Making a decision about what to do on New Year’s Eve just keeps getting easier and easier the older and wiser I get!  Home parties can be great, but I get lazy about throwing them and just want to go out.  Thankfully, there are so many places only a stone’s throw from me in Rancho Mirage that I barely have to figure cab fare into my budget.

Great restaurants with special multi-course prix fix meals abound.  You know my affinity for Shame On The Moon http://www.shameonthemoon.com/, and its four- or five-courser with prices ranging from $65 to $85 is a great place to start before possibly moving on to a private party or to one of the resorts.  Likewise for Chef Andres’ four courses at Roy’s, offering delectable Hawaiian Fusion cuisine for $49-85 http://www.roysrestaurant.com/.

Food not that important to you?  Grab a nibble at home or at your hotel, head on over to The Show at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, and rock to the groove of cover-band-extraordinaire “Mrs. Robinson” performing multi-generational hit after hit, with tons of costume changes and music that will have you dancing in the aisles.  Then head over to the casino and play the night away! http://www.hotwatercasino.com/TheShow/.

Rancho Las Palmas has a full roster of New Year’s Eve events, including an early family buffet for $29, a casino-themed adult buffet and ultra lounge for $99, and a five-course dinner with live music and champagne toast in their premiere restaurant, bluEmber, for $125.  http://www.rancholaspalmas.com/

Likewise, Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa invites guests to “Sip, Sup, Swing, and Sizzle” the night away with all kinds of New Year’s options, including its Bella Vista Restaurant’s $125 dinner with premium wine pairings. http://www.westinmissionhills.com/palm-springs-holidays

Those who are looking for a bit of old-style celebration should consider Wally’s Desert Turtle for its six-course spread and five-piece dance band, complete with champagne and sophistication, all for $75-145. http://www.wallys-desert-turtle.com/home.html

Whatever you do and wherever you end up, be smart, be safe, and celebrate like it’s 2012!