First Night Concerts on Boston Common

by Diane Akerley
(Holbrook, MA)

Boston Pops Concert on Boston Common on a Rainy September Afternoon

Boston Pops Concert on Boston Common on a Rainy September Afternoon

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 chance of something like that again? We have been disappointed for the
last few years.


Susan's response: Hi Diane - As far as I'm aware, based on the First Night schedule of events (http://schedule.firstnight.org/), all of the concerts are inside this year. There are a LOT of concerts on the schedule - perhaps roughly half of the 200 or so First Night events are concerts, so there will be something wonderful to hear at practically all times during the day. If the weather is bad, we'll all be thankful they're indoors!

Although I don't know why the concerts are now all staged inside (Boston Discovery Guide isn't associated in any way with the group that produces First Night), I would guess that the reasons may be weather-related. Performing in very cold, not to speak of wet (snow, sleet, rain) or windy conditions can be extremely difficult both musically and physically.

Lots of the city's music and cultural institutions, as well as churches with special organs and other musical programs, now participate in First Night, so perhaps it's now more feasible to hold most events inside. This year, roughly 35 different venues are taking part, including places like Symphony Hall, Berklee, and the New England Conservatory.

I also enjoy the outdoor concerts on the Common during the summer and am a huge fan of Shakespeare on the Common during July and August and of course the Boston Pops' July 4th concert on the Esplanade - but I admit to being a total wimp when it comes to standing outside in frigid conditions, as has happened on a few past First Nights. I'm sure that the group that produces this event must have to juggle space availability, possible weather conditions/disasters, and performers' requirements.

There will be a lot of music, as well as other types of performers, in the outdoor Grand Procession parade that kicks off at 5:30 from the Hynes Auditorium, marches down Boylston Street toward the Public Garden, and then winds around Charles and Beacon Streets.

Have a great time at First Night, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

Top Boston Attractions

Boston's must-see attractions - the Freedom Trail, Prudential Skywalk Observation Deck, Fenway Park, the Boston Marathon, Newbury Street shopping, plus more. Find out how to get discounts, where to stay nearby, how to get there, and other nearby attractions.

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Fireworks Viewing Location/Reason for Buying First Night ticket

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 the stuff outside)?

Thanks!

Stephanie


Reply from Susan at Boston Discovery Guide:

Hi Stephanie,

All of the outdoor events are free. That includes the 2 fireworks shows (7pm at Boston Common, midnight at Boston Harbor), the 6pm ice skating show at Frog Pond on the Common, the Grand Procession parade at 5:30 that marches from the Hynes Auditorium down Boylston to Boston Common, various events going on all day at Boylston Plaza in front of Prudential Center, and of course viewing the ice sculptures at Boylston Plaza and Copley Square.

Buying the Button entitles you to see/attend all the indoor events - performances, comedy shows, art, music, dance, lots of children's events. Depending on the weather conditions (which actually look pretty good this year), it can give you the chance to get inside and warm up!

To view the 7pm fireworks on Boston Common, almost anywhere on the Common is fine, as they're launched from the ballpark near the cemetery.

The midnight fireworks are launched from Boston Harbor, so anywhere around the waterfront will give you a fine view. Typically the South Boston Waterfront and Downtown around the Intercontinental/Boston Harbor Hotel are the most crowded, so if you want to avoid crowds, go up toward the North End, Charlestown, or even East Boston (take the Blue Line at the Aquarium). Also, areas along the Greenway should be good, as long as there aren't buildings blocking your view.

Have fun, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

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Kids Events at First Night in Boston

by Lisa R.
(Orono, Maine, USA)

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 are free, whether or not you have a First Night button. The indoor events are also free - IF you have a First Night button, which costs $18 (children under 4 years old don't need a button). In other words, once you have a button, you don't have to pay again to do any of the indoor activities.

If you've had a chance to look at the official First Night schedule at www.firstnight.org, you've probably seen all of the events for kids (and parents) throughout the afternoon. There are also a lot of performances and other events that are great for teens, as well as adults without kids.

But if you decide not to get buttons, there's also a lot to see and do outside. The ice sculptures are really fascinating, and usually the sculptors are still putting on finishing touches throughout the afternoon. My understanding is that this year, three of them will be in Boston Common and 2 more in Copley Square.

At 5:30, the Grand Procession - a huge parade full of entertainers, bands, puppeteers, musicians, giant floats, wonderful costumes, and excitement - departs the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston and proceeds toward the Common, turning left onto Charles Street and then right onto Beacon Street.

The Skating Club of Boston is putting on a terrific ice show at Frog Pond at 6pm (one of my friends, a fabulous skater, is going to be in it). My understanding is that Mayor Menino will be there, as he is one of the sponsors...this event is not part of the "official" First Night program, so it is not on the First Night Schedule. There will be free public skating after the show; you can rent skates there if you don't have any with you. I'm assuming that if there's a huge crowd, the number of skaters allowed on the rink at any one time will be limited for safety purposes.

Also, NECN will be doing a live broadcast starting at 6pm, which will be interesting for kids to see.

And finally, at 6:45, the Family Fireworks show will take place. They're being launched from the baseball field, but they should be visible wherever you are in the vicinity.

The weather looks good this year - dry and not too cold - should be a great afternoon and evening!

Have fun, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

Ice Skating at Frog Pond

Don't let Boston's winter weather keep you inside - head over to Frog Pond on Boston Common, rent a pair of skates right at the rink (or bring your own), and take a spin around the ice.  But that's just one of many ice rinks where you can go skating right in the middle of the city...




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MidnighToast NYE 2015 at W Boston Hotel

by Jamie Barren
(Boston, MA, USA)

Ring in the 2015 New Year at W Boston Hotel! W NYE 2015 is the top 2015 First Night party in Boston happening Wednesday, December 31st 2014. Get ready for an evening of ultimate indulgence and sophistication coupled with glitz and glamour in celebration of MidnighToast at W Boston Hotel, 100 Stuart Street in Boston, MA 02116 – at 9:30 PM.

At W Boston, you’re on top of the world, quite literally, in one of The Hub’s tallest luxury buildings, a spectacular glass tower overlooking Back Bay. Partygoers have access to two floors of entertainment, which includes multiple swanky bars, VIP Room, Studios, Great Room and Pre-Function providing for an enormous and lavish party. For more details, contact Jamie Barren at 310-749-9029, or online at www.newyearsnightlife.net

Boston’s best will be attending this annual event that includes four hours of premium open bar, a live DJ for each floor playing top 40/EDM and a colossal MidnighToast countdown. Be sure to get your tickets early as this popular event is sure to sell out quickly. Tickets are only available online at www.wbostonnye2015.eventbrite.com

ABOUT W BOSTON HOTEL
At W Boston, you’re on top of the world, quite literally, in one of The Hub’s tallest luxury buildings, a spectacular glass tower overlooking Back Bay. Colonial History, meet revolutionary modern. W Boston makes a dramatic impact on the theater district. An icon of contemporary sophistication where culture, shopping, and nightlife buzz across a Victorian landscape.

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Purchase of First Night Premium Package

by Nancy
(Newton)

Julian Lage Trio - Premium Event for Boston First Night 2012

Julian Lage Trio - Premium Event for Boston First Night 2012

Question: Where do I purchase the $35 premium package?

Susan's reply The event website (www.firstnight.org) had prominent links to the premium packages earlier this month.

However, I just now looked closely throughout their website and no longer find any of the links for premium seating. My guess is that there was a lot of demand, and these seats are no longer available for any of the "premium" events. However, with the exception of the Harbor Cruises to view the midnight fireworks (which will also be equally visible from land), all of the other "premium" events also offer regular seating at no extra cost.

The catch? As in previous years, demand for seats may exceed the space available (although most of these venues, such as Symphony Hall) are reasonably large - so to be sure of getting a seat, you'll probably want to get in the ticket line fairly early.

Keep in mind that although roughly a million people attend the First Night events, most of them just walk around to see the outdoor exhibits or watch the parade. I've read (I believe in the Boston Globe newspaper) that only about 18,000-20,000 people actually buy the buttons to get into the special events (note that I have not verified these numbers, although I would expect that the Globe is accurate).

A lot of people attend events early in the day and then either go home, especially if they have young children, or go on to other evening NYE parties, so only a fraction of the number of people with buttons will be vying to get into these events, all scheduled later in the evening, plus there are LOTS of other non-premium events that sound equally appealing going on at the same time.

Bottom line? Even without the premium seating, you can probably still get in - but you'll want to line up reasonably early for tickets to guarantee it.

Best of success!

Susan

More to Do in Boston in January - Famous Wine Tasting Events

Boston wine enthusiasts look forward each year to January when the city hosts 2 internationally acclaimed wine tasting events. But that's just the beginning of the ways to enjoy wine in Boston.

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First Night Boston "Button" limitations for some events?

by Ms. Vida
(Amherst, MA)

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 button holders get in. Is this the case for all events because other event managers neglected to put that up on their website? Or do the ones that do not mention the button not allow button holders to get in for free?

There are two types of limits that I'm aware of, and you're right, they're not always well-explained.

First, some venues specifically limit the number of First Night button holders that they'll let in for free, usually because they can't afford the financial hit of letting everyone in for free. So these are the ones that state limits about how many people they'll admit. The 3 that I'm aware of this year are the Museum of Fine Arts, which will let up to 300 button holders in for free between 10am and 12noon, the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, which is offering free admission to up to 100 button holders for a couple of performances, and the Boston Ballet, offering free admission to The Nutcracker for up to 100 button holders (line up to get these tickets starting at 11, although you should probably be there earlier if you want to be near the front of the line), and a 30% discount on tickets to everyone else for the 12/31 performance.

There are several special performances this year (for example, Suzanne Vega at Jordan Hall, Mavis Staple at Symphony Hall, and Mike Daisey at Huntington Theatre) where you can get guaranteed admission and orchestra seats if you get a special $35 ticket; this is also true for the Harbor Cruises that depart at 11pm for fireworks viewing at midnight. For these performances, my understanding is that you can still probably get seats with the $18 button, but you need to line up early - the advantage offered by the $35 admission is that it guarantees the seats and saves you time. To be sure of getting on the very popular Harbor Cruises, you need the $35 ticket (which also includes all the other First Night events).

For other events, unless there is a stated limit, everyone with a button has an opportunity to get in. HOWEVER - physical space limitations (like if a performance area can hold only 100 people without violating fire codes) sometimes mean that not everyone gets in, or you need to stand in line for awhile. More events get added each year - this year is bigger than ever - as the event planners try to make sure that there are plenty of events for everyone.

Susan




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Frog Pond Ice Skating Show and Fireworks

by Brandy
(Boston)

Do you need to purchase a First Night button to attend the outdoor events that are on the Commons, specifically the ice skating show, Boston Pops performance, and the earlier fireworks?

Susan's reply: Hi Brandy - You can watch all outdoor events at First Night for free - the First Night buttons are required just for the indoor events.

The Frog Pond skating show begins at 6pm this year, and the fireworks start at 6:45pm and last 12 minutes.

Local news channel NECN will broadcast this event, as well as from other locations, starting at 6pm, and will include a performance of Dis Vincent performing "So Good."

As far as I'm aware, the Boston Pops are not performing at the event, although they do occasionally give other outdoor performances on Boston Common during warmer times of the year.

If you're looking for other outdoor events, don't forget the Grand Procession, the huge parade starting at Hynes Convention Center at 5:30. It will wind around the Common (Boylston to Charles Street to Beacon Street toward the State House) and is Boston's most elaborate, grandest parade of the year, with hundreds of performers, wonderful costumes, entertainers, bands, music - truly a spectacular performance. Many of the groups that perform indoors at other times during the day are also in the parade, so it's a great way to get to see them. If you're at the Common to watch the Ice Show, keep in mind that the parade will pass by at some point - sorry, I don't know the timing.

Another fun outdoor thing to do is to go see the ice sculptures. My understanding is that 3 of them will be in Boston Common this year, with another 2 in Copley Plaza. Depending on what time you're there, some of the carving may still be underway. By 5pm or so, once it's dark enough, they'll be lit up with colored lights, and they're totally spectacular.

Have a wonderful time at First Night, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

Fun Things to Do in Boston in January

The holidays may be over, but you'll find lots to do in Boston during January - everything from the L Street Brownies famous New Year's Day Polar Swim to 2 popular wine festivals to the Boston Celtic Music Festival, and much more - including National Pie Day when our own Boston Cream Pie takes the spotlight.



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What time do the artists start sculpturing the ice outside?

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 what time will they start coming out to do the work? I know it'll be on New Year's Eve, but at what exact time? Thank you.

Answer: Although it depends on the artists and when they like to work, 9am on the 31st is usually a good bet. Depending on the weather, sometimes they will get up very early in the morning and use lights to be able to see, but other times, they start around 9am.

Be sure to check out the Great Barrier Reef ice sculpture in Boylston Plaza (Pru Center) by Don Chapelle.

