If there’s one thing that can be said about 2017, it’s that it was a marathon, not a sprint. It has required not just strength but stamina to survive the onslaught of stories in the news cycle, the debates and arguments, the calls to resist and persist. Now that it’s almost over, rather than the traditional sendoff with a wild night of hard partying, it’s tempting to look for something a little bit different. Maybe even a little bit earlier in the evening. If you’re ready to eschew the raucous rituals in favor of simply letting go, these nontraditional options might suit you well.
Sky Zone — Sunday, Dec. 31 at 11 a.m.
De-stress from the worries of the year by jumping your cares away at Sky Zone (5515 Council St NE, Cedar Rapids) on New Year’s Eve. The indoor trampoline park is open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. for a special new year’s glow jump. Tickets are $14 for 60 minutes, $17 for 90 minutes or $20 for 120 minutes, and are available online (passes are not valid during the event). Time slots are available starting every 15 minutes. The glow jump features blacklights and lasers as well as games and prizes, and the ticket cost includes a glow shirt and glow face paint, with professional face painters from CR Sisters Face Painting on hand from 1-5 p.m.
Geek City Games and Comics — Sunday, Dec. 31 at 12 p.m.
Escape to a different world and get your game on with Ixalan Store Championship event at Geek City (365 Beaver Kreek Center Suite B, North Liberty). An entry fee of $25 (plus tax) gets you into this Magic: the Gathering event. The sealed format, where each player builds a brand new 40-card deck out of six unopened booster packs they receive at the start of the event, is the perfect opportunity to take a first deep dive or a fresh look into the set (which came out in September), before the next set in the block, Rivals of Ixalan, is released on Jan. 19. Prizes include exclusive deck boxes for top eight and an exclusive Ixalan playmat for the winner.
FilmScene — Sunday, Dec. 31 at 5 p.m.
For an early opportunity to honor the actual calendar page turn, head to FilmScene for their annual Parisian New Year celebration. Watch the livestream of the countdown to midnight at the Eiffel Tower on the big screen, accompanied by pastries and a champagne toast. Then stick around to watch the delightfully surreal Jacques Tati film Playtime, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017. Tickets are $25.
Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery — Sunday, Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.
The fun starts early in the evening for one of the two events on this list that gives you an opportunity to push through to midnight, Iowa time. If you want to pretend that 2017 never happened at all, Quarter Barrel (616 2nd Ave SE, Cedar Rapids) is inviting you into another time entirely. They’ll be showing time travel movies and playing retro music through the night, and happy hour prices will run from 7 p.m. until bar close. They’ll have a free champagne toast at midnight, and their Facebook event temptingly asserts that pants are optional.
Cedar Rapids Zen Center — Sunday, Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Welcome 2018 in the spirit of calm and peace by attending a special new year’s sitting at the Cedar Rapids Zen Center (1618 Bever Ave SE, Cedar Rapids). Join at any time during the evening; sangha members and guests will be sitting zazen between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Then they will take time to read the precepts before making and eating Japanese buckwheat noodles and celebrating new year. Attendees are welcome to bring a dish to share.