First Night ice sculpture in Boston Common depicting Tadpole Playground
First Night Boston welcomes 2014 with the New Year's Eve celebration that marks the beginning of a new tradition for Boston - bigger, better, and more exciting than ever!
Financial woes caused concerns that First Night might not take place this year. But thanks to the Highland Street Foundation, Mayor Menino, and numerous other corporate sponsers, First Night is on for 2014!
Festivities during the 11-hour event include two fireworks shows, a huge Grand Procession parade down Boylston Street, family-friendly activities, live musical performances, spectacular ice sculptures by renowned artists, and new this year: a stunning animation and video presentation and countdown to midnight.
Over 1 million revelers turn out for Boston's signature New Year's Eve event. Plan to be among them for First Night 2014!
First Night 2014 will see the return of favorite events from previous years:
First Night Boston is the oldest, largest, and most elaborate 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 we're sure it will continue to be the best Boston New Year's Eve celebration.
Giant ice sculptures by renowned ice sculptors are a signature event of First Night and draw huge crowds of spectators.
Look for the huge sculptures along the Grand Procession route, at Copley Square, and at other locations throughout the city.
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.
Elaborate ice sculpture carved for First Night Boston
Photo courtesy of Eric McCarthy
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, January 31st. The artists start as early as 9am on December 31st - sometimes earlier if the temperature is abnormally warm.
This First Night ice sculpture by Donald Chapelle shows the artist David sculpting Michelangelo.
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 Boston offers numerous family oriented events throughout the day, as well as early-evening fireworks on Boston Common.
The Boston Children's Museum, Old State House, and Old South Meeting House - terrific places to bring kids - offer free admission between 10am and noon (these details are from last year - we'll report any changes once more info is available in later this month).
Starting at 1pm, you'll find plenty of children's events throughout the afternoon hours. Puppets, acrobats, music, jugglers, story tellers, crafts, and performers provide plenty of family-friendly entertainment.
Most First Night kids' activities take place in Hynes Convention Center and Prudential Center. If you're the parent of young children, you'll appreciate the easy access to plenty of bathrooms. Plus, you can easily get here by T or park under the Pru - no need to be outside with the little ones if we get hit, as sometimes happens, with frigid temperatures.
At 5:30pm, the Grand Procession Parade began at the Hynes Convention Center and marched down Boylston Street. Featuring a different theme each year, the hour-long procession included brass bands, huge moving sculptures, elaborate floats, puppeteers from the Back Alley Puppet Theatre and Puppeteers Cooperative, and costumed participants.
At 7pm, 12 minutes of glorious Boston Family Fireworks presented by Mayor Menino and the Mugar Foundation 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.
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.
You'll also have great views of the fireworks views from the small plaza overlooking Faneuil Hall at Government Center, although this area can get crowded. In general, the biggest crowds of spectators generally cluster along the South Boston Waterfront and the Downtown Waterfront around the Boston Harbor Hotel (which offers some awesome New Year's Eve special packages).
Watch this short video to get a preview of what you'll see!
Special thanks for bringing First Night Boston to all of us this year go to the supporters and sponsors who are making it possible:
Have a question about First Night Boston? Ask, and I'll do my best to answer.
First, though, check out what others have asked - I might have already answered the same question for someone else.
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Thanks for getting in touch, and enjoy your visit to Boston!
Here's what others have asked:
First Night Concerts on Boston Common
For many years, you had great concerts on Boston Common during early afternoon and evening such as Jonas Brothers/Kiki Palmer/Drew Seeley. Any any …
First Night Boston Questions about Fireworks and Ice Sculptures
Does everyone have to pay general admission even if they come just for fireworks or the ice sculptures? Where is the nearest metro stop? Is this in …
First Night Boston "Button" limitations for some events?
