As we all know by now, 2020’s New Years Eve will be unlike any other. Most, if not all, of the regular NYE celebrations have been cancelled — perhaps most notably the City’s fireworks display that so many Calgarians enjoy each year. However, just as we’ve adapted throughout the pandemic, there are many ways to get creative and still celebrate NYE at home this year.
Here are a few suggestions on what to eat and drink, as well as decorations and activities that can help make the night one you won’t forget.
Being the seasoned pros we are at ordering in by now, the food component should be no problem for NYE. However, a few restaurants are offering particularly festive and elevated dining options that can be sent to your doorstep. Rouge in Inglewood is offering a New Year’s meal kit that you just have to heat up, as well as takeaway dishes like top-notch charcuterie with house-cured meats, Canadian cheeses and foie gras. You can follow that up with some herb-crusted pork loin or sous vide beef short rib and ring in the new year with the ultimate feast.
Looking for something a bit more casual but equally delicious? Calgary’s excellent taco scene could be fuel for an amazing NYE in. Try the popular salsa tasting platter from Native Tongues paired with the hongos (mushrooms) and birria (brisket) tacos.
Earlier this year, Avenue held a Calgary pizza bracket where you could vote on the best pie in the city. Ultimately, Niko’s Pizza came out on top, Noble Pie was second and the classic Una Pizza was not far behind. Have lots of mouths to feed in your family? Why not try a few of the top choices as voted on by Calgarians and determine your own winners. If you have someone with a vegan or vegetarian diet in your household, the pizza from Actually Pretty Good is, well, just as the name suggests.
No matter what you choose for the main course, there will need to be some baking around to enjoy until the countdown. Calgary’s doughnut spots are quickly making a name for themselves. Places like Jelly Modern, Hoopla and Ritual are all excellent options for inventive and beautiful doughnuts.
For many, it wouldn’t be NYE if there weren’t some bubbles to go along with the night. If you like Champagne, Jesse Willis, general manager of Vine Arts, suggests trying the Bulles de Comptoir Stilleben #8, which was previously featured as the house Champagne for the famed restaurant Noma. “It has a savoury, salty edge that makes it perfect for oysters or as a pairing for firm, assertive cheeses,” says Willis.
Willis also adds that the Cantina Paltrinieri “Radice” Lambrusco Rosé is a lively and refreshing sparkling rosé that would be the perfect option for those looking to ring in the new year with something unique.
And for non-alcoholic drinks, Willis recommends the aperitif cocktail-inspired Casamara Club Soda or Simply Cocktails Strawberry Basil Spritz, all of which can be picked up at Vine Arts’ Victoria Park and 17 Avenue S.W. locations.
If cocktails are more your thing, the cooperatively-owned, vegetarian restaurant The Allium has put together two amazing cocktail kit options. The premium kit includes a cocktail mix, Confluence Distilling spirit and bar accessories to help make it. You can choose between the gluten-free “Be Squared” peach and Alberta turmeric cocktail or “The Bahamian Snowbird” orgeat and pomegranate cocktail.
Decorations and Activities
To make your home feel a little more festive, get some decorations from local party decoration company A Little Confetti. It carries banners, confetti, festive plates and cups, and even balloon arches. Whether you’re going for a classy or whimsical vibe, A Little Confetti has you covered with delivery and pickup options.
When it comes to activities that night, there are plenty of digital options. Virtual escape rooms offered by Trapped and The Locked Room in Calgary are a great way to have some fun with friends and family who can play together online. Try the “Prison Break,” “Titan Starship 1-C” or “Ebenezer Scrooge and the Marlei Machine” rooms from the comfort of home with online clues and instructions. To step it up a notch, try the virtual at-home NYE party-themed Murder Mystery with all components offered online from Shot in the Dark Mysteries.
Kensington Wine Market is hosting a “NYE Extravaganza From a Social Distance” tasting event. The online event focuses on celebratory Champagne and Crémant sparkling wine. Tickets are $120 and it begins at 8 p.m.
If you want to celebrate with some music, Luminous Voices, Calgary’s professional chamber choir, will be hosting its annual NYE celebration online this year. Tune in to hear Luminous singers perform from their homes.
And of course, while some of us may be tired of hopping on Zoom meetings, Google Meet sessions or FaceTime chats by now, it is still a pretty good way to share a virtual countdown to midnight with your loved ones.