Let’s make one thing clear: if your New Year’s Eve celebrations look normal this year, that means you’re doing it wrong.
Like everything else during this exhausting year, kicking 2020 to the curb will take a little more creativity and effort than usual.
In Whistler we’re used to shelling out the big bucks on New Year’s Eve to have any bar or restaurant in town show us a good time. But fear not, there are still plenty of ways to flip this year the bird and, with cautious optimism, usher in a fresh start.
Here’s to 2021 and (hopefully) brighter days ahead.
Dance in your living room
Wear your favourite party dress or your last clean pair of pyjamas—it doesn’t matter because this party is in your living room. Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) is inviting everyone in the community—from families to individuals, kids and adults—to tune in to its WCSS Virtual New Year’s Eve Celebrations starting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31.
“As we head into 2021, let us celebrate community spirit and come together for an evening of family, friendship and fun, all from the comfort of your own living room!” the description says.
The event will be hosted by family entertainer and DJ Ira Pettle with contests and prizes.
It’s free, but limited to 400 people. Register here.
Splurge on takeout
Many of the resort’s high-end establishments are offering take away these days. That goes for Alta Bistro, which is offering a special New Year’s Eve at Home menu. For $125 you can enjoy dinner for two packed with plenty of dishes you’re unlikely to whip up on your own. (Think marinated octopus and albacore tuna tartare.) Likewise, Bearfoot Bistro is offering “Bearfoot Bistro at Home” and Araxi has a “take-home midnight champagne” package.
Of course you can also enjoy takeout from anywhere and head to the new “acorn” picnic tables around Whistler Village to get out of the house.
Ring in 2020 with the masters of livestreaming
The Hairfamers have dominated the livestreaming format in 2020, raising a mind-boggling amount of money for food banks and charities in the corridor.
Well, they’re capping off the year strong with a Bring in 2021 livestream event on Dec. 31, hosted in conjunction with Whistler Live, starting at 10 p.m. in your living room.
Once again, they’ll be collecting donations.
Head to the bar (safely and early)
While we’d usually do the legwork and give you a rundown of what every bar in town is doing to ring in the New Year, this year is, of course, different. Many bars and restaurants in town remain open with restrictions (i.e. only seating people with their own household/core bubbles), but in keeping with public health orders, they must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m.
To that end, some venues, like The Longhorn Saloon, are hosting a countdown with the East Coast. “We will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with New York City, bringing in 2021 with the ball drop in Times Square at 9 p.m. PST. We look forward to seeing the end of 2020 with you!” its event description reads.
You must make reservations ahead of time for patio or indoor seating (gibbonswhistler.com/venues) and bring a mask and adhere to all rules.
Spend the day out of the house
Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, it’s no secret there are still plenty of outdoor activities to do in Whistler.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler is hosting its Snow Zones and the Ice Rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza is open, despite having to cancel its regular New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Not so keen on the cold? Head to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, where admission is free until Jan. 24.
The Audain Art Museum will also be open regular hours on Dec. 31.
Hibernate until it’s over
Crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head and sleep until it’s 2021. You’ve earned it.