Firework. Photographed by Dan Mims.

This New Year‘s in New Haven

New Year’s Eve is Sunday, but the time to make a plan is now. Here are 17 things to do in New Haven on the biggest party night of the year, broken into five handy categories.

Theme Players
Theme parties invite guests to try harder, so the payoff is usually bigger. At Elm City Social (266 College St, New Haven; 475-441-7436; 8 p.m.; $90), there’s a Boardwalk Empire motif, inviting partiers to “eat, drink and dress like a gangster” in 1920s Atlantic City. The six-course dinner, featuring jazzed-up nods to the theme, is paired with a six-card poker hand of cocktails.

Three Sheets (372 Elm St, New Haven; 475-202-6909; 9 p.m.; no cover) is also going retro, with an ’80s Gala blasting period music and, we hope, lots of jean jackets and feathered ’dos.

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Olives & Oil (124 Temple St, New Haven; 203-891-5870; 8 p.m.; $90) is elevating its everyday Italian theme with “A Night in Venice,” a party offering a six-course, wine-paired Venetian menu and encouraging masquerade-style getups.

The Range at Lotta Studio (911 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 475-355-7654; 9 p.m.; $75) is taking inspiration from the season, hosting a Westville Winter Formal where guests can eat hors d’oeuvres, drink spiked punch (plus wine and beer) and get out on the dance floor.

And before all that, from 1 to 4 p.m., the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven (360 Amity Rd, Woodbridge; 203-387-2424; $5 per child, to a family maximum of $15) is throwing a family-oriented “Beach Party,” promising “swimming, crafts, snacks and more” in and around its indoor pool.

Let Them Entertain You
At 168 York Street Cafe (168 York St, New Haven; 203-789-1915; 7 p.m.; $10 VIP in advance, or $5 general admission at the door), Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, a.k.a. drag performers Summer Orlando and Barbra Joan Streetsand, are putting on a comedy-infused “Boozy New Year’s Eve” featuring “live singing, classic duets and solo performances.”

Cafe Nine (250 State St, New Haven; 203-789-8281; 9 p.m.; $15) is staging a “Fully Loaded” New Year’s Eve Cabaret, loaded indeed with burlesque dancers Vivienne LaFlamme, Dot Mitzvah and Vanil LaFrappe and drag queens Robin Banks, Loosey DeLuca and Mia E Z’Lay, plus live music and comedy.

Within the classy climes of French-Italian restaurant ROÌA (261 College St, New Haven; 203-200-7045), a New Year’s Eve Gala involves a 5 p.m., three-course, $80 dinner seating and a 7 p.m., four-course, $100 seating, the latter also coming with prosecco at midnight. Before then, at 9 p.m., the Gil Hawkins Jazz Collective breaks out in song.

The Shubert Theatre (247 College St, New Haven; 203-562-5666; 8 p.m.; $35, or $40 on the day of the show) is hosting its annual “First Night of Funny” standup comedy show. This year’s lineup—featuring “comics from Netflix, HBO and Comedy Central”—includes Eddie Brill, Mike Gaffney, Earl David Reed and emcee Dwayne Murphy Jr.

Oak Haven Table & Bar (932 State St, New Haven; 203-915-9413; $65) is offering 5, 7 and 9 p.m. four-course meal seatings with a complimentary glass of champagne, leading to a 10 p.m. party featuring performances by singer-songwriter Patrick Meyer and burlesque dancer Liz Bohan.

Happy New Beers
The Beer Collective (130 Court St, New Haven; 203-507-2602; 7 p.m.; $85) is hosting a “2018 Countdown” starring “a coursed buffet, curated NYE playlist and, of course, amazing beer for you all to enjoy,” topped off by a “very special midnight pour.”

Less than a few blocks away, Barcade (56 Orange St, New Haven; 203-889-2966; no cover) is opening at noon, which is when it’s “busting out the rare brews” and otherwise serving “some of the biggest beers we can wrangle.” 12 hours later, a champagne toast marks the beginning of 2018.

In the Club

Offering various VIP options in addition to regular tickets, a “NYE Extravaganza” at Terminal 110 (240 Sargent Dr, New Haven; 203-624-6200; 9 p.m.; $30 and up) has four DJs spinning on two levels, plus complimentary hors d’oeuvres, party favors and, when the clock strikes 12, bubbly.

Also boasting four DJs, two dance floors, free party favors and a midnight toast is Club Vandome (102 Hamilton St, New Haven; 203-789-2066; 10 p.m.; $10), whose main room features “the best selections of salsa, bachata, cumbia, merengue, Latin rock, reggaeton and dance music,” while the warehouse space has a mix of R&B, hip hop and more dance music.

In the heart of the city, relative newcomer Vanity (144 Temple St, New Haven; 475-224-2072; 8 p.m.; $20, or $60 with an open bar from 10 p.m. to midnight) is ringleading a “NYE Circus” dance party featuring DJs DSK CHK and Mavrx.

Two waterside occasion halls in Morris Cove are pushing things to the limit—and by “things” we mean stomachs. At Amarante’s Sea Cliff (62 Cove St, New Haven; 203-467-2531; 7 p.m.; $100), 20 different items, from brie to satay, are being offered before the main four-course meal even begins. As far as drinks, there’s a “full-service open bar” all night, until 1 a.m., with musical entertainment and party favors to boot.

Anthony’s Ocean View (450 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven; 203-469-9010; 7 p.m.; $119.95 sans tax and gratuity) is promising an equally whopping six-hour open bar. The food, meanwhile, involves four themed food stations and four main courses bookended by an hors d’oeuvres hour and “late-night pizza.” There’s also a DJed dance floor, photo booth and party props.

Whatever blows your kazoo, 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.

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