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The days maybe colder and nights longer, but the North Fork is hardly sleepy. Yes, December is a month packed with holiday cheer — and plenty of festive events we rounded up in this recent post — but there are a number of other non-holiday related ways to fill your calendar and celebrate the start of winter on the North Fork and Shelter Island.
Here are 10 good reasons to brave the cold this December.
Strap on your winter boots and get to Greenport for the annual Shellabration on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2. The restaurant walk features the best in local shellfish, wine and beer. Restaurants will offer $5 shellfish plates paired with $3 sips of Long Island wine or beer.
Wristbands (good for both days) are $30 and include a glass of beer or wine and a sampler platter of clams and oysters from the Southold Project in Aquaculture Training (SPAT), a Cornell Cooperative Extension program created to encourage community members to become stewards of their environment and to restore shellfish to the bays.
Wristband proceeds directly benefit Cornell’s Back to the Bays Initiative as well as the SPAT program. Northforker is a proud sponsor of this event. Get tickets here.
Prohibition Party at First & South
The seventh annual Prohibition Party at First & South in Greenport comes with a twist this year. Guests are invited to don their most dapper 1920s wardrobe for a burlesque soiree with performances from dancers in New York City.
The $75 ticket price ($125 per couple) includes hors d’oeuvres, a premium bar selection and burlesque performances from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. The menu features dishes such as beef wellington sliders, lobster cocktail, baked Alaska bites, and more.
Tickets for the dinner must be purchased in advance, but the doors will open to the public for drinks and dancing at 10 p.m. It’s $10 for walk-ins for the after dinner dance party. The cover includes a complimentary bubbly upon entry. Get tickets here.
Gallery Art Walk
Friday, Dec. 7 is the final Greenport Gallery Art Walk in 2018. Each first Friday of the month from June through December, nine galleries in the village stay open late for browsing and shopping. Along the way on the self-guided tour many of the galleries will be offering refreshments to accompany artist talks, presentations and art demonstrations. Learn more here.
Indian Island Trail 5k and 15k Race
Run for a good cause at Indian Island Park in Riverhead on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Participants can register as single racers or part of a three-person baton relay team. Fees are $35 for the 5k, $50 for the 15k and $105 for the 15k relay.
Proceeds benefit the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference’s fund to help maintain the Suffolk County Park Trail System and also to benefit Maggie’s Mission to find a cure for rare pediatric cancers. Races begin at 9 a.m. Register here.
Tom Schaudel & Paumanok Vineyards Wine Dinner
Premiere Long Island chef Tom Schaudel is serving up a curated menu to pair perfectly with local vinos from Paumanok Vineyards. The Sunday, Dec. 9 wine dinner at Schaudel’s aMano in Mattituck features a 5-course menu. Pairings include rabbit and chestnut ravioli with Cabernet Franc 2015 and Tuscan harvest cake with Late Harvest 2012. See the full menu here.
The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $110. Call 631-298-4800 to reserve a spot.
Visit the indoor Riverhead Farmers Market
Stock up on seasonal vegetables and locally made provisions at the indoor Riverhead Farmers Market located in its new digs at 54 East Main Street. This is the first year the market will have heat, making shopping small extra soul warming. The market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the end of April. Get more details.
Supper Club with Eat Me, Drink Me
Moustache Brewing Co. in Riverhead is hosting a six-course beer supper club pairing in partnership with the Eat Me, Drink Me food truck. The dinner is Wednesday, Dec. 12 at the brewery on Hallett Avenue. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. and dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased here.
Seal lecture at Hallock State Park Preserve
Join scientists from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society to understand the seals we find in our local waters, the threats they face during their seasonal time here, and what we can do to help them. A beach walk and cleanup will follow. Weather permitting.
The event is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Check out the new Osprey Bar and Lounge at Shelter Island House
Italian restaurant Caci Shelter Island —which opened at the Shelter Island House earlier this year — has closed for good. Its replacement is the new Osprey Bar and Lounge, which began serving up light bites and bar menu items on Thanksgiving eve.
Editor’s Note: This story previously listed a healthy dessert cooking workshop at Sang Lee Farms. That event has since been canceled.