We have lots of ideas for you, from gala soirees to beach bonfires and much more.
There’s a lot of pressure on Dec. 31. While Dec. 30 has the luxury of being an average day and Jan. 1 is often downright lazy, the expectations for New Year’s Eve are always lofty. We want the night to be special, memorable and absolutely awesome. It’s enough to make any other day feel overwhelmed, but this isn’t Dec. 31’s first trip to the New Year’s Eve rodeo, so it’s ready. From galas and dancing to hikes, bonfires and polar dips, this New Year’s Eve has something just for you. (All of the events listed take place Dec. 31 unless otherwise noted.)
NEW YEAR’S AT THE HUTS
Get out of dodge for the new year. Like way out. Leave the car at the trailhead and hike, snowshoe or ski the trail to the Flagstaff Hut on the sandy east shore of Flagstaff Lake in Kingfield. Relax by the fireplace and enjoy a festive four-course meal of locally sourced ingredients and a champagne toast. And then enjoy the nature.
Flagstaff Hut, Kingfield; $109/bed for adults, $64/bed for youth; www.mainehuts.org
POLAR BEAR PLUNGE AND LOBSTER DIP
Prepare for the new year by washing away the old one with a cleansing – and cold! – dip into the frigid Atlantic. The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash includes a 5K race around Back Cove before participants sprint into the water at East End Beach. And depending on how your New Year’s Eve festivities go, you might want to take another cleansing dip on New Year’s Day in Old Orchard Beach during the annual Lobster Dip, which benefits Special Olympics Maine.
• NRCM’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash
11 a.m. (5K), noon (dip); $35; Back Cove and East End Beach, Portland; www.nrcm.org
• Lobster Dip
Noon Jan. 1; raise a minimum of $100; beach in front of The Brunswick, Old Orchard Beach; www.somaine.org
LAST BLAST 2013
Maybe it’s the beach bonfire, maybe it’s a ride on the carousel, or maybe you just want to welcome 2014 while eating kettle corn and drinking hot cocoa near the arcade. Whatever the reason, Last Blast 2013 celebrates the new year in true OOB style. Bring your Christmas tree to add to the fire, stay for some marshmallow roasting, and catch the fireworks at 7:30 p.m.
Starting at 4:30 p.m.; Town Square and on the beach, Old Orchard Beach; www.oob365.com
CHARITY GALA FOR SHARE OUR STRENGTH
Celebrate all classy-like, and help feed Maine kids while you’re at it. This charity gala at Boone’s helps raise funds for Share our Strength, which provides Maine children with healthy food. It also includes a five-course meal and the chance to dance the night away to big-band-style music from The Fogcutters.
5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $50 general admission, $135 includes dinner, $500 includes preferred seating, VIP service and a bottle of bubbles; www.boonesfishhouse.com
Finally, an appropriate place to wear all your glittery attire! The Midnight Glitter event encourages attendees to wear something that glitters or glows. There will be dancing to the Bob Charest Band, late-night snacks and a champagne toast. $85 ticket includes hors d’oeuvres and buffet dinner.
6:30 p.m.; $49 or $85; Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, South Portland; www.bobcharestmusic.com
NEW YEAR GORHAM AND NEW YEAR’S EVE ON THE SQUARE
It’s a New Year’s Eve celebration for the whole family, with ice skating, a spaghetti dinner, variety show, comedy, face painting, crafts, and music throughout the day at various locations throughout town. Fireworks take over the skies over Gorham High School at 10 p.m. The grownups can head over to Spire 29 for dinner, dancing and music from the Jim Ciampi Band during New Year’s Eve on the Square.
• New Year Gorham
Activities throughout the day; various locations, Gorham; $5 button, $20 family pack; www.newyeargorham.org
• New Year’s Eve on the Square
8 p.m.; $40 per person, $75 per couple; Spire 29, Gorham; spire29.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE DANCE PARTY
Shake your tail feathers into 2014 at the New Year’s Eve Dance Party. The evening features live music from rock band Hollow Body Electric and some motown, jazz and R&B from Mehuman Jonson and Her Trio. Refreshments, champagne toast at midnight and a cash bar, too. The event benefits Chocolate Church Arts Center.
8 p.m.; $25; Chocolate Church Arts Center, Bath; www.chocolatechurcharts.org
RUSTIC OVERTONES NEW YEAR’S EVE CD RELEASE PARTY
Help release some CDs into the wild with Portland’s Rustic Overtones. The well-known seven-piece band is celebrating the release of its eighth full-length album, “Let’s Start A Cult, Part 2,” and while 2014 is technically the year of the horse, according to the Chinese calendar, there’s no reason it can’t be the Year of the Cult, too.
8 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $25, $45 VIP; Port City Music Hall, Portland; www.portcitymusichall.com
BLACK AND WHITE EVENT
Meet 2014 in formal attire during Ri Ra’s third annual Black & White Event. DJ Jon E will be doing his thing upstairs and attendees are encouraged to dress classy in black and white. The $20 tickets include hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight, and they need to be purchased in advance.
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.; $20 (advance only); Ri Ra Irish Pub, Portand; 207-761-4446
COMEDIAN BOB MARLEY
Life isn’t always a laughing situation. Times get tough, budgets get tight. But who wants to think about that nonsense on New Year’s Eve? Take a load off for once and laugh the hassles of 2013 right out the door. Comedian Bob Marley is hosting this holiday show for the 14th year, which means the whole “laugh in the new year” concept must be working.
7 p.m.; $47.50; Merrill Auditorium, Portland; porttix.com
JACK DANIELS NEW YEAR’S EVE RAMBLIN’ REVIVAL
It’s a New Year’s Eve revival with North of Nashville, The Ghost of Paul Revere and Tricky Britches. 99.9 The Wolf presents this show at Asylum, and the well-loved Jack Daniels makes an appearance (along with his pal Jack Daniels Honey Whiskey). Hit the buffet in advance, and enjoy a Jack Daniels whiskey toast at midnight (because you don’t need no stinkin’ champagne).
9 p.m. (dinner buffet from 6:30 to 9 p.m.); $15; $35 with buffet; Asylum, Portland; www.portlandasylum.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE ON THE MOUNTAINS
2014 is all downhill from here. Assuming, of course, you celebrated New Year’s Eve on a hill. A big one. Maine’s mountains are ringing in the new year with night skiing, fireworks and festivities. Sunday River will have a Great Gatsby Dinner at the Peak Lodge, a fire-dancing spectacular by Circe de Light, live music and fireworks at 8:30 p.m. Sugarloaf will have the Galumpha New Year’s Eve Show with acrobatics and physical comedy, live music and fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
• New Year’s Eve at Sunday River
Activities all day; www.sundayriver.com
• New Year’s Eve at Sugarloaf
Activities all day; www.sugarloaf.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE BALLROOM DANCE PARTY
Say hello to 2014 like you’re a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Maplewood Dance Center is hosting an evening of ballroom dancing to some of the best recorded dance music. Singles and couples are welcome to hit the hardwood and enjoy a dessert and dip buffet, party favors and a champagne toast.
8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.; $40, reservations required; Maplewood Dance Center; maplewooddancecenter.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION AT L.L. BEAN
It’s a “KidNight Celebration” at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport. And by “KidNight” I think they mean both “children” and “those of us who find it hard to stay awake past 8:30 p.m., regardless of whether or not kids are involved.” Music from Rick Charette, party-inspired crafts, holiday light show, and fireworks and hot cocoa at 6 p.m.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; free; L.L. Bean, Freeport; llbean.com/northernlights