Beachside Celebrations: Ring in the New Year along the coast

The end of December is a busy time around the Seacoast, and with so many different ways to ring in the new year it may be hard to decide which of the many local celebrations best suits your personal preferences. We have compiled information about all of the different New Year’s Eve celebrations, parties and events around the Seacoast this year to ensure that your 2018 goes out with a bang.

Hampton
The Hampton Beach Village District will hold its annual New Year’s Eve firework celebration off the beach Monday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m. at the top of B and C Streets, with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop. Bring the family and plenty of warm clothes. Prior to the fireworks, the State of New Hampshire, Division of Parks and Recreation, holds a yearly Open House on New Year’s Eve from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Seashell Oceanfront Pavilion Banquet Room located behind the Seashell Stage. Refreshments are provided and the event is free to the public.
Hampton’s Ashworth by the Sea (295 Ocean Blvd, Hampton) will ring in the new year with a special celebration for booked guests in their newly renovated grand ballroom. The night will begin with hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner for two prior to the viewing of the Hampton Beach Village District’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks off the beach beginning at 8 p.m. The Ashworth New Year’s Eve celebration also includes a gala dinner dance and live entertainment from “The Wicked Smart Horn Band” between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. A champagne breakfast buffet for two will be held the following morning on New Year’s Day. Visit ashworthhotel.com for more information or to book your reservation, as the festivities are for hotel guests only.

Salisbury
The Blue Ocean Music Hall (4 Ocean Front N.) in Salisbury will hold New Years Bash With The Fools. The celebration begins with an optional buffet dinner served in Gradview Hall at 7 p.m. before the concert kicks off at 9 p.m. The party continues through midnight on a large dance floor that will incorporate a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast. Two different types of tickets are being sold, one for dinner plus the show and one acting as show-exclusive at prices ranging $26 to $90. The Fools are a Massachusetts rock band originally from Ipswich and the self-proclaimed “best party band in New England”. For more information or to buy tickets visit blueoceanhall.com.
Seaglass Restaurant (4 Ocean Front N.) will hold a special New Year’s Eve dinner function to welcome in the new year. For $79.95 per person, the night includes a four course dinner, dessert, dancing, and live musical entertainment from Boston’s “Airtight Trio.” Call 978-462-5800 or visit seaglassoceanside.com for information or to book your reservation.
— Andrew Clay

4 Shore Things: December 20, 2018 – January 9, 2019

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Fun with Scrooge

There are still two chances to see A Christmas Carol. The Players’ Ring Theatre (105 Marcy St., Portsmouth) presents the show through Dec. 23. Showtimes are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $14 for students and seniors and $12 for children age 12 and under. Visit playersring.org. Or see it at the Rochester Opera House (31 Wakefield St., Rochester) through Dec. 23, with showtimes on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $12 to $24. Visit rochesteroperahouse.com. Photo courtesy of Rochester Opera House.

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Science camp

The Seacoast Science Center is offering environmental day camp for children ages 4 to grade 5 during the holiday break, Dec. 26-28. Treks 4 Tots (ages 4-5) and Seaside Safari (grades K-5) is offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a half day option (9 to noon) available for Treks only. After-care is available for grades K-5. Treks and Safari Camp is a fun-filled learning adventure that takes advantage of the natural classroom just outside our doors in historic, 135-acre Odiorne Point State Park. Visit seacoastsciencecenter.org.

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Walk by candlelight

There’s one last chance for the Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St., Portsmouth), on Saturday, Dec. 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. Walk from house to historic house and meet with a variety of costumed role players and performers who recreate past traditions. Other features include family skating at Puddle Dock Pond, craft demonstrations, a treasure hunt for kids and more. Tickets are $25 for adults, $12.50 for kids and teens ages 5 and up, $60 per family (which covers two adults and two children ages 5 and up) and free for kids under 5 as well as active duty military service members, veterans and their families. Visit strawberybanke.org.

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Forget Elf on the Shelf

Gnome on the Ground, a new children’s book by Portsmouth author Jennifer Lake, offers families a different approach to the holidays. Born out of Lake’s disdain for the Elf on the Shelf culture, the book encourages parents to let go of the societal pressures to create a picture-perfect holiday for their children and instead teach their children to focus on what’s important. “Gnome promotes love, compassion and the power of choice all throughout the year,” Lake said in a press release. “[It’s] the perfect solution to help you celebrate your holiday however you choose.” The book is available on Amazon.