You can only Peter Pan your way through the most festive night of the year so many times before you realize there might be perks to actually making plans -- free champagne, for instance, or a place to finally wear that designer gown you scored at the thrift store. If one of your resolutions for 2013 is to start acting like a grown-up, there's no better place to start than NYE.
We recommend you start at the San Francisco Symphony's Masquerade Ball. You'll have to learn the waltz, of course, but then you can spend the night dancing (instead of twerking) to the sounds of the orchestra. Expect complimentary sparkling wine (the Symphony is classy enough to know that it's only called champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France) and elaborate masks to be worn.
If waltzing the night away isn't quite to your taste, there are quite a few other ways to ring in the new year with class. Most of the fancy hotels around town are hosting parties -- try the W for an open bar and five rooms of music, the Palace for a five-course dinner and dancing, the Westin St. Francis for a continental mixture of live art, fashion, stilt-walkers, and music, the Mark for a Moet-themed evening, and the Clift for an astoundingly opulent $15,000-per-table event with open bar, live music, and more.
Finish your night responsibly with a free Luxor Cab ride home (415) 282-4141, courtesy of Berg Injury Lawyers (make sure to mention their name to the cabbie).
The Masquerade Ball begins Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. at Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness (at Hayes), S.F. Admission is $85-$195.