2019 and Chill

Psych yourself up for the coolest - and coldest – beach tradition of the year


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. 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; the icy water will shock that New Year’s Eve hangover right out of you.

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, while Narragansett’s Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics RI happens at Roger Wheeler State Beach. Others will announce registration as we inch closer to the New Year, but in the meantime, start acclimating yourself to the bone-chilling cold.