Have fun, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

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First Night Boston - Tour of Massachusetts State House?

by Judy
(Medford)

Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston

Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston

Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston Old State House in Boston

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 response: Hi Judy - No, as far as I'm aware, the Massachusetts State House is not open for First Night, as it's not on the schedule. The Old State House, the historic building where the Boston Massacre occurred near Faneuil Hall Marketplace, is open for First Night tours. You will need a First Night button, since all indoor events require a button.

The Massachusetts State House offers free 45 minute tours from Monday - Friday (except for holidays) from 10am - 3:30pm - all you need to do is call 617-727-3676 for reservations.

You can also tour the Old State House at other times, as it's now a museum and has interesting exhibits. There's normally an admission fee of $7.50 adults, $3 kids (6-18), $6 students 18+/seniors, and free for children under 6.

Hope this helps!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

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Family Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Boston

by Winnie
(Cambridge)

Are the Family Fireworks definitely scheduled? They are not on the official First Night schedule. If they are occurring, what time are they scheduled? City of Boston says 7:00 and on this website it says 6:45.
Thanks!
Winnie


Susan's reply: Hi Winnie - Thanks for raising this question, as there's been quite a lot of confusion around this. The Family Fireworks show appears to definitely be scheduled for New Year's Eve, and the time that is being now given by the City of Boston website is 6:45pm. Here is a url for the most recent notice (December 28) giving this information from the City of Boston website that I can find: http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/default.aspx?id=5424

Although this recent announcement lists the time as 6:45pm, I believe there were earlier announcements that gave the time as 7pm. I'm assuming that the schedule must have changed a bit. I have a friend who's performing in the 6pm ice show at Frog Pond who said that performance had originally been scheduled to take place a little earlier, and then it got pushed back to 6:30.

My understanding is that the Frog Pond ice show, the free family skating event afterward, and the Fireworks are separate events sponsored in part by Mayor Menino and the city, and are therefore not officially part of the First Night events, which would explain why they're not listed on the First Night schedule.

During this same general time period, First Night's Grand Procession Parade, which kicks off at the Hynes at 5:30 will be making its way down Boylston, Charles, and Beacon Streets. Also, NECN (the New England Cable News channel) does a broadcast of the ice show, fireworks, and other First Night events starting at 6pm - so there's a lot going on during this same time period.

Anyway, based on the City of Boston information, it sounds like the Family Firework show on the Common - at least at this point - is scheduled to take place at 6:45. You might want to keep checking at the cityofboston.gov website just to make sure because I'm sure something could happen to change the schedule. My thought is: better to be there a little early rather than a little late.

Have a great time, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

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Weather

by Finote
(Bermuda originally (Worburn))

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 from Susan at Boston Discovery Guide:

No, not unless you happened to book a room in one of the hotels that overlook the parade route. The good news is that the weather this year is supposed to be dry, and because the parade starts at 5:30, not long after dark, the temperature will not have dropped as much as it will later in the evening. The bad news is that the weather is predicted to be windy, so the wind chill factor could be significantly lower than the actual temperature.

For those of us who live here, we just wrap up well in lots of layers and tough it out - but if you're coming from Bermuda, you're most likely not used to New England weather. If there is a brisk wind, you'll be most comfortable if you wear a couple of layers of pants, or pants plus leggings, plus 2-3 layers on top under a warm jacket. You'll need a hat, gloves, scarf, warm socks, and ideally, shoes with a thick sole to provide you with insulation from the frigid sidewalk.

Children are usually jumping up and down with excitement at the parade so they don't feel the cold - although when my daughters were little, I used to dress them in snowsuits with thick leggings underneath for this parade.

For someone older, walking around a bit is also a good way to feel warmer.

One strategy is to stake a viewing spot out early near one of the cafes along Boylston St, so that if you get too chilled, you can pop inside for a cappuccino or whatever. Or at least find a spot that's sheltered from the wind.

Stay warm, enjoy the parade, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

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Chinatown for Dinner

by Rosemary
(Somerville)

Folks I know are going to Chinatown for dinner and then to fireworks at 7 pm. Is there something going on in Chinatown worth seeing? I'd prefer going into Copley or Boylston to check out the sculptors. Are do you suggest getting something to eat if not Chinatown? I am a vegetarian and they are not. I'd probably go into town earlier anyway to check out the sculptors, shows, etc.

