From polar plunges to movie nights at home there’s something for everyone 

ATASCADERO — Whether you’re headed out on the town, or you’re planning on staying in, there are plenty of fun ways to ring in the New Year in the North County!

For instance, if you’re a single girl, you might want to sleep with your leftover Christmas mistletoe under your pillow on New Year’s Eve, which is a tradition that comes out of Ireland. If you sleep with the plant, it’s supposed to help you find the man of your dreams.

But if you’re not sleepy and looking for something to do locally while getting out of the house, see a late-night movie! Pick your favorite local theater, and watch a film that’s over around midnight. It’ll keep you entertained and awake as you wait for 2022 to start.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

If staying up until midnight isn’t your thing, how about celebrating New Year’s Eve all day long? Or Old Year’s Night, which is what it’s sometimes called in England. Pick a couple of countries in different time zones and celebrate like they do throughout the day.

Drink champagne and eat 12 raisins (one for each month of the year) while making wishes like they do in Portugal. Sprinkle salt on your doorstep to promote peace and prosperity as soon as the clock strikes midnight in Turkey.

If you’re into sipping on bubbly, which is a classic New Year’s Eve tradition, have your friends over and set up a champagne bar. Taste test as many varieties as you can find. Fancy champagne, five-buck-chuck champagne, cocktails featuring champagne. The sky’s the limit.

And if you’re feeling fearless, write your wishes down on a piece of paper, burn them over a candle flame and then drink the ashes in a glass of champagne like they do in Russia. (Disclaimer: please do not drink wish ashes in champagne.)

Or for something a little less aggressive, celebrate with an indoor campground. Grab the kids (or not) and build the biggest pillow fort you’ve ever seen. Cuddle up with your favorite people and sip on drinks while watching When Harry Met Sally or playing your favorite board games.

And for all the people who love to cook at any time of the day, what about celebrating with a midnight brunch. There’s nothing better than breakfast for dinner, and if you’re eating at midnight, it’s the perfect crossover meal. Plus, there’s nothing better to soak all that bubbly up with than a stack of pancakes.

And when you’re done with midnight brunch, you can always throw your plates at your friend’s and neighbor’s front doors, like they do in Denmark. The story goes that the bigger the pile of broken dishes on your doorstep, the more luck you will have in the coming year. But you should probably just wash them.

Then, if you need an icebreaker to get into the New Year, there is always the Polar Bear Plunge! Daredevils across the world have taken to rushing into the nearest body of water and taking a dip on New Year’s Day. The first documented plunge took place in 1904 in Dorchester Bay, Massachusetts. Jan. 1, 2022, is the 10th Annual Polar Bear Plunge in Avila Beach. If you’re interested in taking the plunge, meet on the East side of the Avila pier at 11:30 a.m. and remember, “Be Bold, Get Cold!”

So whether you’re hitting up the local bar scene, going to a fancy party, heading to the movies, or staying in with the people you love the most, have a very Happy New Year!