From galas and dancing to hikes, bonfires and polar dips, this New Year’s Eve has something just for you.
Saturday, Dec. 31. 11 a.m. (5K), noon (dip), Back Cove and East End Beach, Portland. $35. www.nrcm.org
Baby it’s cold outside! So heck, why not get just a little bit colder in the water of the Atlantic. The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash includes a 5K around Back Cove before participants sprint into the water at East End Beach. The $35 entry fee includes the run and the dip, but you can also choose to do just one or the other. Or if you’d rather take the plunge on New Year’s Day, you can head to Old Orchard Beach for the annual Lobster Dip, which benefits Special Olympics Maine.
51 Wharf’s Fire & Ice Party
9 p.m. 51 Wharf, Portland, $12 general admission & Red Bull party, $25 VIP line skip & Red Bull Party, $85 Platinum Elevated VIP Booth ($85 per person, 12 person booth) $75 Sky Box VIP Booth ($75 per person, 12 – 25 person booth) $50 Ultra VIP Booth, $50 per person, 5 person booth). This is a massive bash in Portland’s Old Port and there’s a price point for all budgets. You’ll be surrounded by white glove glitz and plenty of glamour. Get gussied up and have a blast. 21-plus only for this one.
FMI or to buy tickets: www.newyearsportlandmaine.com
9:30 p.m. (doors at 9 p.m.), SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland. $10, 21-plus. www.space538.org
It’s a New Year’s Eve masquerade ball, with God.Damn.Chan., Don Damiani and Che Ros . There will also be supremely cool visuals by Neon Dave. Come masked and ready to dance.
7 p.m. (shows Dec. 29, 30 & 31). $52.50. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland. porttix.com
Maine’s king of comedy will be holding court for three nights at Merrill Auditorium, including New Year’s Eve. It’s been a rough year but the good news is that means he’ll have plenty of fodder to make us laugh with.
6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Marriott Sable Oaks, 200 Sable Oaks Dr, South Portland. $50 to $89 and overnight packages available. www.bobcharestmusic.com
Ring in 2017 old Havana style with a fun night out starring the Bob Charest Band and DJ Greg Young. Kick things off with cocktail hour from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m, followed by a buffet dinner that features Mojo marinated flank steak and roasted mahi with jimica slaw. Then you’ll be cutting a serious rug to the sounds of the Bob Charest Band and DJ Greg Young from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be late-night snacks served including Cubano sliders and twice-fried plantains to keep up your energy and a champagne toast at midnight.
6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Easy Day, 725 Broadway, South Portland. $60. easydaysopo.com
Here’s a New Year’s Eve celebration that you’ll for sure throw a strike with. New Year’s Eve on Broadway includes appetizers, dinner, live music from the Larry Williams Band and a champagne toast at midnight. AND…there’s bowling too! Black tie optional, just be sure to wear something you can bowl in.
The clam drops at 7 p.m., First Universalist Church, 97 Main St., Yarmouth. Free. www.uuyarmouth.org
Forget midnight ball drops – there’s a clam drop to mark midnight at the First Universalist Church in Yarmouth. You might recognize Steamer, the Yarmouth Clam Festival mascot, as he’s lowered from the church belfry (his lively smile never wavers, despite his precarious position). Music, hot cocoa and cookies, to boot.
Dinner at 6 p.m., stay overnight | Stratton Brook Hut, Flagstaff Hut & Poplar Hut, Maine Huts & Trails, Kingfield | $130 adults, $117 for members, $65 for 17 and under | www.mainehuts.org
Spend a night in the beautiful woods of Kingfield at one of the Maine Huts & Trails lodges. You’ll leave your car at the trailhead and hike, snowshoe, or ski the trail to either Stratton Brook Hut, Poplar Hut or Flagstaff Hut in Kingfield. Chill out and warm up by the fireplace and enjoy a festive four-course meal of locally sourced ingredients and then a 9 p.m. champagne toast. (beer and wine available for purchase.) On the first morning of 2017, you’ll be treated to a home-cooked breakfast and get a packed trail lunch for your first-day-of-2017 adventuring.
