New Year's Eve is the main event for many but New Year's Day and the weekend offers alternatives for ringing in the new year. We've gathered our top five events to welcome 2016 in The Hamptons and on the North Fork. The fun starts on New Year's Day and continues through the weekend. Expect ways to experience nature, good food, laughter and connecting with community.

1. First Day Hike 

The New York State Parks Department is hosting several New Year’s Day hikes all over the state, and those on the East End can join in on a trek through Montauk Point State Park on Friday, January 1, at 1 p.m. Starting at the Montauk Point Concession, a State Park naturalist will guide participants on a two-to-three mile hike, stopping at several scenic spots, including Money Pond. Expect to see several species of plants, trees and wildlife. Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes are encouraged.

Registration is required by calling (631) 668-5000. Montauk Point State Park is located at 2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk NY 11954. www.nysparks.com.

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"Begin at the End Hike" at Montauk Point.

Montauk Point. Photo by Cristina Schreil

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"Begin at the End Hike" at Montauk Point.

Montauk Point. Photo by Cristina Schreil.

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2.  New Year’s Day East Hampton Polar Bear Plunge

Brave thrill seekers can participate in the 2016 East Hampton Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day from noon to 3 p.m. on East Hampton’s Main Beach. Registration opens at 10 a.m. The plunge, put on by the East Hampton Hurricanes Swim Team and the East Hampton Ocean Rescue Squad, benefits the East Hampton Food Pantry.

It costs $30 to plunge. East Hampton Main Beach is located at 101 Ocean Avenue, East Hampton NY 11937. www.easthamptonrescue.org.

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3.  Traditional New England Contradance

The Water Mill Community House hosts a traditional New England Contradance, presented by The Long Island Traditional Music Association, on Saturday, January 2, from 8 to 11 p.m. Partners and knowledge of dance steps are not needed. Direction on dance steps are provided as the dances unfold. Singles, couples and groups are welcome. Soft-soled shoes are recommended.

Those interested in a lesson can arrive at 7:45 p.m. Refreshments are pot luck and available to all. The Contradance takes place at the Water Mill Community House on the first Saturday of the month from October to May.

Admission is $14 for people 16 and over. The Water Mill Community House is located at 743 Montauk Highway, Water Mill NY 11976. www.litma.org.

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Contradance at the Water Mill Community Center. Photo by David Levitt.

Contradance at the Water Mill Community Center. Photo by David Levitt.

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4.  Bill Murray Movie Marathon at Suffolk Theater

The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead presents an evening of back-to-back Bill Murray movies on Sunday, January 3. Murray’s 1981 film “Stripes” will show first, followed by the 1980 classic “Caddyshack.” Doors open at 5 p.m. with the films beginning at 6 p.m.

Admission is free with a $20 food or drink purchase. Food is available throughout the evening. The Suffolk Theater is located at 118 East Main Street, Riverhead NY 11901. www.suffolktheater.com.

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5.  Winter Pig Roast & Wine Pairing in Greenport 

First and South restaurant in Greenport hosts a feast of swine and wine on Saturday, January 2, at 5 p.m. The feast features a whole roasted pig with side dishes, paired with wines from Macari Vineyards. The fun lasts into the night as Macari knows how to through a pig roast party. Night-long drink deals are available. Reservations are recommended as the event is expected to sell out.

Tickets start at $35, which includes food and a glass of wine (or two half-glasses). First and South is located at 100 South Street, Greenport NY 11944. www.macariwines.com.

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Looking for ways to spend New Year's Eve in The Hamptons and East End? Visit "5 Things To Do on New Year's Eve in The Hamptons & East End".

5 Things To Do event columns for New York City and The Hamptons / East End of Long Island are published weekly by Hamptons Art Hub.

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Copyright 2015 Hamptons Art Hub LLC. All rights reserved.

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