Celebrate in-person or at home!
The great irony of New Year’s Eve 2020, though, is that there’s never been a year to which we’re more excited to bid farewell, and yet, we can’t celebrate its departure in the all-out, stay-up-until-sunrise, shutdown-the-dancefloor way we otherwise might.
But just as we adapted Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are plenty of options for bidding good riddance to this crazy year. Here’s a mix of virtual and in-person ways to spend New Year’s Eve and, at last, welcome 2021. Huzzah!
Go forest bathing at National Arboretum
Relax and de-stress at National Arboretum: Guides will lead three two-hour forest bathing sessions at the sprawling park, teaching attendees how to disconnect from the outside world and reconnecting with nature in a manner that promotes health benefits. Each walk will conclude with a tea ceremony, featuring pandemic-friendly pre-packaged snacks.
Eat at home in Michelin style from Masseria
Ring in the New Year in culinary style. Masseria a Casa brings the hospitality of Michelin-starred Masseria right to your home. Enjoy a luxurious 4- course menu ($150 for 2) including Perigord Black Truffles and Foie Gras and optional wine pairing. Pre-order by Tuesday, December 29 at 8 pm.
Happy brewing New Year
All you would-be jetsetters, this one if for you! Celebrate the start of the new year around the world with countdowns around the world. Marke the stroke of midnight in Belguim, the UK, Greenland and Atlantis at Red Bear Brewing which is offering outdoor patio toasts and drink specials from 6 - 10 PM. Wunder Garten will be celebrating the end of 2020 not once, but six times, to welcome the New Year across six time zones, including the countries of Kenya, Greece, Germany, the UK, Cape Verde and Brazil. Balls will drop and champagne will flow, as you stay warm and socially distant on the beer garden's outdoor patio with firepits, heaters and private cabanas.
Countdown to Noon Yards Eve
The Yards is reimagining New Years Eve with a free, virtual celebration for families to enjoy with a magician, family-friendly concert and countdown to your very own balloon drop at noon. On Dec 27 and 28, pick up your Celebration Kit (must be reserved!), stuffed with festive supplies including party hat, balloons, glow ring, party blower and more.
Banish spirits in Old Town Manassas
Get a lesson on using ghost hunting equipment and protocol as you explore Historic Old Town Manassas with paranormal investigators on a “real” interactive hunt for ghosts that have been around for almost 160 years.
Get ready for brunch with US Botanic Gardens
Make your first meal of the new year unforgettable! Join the Cook Sisters at the US Botanic Garden for an online cooking demonstration of their favorite make-ahead brunch entrée that doubles as a divine dinner dish too! Then join them outdoors in their winter garden with – you guessed it – garden tips.
Take a spin on the Capital Wheel
Experience a birds’ eye view of National Harbor, the Washington Monument, Masonic Temple of Alexandria, and more seated in comfortable, climate-controlled gondolas 180' above the Potomac. Enjoy the view with insulated souvenir cups filled with choice of hot cocoa, spiked apple cider, beer or wine from the Flight Deck seasonal bar. VIP tickets, $50 and General Admission, $12.50. Seasonal specials available.
Kick back with outdoor movies at the Wharf
Cozy up by a firepit with hot drinks and a classic holiday movie on the big screen at the Wharf. The pop-up outdoor movie theatre on Transit Pie will be screening Gremlins, which you can enjoy with up to four people, drinks (both hard and soft) and snacks from Cantina Bambina. While there, stop by Champ Wharf before or after the movie where you’ll find a wood-burning fire and a vintage Airstream trailer with everything you need for the perfect s'more—marshmallow, chocolate, graham crackers, and roasting stick.
Enjoy family-friendly fun at First Night Alexandria
Continuing its almost 30 year tradition, First Night Alexandria 2020 is a go! This year, a drive-in concert experience offers a packed line-up, with cover bands, comedy, and plenty of dance music. There’s an early show at 6:30 p.m., and a late-night version at 9:30 p.m. If you’d rather not leave the couch, grab a virtual ticket and catch the whole thing from afar. (5001 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria. The drive-in concert is $60-$75/vehicle, and the virtual entertainment experience is $20/link.)
Get the holiday glow at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Take a leisurely stroll for the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. The holiday attraction features a half-mile route decked out with LED lights and animations. From wildlife to flowers, mushrooms, and even some fish, the effect is both whimsical and magical. Advance, timed tickets required, prices starting at $12.50
Rock into 2021 with Hamilton Live
Recreate the experience of dinner and live music with The Hamilton’s to-go packages. In addition to takeout food and drink, you’ll get to tune into a livestream with the 19th Street Band. They’ll perform for 90 minutes, including the traditional “5 … 4 …. 3 … 2 … 1” countdown. Place your order by noon on Dec. 27. (Pickup on Dec. 31; $150-$300)
Get creative with Art Jamz
Toast the new year and unleash your inner artist with a champagne-themed virtual painting session under the guidance of a talented local artist. Actual champagne is BYOB but paint kits are available if you need supplies. A 2-hour live paint sessions $12.50 and a paint kit, which includes a canvas, paint and brush set, palette and novelty artist mustache, is $30.00.
Chill out in a Winter Wonderland at Halfsmoke
Celebrate the winter solstice with the debut of a newly created Winter Wonderland. an outdoor oasis from the folks at Halfsmoke, ideal for intimate gatherings for up to 100 socially distant guests and features a variety of picnic tables and 12 heated igloos. A $50 booking fee will be charged for those seeking reservations on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The Winter Wonderland is open daily, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cozy blankets will be available for purchase and priced at $20 each.
Guests can order and enjoy the full menu from HalfSmoke, known for its gourmet, house-made sausages, and signature wood-grilled entrées; Butter Me Up, the virtual breakfast sandwich pop-up that launched in May 2020, as well as Get Social, a brand new virtual pizza pop-up which launched earlier this month. To keep spirits warm, guests can savor handcrafted winter cocktails, including the Merry & Spice. Jack Frost, ‘Ol St. Nick and the Winter Wonderland.
Out with the old, ohm with the new
Set your intentions for 2021 with a few online sessions from Yoga District. Sign up for “Moon Flow and Midnight Meditation at Home.” As the clock ticks down, spend 90 minutes setting your intentions for the next year and doing a renewal meditation. (10 p.m., $30)
Curious? There's more!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it