This "button" that we buy, does it really gain entrance to all of the events on the Event Calender? There are some events that say only the first 50 …
Hi and Happy New Year! How long will the ice sculpture be around for viewing after New Year's Eve? Or do they get removed right away? Thank you!!! …
First Night Boston Fireworks Not rated yet
Hello, Can the fireworks be seen from Boston Common? What else is at the Common besides ice sculptures? Thank you. Tanya There are actually …
Hotel for First Night Boston with Children??? Not rated yet
Hello! We are traveling from Connecticut and have never been to the First Night Boston event. Our children are 6 and 4. What hotel would you recommend …
Ice Sculptures Not rated yet
Question: How many ice sculptures will be created at First Night this year? Boston Discovery Guide's Answer: There will be at least 3 ice …
First Night Parade in Boston - New Year's Eve Not rated yet
Would you please send info about the parade - when, where, what? Thanks! Reply from Susan at Boston Discovery Guide: The First Night parade …
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Where is the best place to view the fireworks for a great view? What additional events would buying a ticket entitle me to? Is some stuff free (like …
Weather Not rated yet
Hi, it will be my 1st time in Boston with family. Is there a warm place for viewing the First Night parade for older persons & children? Reply …
First Night Boston Fireworks Viewing Not rated yet
Is it possible to see the fireworks from Copley or Boston Common? Or will we need to be down at the Harbor to see the fireworks? Thanks!! Martha …
What time do the artists start sculpturing the ice outside? Not rated yet
Question: Hello, I am planning to come to Boston's Copley Square to see the First Night ice carver artists do their magic, but I need to know …
Traffic Not rated yet
What roads close to the waterfront and the fireworks will be closed to vehicular traffic? Reply from Susan at Boston Discovery Guide: Hi …
First Night Boston - Tour of Massachusetts State House? Not rated yet
Question: Will the Massachusetts State House be open for tours on First Night? If so, do you need a button to tour it? Thanks, Judy Susan's …
Family Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Boston Not rated yet
Are the Family Fireworks definitely scheduled? They are not on the official First Night schedule. If they are occurring, what time are they scheduled? …
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Question: Do I need to the button to join the activities held in Hynes Convention Center? Susan's response: Yes, the First Night Boston Buttons …
Schedule for NYE Family Fireworks on Boston Common Not rated yet
I read Boston's New Year's Eve Family Fireworks were at 6:45, then I read 7:30. Which time is correct, and is the Boston Common the best place to view …
Frog Pond Ice Skating Show and Fireworks Not rated yet
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Kids Events at First Night in Boston Not rated yet
Question: Are the kids events at First Night free? Thanks, Lisa Susan's reply: Hi Lisa, All of the outdoor events at Boston's First Night …
Can you watch the First Night fireworks at Castle Island? Not rated yet
Questions: 1) What is the First Night Premium Package? 2) Is it possible to see fireworks at Castle Island? Is it a great view or not? 3) First time …
Purchase of First Night Premium Package Not rated yet
Question: Where do I purchase the $35 premium package? Susan's reply The event website (www.firstnight.org) had prominent links to the premium …
Boston First Night - Where to Buy Tickets Not rated yet
Hi, We are from Canada and we'll be staying in Boston for New Year. Where can we buy tickets in advance for the New Year's celebration (the general admission)? …
Boston Trains on New Year's Eve Not rated yet
How late will Boston's trains be running on New Year's Eve? We are planning to come down from Maine for the evening, spend the night then head to the …
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Will I be able to view the midnight Boston Harbor Fireworks if I'm at the Boston Common? Thanks, Ruby Susan's reply: Hi Ruby - Although the …
Exact Location of Midnight Fireworks for Boston First Night Celebration Not rated yet
Hi Susan- I know the midnight fireworks for First Night are on the Harbor, but where exactly? I will be using public transporation and would like …
Where to View Boston Harbor Fireworks on New Year's Eve Not rated yet
What is a good place to watch the New Year's fireworks on the Boston Harbor? Preferably a short walking distance from restaurants. - Thanks, John …
First Night Boston Fireworks - What Time? Not rated yet
I am curious to know if First Night Boston will do fireworks like last year at 7:00pm on the Commons? We hadn't known about it ahead of time, but worked …
Another great photo courtesy courtesy of Kriswho
Boston Discovery Guide makes best efforts to update event information but we cannot guarantee the information as it may change without our knowledge. Please confirm details with the event sponsor prior to attending.
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