New Year's Eve 2011 Denver: ten best cheap events

The last thing you want to do is start out 2012 in debt, right? We feel your pain -- and believe it or not, you can have a fun (and affordable!) night out on New Year's Eve.

Keep reading for the top ten events that prove our point...

10. Blake Street Tavern: Blake Street Blowout First things first: Admission to this blowout is $50, which you might not consider "cheap" -- but that price tag includes music from DJ Rockstar Aaron and...wait for it ...unlimited house wines, well drinks, draft beers, plus a midnight champagne toast. Unlimited! How much were you planning on spending for a night of drinking, anyway? The blowout starts at 9 p.m.; call 303-675-0505 or visit

9. Dazzle: Beats Noir Dazzle is offering some swanky options that include dinner and access to two rooms of dancing -- if but if you want to keep your evening inexpensive, dropping $15 for the Beats Noir show should pay off. Call 303-839-5100 or visit

8. Denver Botanic Gardens: Blossoms of Light Forget fireworks! Every year, the Denver Botanic Gardens adorns plants with more than a million LED lights for a spectacular stroll that costs only $4.50 to $9.50 (and is free for kids two and younger). It's family-friendly, it's cheap, it runs from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and the lights will be taken down after New Year's Day, so enjoy them while you can. Call 720-865-3500 or visit

7. Mercury Cafe: Erotic Poetry Festival and Masquerade de Voltaire The Merc's got a lot going on for New Year's Eve, and it's all very affordable. But the best deal is the annual Erotic Poetry Festival; for $6, you'll get sexy, sultry poetry, which will pair perfectly with the steampunk belly dancers. The poetry runs from 7 to 9 p.m. -- and if you've got a few extra dollars in your wallet, or if you prefer a masquerade, consider the Merc's Masquerade de Voltaire, with Dr Bzurk, Gora Gora Orkestar and the Tanukis, as well as magicians, acrobats, burlesque and more. That starts at 10 p.m. and costs just $15. Call 303-294-9258 or visit

6. Beta As a general rule, the cover charge at Beta is one of the lowest in town -- especially given the venue's state-of-the-art sound system. And the club isn't raising prices on New Year's Eve, which means you can enjoy tunes by DJ Dragon, Cognition + T-Rav, Tommy Michael and Marshall Monica starting at 9 p.m. for a mere $10. Yes, $10. Call 303-383-1909 or visit

5. Diamond Cabaret & Steakhouse: Big Top New Year's Eve The 2010 Hollywood Fringe Festival's best cabaret/circus, Freakshow Deluxe, will be headlining this New Year's Eve show -- and that's not all the Diamond Cabaret has to offer. The $15 admission gets you access to three different parties, including an after-hours bash. Doors open at 5 p.m. for this 21-and-up event; call 303-571-4242 or visit

4. Nan Desu Kan Costume Ball You don't even need a costume for the Nan Desu Kan Costume Ball at the Renaissance Denver Hotel ; the event includes live music, photos, food and more, including plenty of people-watching (they're guaranteed to have the craziest get-ups in town). The party starts at 7 p.m. and costs $15 to $20; visit

3. CrowdPleaser & Whomp Truck Present High Resolution The Whomp Truck took the city by storm in 2011 with its traveling dubstep show, and on New Year's Eve, the usual suspects will be joined by some special guests for High Resolution. The lineup includes Rene Walther, Angel Castro, Brick Lee, Mikrobot, Deciprocal, Tess, Fisk, Just Ben, Noah Deep, Citrus, Coult 45, Alert, Skunk, Nutmeg, Smyl:e, Chris Irvin, Meanboy, Chris McNaughty and other guests, and admission to the 21-and-up bash is $20 -- a steal for this many DJs and a party that goes till 5 a.m. The venue is still TBA; keep yourself up-to-date at

2. La Rumba: New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball Maybe you think masquerade balls are too swanky for an inexpensive New Year's Eve -- but you'd be wrong, because La Rumba's masquerade ball is just $10 if you show up wearing a mask and costume ($15 without the mask/costume combo). There will be live music from Sabor de la Calle and DJ Nelson, plus drink specials, a complimentary champagne toast at midnight and more. Call 303-572-8006.

1. Grizzly Rose The Grizzly Rose tops our list for one very important reason: its free midnight buffet. By the time you've been dancing and drinking for a few hours, you know you'll be hungry -- and that buffet means there'll be no need to leave the party. There will also be a free champagne toast at midnight accompanied by a balloon drop, live music with Walker Williams, prizes that involve more than $5,000 cash, and more throughout the evening. And how much is admission to this blowout bash? A mere $15. Call 303-295-1330 or visit

More New Year's Eve lists

- New Year's Eve: Mountain celebrations - New Year's Eve: family-friendly events - New Year's Eve: comedy events - New Year's Eve: nightlife events - New Year's Eve: food and drink events - New Year's Eve: free events

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen