First Night fireworks in Boston
Photo courtesy of Bill Damon via Creative Commons license
First Night Boston welcomes 2015 with the New Year's Eve celebration that marks the beginning of each new year in Boston!
Festivities during the 11-hour event include two fireworks shows, a huge Grand Procession parade down Boylston Street, family-friendly activities, live musical performances, and spectacular ice sculptures by renowned artists.
A special Fireworks Cruise (additional tickets required) departs from Long Wharf at 11pm.
Over 1 million revelers typically turn out for Boston's signature New Year's Eve event.
Plan to be among them for First Night 2015!
First Night ice sculpture in Boston Common depicting Tadpole Playground
First Night 2015 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 continues to be the best Boston New Year's Eve celebration.
- Champagne Resolution New Year's Eve Party - Live DJ at Hard Rock Cafe - Comp to half-price tickets from Goldstar
- The Spy Who Loves Me Party - New Year's Eve at House of Blues' Foundation Lounge Party - Half price & discount tickets thru Goldstar
- Timeless - James Bond thriller NYE Party - DJs & more - Back Bay Hilton - Discount tickets thru Goldstar
- NYE at the W Hotel in Boston - Live DJs & More - Discount tickets thru Goldstar
- Resolution Ball at the Sheraton - DJ and live band at this annual bash - Discount tickets thru Goldstar
- Boston Pops Swing Orchestra - Music, dancing, and merriment at Symphony Hall - Half price tickets thru Goldstar
- Mamadou NYE - Live performances, dancing, midnight toast at Sheraton Boston - Comp to half-price @ Goldstar
- NYE Country Countdown Party - Shana Stack Band, appetizers, champagne midnight toast at Sheraton Boston - Half price tickets @ Goldstar
- New Year's Eve All-Access Party Pass - Get no-cover access to select Boston bars, pubs, and clubs on NY's Eve - DJs, dancing, drink specials - Discount tickets from Goldstar
Please note: Most of these events are 21+; they are not part of the First Night event
- Boston Baroque New Year's Celebration - Opera and arias - Sanders Theatre in Cambridge
- Al Ducharme & Bernadette Pauly for New Year's - Early & late shows, plus countdown to Midnight - Laugh Boston at the Westin Waterfront Hotel
- MidSummer: A Steamy Scottish Comedy - Apollonaire Theatre Company @ Chelsea Theatre Works
- Standup Comics - Nick's Comedy Stop in Boston's Theatre District
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 at Copley Square, Frog Pond in Boston Common, and at other locations throughout the city, including along the Waterfront.
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 via Creative Commons license
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.
This First Night ice sculpture by master carver Don Chapelle shows the artist David sculpting Michelangelo. In 2015, Don will create "Ice Dragon" in Copley Square - should be ready by 2pm.
Ice sculpture fans should also stop by Frog Pond on Boston Common, where Steve Rose will create "Celebration, Innovation, Inspiration, and Imagination" (can't wait to see this one!) and "Ice Children" among the bronze tadpole sculptures overlooking the Frog Pond ice rink.
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.
Also look for ice sculptures along the waterfront.
Planned waterfront locations for 2015 include Faneuil Marketplace (4 elaborate sculptures), the Boston Harbor Hotel arch by the ice skating rink, International Place at 100 Oliver Street (look for Mama Bear and her Cub), the Boston Tea Party Museum and Ship at 306 Congress Street, and the New England Aquarium, where you'll see Penguins!
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 a few weeks).
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 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 can also watch from on board the Midnight Fireworks Cruise offered by Boston Harbor Cruises and departing from their dock at Long Wharf. Tickets are $35, and always sell out far in advance - so if you want to go on this special cruise, don't wait to book your tickets.
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 many partners, sponsors, and supporters who are making this wonderful event possible:
In addition to supports and sponsors, volunteers make this event possible. If you'd like to volunteer, you can find more information and a sign-up form on the First Night website.
Where to have dinner near the 7pm First Night Fireworks?
Folks I know are going to Chinatown for dinner and then to First Night fireworks on Boston Common at 7 pm. I'm vegetarian and they're not. Where would you recommend . . .
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!
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Photo courtesy courtesy of Kriswho
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