When the somewhat-staid Merriam-Webster declares “surreal” as the Word of the Year, it may just be time to call it quits on 2016 before yet another actor, athlete or author dies. Here are five things to do this weekend to get your mind off of Carrie Fisher, Muhammad Ali and Richard Adams, among the dozens of others. Happy 2017!
▪ The Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton offers an overnight party package for $389 for two, which includes a cocktail party with open bar and a dinner buffet. Dancing and a midnight champagne toast also included. Call 618-786-2331 or go to www.pmlodge.net for more details.
▪ NYE Live at St. Louis’ Ballpark Village has two packages, $75 for the five venues inside the village, which includes a drink package from 8 p.m. to midnight and a champagne toast; and the $110 Platinum Package that adds an hour of the drinks plus the buffet at the Budweiser Brew House or the Cardinals Nation. For more information and tickets, go to www.nye-life.com/st-louis.
Dance the next day
The Okawville Community Club hosts two bands for a New Year’s Day Dance from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 to hear Rendition and Heritage at the club, 511 S. Hanover St., Okawville. Food is available.
In anticipation of the regular season outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues, the National Hockey League has a family-friendly pregame tailgate party from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. to noon Monday.
You can try interactive hockey games, shoot pucks into old washing machines, get your own hockey card and more.
Nelly will perform at 10:30 a.m. Monday. It’s all free at Ballpark Village, Lots A and B, at 601 Clark Ave. in St. Louis. Go to www.nhl.com for more information.
End with a train
The Metro East Model Railroad Club is showing it’s 18-by-27-foot HO scale model railroad set up in the old Glen Carbon Firehouse and Village Hall, 180 Summit St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Parts of the layout include Old Town Glen Carbon, from when it was a coal-mining town. Admission is free. For more information, call 618-476-9228 or 618-254-6596 or visit www.trainweb.org/memrc.
Walk off the year
Enjoy the waning hours of 2016 with a walk along the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. A naturalist will be at 801 Strodtman Road in St. Louis to talk about the animals in the area at this time of year. The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is hosting the event, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday. It’s for ages 10 and up. The site is just northwest of Interstate 270 and the Mississippi. Meet in Parking Lot M, four miles from the main entrance.