A few New Year’s Eve ideas for families

... and a few and adults only
Wed, 12/27/2023 - 10:15am

    Since the first new year merriment dating back as far as 2000 BCE in Mesopotania – now Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey and Syria – people have marked the last day of the year with celebrations. Back then, the Babylonians celebrated a new year around the vernal equinox in March with rituals for 11 days. When Julius Caesar created the Julian calendar, he moved the first day of the New Year to Jan. 1. Caesar honored the Janus, the Roman god of new beginning. With his two faces, Janus represented duality; transitions, gates, time, and endings.

    In our lifetimes, it has become a day and night of remembrance, nostalgia and anticipation of the coming year, sometimes with dining, drinking and dancing the night away or ordering takeout from a favorite restaurant (open on Sundays). And sometimes the last day and night of the year are spent quietly alone, or with a few family members or close friends. For those who like stepping out on Dec. 31, here are a few ideas for celebrating the arrival of 2024. No matter how you ring in the New Year, may 2024 bring peace, love, and joy to all.

    A Southport New Year’s Eve -  Saturday, Dec. 30, Brady’s is the place to be from 7 to 10 p.m. Lobster Trap Drop at 9 p.m. Live music with the Saltwater Hillbillies, Adirondak chairs around firepits, with the Lobster Trap Tree adding the perfect touch of ambience. For menu details, call 315-6555.

    Boathouse Bistro - Sunday Dec. 31 - Specials offered all night. See menu at https://www.theboathousebistro.com

    Bred in the Bone - Sunday, Dec. 31 - Opens at 5 p.m., dinner reservations accepted for 5, 6, 7. 8, or 9 p.m. 133 Main St., Damarisocotta. Reservations and more info at 563-6124.

    Harborside 1901 Bar & Grill - Open buffet dinner. Music by the Juke Joint Devils. Call 207-315-6043 to make a reservation! $80 pp

    Montsweag Roadhouse - Three seatings at 3, 5, or 7 p.m. Live music. 942 Route One. Reservations and more information: 207-443-6563.

    Ports of Italy - Sunday, Dec. 31 - Special 3-course fixed menu $85 per person includes appetizer, main course and dessert. For menu details visit https://www.portsofitaly.com.

    Water's Edge - Dec. 31 -A New Year’s Eve Buffet Party. Adults/$35, Kids/$12. Dec 31, 4-8 PM (Bar 4 p.m. - Midnight). Music by Maura Daly Nicholson, 6:30 - 9 p.m.  Reserve your spot! Call 207-579-1800 or http://tinyurl.com/4f2uaruc.

    The Whale's Tale & Seafarer's Pub - Call with your reservation: 207-633-2922. Visit www.carouselmarina.com for menu and details.

    Tugboat Inn - Open noon to 8:30 p.m. Call 207-633-4434, Ext. 5 for reservations. Visit https://www.tugboatinn.com/boothbayharborrestaurant for menu.

          Other regions

    Sunday River - Family fun, including a kid New Year’s Eve party in the Mahoosuc Room at South Ridge 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Fire dancing 7:45 and 8:15 p.m.; fireworks at 8:30 over South Ridge, and then the 21 and older New Year’s Eve party. 15 South Ridge Road, Newry. www.sundayriver.com

    Sugarloaf - Fireworks at 9 p.m. followed by music til 12:30 a.m. by Gina & the Red Eye Flight Crew (online tickets have sold out; tickets will be sold at the door as capacity allows. 5092 Sugarloaf Access Road, Carrabassett Valley. www.sugarloaf.com

    Southworth Planetarium - South Portland - Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. “Destination Solar System” begins all-night programming (til midnight). Travel around the solar system and see Martian canyons and exotic outer worlds’ moons; followed by “Totality” at 7:45 p.m., with the focus on the total solar eclipse – one is coming up on April 8; and more! “Hubble Vision,” “Dinosaurs at Dusk,” “Night Sky Tour,” “Season of Light,” “Living Worlds,” “Exoplanets: Discovering New Worlds,” “Aurora Star” and “Night Sky Tour” until the ball drop.