This New Year’s in New Haven

Celebration and holiday theme. Champagne splashes on black background. Celebration and holiday theme. Champagne splashes on black background.

F riday night, it’s in one year and out the other. Here are 17 picks for a smooth transition.

Themes Do Come True
The Last Drop: A New Year’s Vampire Ball at The State House (310 State St, New Haven; 9 p.m.; $10-15) aims to celebrate “like creatures that want the night to last forever.” DJs R.I.C.H.A.R.D. and Azrael preside over guests invited to “dress in [their] vampiric best,” with a toast of “something red and tasty” at midnight.

Elm City Social (266 College St, New Haven; 5 p.m.) conjures Midnight in Paris even though the champagne toast happens at 6 and the party ends at 11. A “special menu” featuring “Parisian-inspired cocktails and social plates” could make up the difference.

It’s a Black & White Ball at Oak Haven Table & Bar (932 State St, New Haven; 5 p.m.; $40-60), where the last of three two-hour, choose-your-own-adventure prix-fixe dinner seatings (at 5, 7 and 9) morphs into music, noisemakers, hats and more as the clock approaches midnight.

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The AC Gilbert Train Display at the Eli Whitney Museum and Workshop

Down the Hatch
Though you can enter with no cover as usual, two of three special packages at Barcade (56 Orange St, New Haven; 8 p.m.; $40-160) offer a five-hour top shelf open bar along with complimentary tokens, food tickets, midnight prosecco and even gift cards to use in 2022.

A Moment in Time party at Olives and Oil (124 Temple St, New Haven; 6 p.m.) starts with normal service plus “a backdrop for polaroid pictures and disposable cameras set up around the restaurant,” then shifts to a DJed situation with an optional open bar (price TBD) at 10 p.m.

Barracuda (1180 Chapel St, New Haven) straddles midnight with a four-hour, $50 open bar starting at 10 p.m. and spanning beer, wine, “select cocktails” and a toast after the ball drops.

But it’s two Morris Cove banquet halls competing for the most indulgent way to finish 2021. A soirée at Anthony’s Ocean View (450 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven; 7 p.m.; $149.95+) leans slightly more towards food, promising deluxe hors d’oeuvres, an Asian station, an Italian station and a four-course dinner along with a six-hour open bar, DJ, party props and late-night refreshments, while a DJed party at Amarante’s Sea Cliff (62 Cove St, New Haven; 7 p.m.; $130+) balances more towards drink, featuring a “premium” six-hour open bar, an outdoor cigar and cognac lounge, an ice luge martini bar and an espresso and cappuccino bar to go with passed hors d’oeuvres, a four-course “surf & turf” dinner and late-night snacks.

Stage Presence
New England Brewing Company (175 Amity Rd, Woodbridge; 5 p.m.) celebrates the year’s “Final Friday” with “high-energy rhythms and funk grooves” courtesy of The Brotherhood Band, who go on at 6, plus food from Colossal Kielbasa and, of course, its own beer on tap.

Also getting an early start is Irish pub The Playwright (1232 Whitney Ave, Hamden), where live Irish music from the Jolly Beggars gets going at 5:30 p.m.

Night owlish Stella Blues (204 Crown St, New Haven; 9 p.m.; $10) rings in 2022 with Covergirl, who go on at 11:30 and promise “super fresh takes [on] songs you love and songs you didn’t know you needed to love.”

A few blocks away, a party at Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 9 p.m.; $20) is powered by local funk institution Boogie Chillun with special guest Jen Durkin plus “hors d’oeuvres all night” and midnight bubbly.

Separate from a potluck brunch at 11 a.m., collaborative brewery The Beeracks (250 Bradley St, East Haven) hosts a 7 p.m. show starring Snowpiler, Arms Like Roses and Was & When.

Drag shows are a draw at Partners (365 Crown St, New Haven; 8 p.m.) along with “party favors,” a champagne toast and, surely, a good dance floor.

Dancing in the Dark
Elm City Taphouse (144 Temple St, New Haven; 7 p.m.; $20-25), whose name belies its nature as a nightclub and not so much a beer bar, shows its true colors with super-loud DJs and VIP tables offering bottle service.

A New Year’s Eve Ball at Vandome (102 Hamilton St, New Haven; 10 p.m.; $10) promises one dance floor pumping out “the best of bachata, salsa, merengue, reggaeton and dance music” and another featuring “all your favorite R&B, hip hop and dance music,” with hats, noisemakers and a midnight toast included.

Last but not least, Rize Nightclub (160 Temple St, New Haven, off Temple Plaza; 9 p.m.; $10-15) welcomes 2022 with four DJs, a party photographer and $5 deals on “top shelf drinks,” “any shots” and something called “punch buckets,” as 2021 punches the bucket.

Written by Dan Mims. Image by Nikolay Antonov/Shutterstock. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations, prices and pandemic protocols before attending events.

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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.

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