I don’t think that there will be many who will be sad to see 2020 go. But New Year’s Eve is going to look very different this year. While normally a holiday that draws people out in droves where people take to bars, restaurants, and fun parties, this year, we’re in lockdown. The parties have been cancelled and there will not be any in-person gatherings. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate. Events have gone virtual! So get cozy, pull your loved ones close, make sure to surround yourself with delicious food, and enjoy saying farewell to 2020.
Check out the best ways to ring in the new year and what to do on New Year’s Day!
New Year’s Eve
Who else is super excited to see 2020 go? Everyone? Yep. While our celebrations are going to be different this year with the lockdown in place, we can still celebrate our hearts out and say goodbye to the year we’d all like to forget safely at home. Check out all of the events.
Everyday Heroes: London 2020
Every Year on New Year’s Eve the bandshell in Victoria Park is lit up with festivities as live music and performances send Londoners into the new year. For the first time in decades, Victoria Park will stay dark and quiet on New Year’s Eve as the lockdown keeps us all apart.
But that does not mean that Londoners cannot still celebrate together virtually. An online celebration will take place on Rogers Community TV. The theme, “Everyday Heroes: London 2020” will be a 90-minute snapshot of the past year, highlighting and celebrating the amazing frontline and essential workers who kept our community running and safe while we’ve navigated the pandemic.
The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square in New York is perhaps the most iconic New Year’s Eve event. It has been a tradition since 1907. Year after year, the camera zooms out and shows the massive sardine-packed crowds of people screaming and cheering as they squish together with little to no personal space. Obviously, that sort of event is not COVID-friendly. The Ball Drop will still be happening this year, but it will all be virtual, which is great for those of us who enjoy watching from a whole country away!
NYE 2021 Big Night In
Paradise Theatre in Toronto is hosting a virtual celebration for New Year’s Eve. This event is being hosted by SaveHospitalityCA, Crow’s Theatre, and Front Row Center. There will be live (virtual) performances by Broken Social Scene, Ruby Waters, Moscow Apartment, Shantel May and so many more. Grab tickets and learn more here.
Cost: Tickets are $19.95 per household.
When: December 31st, 8-11 pm
Budweiser Gardens’ New Years Eve Package
Get your orders in by December 28th to enjoy this delicious package at home! This New Year’s Eve Package is exactly what you need to enjoy an intimate night of celebrations at home. In each package, you’ll get a bottle of prosecco, 4 noisemakers, and 4 individual charcuterie boxes. The charcuterie boxes will include, a giant, warm soft pretzel, local cheeses, cured meats, olives, and seasonal fruits. You can pick up your order at the Budweiser Gardens anytime between 10 AM and 3 PM on December 31st. Learn more here.
Union Ten Distillery’s New Year’s Eve Boxes
Since we’re all going to be ringing in the new year in the comfort of our own homes, why not do so with deliciousness? Union Ten Distillery has New Year’s Eve boxes that give you a delicious treat and a tasty drink to enjoy while you say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. Each box comes with a delicious brie wheel with house-made orange zest & cranberry chutney, candied pecans, crostinis, and a delicious drink (including the garnishes). Grab yours here.
The options are:
New Year’s Cream and Baked Brie Box
New Year’s Baked Brie and Holiday Gin & Tonic
New Year’s Baked Brie and Barrel Finished Union Ten Manhattan
New Year’s Eve Baked Brie and Barrel Finished Canadian Old Fashioned
KISS 2020 Goodbye Concert
Cost: FREE for pre-show. Tickets are $39.99 USD for the live-stream, $49.99 for the Deluxe Live-Stream which has 72-hour replay, and $249.99 USD for VIP Packages which include limited-edition collectibles.
The band KISS is putting on a virtual concert like no other before. With 360 degree views, record-breaking pyrotechnics, and more than 50 cameras, this live stream event is going to be one for the ages.
There will be a pre-show that is FREE for all, and you can buy tickets for the main event. Send 2020 off in a roaring fire and rock and roll 2021 in. Find out more information from Budweiser Gardens here.
