The best New England mountains to ring in the new year
Many people are saying they are ready to say goodbye to 2017. Do it in style. From mountaintop fireworks and torchlight ski parades to ballroom galas and beer-tastings, we’ve rounded up some New England mountain spots where you can kick this year to the curb.
Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vt., starts the countdown with fireworks and torchlight parade of skiers Dec. 27. Art lovers (and beer lovers) might join Paint & Sip night Dec. 29 ($50). Show off your triple axel at the ice skating party Dec. 30 (12 and older: $10; under 12: $8). Spend the last day of ’17 skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, then — perhaps after a Jacuzzi soak — head back out for New Year’s Eve festivities, including Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, horse-pulled wagons, dance party, photo booth, fire dancers, fireworks, and more ($35-50). You don’t have to be an in-house guest to partake, but Okemo offers a New Years’s Eve savings package for guests arriving Dec. 29 or Dec. 30. Rates vary. 480 Ranta Road, Ludlow, Vt., 800-786-5366, www.okemo.com.
Stoweflake Resort and Spa in the heart of Stowe, Vt., also celebrates all week long. You might head up Dec. 26 to burn off the figgy pudding on a snowshoe walk. Bring your little athletes Dec. 28 for the family-friendly Winter Olympic Games and bonfire. There’s a family scavenger hunt and board game night Dec. 29; cookie-decorating and bonfire Dec. 30, and a load of activities on New Year’s Eve, including dog-sled rides, and two parties — a pub party, and a kid-friendly gala with DJ, face-painting, magic tricks, and ball drops. Reservations are required for the gala; you don’t have to be an in-house guest. 802-253-7355. $79, adults; $35, ages 5-12 ; $15, ages 4 and under. 1746 Mountain Road, Stowe. 800-253-2232, www.stoweflake.com.
Hit the slopes at King Pine at Purity Spring Resort in Madison, N.H., then join the public New Year’s Eve festivities, including outdoor music and bonfire, torchlight ski parade with glow sticks, fireworks, and a ball-drop party. The resort also offers a New Year’s Eve saving package that includes lift tickets and a champagne-soaking full country breakfast. Three-night minimum for package. Room rates vary. 1251 Eaton Road, Route 153, Madison, N.H., 603-367-8896, www.purityspring.com.
Need some luxury R&R after this year? Head to Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, a stunner of a property in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Aside from the spa tower, floor-to-ceiling mountain views and indoor pool, the resort hosts daily activities from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, including wine cellar tour (that’s some 6,000 bottles, vino lovers), ice skating, ice bowling, s’mores at the campfire, wine-tastings, beer-tasting and a daily 9:45 a.m. adult ax-throwing contest. (You throw the ax before you taste the wine and beer.) They host two New Year’s Eve parties for in-house guests — a ballroom gala with cocktails, live music, dinner, dancing, photo booth, champagne toast and fireworks ($120, ages 16 and older; reservations required; 855-837-2100) and family party featuring buffet, cash bar, DJ, activities and fireworks. (Free, under age 2; $50, ages 2-12; $75, ages 13 and older. Reservations required.) 101 Mountain View Road, Whitefield, N.H., 855-837-2100, www.mountainviewgrand.com.
Ring in the new year with nostalgia for old years in Woodstock, Vt. On banks of the Ottauquechee River, this bucolic idyll, with its covered bridges, historic buildings, and village green, is the stuff of Robert Frost poems, a place to log off and unplug. From Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Billings Farm & Museum — a functioning dairy farm with an 1890 farmhouse and exhibits re-creating a 19th-century farm — offers “Christmas on the Farm,” where visitors can see how holidays were celebrated on a 19th-century Vermont farm, and ride a horse-drawn sleigh or wagon. (The Woodstock Foundation owns the farm and the Woodstock Inn & Resort.) 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, Vt., 802-457-2355, www.billingsfarm.org.
At The Shire, you might hole up with a bottle of bubbly in a River House Suite, complete with kitchen, bathroom, fireplace and French doors opening to a deck with river view. Its Nature Getaway Package includes passes for hiking and bird observation at nearby Vermont Institute of Natural Science — a beaut of a New Year’s Day hike. Rates vary. 46 Pleasant St. Woodstock, Vt., 802-457-2211, shirewoodstock.com.
And, for good measure, here are three off-mountain celebration destinations:
Make it an island party at the luxe Hotel Nantucket + Resort’s New Year’s Snow Ball. Dance to live music, nosh on hors’d’oeuvres, make your own s’mores, sip a s’mores cocktail (yes, please) and toast with champagne as the ball drops. Stay not required. 21 years and older. $120 per person. 77 Easton St., Nantucket. 508-310-1734, www.thenantucket
NYE One Providence, a free event with ball drop and fireworks at Waterplace Park in downtown Providence, starts at 7 p.m. with food trucks, face painting, music, laser light show and ball-drop countdown. www.goprovidence.com.
First Night Northhampton in the creative, art-centric mountain town looks epic — a 12-hour festival of the arts, dozens of bands, fireworks, and ball-raising; www.firstnightnorthampton.org/performances.