Don't know what to do to make this last weekend of 2011 special? Don't despair, here are several ways to make the final hours of the old year and the start of 2012 memorable in Westport:

First Night Westport/Weston offers plenty of options for the whole family to ring in the new year, with festivities starting at 4 p.m. and running until midnight. Revelry in various downtown venues features everything from animal caricatures to a varies slate of musical performers to family square dancing to two fireworks displays. Get a full list of events at The cost is $15 per person, but free for kids under age 3.

Bop on down to the Black Duck, 605 Riverside Ave., on Saturday night for a performance by local rhythm-and-blues guitarist Charlie Karp. Opening for Karp will be the Paula G Reality. Tickets are $10. Call 203-227-7978 or visit

Start the new year cold turkey -- more appropriately, polar bearish -- by joining, or just watching, two groups of hardy souls take a Polar Bear Plunge at Compo Beach on Sunday morning. Both are undertaking the big chill to raise money for Westport-based children's charities -- one for Save the Children and the other for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. The Team Mossman Triathlon Club plans to take the plunge at about 10 a.m. to raise money for Save the Children, the nonprofit that provides disaster relief for children around the globe (for info, call 203-227-1293). About an hour later, a group from Temple Israel will hit the surf to benefit the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, founded by the late Paul Newman, which provides summer-camp experiences and year-round services to children with cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV and other life-threatening illnesses (info: 917-653-7384).

Since you're in the area, why not strap on your skates and take a spin on the ice at the Westport PAL ice rink at Longshore Park, 260 Compo Road South. Open skate will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 with a handpass and $6.25 for children 12 and under, $5 with a handpass. More information is at or call 203-226-7465.

Welcome 2012 with a relaxing New Year's Vinyasa and Meditation session ay 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness, 1200 Post Road East. The session includes yoga appropriate for all levels and is designed to help you set intentions for the new year. Call 203-532-0660 for more information.