This New Year’s in New Haven

Any given Monday in New Haven is pretty quiet—except when it’s New Year’s Eve. Here are 18 things to do, classified into five handy categories, this coming Monday. 

Theme Players
At The State House (310 State St, New Haven; 9 p.m.; $5), a Flappers and Freaks masquerade party “channel[s] your inner Gatsby goth” with help from DJs F. Esther and Mordecai and their turn-of-the-century alternative, new wave, post-punk and dark wave playlists. “Rouge those knees [and] grab your feathered headbands, domino masks and some black lipstick!”

At Elm City Social (266 College St, New Haven; 475-441-7436; 7 p.m.; $90), a Hemingway in Havana theme is guiding a six-course prix-fixe dinner paired with rum cocktails. Think expat-style leisure, elevated Cuban-style food and, of course, midcentury Cuban style.

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The second annual Westville Winter Formal happens at Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 9:30 p.m.; $75, or $135 per couple). Setting a dress code of “bring it,” organizers promise dancing, live music, spiked punch, wine and beer, dessert and an auction.

Shell and Bones Oyster Bar & Grill (100 S Water St, New Haven; 10 p.m.; no cover) is hosting a “Dress to Impress” Masquerade Ball featuring live music and oyster and drink specials including some half-price bottles of sparkling wine.

Let Them Entertain You
Drag queens Summer Orlando and Barbra Joan Streetsand conjure their best respective impressions of Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand for a Boozy New Year’s Eve party at 168 York Street Cafe (168 York St, New Haven; 203-789-1915; 9 p.m.; $5, or $10 for an advance VIP option). “… ring in the new year with live singing, classic duets, solo performances, comedy and lots of boozy fun!”

HEADY—“a monthly happening… hosted by Awake, Love Tribe and Mizeyesis that combines music, art and cultural consciousness”—is getting a New Year’s Eve edition at Pacific Standard Tavern (212 Crown St, New Haven; 8 p.m.). Encouraging attendees to “dress to impress (but get weird with it),” organizers promise “culinary delights, epic visual stimulation, great vibes, dank techno… and of course delicious adult beverages.”

At Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281; 9 p.m.; $18), drag queen Robin Banks hosts a “Fully Loaded” New Year’s cabaret featuring burlesque dancers Vivienne LaFlamme and Chocolat Swirl; drag queens Giganta Smalls and Robin Fierce; singer/guitarist Sinthea Sinatra; and “drag king” Loo D’Flyest Priestly, “known for high-energy routines that play with gender roles and pop culture” and for “incorporating live drumming, choreography [and] skits” into his performances.

The Shubert Theatre (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666; 8 p.m.; $35 in advance or $40 day of) puts on its annual First Night of Funny show featuring comedians who’ve been featured here and there on television. This year, the lineup is Steve Caouette, Warren B. Hill, Jaye McBride and Max Dolcelli, and according to organizers, perks include getting out early enough to be home “well before midnight”—or, alternatively, to make a second stop.

The “all-new” Bugsy’s Dueling Piano Speakeasy (2323 Whitney Ave, Hamden; 7 p.m.; $20-95) lends its “amazing Roaring ’20s decor” to the holiday with five hours of dueling pianos and ticket tiers including open bar and buffet options.

Food and Drink and Food and Drink
The annual New Year’s Eve Bash at Anthony’s Ocean View (450 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven; 203-469-9010; 7 p.m.; $144) features a six-hour open bar with a near-endless supply of food including an hour of hors d’oeuvres and buffet stations followed by a four-course meal (including dessert) and, as if you could fit anymore in, some “late-night pizza.” There will also be a DJ for dancing and a photo booth for remembering.

Along the same stretch of Morris Cove coast, Amarante’s Sea Cliff (62 Cove St, New Haven; 203-467-2531; 7 p.m.; $110) is offering a comparably decadent evening with a six-hour open bar and an hour of passed hors d’oeuvres and self-serve stations followed by a four-course table meal. Music for dancing and party favors round out the night.

Cask Republic (179 Crown St, New Haven; 475-238-8335; 10 p.m.; no cover), meanwhile, is hosting a “late-night party buffet” with two cocktails included in the $35 price, alongside a DJed dance party.

Fun and Games (and Beer)
The Beer Collective (130 Court St, New Haven; 203-507-2602; $75) is putting on a New Year’s Blast with “a feast worthy of celebrating,” four drink tickets to spend how you like on an “excellent tap list,” “a rare and delicious treat” for a complimentary midnight toast, “board games available at every table” and “even some vintage video games for all to enjoy.”

Equally beery Barcade (56 Orange St, New Haven; 203-889-2966; no cover) is adding “a special taplist” and midnight champagne toast to its usual mix of amazing songs and vintage arcade and pinball games.

BYOB board game cafe Hawkwood Games (50 Broad St, Milford; 203-465-9620; 9 p.m.; $30) is hosting a 30-cap gaming party whose entry fee includes “pizza from Silver Sands Pizza, other snacks and a midnight toast.”

Early-Birding
The Guilford Racquet & Swim Club (420 Church St, Guilford; 203-453-4367; 9:45 a.m.; $18 for members, $26 for non-) is inviting the public to “Ring in 2019 with Mixed Madness,” which refers to three rounds of mixed doubles tennis followed by brunch in the club’s lobby. “Grab a friend to play with or have the club pair you up.” RSVP requested.

At Breathing Room Yoga Center (216 Crown St, New Haven; 12:30 p.m.; $25 day of, or $15 for members and $20 for non- in advance), you can “let go and flow into the new year with Margot, Rebecca and DJ Josh.” The docket includes yoga, “intention-setting for the new year” and “a releasing ceremony for all you need to leave behind in 2018.”

Rescheduled due to rain, a Luminary Walk means you can walk through “hundreds of lanterns” along the paths of Edgerton Park (75 Cliff St, New Haven; “enter at Upper Cliff Street and Edgehill Road gates”; 4:30 to 7 p.m.; free). “Refreshments provided in the Carriage House.”

Whatever blows your noisemaker, have a happy New Haven New Year’s, everyone.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events. Reservations recommended as applicable.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories, helped very much by a small team of dedicated contributors.

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