No matter where you end up crashing after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, there’s a good chance there’s a polar plunge close by. Here in New England, where the ocean only ever gets “warm enough,” a New Year’s Day dip can be an arctic nightmare or a mildly unseasonable folly depending on how Mother Nature decides to play it (last year’s plunge was on a balmy, low-40s kind of day). Never taken the dive yourself? Here are a few things to know: the worst part is actually standing in freezing cold sand while barefoot, the actual plunge is way more fun than it sounds and the icy water will shock that New Year’s Eve hangover right out of you.
The First Day Walk and Polar Plunge is the perfect – and perfectly chilly – excuse to visit idyllic Prudence Island. Down in Newport, the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge is making frigid waves to benefit A Wish Come True Inc., a local organization that’s been serving sick children and their families for more than 30 years. Then there’s the enigmatic Annawamscutt Seal Society. No website, no social media presence, but they’ve been taking that icy dip at Annawamscutt Beach in Barrington annually since 1984, so we can’t image they’re quitting now.