Starting the New Year on the right foot – with some joy and enthusiasm – seems more important than ever right now.

Lucky for us, southern Maine is full of New Year’s Eve parties and events designed to help people do just that.

New Year’s Eve was one of the annual celebrations that was literally taken away from people during the first couple years of the pandemic, as crowded parties and dance floors were a no-no. But this year, Maine’s New Year’s Eve party scene is pretty much back to normal.

There are dance parties, costume parties, an indoor beach party, musical performances and even a star-gazing party on New Year’s Eve, which is Saturday. Here are a few options if you want to go out and celebrate.


One Longfellow Square in Portland will be hosting a dance party with Primo Cubano, a band that plays traditional Cuban dance music. The music starts at 9 p.m., and tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. For more information, go to


Aura nightclub and music venue on Center Street in Portland is also hosting a New Year’s Eve dance party. The night features music by deejay Jay-C played over the venue’s concert sound system, lasers and concert lights, and dancing all over the venue, including in the balcony. There are four bars and food all night at the Sports Grill. Tickets are $10, and doors open at 8 p.m. For more information, go to

Jonathan’s in Ogunquit is inviting people to dinner and then dancing. The music is a Frank Sinatra Tribute show performed by Patrick Tobin and a five-piece band. Tickets are $96 and include dinner plus credit for drinks or dessert.  There are two shows, at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. For more information, go to

Aura nightclub and music venue in Portland will hold a New Year’s Eve dance party. Photo by Heidi Kirn


L.L. Bean in Freeport will host a free New Year’s Eve party that’s early enough for families to go to. It’s called KidNight, and it’s at Discovery Park on the retail store’s campus. There are events outside beginning at 11 a.m., including crafts and party hat-making, a comedy juggling show by Double or Nothing, a musical performance by Matt Heaton and the Outside Toys and comedy illusionist Ben Pratt. At 5 p.m., there’s a concert by the funk band Motor Booty Affair followed by the KidNight countdown with a surprise ending. There’s also free hot cocoa and ice skating on the L.L. Bean rink. The park and surrounding area will still be decorated and lit up for the retailer’s Northern Lights holiday celebration. For more information, go to and search “Northern Lights.”

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine in Portland is hosting a New Year’s Eve Indoor Beach Party. There will be countdowns at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon in Maddy’s Theatre, with a paper mache sea star being dropped at the end of each. There will also be real sea creatures for families to meet in the aquarium exhibit. Families can also explore the museum, and there will be crafts and dancing. Tickets are $15 for anyone 18 months or older. For more information, go to

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine in Portland will host a New Year’s Eve indoor beach party. Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine



Luna Rooftop Bar in Portland is hosting an upscale New Year’s Eve party, featuring Veuve Clicquot champagne, caviar, a raw bar and charcuterie. Of course, there’s also the stunning view of the night sky and the waterfront from the bar’s outdoor deck, with fire pits and heaters. The bar sits on the sixth floor of the Canopy Portland Waterfront hotel at Commercial and Center streets. There will also be some surprises and giveaways during the evening. Tickets are $150 per person, and the party starts at 8 p.m. For more information, go to and search “Luna Rooftop Bar.”

The Southworth Planetarium at the University of Southern Maine in Portland is hosting a sort of “best of” night on New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 7 p.m., the planetarium will host seven of its most popular shows, including “Dinosaurs at Dusk,” “Aurora Storm” and “Season of Light.” The latter explores the history and astronomy of the holiday season, narrated by Noah Adams of NPR. Just before midnight there will be a brief winter night sky tour followed by a live broadcast of the ball drop in Times Square. Admission for the evening is a suggested donation of $7 to $10 per person. People may bring non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. For more information, go to and search “Southworth Planetarium.”

Luna Rooftop Bar in Portland is hosting a New Year’s Eve party, champagne included. But dress warmer than these folks. Photo by Jamie Mercurio Photography


Liquid Riot Bottling Company on Commercial Street in Portland is hosting the Sapphic Saturday Masquerade Ball on New Year’s Eve, starting at 9 p.m. There will be dancing, and Liquid Riot’s full bar and kitchen will be available. Tickets are “pay as you will,” and all ticket sales will be donated to Maine Trans Net, a community organization focused on supporting transgender people. For more information, go to and search “Sapphic Saturday Masquerade Ball.”

The Portland Club on State Street will host Roaring 20s Bootlegger’s Ball on New Year’s Eve starting at 9 p.m. People are asked to dress in 1920s vintage style and enjoy drinks, food, live music and dancing. Tickets are $50 to $90. For more information, go to and search “New Year’s Eve Roaring 20s Bootleggers Ball.”

Primo Cubano will play a New Year’s Eve dance party at One Longfellow Square in Portland. Photo by Steve Demetriuo

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