If you are looking for something to do for New Years Eve and New Years Day in Boston, you can’t go wrong with the First Night Boston Celebration. The alcohol-free celebration has been a family-friendly tradition for Boston residents for many years as it provides plenty of free entertainment and opportunity for fun in various locations throughout the area.
About First Night
First Night Boston is made possible by First Night, Inc., which is an independent, nonprofit organization responsible for managing First Night’s Neighborhood Network. First Night’s Neighborhood Network is a community-based outreach program serving the greater Boston area. While First Night Boston is considered to be the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in North America, there are over 150 First Night cities throughout the country that also host massive celebrations. Other events that are located near to Boston can be found in nearby Beverly, Chatham, New Bedford and Worcester.
First Nights Fun in Boston
While First Nights events will take place at various locations throughout Boston, the majority of the activities will take place in Copley Square and the Boston Common. As usual, the event will feature ice sculptures, light displays and arts and musical performances taking place in both outside and inside venues. Some of the event’s highlights include:
- Boston Family Fireworks – a 10-minute fireworks display at the Boston Common Ballfield (located at the corner of Boylston and Charles) taking place at 7:00 pm. The production is made possible by the Mugar Foundation and Boston 4 Productions.
- Copley Countdown and Pyrotechnics – a countdown to midnight offered in grand style.
- Family Festival – arts performances taking place in the Copley Square area, which will include ice skating on Frog Bond and ice sculptures.
- First Night Light and Ice Party – a fun-filled party including music and dancing.
A First Day brunch will also take place on New Years Day, while a number of retail establishments will offer special promotions on that day. Since there are multiple activities taking place at the same time and throughout the day, it is impossible to see everything. Therefore, it is a good idea to plan ahead so you can see the performances that you really want to see. It is also a good idea to have a back up plan in case you are unable to get to your first choice for some reason. Since admission is first-come, first-served, be sure to arrive early at those performances that you really wish to see. Keep in mind that there is no reserved seating, that venues are cleared between performances and late admissions are only allowed at the discretion of management.
First Night events start taking place at 1:00 pm on New Years Eve. The Subway will run until 2:30 am while Commuter Rail trains will run until 2:00 am, making public transportation a viable option for those who wish to participate in the festivities. Utilizing public transportation can reduce headaches because roads are closed during the event at the discretion of the Boston Police based on the flow of pedestrian traffic. Boylston Street, Charles Street and Dartmouth Street will all have closures starting at 4:00 pm for the Grand Procession. Atlantic Avenue and adjoining streets will also be closed for the midnight fireworks. All events are free and open to the public.