Click here to download a PDF of our New Year’s Eve planning flowchart. The numbers on the chart correspond with the details below.
1. Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree for Washington, D.C.” Yoko Ono’s “Wish Tree,” which lives in the Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden, lets you avoid those restrictive New Year’s resolutions while still thinking about what you want in the new year. Paper is provided for visitors to write down wishes and tie them to the tree. Then Yoko grants them with her otherworldly magic. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and 7th Street SW; ongoing, free; 202-633-1000. (L’Enfant Plaza)
2. The National Zoo’s public feeding of the giant Pacific octopus. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW; 11 a.m. & 3 p.m., free; 202-633-4800. (Woodley Park)
3. The Drive-By Truckers. 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; 7 p.m., $55; 202-265-0930, 930.com. (U Street)
4. Rocknoceros. Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna, Va.; 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., $10; 703-255-1566, Jamminjava.com.
5. New Year’s Eve at the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center’s actual New Year’s Eve lineup (this year, you can buy tickets to either of two concerts by Freddy Cole and his big band) is immaterial. You’re there for the post-concert dancing, the countdown and the festive balloon drop at midnight. If big-band music isn’t your thing, you can opt for TV star Cheyenne Jackson’s “Music of the Mad Men Era” concert. But stay for the balloons — and the lovely terrace view of the Watergate building. Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., sold out; 202-467-4600. (Foggy Bottom)
6. New Year’s Eve Scramble golf tournament. Herndon Centennial Golf Course, 909 Ferndale Ave., Herndon, Va.; 10 a.m., free to watch; 703-471-5769.
7. The Roots. Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring; 9 p.m., $75; 301-960-9999. (Silver Spring)
8. BYT Fancy Schmancy New Year’s Eve Ball. Brightest Young Things parties have a formula: People with cool haircuts + lasers + inflatable dinosaurs + women in headbands + Stella beers = fun times. It works! Their Fancy Schmancy New Year’s Eve Ball will follow this established equation, with extra schmancy. Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence, 2801 16th St. NW; 8:30 p.m., $100; Byt2013.eventbrite.com. (Columbia Heights)
9. Cruise on the Potomac. Cruise departs from Gangplank Marina, 6th and Water streets SW; 8 p.m., $209.90; 866-306-2469, Odysseycruises.com.
10. Monty Alexander. Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW (Rear); 8 & 10 p.m., $100-$150; 202-337-4141.
11. “In the Middle of No One” with The Pajama Men. Woolly Mammoth usually throws a New Year’s Eve party for anyone attending that night’s performance, but this is the first year they’ve encouraged everyone to come in their jammies. See “In the Middle of No One” from improv comedy guys the Pajama Men, then relax until midnight with an open bar and food catered by Jose Andres. Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW; 10:30 p.m., $120-$140; 202-393-3939. (Gallery Place)
12. Peaches O’Dell. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW; 8 p.m., $25; 202-667-7960. (U Street)
13. Symphony of Lights. Symphony Woods, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, Md.; 5 p.m., $20; 410-740-7840, Hopkinsmedicine.org.
14. The DC Blues Society welcomes the Linwood Taylor Band. Wheaton American Legion Post No. 268, 11225 Fern St., Wheaton, Md.; 8:30 p.m., $35-$40; 301-322-4808, Dcblues.org. (Wheaton)
15. Louis CK. For some, New Year’s is a time to remember how small we all are and how quickly time is passing. Who better to remind us of that than comedian Louis CK, who will make you laugh till your stomach hurts — and on the car ride home, that ache will turn into a lingering ennui. Myerhoff Symphonye Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore; 7 & 10 p.m., sold out.
16. Fireworks. Inner Harbor, Pratt and Light streets, Baltimore; 9 p.m., free; Promotionandarts.com.