9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 30, at Wonderscope Children’s Museum
The kids can get an early start on the New Year’s celebration during a morning event at Wonderscope. Full O’Ballooney will provide balloon entertainment; Mr. Stinky Feet, Jim Cosgrove, will perform; and everyone will be able to ring in the “Noon Year” with noisemakers and a confetti blast at noon. For adults, the CoffeeCakeKC truck will be on site. 913-287-8888. wonderscope.org. $8; younger than 2 free.
Zoo Year’s Eve
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Kansas City Zoo
This will be without a doubt the area’s wildest New Year’s Eve event, considering it will involve penguins, polar bears, lemurs, meerkats and the zoo’s other wild animals. A penguin march will begin at 11 a.m., with the sea lion splash at 1:30 p.m. and a penguin feeding at 2 p.m. Visitors also will make party hats, dance to the beats of a DJ counting down to noon and visit a photo booth. 816-513-5800. kansascityzoo.org. Included in admission, $11.50-$14.50.
7:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at New Theatre Restaurant
Jim O’Heir, a Chicago native who played lovable loser Jerry Gergich on the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” won a Daytime Emmy Award in April for outstanding guest performer in a drama series. Now he stars in this farce about a man who mistakenly picks up a briefcase containing $1.5 million and decides to keep the money. Runs through Feb. 11. 913-649-7469. Tickets are $102-$143 through newtheatre.com.
7:30 and 10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Kansas City Improv
Perhaps best known as a regular on the former E! show “Chelsea Lately,” comedian John Caparulo also has starred in specials on Comedy Central and Netflix. His quick wit and a propensity for profanity make him a natural for the New Year’s Eve show at the Improv, where dinner packages, late-show packages and VIP midnight packages are being offered. 816-759-5233. Tickets are $25-$60 through improvkc.com.
Countdown at the Corner
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Martini Corner
Sol Cantina, Brick House, Ollie’s Local and Tower Tavern will take part in the Martini Corner celebration, with each ticket providing unlimited drinks at all four bars. Wrist bands will allow patrons to circulate among the establishments, which will have DJs and champagne toasts at midnight. Tickets are $60-$80 through eventbrite.com/event/39522181910.
NYE at the Temple VIII
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Scottish Rite Temple
Ten bars serving unlimited drinks for six hours plus eight party areas in the massive historic building help explain why this party has sold out the past seven years. Other draws are five DJs, laser lights, LED video screens, party favors, free parking and roundtrip shuttle service. Tickets are $60-$250 through nyekc.com.
New Year’s Eve
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at One Block South
Revelers who don’t want to drive into downtown Kansas City can find a pretty big party in Overland Park. The Rosana Square nightlife area of One Block South will offer a multivenue event featuring Boom at Local Tap (8 p.m.), DJ Dave Step and MC Aaron G at Fuel (10 p.m.) and DJ Pedro at Kanza Hall (10 p.m.), with table reservations and VIP packages available. 913-451-0444. Tickets are $20 through oneblocksouthkc.com.
New Year’s Eve featuring Casi Joy
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Uptown Theater
Country singer/songwriter Casi Joy will cap off her big year by headlining the Uptown’s party. Joy, a Parkville native and Park University graduate, appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” this past spring, performing four times before being eliminated. Attendees will get more than live music: The party will feature five rooms, five open bars and champagne all night. 816-753-8665. Tickets are $50 through uptowntheater.com.
New Year’s Eve Jazz Extravaganza
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at MTH Theater at Crown Center
The Joe Cartwright Trio, Molly Hammer and Shay Estes will perform during an evening of jazz tunes that made Kansas City famous, including a tribute to Signboard Hill, where Crown Center sits today. Admission will include two drink tickets, unlimited soft drinks for a designated driver, a dessert buffet and a champagne toast. 816-221-6987. Tickets are $45 through mthkc.com.
New Year’s Swingin’ Eve
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Union Station
Dave Stephens and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra 7, playing music ranging from classics to modern hits, will provide the entertainment for a big-band extravaganza in the city’s grandest venue. Party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and a midnight champagne toast are included in the admission. 816-460-2020. Tickets are $110-$195 through unionstation.org/events/new-years-swingin-eve.
9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at Californos
With a Westport setting and a multilevel venue, including a tented party deck, the Black Party has become one of the area’s favorite New Year’s Eve celebrations. Four entertainment areas will offer music and dancing for a variety of tastes, and all-inclusive packages will provide unlimited premium drinks and a 10-piece buffet. Tickets are $75-$125 through blackpartykc.com.
9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, at KC Live! Block
A countdown to midnight with a Times Square-style ball drop is the highlight of this celebration. Tickets will provide access to live entertainment, party favors, champagne toasts and KC Live venues. All-inclusive food and drink packages are available, along with other VIP packages. 816-842-1045. Tickets are $70-$180 through nye-live.com/kansas-city.
Also this week
Classical music and dance
Kinnor Philharmonic, Jan. 1, Lewis and Shirley White Theatre. thejkc.org
“Legally Blonde Jr.,” Theatre in the Park, Dec. 29-30, Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center. theatreinthepark.org
“Soundstage: The Hollywood Musical Project,” Musical Theatre Kansas City, Dec. 29-31, B&B Live. mtkc.org
Music (rock, pop, jazz)
Black Label Society with Corrosion of Conformity, Dec. 30, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
Kid Rock, Dec. 31, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
New Year’s Eve with Samantha Fish, Bel Airs and Atlantic Express, Dec. 31, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
The Zeros and Boogie Wonderland, Dec. 31, Ameristar. ameristar.com
Kansas City Mavericks vs. Tulsa, Dec. 31. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. kcmavericks.com
Kansas City Comets (indoor soccer) vs. Baltimore, Dec. 30. Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. cometsindoorsoccer.com
UMKC men’s basketball vs. Avila, Dec. 28. Municipal Auditorium. umkckangaroos.com