes place from 8 p.m. to midnight, with dancing, hors d'oeuvres, dessert, a champagne toast, and a cash bar. The price is $90 in advance and $100 at the door (if available). Call 401-846-3772 to reserve. While the event is not part of any package, you can check out lodging at various prices at www.gonewport.com.

When you have recovered from your celebration, the Sagamore resort in the Adirondacks in upstate New York will help you stick to your resolutions with five Resolution Month choices: Get Fit, a personalized fitness and exercise program; Detox & Diet, focusing on nutrition and healthy eating; Quit Smoking, with tips and treatments; A New You, which addresses personal style (clothing, makeup, and hair); and A Fresh Financial Start, with tips that it is hoped will put you in shape to afford a lot more trips. Prices start at $155 per night for a lodge room plus your chosen program.

Call 800-358-3585 or visit www.thesagamore.com.

Finally, an opportunity to squander $25,000 at the last minute! The Ultimate Indulgence at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in Miami begins with a ride from the airport in a chauffeured limousine stocked with Cristal champagne. You stay in a suite, all 2,540 square feet of it, get to drive a Mercedes-Benz SLK 500 convertible for the day, and take home an 18-karat gold bracelet from Amici jewelers, made in Italy with 1.14 carats of diamonds and 2.28 carats of rubies. And those are just the highlights.

Call 800-241-3333 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

Here comes Kong
Inspired by the new movie, the Affinia Manhattan offers a ''King Kong" package, available through March 28. You get two passes to the movie, in-room viewing of the original 1933 film, two passes that enable you to skip the lines and soar to the top of the Empire State Building, and a stuffed Kong. The one-night package is $289 per room in a one-bedroom suite.

Call 866-AFFINIA or visit www.affinia.com.

N.E. ski card
The Go Ski Card delivers prepaid full-day lift tickets at any of 14 New England destinations, plus savings on nearby lodging. The card is available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, and 7-day increments for use in any combination of days through April 15. One-day adult cards are $55, one-day junior cards for ages 13-17 are $45, and children's cards for those 3-12 are $40. As the days purchased increase, per-day prices decrease to $43, $33, and $25 for each age group, respectively.

Visit www.goskicard.com or call 800-887-9103.

Amazon adventure
Ever dream of cruising the Amazon, sighting birds and flora and fauna in one of the world's most ecologically diverse waterways? The Great Canadian Travel Company Ltd. has two options: Travel the entire length of the Amazon, about 2,100 miles from Iquitos, Peru, to Belém, Brazil. Or go from Iquitos to Manaust. Departure date is April 11 for both, and prices begin at $3,320 per person for the full voyage or $1,995 for the Iquitos-Manaus segment.

Call 800-661-3830 or visit www.greatcanadiantravel.com.

Biking on Hawaii
Cycling along black-and-white-sand beaches or along the rim of a volcanic crater are highlights of a bicycling trip to Hawaii's Big Island from VBT Bicycling Vacations. Hiking and canoeing are also part of the program. A nine-day trip begins at $2,395 including air fare from Los Angeles, or $1,995 for eight days, land only.

Visit www.vbt.com and click on Winter Escapes Savings or call 800-245-3868 and mention code EAAG-703.

When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Contact Richard P. Carpenter at carpenter@globe.com.

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