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3 places to celebrate New Year's Eve in Buffalo for a low-key night

Maybe you're looking for something in between a crowded party in a ballroom and watching Ryan Seacrest talk about the ball drop on the couch at home.

Since it's pretty much the only chance you have all year to wear your shiny, sequined dress that sits in the back of your closet, you might as well go out. There are a few nights a year -- New Year's Eve is one of them -- when the whole city flocks to the bars in droves, wearing sequins, heels and ties, probably traipsing through the snow.

It's not exactly a night of bar-hopping; many bars instead sell expensive, all-inclusive open bar tickets so you'll spend the entire night in one place. Tickets often include buffet-style food and well drinks, welcoming large crowds.

An expensive ticket is hard to avoid if you're looking for food and drinks, but at least you can get craft cocktails and beer instead of vodka cran and Blue Light for your money. Or some laughs out of the night that won't exclusively come from people-watching (or too many of those vodka crans).

At these events, go ahead and wear the sequins, and don't expect to be snaking through dancing crowds on the way to the bar.

Ring in the new year with dinner and a show at Helium Comedy Club. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Helium Comedy Club

Shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m., 30 Mississippi St. For the 8 p.m. show, general admission is $35, reserved is $45, dinner and a show package is $89. For the 10:30 p.m. show, general admission is $49, reserved is $59, dinner and a show package is $99.

At bars, clubs and hotels around the area, many people will be dropping chunks of money on open bars and catered buffets. But if that's not your thing -- except for maybe the food part -- consider a dinner and a show.

Helium is welcoming Comedian Rich Vos, known for "Opie and Anthony" and "Last Comic Standing" and more recently, his podcast called "My Wife Hates Me," for two New Year's Eve shows. Vos is considered a "comic's comic," according to Helium, and appeals to a large audience, sharing stories about relationships, marriage and parenthood.

Dinner is a four-course meal, with options such as Alaskan salmon and cream cheese deviled eggs, grilled filet mignon and New York-style cheesecake. The late show includes a champagne toast and party favors.

Dress up as an iconic pair for the party at Rusty Nickel Brewing Company. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

Rusty Nickel Brewing Co.

Open bar from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., 4350 Seneca St., West Seneca. General tickets cost $62 and designated driver tickets cost $25.

This party puts a whole new meaning on the phrase, "new year, new me." Rusty Nickel's "keg drop, celebrating iconic duos" party isn't just any all-you-can-drink brewery event; this one has costumes. From Halloween to the World's Largest Disco to Santa-Con, Buffalo has seen their fair share of costumes over the past few months. Why not make it one more? Dress up as an iconic duo (or trio, or group) and ring in the New Year not just as a new you, but as a whole new person, such as Cher, or Beyoncé.

Each ticket includes an open bar with a local emphasis. Rusty Nickel will serve their own craft beer, New York State wine and spirits, mixed drinks, hard cider and non-alcoholic craft sodas all night. The event is fully catered, which is included in the ticket, as well as a champagne toast at midnight.

Responsibility is awarded, too. A cheaper designated driver ticket includes a non-alcoholic open bar and toast at midnight, as well as food.

At midnight, instead of a ball drop, the small brewery will drop a keg, starting the new year off with cheer and beer.

Angelica Tea Room

Open bar from 8 p.m. to midnight, then it's a cash bar, 517 Washington St. Tickets cost $75.

The quirky downtown craft cocktail bar is the kind of place you start the night at, usually. You savor one pricey cocktail before heading to somewhere cheaper and less posh.

But their open bar New Year's Eve package is monetarily comparable to any brewery's in town. So for one night, enjoy several -- or more, to make the ticket price worth it -- specialty cocktails mixed with top-shelf liquor and ingredients you likely don't have at home (and complimentary snacks) in a swanky, naturally festive atmosphere where your sequins will fit right in.

Angelica Tea Room is a vibrant and innovative cocktail cavern located at 517 Washington St. (Sharon Cantillon/News file photo)

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