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Family festivities, walk in seaside woods, and rustic feast in hut give Dec. 31 a twist

Posted by David Lyon  December 29, 2013 02:01 PM

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2012_Noon Year Eve.jpg

Looking for something new for New Year's Eve? Here are some ideas a bit outside the usual box.

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, N.H., welcomes families from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for “Noon Year's Eve.” On the docket are a magic show, child-friendly food, live music, a scavenger hunt, and ice-carving demos. The grand finale features bubble wrap “fireworks” on the Winter Garden Café floor and a drop of hundreds of balloons (above). Discounted advance purchase tickets are available at www.currier.org. For complete details, see www.currier.org/calendar/noon-years-eve-2013/.

IAtlantic White Cedar Swamp PK.jpgf the approaching New Year puts you in a Cape Cod frame of mind (personally, we can't wait to get back to the beach), join a National Park Service ranger at the Cape Cod National Seashore to explore the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, a rare and enchanting sphagnum moss-accentuated swamp (right). Meet at the trailhead in the Marconi Station Site parking area in Wellfleet for a 2 p.m. departure. Call the Salt Pond Visitor Center if inclement weather is threatening at 508-255-3421 to find out about potential cancellations or alternate programs.

Farther north, Maine Huts & Trails (www.mainehuts.org) will be serving champagne to overnight guests on New Year's Eve at all its huts. It gets even better at Flagstaff Hut and Stratton Brook Hut, which both feature a four-course meal of organic, locally sourced ingredients, along with wine and beer for sale, starting at 6 p.m. Stratton Brook has great views of the Bigelows and Sugarloaf — including the 9 p.m. Sugarloaf fireworks. Flagstaff overlooks the Bigelows and Flagstaff Lake. For information or booking call 207-265-2400 or email lodging@mainehuts.org.

Balloon photo courtesy of Currier Museum of Art, winter trail courtesy of Cape Cod National Seashore.

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