Stuff to do, New Year's edition, at Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach, where many people — some expected to be naked — will swim on Sunday, New Year's Day, in a "Polar Plunge." (Photo by David Mamaril Horowitz)

Season’s greetings!

Community orgs of the Mission District tell me they’ll be in low-operation mode for New Year’s — but there’s still plenty to do, with numerous and free events citywide.

But first:

The Mission

The Makeout Room — the bustling dance floor and bar at 2335 22nd St. — will continue its nighttime partying through New Year’s Eve.

Attendance is free on Thursday until 10 p.m., and $10 after. The New Year’s Eve celebration, which will feature cumbia, hip-hop, reggaeton, dancehall, salsa buena and more, will cost $20 before 10 p.m. and $30 after. 

Also in the Mission, Dahlia SF, the bar at 1799 Mission St., not the online housing portal, will host a New Year’s Eve dance party from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Entry is $20.25 to $23.50. 

Arena SF, the nightclub at 2565 Mission St., will have its own New Year’s Eve celebration as well. It goes from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Presale general admission is $22.85.

And, the Valencia Room will hold its New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Masks will be distributed. General admission is $44.06. There’ll be a balloon drop for the midnight countdown, and party favors.

Attendees must be 21 or older for any of these nightclub events.

Meanwhile, The Chapel SF, at 777 Valencia St., will host the Oakland-based punk quartet Shannon and the Clams this Thursday for the venue’s 10-year anniversary show. Hurry, though — tickets already sold out for the Friday and Saturday night performances. Other performing groups include Kamikaze Palm Tree, The Moore Brothers and Chulita Vinyl Club.

TIckets are $30, with a service fee if purchased online, and $35 on the day of the show. 

On to the freebies

Soon it’ll be the first Tuesday of the month, which will mean free entry on Jan. 3, 2023, to the permanent collection galleries at the Legion of Honor and the de Young Museum, as well as a free pass to the Conservatory of Flowers

Also on first Tuesdays, The Detour, the gaming bar at 2200A Market St., offers unlimited access through the night to 40-plus games and two pinball machines to those who purchase a beverage or food.

Cultural celebrations

It’s Kwanzaa, and there are numerous opportunities citywide to learn about African-American culture and principles.

Malik Seneferu, Adrian Williams and Clint Sockwell of The Village Project are coordinating some 14 celebrations citywide from Dec. 26, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023, for the project’s 17th Kwanzaa celebration. 

Each Kwanzaa event offers food, and is free to the public. All are welcome.

Another cultural event, free to attend, will take place at the Konko Church of San Francisco, which will host Hatsumōde, the traditional first visit to a shrine or a temple of a new year. 

From Jan. 1 to 3, attendees will be invited to ring the shrine bell for prosperity, to write prayers and wishes on a shide (a sacred zigzag-shaped paper) to hang it on the wishing tree, and to take a teaching for the year home.

‘As bare as you dare’

For those with a New Year’s resolution to get fitter, look no further — though, if you’re in the Mission, you’ll have to travel across the city.

At Taraval Street and the Great Highway, bikers will gather in a “Critical Mass” at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day. If there’s no rain, they’ll do two laps to Lincoln Way and back, a little more than six miles.

A “Polar Plunge” at Ocean Beach will follow the bike ride. If the weather allows it, there’ll be a beach party after, with the possibility of drinks at The Riptide.

Nudity is optional. If it’s raining, it’ll be a plunge and done.

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David Mamaril Horowitz

David’s one of those San Francisco natives who gets excited whenever City College is mentioned. He has journalism degrees from there and San Francisco State University, graduating from the latter in May 2021. In college, David played five different roles as an editor at student news publications and reported as an intern for three local newspapers, mostly while waiting tables at the Alamo Drafthouse. His first job was at Mitchell's Ice Cream.

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  1. Who rises on New Year’s Day early enough to make a 10:30 bike ride in the rainy season out by foggy, windy and cold Ocean Beach?

      1. Great reply Mishman! Marcos, it will be clear and dry tomorrow morning. The jog across the Golden Gate is at 9am, so only those who don’t go to bed do that run.