Alternatives to Partying on New Year’s Eve: #2 – Going out

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NYE Alternatives to binge drinking

It’s amazing how closely alcohol follows our cultural events in one form or another. Virtually every holiday, celebration, birthday, reunion, work function, sporting event or Friday seem to be closely lubricated by a social dose of ethanol – with New Year’s Eve sitting in a close second to St. Patrick’s Day on this front. While drinking on NYE is by no means compulsory, and pretty good fun in “moderation”, it can feel like the options for going out to see in 2017 are limited without it. To dispel this myth, we’ve put together some ‘going out’ alternatives to a giant party. Perhaps there’s hope for the 1st of January after all.

Food

A big meal is usually a safe bet to mark any noteworthy occasion. Many restaurants will be offering special packages and extending opening hours for the big eve so there’ll be plenty to choose from. As with all events on December 31st however, it’s best to get in early and try to scout out tickets beforehand in possible. Queues are almost a guarantee and its best to avoid the countdown standing awkwardly in the lobby waiting for a table. While you’re there see if you can pinch a window seat to gaze up at the:

Fireworks

Yes like alcohol it seems rocket propulsion and gunpowder have also managed to tangle themselves up in every significant date on the calendar. Midnight on NYE being (in our opinion as a pet owners), along with Guy Fawkes Night, one of the only acceptable times to set them off and disturb every canine and blitz survivor within a two mile radius. While tickets for the main display in London have long since sold out, they, along with amateur attempts at setting the neighbours fences on fire with style, will be taking place across the country at midnight – so walk around or find a good spot somewhere to (safely!) take them in.

Cinema

If navigating plagues of drunken revellers resembling a party-hat-wearing zombie apocalypse doesn’t sound too appealing, the confines of the cinema and an alternate story-world could make a fine refuge until it all blows over. The big films on during NYE include the latest Star Wars prequel: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Tom Hanks and director Clint Eastwood in Sully: Miracle on The Hudson, Disney’s animated: Moana, sci-fi survivor flick: Passenger, wartime romance thriller: Allied, and surely a few smaller gems we’ve missed.

Ice Skating

Ice-skating seems to be an increasingly popular way to ring in 2017. There are several temporary rinks popping up around the country, with some notable examples in the capital at Somerset House, Natural History Museum, Hampton Court, Tower of London, Winter Wonderland and Canary Wharf. Again, just make sure to ticket up to avoid disappointment (or stay, warm, dry, un-bruised and with your pride in tact for 2017!).

Take a hike

If NYE turns out to be a clear night, which is pretty unlikely, and you really want to escape the hordes of drunkenness, fireworks and Jools Holland, then consider wrapping up and heading out with someone special to find a spot somewhere under the stars. Since London parks don’t offer much in terms of stars (you’re lucky to see the sky at the best of times) or secluded spots, you might consider a trip down the M3 to the New Forest, South Downs or somewhere to watch the beach fireworks along the coast.

As with all events concerning organised fun (which is multiplied by a factor of 10 on NYE), failure is always an option and absolutely not an obligation to achieve on arguably the most consistently disappointing night of the calendar. Just remember it’s your year to sing in how you please, not a competition.

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