5 p.m. Town Square and on the Beach, Old Orchard Beach. www.oob365.com
The beach bonfire gets lit at 5 p.m. and you can bring your Christmas tree with you to feed to it. The end of year reveling continues as you ride the Palace Playland carousel (open until 8:30 p.m.) contemplating the past year with each spin. Fill your belly with hot cocoa, kettle corn and cotton candy and be sure to visit one of the marshmallow roasting pits. You might also start dancing to the tunes of DJ Joeyoke. Then you’ll look to the sky when the fireworks display ignites at 7 p.m.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., L.L. Bean, Freeport. Free. llbean.com/northernlights
It’s a “KidNight Celebration” at L.L. Bean’s flagship store in Freeport. There will be crafts, live entertainment, the Bootmobile and music from Rick Charette and the Bubblegum Band. Fireworks start at 6 p.m. and you can be home, pajama clad and in dreamland with your kids well before midnight.
Activities throughout the day, various locations, Gorham. $5 lanyard, $20 family package. www.newyeargorham.org
It’s a New Year’s Eve celebration for the whole family, with ice skating, magic shows, comedy, puppets, line dancing, food, games and music throughout the day at various locations throughout town. What’s more, Mad Science of Maine will have a very cool show about Newton’s 3 laws of physics AND Wildlife Encounters will be on hand with some animal ambassadors! Plus you can catch a performance by Running With Scissors Improv Comedy over at the McCormack Performing Arts Center. Fireworks take over the skies over Gorham High School at 9 p.m. Buy lanyards at Gorham Hannaford, Baxter Memorial Library and the Gorham Rec. Dept.
6 to 9 p.m. Mahoosuc Room,South Ridge Lodge at Sunday River, Newry.$8 for 13 and over, $5 for 12 and under, 5 and under free. sundayriver.com
Sunday River contends that the younger set shouldn’t miss out on New Year’s Eve fun because they tend to go to bed early. The PG-13 New Year’s Eve Party includes a photo booth, inflatable sumo wrestling and GaGa ball. The countdown to midnight will be at 8 p.m. and then you’ll head slopeside to watch fire dancers Diane Kibbin and Amelia Simhandi performing jaw-dropping tricks that will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show.
The annual NYE fireworks on The Loaf start at 9:15 p.m.
Most events begin at 8 p.m., multiple locations, Bangor. countdownbangor.com
The ball drops at midnight in Westmarket Square, where the crowd will gather to hear some live tunes and to welcome in 2017. At various venues around town, there will be music, comedy, crown building (because everyone should don a crown at least once) and more.
2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., downtown Belfast. $18 (19+), $15 seniors, $5 (ages 5-18), under 5 free | www.nybb.org
It’s a chem-free and family friendly NYE in downtown Belfast, with several venues hosting live entertainment throughout the evening – music, storytelling, juggling, magic, performance and more. This year’s performers include Jennifer Armstrong, The Sauternes, Sugarbush, Strait Up, Mes Amis, Positive People, Ann Delaney, People of Earth, Monday Night Jazz Orchestra and many more.
1 p.m. to midnight | Bank Square, downtown Eastport | www.tidesinstitute.org
You read that right, there’s a Sardine and Maple Leaf Drop happening in Eastport this year just like every year for the past decade or so. From the third story of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art, a giant red maple leaf will be lowered to commemorate the Canadian new year at midnight, Atlantic time (11 pm ET), while the New Year’s Eve Brass Band will play a rousing “O Canada,” (you’re invited to sing along). When the clock strikes midnight, an 8-foot sardine will take the plunge, as the brass band plays “Auld Lang Syne.” You’re encouraged to give the sardine a smooch for luck in 2017.