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Celebrate New Year’s with the family at the Riverhead Aquarium. (Photo courtesy of the Riverhead Aquarium)

Call January 1 an arbitrary day — a mere flipping of the calendar — all you want. There’s something so fresh about a new year. But first? Out with the old. Whether 2023 brings fond memories or is a year you’re ready to leave behind, it’s worth celebrating its conclusion.

Time Square is home to the internationally famous ball drop, but standing in the cold may well be at the bottom of your bucket list — if it’s there at all. Yet, perhaps you dropped the ball on inviting friends over to help you stay up until midnight, and now they’re busy.

Well, you are, too. Up and down the North Fork, restaurants and businesses are hosting dinners and parties. Bonus: Some don’t require staying up until the clock strikes 12. From Riverhead to Greenport, these North Fork New Year’s Eve parties and dinners are perfect for saying “See ya” to 2023.

Touch of Venice, 28350 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-298-5851 

This approachable upscale Italian restaurant on Cutchogue’s Main Road combines the white tablecloths you’d expect from a fine dining establishment with the warm familiarity so often reserved for a neighborhood coffee house. Think creamy burrata and fried calamari for sharing and classic Italian dishes like lasagna and beef Bolognese. The restaurant is open on New Year’s Eve, but advanced reservations are highly recommended.

First and South Restaurant & Bar, 100 South Street, Greenport, 631-333-2200

This New American Bistro has prime real estate for al fresco dining and people-watching in the summer. For New Year’s, the restaurant’s Black Tie Brunch will be indoors (mercifully). Set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., it offers dinners a chance to get glammed up, eat a frittata and some warm biscuits and still keep their usual bedtime. Party hard elsewhere? A New Year’s Day Pajama Party Brunch will have a similarly delicious menu but a more casual vibe (same time, same place). 

Claudio’s Tavern and Grill: 111 Main Street, Greenport, 631-477-0627

Claudio’s in Greenport is offering a New Year’s to remember. (Photo courtesy of Claudio’s)

Not a fan of all the bedtime jokes and crave staying up all night? Leave it to Claudio’s to provide the opportunity. The iconic restaurant known for its boisterous summertime atmosphere will provide dinner and entertainment. A DJ will spin on the ones and twos, and guests can sit back and indulge in the surf ‘n turf fare they come to expect from the spot. For a Gatsby-era experience, tour the historic speakeasy — walking tours down memory lane will take place at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Then, raise a glass to the 21st Amendment with a Merry Espresso Cocktail that’ll give you the jolt you need to make it to midnight.

East Wind Long Island, 5720 NY-25A, Wading River, 631-929-2500

East Wind is a more accessible drive for non-North Fork residents and — importantly — offers a spot to spend the night. The hotel is offering a couple of different ways to ring in the New Year. An all-inclusive gala ($155 per person) includes a champagne toast at midnight, food and five hours of premium bar service. A DJ will provide the soundtrack (21+ only). For a quieter, family-friendly scene, Desmond’s is hosting a three-course prixe fixe dinner ($65 per person) with offerings like a meaty seared Crescent Farms duck and a crispy half chicken with roasted potatoes on the side. 

Vine Street Café, South Ferry Road, Shelter Island, 631-749-3210

A stone’s throw (or seven-minute ferry ride, more accurately) away, a trip to Shelter Island provides the perfect way to escape 2023 once and for all. Once there, a stop at Vine Street Café, where the bucolic cottage setting, amiable service and white tablecloths make for a warm atmosphere, regardless of the temperature outside. The Eve-to-Eve menu includes a pair of specials: A Chateaubriand with truffle mushroom sauce for two, ideal for a date night, and a lobster bouillabaisse with rouille and bruschetta that’ll quickly leave diners forgetting the aforementioned mercury reading.   

Long Island Aquarium, 431 E Main Street, Riverhead, 631-209-9200

Many New Year’s Eve events scream “adults-night out,” and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But Long Island Aquarium’s annual Fishes & Wishes party is for all ages. The party runs from 6:30 to 11 p.m. and includes dancing, a cocktail hour, a buffet dinner, crafts, an ice cream bar and an animal meet and greet that’s arguably a bigger treat than said ice cream bar. Tickets are $145 for adults, $90 for children 3 to 12 and $10 for littles 2 and under. Members receive discounts.

The Suffolk, 118 E Main St., Riverhead, 631-727-4343

Billed as the East End’s largest New Year’s bash, The Suffolk is turning the clock back and looking forward at the same time. “The Suffolk 54 New Year’s Eve” will be heavy on the disco days of Studio 74, with That 70’s Band set to provide the soundtrack for an evening of dancing. Naturally, the dance floor will be open for you to dance to Bee Gees, Earth, Wind and Fire and other classics from the era. Specialty cocktails will be available for purchase, and the midnight toast is on the house. 

The Chequit, 23 Grand Ave, Shelter Island Heights, 631-749-0018

Mums the word on The Chequit’s New Year’s Eve prixe-fixe dinner menu. But a little birdie (Instagram) told us it’ll be a three-course affair. Expect stunning Peconic River harbor vistas on the side of whatever dishes you choose. The idyllic coastal-country-chic setting makes this inn feel like a throwback to simpler times.