Think Safe

A rundown of the variety of ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve in 2020.

The vintage holiday song that asks, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” feels like a rhetorical question this year.

Granted, some people have long considered it amateur night, so this year’s recommendation to stay home, represents no sacrifice. Others wouldn’t consider ringing in a new year without being surrounded by strangers. Then there’s the 2020 option: celebrating virtually with just about any activity you can think of – comedy shows, chocolate tastings, magic shows, science trivia games, Bollywood DJs, to name a fraction of what’s out there – and Eventbrite offers tickets to them all.

Whether you want to be at home or out for the countdown, opportunities await.

Live music fans who have missed the rush of seeing bands perform can scratch that itch at River City Roll, where it’s presenting Charlottesville jam-alt rock band Kendall Street Company for a New Year’s Eve indoor seated show. Masks are required except when you’re at your table. Socially distanced tables will be set up inside for parties of four to eight people, with ticket prices based on table size. No standing allowed and tickets are available online only. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m.

Kendall Street Company New Year’s Eve 2021 at River City Roll, 6 – 10 p.m., 939 Myers St., tickets at Eventbrite.

Vinyl fans and those who love a roaring fire can ring in 2021 in pink and gray style at the Lobby Bar in Quirk Hotel downtown. Instead of Quirk’s usual blowout, this year’s festivities will include dinner, an early countdown at 9 p.m. and, best of all, heading into 2021 listening to a DJ spin vinyl records all evening.

New Year’s Eve at the Lobby Bar in Quirk Hotel, 6:30 – 10 p.m., 201 W. Broad St., 340-6040.

Should you be longing for a good, themed party, a Royal New Year’s Eve at Tang & Biscuit takes the governor’s order to close at 10 p.m. and sets it on its ear. The solution is to celebrate in a different time zone, namely Jolly Old England, by ringing in 2021 “across the pond” style. To get in the mood, costumes are encouraged. Tang & Biscuit provides the champagne for a toast from the Crain Brothers Band for a royal countdown beginning at yes, 7 p.m. and going until 10 p.m. This is a seated event with socially distanced tables and themed food and drink specials will be available all evening.

A Royal New Year’s Eve at Tang & Biscuit, Dec. 3, 5 – 10 p.m., 3406 W. Moore St.,

For those with no intention of leaving their living rooms to see 2021 in, Secco has a ready-made party available for pick up. Chef Julie Heins will prepare an array of five of her favorite party snacks which you get to choose from 10 offerings off its New Year’s Eve to-go menu. Think raw oysters with champagne mignonette, braised pork belly with honey mustard sabayon, cheese and charcuterie or deviled eggs with crisped prosciutto, to mention but some of the tantalizing choices, as well as champagne and sparkling wine pairings. For those new to ushering in the new year without leaving the house, the beauty of not doing the cooking is that it leaves plenty of time to decide on your party attire – pajamas or tux, always a tough call – and personal playlist.

Secco’s New Year’s Eve Pop-up To Go tickets available at, 325 N. Robinson St.

If a low-key celebration somewhere other than home speaks to you, the Tobacco Co. is keeping it simple with bubbles, appetizers and live music from Apple Butter Soul in the atrium. Socially distanced tables for two to eight people can be reserved that include a charcuterie plate, champagne and a front row seat for the band’s take on jazz, funk and R & B. And yes, masks are required.

New Year’s Eve in the Atrium at Tobacco Co., 7 – 10 p.m., 1201 E. Cary St.

No matter where you live in the area, one of the four Boathouse locations – Rocketts Landing, City Point, Short Pump or Sunday Park – is probably within a short drive and will be serving a four-course prix fixe New Year’s Eve dinner with appropriately decadent offerings such as caviar, oysters, filet, lobster and bubbles. You can count on champagne toasts on the hour starting at 7 and if you’re at Rocketts, live jazz all evening.

New Year’s Eve at the Boathouse, 5 – 10 p.m., various locations,


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