Rosemary

Hi Rosemary -

Thanks for sending this question. I've answered it here

Best regards,

Susan

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Together presents: New Year's Eve w/ Venus X and MikeQ @ Great Scott 12/31

And we're back. As is our custom, the team that brings you Together Boston each May reunites to throw a brilliant party on New Year's Eve. And 2015 is no different. This year, two of the hottest DJs in New York City are paying us a visit, alongside some of Boston's finest:

Venus X (GHE20G0THIK)
"Chicago juke, Dominican dembow, underground rap, South Africa house music, Spanish salsa and Turkish techno."

WITH

MikeQ (Fade to Mind, Qweenbeat, GHE2OG0TH1K, Mad Decent)
Vogue, ballroom, juke, New Jersey club

Special opening set from John Barera and Will Martin plus special appearances from Colby Drasher of Don't Ask Don't Tell Boston and Kidd Drunkadelic

Tickets on sale now
Tickets are also available with no fee at the Great Scott box office noon-2am 7 days a week and at The Sinclair box office from noon-7pm Tue.-Sat.

Pictures by Beantown Boogiedown

Together presents a very special
New Year's Eve
with guests Venus X and Mike Q
Wed December 31st
1222 Comm Ave.
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 566-9014
8pm/21+/$30 adv, $40 dos
@null:#TGTHRNYE
@together

BUY TICKETS: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/01004D84BA686482?brand=greatscott

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Ice Sculptures

by Heather
(Boston)

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!!!


Hi Heather,

The life span of the ice sculptures depends on the weather, but they usually only last a few days at the most, even if the temperature is cold.

Master ice carver Don Chapelle, who will be creating one of the magnificent sculptures for the 26th year in 2012, has been quoted as saying that sunlight, rather than warm temperature, ruins the sculptures the fastest.

Last year, though, the temperatures were so warm that the sculptures had mostly vanished by January 2nd.

Hope you get to see them. Happy New Year!

Susan
BostonDiscoveryGuide.com

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Schedule for NYE Family Fireworks on Boston Common

by djc
(franklin, ma)

Boston Common hill going up to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument - a good place to watch the New Year's Eve Family Fireworks on Boston Common

Boston Common hill going up to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument - a good place to watch the New Year's Eve Family Fireworks on Boston Common

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 them?

Susan's reply: Boston's Mayor Tom Menino is a sponsor (along with the Mugar Foundation)of the Family Fireworks show and other Boston Common events on New Year's Eve, so my source of information for the event times is the City of Boston website (www.cityofboston.gov). However, the website is understandably packed with information about all sorts of things, so I find that it's usually necessary to search around quite a bit for information.

The latest info that I can find on the City of Boston website about the time for the Family Fireworks show is 6:45pm. Here's the link: http://www.cityofboston.gov/news/default.aspx?id=5424

I also saw earlier schedules showing the Fireworks time as 7 and 7:30, so I'm guessing that the time may have been changed, or that those reports were basing the time on previous years' schedules. I've heard from friends involved in other aspects of the New Year's Eve events that times for other performances have been tweaked a bit as the final logistics get put in place. Coordinating such a huge event must be extremely complicated, as there are other events in and around the Common taking place during the same general time period - for example, the Ice Skating Show at Frog Pond, now scheduled for 6pm, free public skating afterwards, the First Night "Grand Procession" parade that will be leaving Hynes Convention Center at 5:30 and marching toward the Common, etc.

Yes, the Common is a great place to watch the fireworks. According to information from the City of Boston website, they're launched from the baseball field, which is kind of near Charles Street - about midway between Beacon and Boylston Streets. So anywhere around that part of the Common will be fine. The sloping hill that goes up to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (the one in the photo above - which was taken in the fall at a free outdoor Pops Concert) gives you a good elevation and lots of viewing sites - fortunately, the trees have no leaves this time of the year, so that means you'll be able to see well from lots of different spots.

The Common is well-lit at night, so even if you need to move around a bit to find a viewing spot you like, it should be easy enough to see where you're going.

Have a great time! Happy New Year!.

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide

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2015: New Years Eve Black & White Ball at Kennedy's on the Square

Kennedy’s on the Square, located in the heart of Harvard Square, invites customers to join them for its Black & White Masquerade Ball.

New Year’s Eve goers should wear black and wear a fun, crazy or outrageous mask for the party. Prizes will be awarded for the top two best masks.

Tickets are $40. Kennedy’s on the Square will offer complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. Customers will enjoy great music, food and an extra hour of fun to ring in 2015. If you purchase your tickets before December 28, you will receive $5 off.

