Boston First Night

First Night 2016 entertainment, ice sculptures, and other special attractions will take place in 3 areas in the heart of the city:  Copley Square, Boston Common, and Boston Harbor.

All official First Night entertainment and attractions will be free this year.

Festivities include:

Ice sculptures and light shows in Copley Square, along with plenty of family-friendly arts performances

A spectacular People’s Parade down Boylston Street starting at 6pm

Family Fireworks and an ice show at Boston Common at 7pm

Ice Skating on Frog Pond in Boston Common

Music and Dancing

Countdown to Midnight in Copley Square

Midnight Fireworks over Boston Harbor

First Night Boston is the oldest New Year’s Eve event of this type in the U.S.   It’s fun, alcohol-free, and designed to entertain the whole family.  It has inspired dozens of similar events across the country.

First Night has been part of what makes our city special since 1976, and continues to be the top Boston New Year’s Eve celebration.

Essentials: First Night Boston

When:  New Year’s Eve, December 31st, from 12 noon to just past midnight

Where:  Copley Square, Boston Common, Boston Harbor

Cost:  All official First Night entertainment and special attractions are free this year

Boston hotels for New Year’s Eve – check back later for 2016 discounts and special packages

– More about Boston New Year’s Eve hotel discounts, special packages, and deals

Public Transportation for First Night:  MBTA provides an extended subway and commuter rail schedule for First Night until 2am.  The T (subway) will be free between 8pm and 2am.  More about Boston’s subway service

Parking:  Taking the T, Boston’s subway, is best – but if you do drive, try parking garages in Fenway/Back Bay; to be closer to Boston Common and the Harbor, try garages near TD Garden and also in the Theatre District

Beyond First Night . . . Other New Year’s Eve Events in Boston

– New Year’s Eve Party @ The Castle @ Park Plaza – Full price $65, Goldstar $39

– Jimmy Tingle @ The Wilbur Theatre – Full price $75, Goldstar $26

– Boston Resolution Ball @ Hard Rock Cafe – Full price $149-$199, Goldstar $59-$99

– Boston Baroque New Year’s Celebration @ Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Cambridge – Goldstar $30

– New Year’s Eve with Magician Ivan Amodei & Intimate Illusions @ Hyatt Regency – Full price $75, Goldstar $25

– Standup Comics – Nick’s Comedy Stop in Boston’s Theatre District

First Night Ice Sculptures

Giant ice sculptures by renowned ice artists are a signature event of First Night and draw huge crowds of spectators.

Look for the huge sculptures at Copley Square and Frog Pond in Boston Common.

If you’ve never see ice sculptures taking shape before, you owe it to yourself to head over to Copley Square or Boylston Plaza (right in front of Prudential Center at 800 Boylston St) and watch these magicians at work.

Each finished sculpture weighs 30-45 tons, so you can imagine the massive blocks of ice required for making them.  Sculpturing chunks of ice this huge is not a dainty process – ice artists use chain saws to carve their elaborate works of art.

The best time to watch the ice artists carve the sculptures is normally in the morning of New Year’s Eve, December 31st.   The artists start as early as 9am – sometimes even earlier if the temperature is abnormally warm.  Sculptures usually are finished by 2pm.

The huge ice sculptures look spectacular after dark on New Year’s Eve when they’re lit by brilliant colored lights, but watching them being created is almost more fascinating.

First Night Family Events and Fireworks

First Night Boston offers numerous family oriented events throughout the day, as well as early-evening fireworks at 7pm on Boston Common.

Starting at 1pm, join in Copley Squared, a fun parade around Copley Square.  you’ll find plenty of children’s events throughout the afternoon hours.  Puppets, acrobats, face painting, arts and crafts, music, jugglers, story tellers, crafts, and performers provide plenty of family-friendly entertainment.

At 6pm, the People’s Procession Parade begins at the Hynes Convention Center and marchesdown Boylston Street to Boston Common.  Look for huge puppets, a fabulous dragon, marching banks, and plenty of lanterns and lightsticks.

At 7pm, 12 minutes of glorious Boston Family Fireworks launch from the Common’s ballfield.  The best place to watch the fireworks is from the sloping hill across from the field, but you’ll also get a good view from most other parts of the Common.  The early hour lets families with young children celebrate the New Year – and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Where to Watch Boston’s Midnight Fireworks on New Year’s Eve

At just before 12am, Countdown to Midnight begins at Copley Square and Boston Common.  When the clock strikes 12, another fabulous firework display over Boston Harbor welcomes the first day of the New Year.

The best place to watch the First Night Boston midnight fireworks show is anywhere along the waterfront – Downtown, South Boston Waterfront, the North End, Charlestown, even East Boston (take the T’s Blue Line from the New England Aquarium).  Castle Island also offers great views.

For a very special view, watch on board New Year’s Eve dinner cruises on the Odyssey and Spirit of Boston.  Cruises depart Rowes Wharf and Seaport.  With dinner, entertainment, music, dancing, champagne toasts at midnight, and spectacular views of the fireworks, these cruises give you a festive way to spend the evening and welcome the New Year.

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