New Year’s Eve Phoenix Sessions, “How High The Moon” With Matt Alber
When: December 31st, 8 pm
The Aeolian is taking the virtual stage so that you can enjoy incredible musical performances from the comfort of your own home. Matt Alber is a two-time Grammy Award winner. Sit back at home and enjoy the incredible passion and talent of Matt on the virtual stage! You can learn more here.
Entertain Kids Virtual New Years In Celebration
Cost: $35 plus tax per family
When: December 31st, 7 pm
Not a lot of New Year’s Eve celebrations are fun for kids, but this event is MADE for kids. This virtual event will have a magic show, surprise celebrity guests, a magician, a blow-up clown act, Poodle and Dove show, a human slinky, Bounce Entertainment Dance Party, and so much more. It’s fun. It’s interactive. It’s family-friendly. It’s a great way to ring in the new year as a family! Plus, they’ll be raising money for the Daily Bread Food Bank! Find out more here.
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is also going to look different this year. But just because this holiday looks a little different, doesn’t mean that it can’t still be enjoyable. Check out the ways you can spend your New Year’s Day.
Order In From Your Favourite Restaurant
Now is a great time to support all of your favourite local restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery. Check to see who is open on New Years Day, or make sure to order double on New Year’s Eve so you can enjoy leftovers on New Year’s Day!
Enjoy Yoga At Home
What better way to start off 2021 than to refocus your body and mind with some yoga? Find inner peace and strengthen your body in the comfort of your own home with Zoom Yoga. Instructors can walk you through the moves and the breathing. Check out Evolation Yoga London and sign up for their virtual classes!
Go For A Walk
London Ontario has some of the best ESAs (Environmentally Significant Areas), parks, and walking paths around. Bundle up and head outside! There are so many different spots to choose from, if you head to one area and notice that it’s busy, keep your family safe and drive over to a different one to enjoy! Check out the places listed in this article for some ideas of spots to go to!
Drive Around To Look At Lights
While we all might decorate for Christmas, the truth is that we keep those lights up for as long as possible, to help make the festive season stretch longer. New Years Day is actually a great time to head out and do a drive-by tour of the city’s best lights.
Place an order for pick up at one of your favourite local cafes like Black Walnut or 10 Eighteen. Grab a delicious hot beverage, load up in the car, and drive around looking at all of the beautiful lights that homes and businesses in London have on display.
Try A Board Game Escape Room
Love doing escape rooms? One of London’s favourite escape rooms, TrapDoor, might not be able to open during the lockdown, but they CAN still provide you with escape room fun from the comfort of your own home.
Their shop offers plenty of escape room board games. They also offer delivery in London and curb-side pick up. Plan ahead and get your order in ASAP so that your family can spend the first day of 2021 escaping. Check it out here!
Host A Virtual Beer Tasting Experience
London Ontario is a craft beer mecca. We actually have a ton of amazing local breweries. Many are open for delivery and the others offer curbside pick up. Organize an event with your friends. Grab a beer or two from a few local breweries and then hop online to do a tasting together. Start the new year enjoying a few beers with friends while you reflect on 2020 and what you’re looking forward to in 2021.
Not sure what to get?
Storm Stayed makes some of the best sours in the game so make sure to grab the Super Shook.
2021 Courage Polar Bear Dip
The 36th Annual Courage Polar Bear Dip is being held virtually this year. The Courage Polar Bear Dip has partnered with World Vision to raise money to get clean water to parts of Africa. So what IS the Courage Polar Bear Dip? Well, every year on New Year’s Day people gather in Oakville to jump into Lake Ontario. As you can imagine, the waters are icy cold on January 1st, so it is no easy feat! Those icy lake-jumpers do this crazy act to raise money for World Vision’s clean waters project.
This year, the Courage Polar Bear dip will be done safely and responsibly from home, but will still be a fun day of celebration! There will be costume contests, live virtual music, online celebrations, and of course, the dipping!
This virtual show takes you across Canada through Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Moncton, Calgary, Vancouver, Yellowknife and the Yukon. Talented performers, story-tellers, and artists from each place will share the beauty of their inner light. The performances are amazing.
You can also virtually see the most beautiful lights across Canada through IllumiNATION.