Ring in the New Year Around the Rock

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Another decade down. Ring in the New Year right and celebrate the dawn of a new decade as we enter 2020. There is plenty to do around town if you don’t feel like leaving the peninsula on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

If you’re looking for a cozy, relaxing evening, Bungalow Bar is a nice option for New Year’s Eve. Cozy up by the fireplace and enjoy dinner and drink specials. Reservations are recommended. Call 718-945-2100. If you’re looking for a nice meal followed by a celebration, Kennedy’s in Breezy Point is the spot. They’ll have a complete dinner special for $75 a person for reservations before 7:30 p.m., or indulge in a three-course surf and turf meal, which includes a champagne toast at midnight, hats and noisemakers, and dancing and music by Pamela and company for $100 a person. For reservations, call 718-945-0202.

If you’re looking to end the year with a bang, Rockaway Brewing Company (415 Beach 72nd Street) is your best bet. They’re hosting a “Royal Masquerade” New Year’s Eve party starting at 9 p.m. A flyer for the event says, “come dressed to impress.” Masquerade masks are also encouraged. There will be live performances by some of Rockaway’s resident drag queens including Ginger Ladd, Dreama Bell and more, plus plenty of dancing with music by DJ NakedNY. They will also have a live streaming of the ball drop from a wall-sized projection, a $500 giveaway courtesy of Tattoo Wonderland, and giveaways from Cuisine by Claudette and Vino By The Sea. General admission is free, but a VIP package is available. The $25 early seating special includes a guaranteed stool seat for the night to watch the performances, a beer on the house, plus coat check and noisemakers. For tickets, head to rockawaybrewco.com. VIP Tables are already sold out.

RBQ has a smokin' hot New Year's Eve deal, especially with Blac Rabbit performing starting at 9 p.m. For $65, you can enjoy the band, a buffet dinner, open bar, a champagne toast and noisemakers. Reservations are highly recommended (Call 718-318-7427).

If a slightly more low-key masquerade party is your dream, grab a mask and head to Sayra’s Wine Bar (91-11 Rockaway Beach Blvd). Admission is free and they’ll have half off ($20) bottles of Cava sparkling wine from Spain all night to toast to the New Year.

In Rockaway, it’s all about New Year’s Day and there are plenty of places to celebrate. Healy’s Pub will feature live music by popular local group Blac Rabbit from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. RBQ will be serving up brunch, with live music by Magic Bones starting at 3 p.m. Jamesons will feature Happy Hour from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and at 4 p.m., there will be music by DJ Danny Lynch and complimentary food.

Many spots also ring in the New Year with a color. The Wharf celebrates with Red Day. Wear red and you’ll get half-priced drinks all day. Bungalow Bar will be celebrating with Purple Day in memory of former employee Emily Hutton, who passed away in 2014. They’ll also have a brunch buffet from late morning until early afternoon before DJ Teddy starts spinning at 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended for brunch (718-945-2100). The Belle Harbor Yacht Club is hosting White Day, the “official color of yachting.” Favorite local band Wine With Sue will be playing all your party favorites starting at 3 p.m. There is a $10 cover charge.

As we go to press, these are the only events we could confirm. Feel free to follow up with your favorite spot for more details about how they’re ringing in the New Year. Thai Rock, which usually hosts a New Year’s Eve bash, will be closed this year. Some other options to consider are Pico, Rogers, Harbor Light, The Dropout, The Rock and others.

Also, don’t miss one of Rockaway’s beloved New Year’s Day traditions—the polar bear plunge! Every year, groups of brave souls gather on the beach to jump into the chilly Atlantic Ocean in a fun ritual cleansing to start the year off right. Some popular spots for large group dips include Beach 119th, Beach 127th and Beach 146th, but we’re sure some will jump right in on their own blocks. Most plunges take place at noon. If you’re not brave (or crazy) enough to take the plunge, but still want to ring In the New Year on the beach, consider joining Don Riepe of the American Littoral Society for a New Year’s Day walk. Meet at the Chapel in Fort Tilden at 11 a.m. before embarking on this guided hike along the beach, dunes and woodlands of Fort Tilden. Then warm up at the Rockaway Artists Alliance building for some champagne, coffee and cookies. All ages welcome. For information, call 718-474-0896 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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