Tickets may be purchased on Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/1z1qT8Z.

All ticket proceeds will be donated to Youth on Fire (YOF), a program of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. YOF is a drop-in center for homeless and street - involved youth, ages 14-24, located in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Over 3,000 youth have benefitted from YOF since the program opened its doors in the Spring of 2000.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 31st 7 p.m.

WHERE: Kennedy’s on the Square
15 Dunster Street
Cambridge, MA

MORE INFO:

Nestled in the heart of Harvard Square, MG Restaurant Group presents “Kennedy’s on the Square.” An inspirational tavern melding local gastro-pub fare with tantalizing cocktails and craft beers, this 94-seater boasts plush red leather seating amid iconic photos of the Kennedy era. The infamous “vault” is perfect for small intimate gatherings and/or private events. Stylishly crafted by Finbar Griffin, the Gastropub evokes an incredible feeling of nostalgia and heralds a new direction in pub dining. For more information on Kennedy’s on the Square, visit KennedyOnTheSquare.com.

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Boston First Night - Where to Buy Tickets

Photo of Visitors Information Center on Boston Common

Photo of Visitors Information Center on Boston Common

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)? Can we do it on line? Thanks -

Susan's reply: That's terrific that you'll be coming to Boston for New Year's Eve. First Night is a wonderful celebration, with so much going on all day and all night.

Unfortunately, you can't buy the tickets on line, as what you actually get is a physical button, not a ticket, which lets you into all the indoor events for free.

But don't worry, they're sold in tons of places and you can easily get once when you're here, either before the First Night event (New Year's Eve) or ahead of time.

You can find a complete list of where the buttons are sold here: http://www.firstnight.org/retailers/

However, if you are not from Boston, it will be hard to sort out the places right in the middle of the city vs those that may be nowhere near where you're staying. So let me provide a few tips about the easiest places to find.

Since I don't know where you'll be staying in Boston, I'll assume that you'll be in the central downtown part of the city at some point. If that's your location, easy places to get the buttons include the Visitor Information Center at the edge of Boston Common (148 Tremont Street), the Bostix booths at Faneuil Hall Marketplace (Historic Downtown) and Copley Square in Back Bay (608 Boylston Street). If you're near the waterfront, you can go to the New England Aquarium. If you're near the Boston Public Garden, the Park Plaza Hotel has them. If you're staying somewhere in Fenway, the Museum of Fine Arts (Huntington Ave) has them, as does the Shaw's Supermarket on the street level at Prudential Center off Huntington Ave. Or, look for an Au Bon Pain coffee shop/bakery - they're scattered throughout the Downtown and Back Bay areas.

One more quick tip - right now (Dec. 26) the weather prediction for Dec 31st is for temperatures in the mid-40s but the temperature will drop at night and may certainly be colder during the day. However, many events take place inside, so chances are you'll be inside and outside, perhaps many times through the course of the day. So dressing in layers is a good strategy to sweltering when you're inside (or freezing when outside).

One more First Night tip for getting the most value from your buttons, as not everyone knows this: once you have the buttons, a number of cultural venues will extend the value, meaning that you'll get discounts or even free admission before and after New Year's Eve. You can find a list at http://www.firstnight.org/cultural-partner-offers/before-december-31st/
and at http://www.firstnight.org/cultural-partner-offers/after-december-31st/
Hopefully you'll have time for some of these during your visit.

Also, another good way to save on museums, cruises, tours, the aquarium, etc., is to get a Boston discount card which gives you free admission and also lets you avoid lines (which is a big deal at popular places such as the Aquarium and Museum of Science).

Have a wonderful time here in Boston, and Happy New Year!

Susan
Boston Discovery Guide


Top Boston Attractions

Boston's must-see attractions - the Freedom Trail, Prudential Skywalk Observation Deck, Fenway Park, the Boston Marathon, Newbury Street shopping, plus more. Find out how to get discounts, where to stay nearby, how to get there, and other nearby attractions.


Boston Sightseeing Information and Neighborhood Map

Need the "big picture" of Boston neighborhood locations, and the top attractions in each one? Here's where you'll find it!


Boston Tours

Find all the fun ways to see Boston - everything from strolls along the Freedom Trail (with or without costumed guides) to Duck Boat land and sea tours to Boston Harbor Cruises.   And don't forget about tours to nearby Concord, Salem, and Plimouth Plantation.



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