New Year's Eve in Boston

Best Boston New Year's Eve Events - 2019-2020

Where to Celebrate New Year's Eve in Boston

Even though the biggest Boston New Year's Eve event for 2019 is the famous First Night celebration, there are plenty of other New Year's Eve parties and special events for you to consider - plus a spectacular fireworks show over Boston Harbor and Countdown at Copley Square at midnight.

Whether you're looking for a romantic night of dancing and champagne, a fireworks cruise, entertainment at a concert or comedy club, or a festive but family-friendly way to welcome the New Year, you'll find plenty of exciting choices.


Our guide to the best New Year's Eve events and celebrations in Boston gives you the whole spectrum of things to do on this special night.

Credit: Top photo of fireworks over Boston courtesy of Bill Damon

New Year's Eve Fireworks on Boston Harbor

Fireworks over Boston Harbor in New Year's Eve - photo courtesy Michael Landers
New Year's Eve fireworks at midnight over Boston Harbor, photographed from East Boston - photo courtesy of Matthew Landers

Head over to Christopher Columbus Park to ring in the New Year by watching fireworks over Boston Harbor at midnight launched from a barge between Long Wharf and Fan Pier.

The best place to watch?  Any spot along the waterfront overlooking Boston Harbor, such as the North End's Christopher Columbus Park, the Downtown Waterfront, Fan Pier in the Seaport District, the East Boston Harborwalk, Charlestown Waterfront, and Castle Island. 

The fireworks display is co-sponsored by Friends of Christopher Columbus Park, the organization that is also responsible for the gorgeous lighted trellis and all the many activities that take place in this gorgeous waterfront park - the gateway to Boston's North End, and other Boston Harbor Now members (numerous waterfront-related businesses, institutions, organizations, including the US Coast Guard), the Wharf District Council, and City of Boston.

New Year's Eve Cruises

Holiday cruises around Boston Harbor Cruise on the Northern Lights

Welcome the New Year aboard the elegant yacht Northern Lights on these special New Year's Eve and New Year's Day cruises around Boston Harbor.  These cruises always sell out early - so don't wait to make your reservations!

- New Year's Eve Fireworks Cruise with live music, dancing, hors d'oeuvres, & fireworks at midnight

- New Year’s Day Brunch aboard Northern Lights 

More holiday cruises:

Celebrate the holidays while relaxing and sightseeing on the festively decorated Yacht Northern Lights on these special cruises around Boston Harbor:

  • An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit with Slainte, the Northern Lights' house Irish band.   Raise your glass as you join in singing some merry Irish holiday ballads on this 90 minute Harbor cruise - Find out more
  • Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise - Join in singing your favorite Christmas holiday songs led by the Blue Motion Jazz Quartet on this cozy 90 minute Harbor Cruise on the Northern Lights with drinks and snacks available for purchase at the yacht's Main Deck Bar. - Find out more
  • Holiday Sunset Cruise - As the ship's captain points out highlights of passing landmarks and soft music plays in the background, watch the ever-changing sunset colors as the sun sets behind Boston's city skyline on this relaxing 90 minute cruise around the Harbor.  Find out more
  • Holiday Jazz Cruise - Relax to the sounds of jazzy Christmas tunes performed live by Blue Motion Jazz Quartet, and enjoy an adult beverage on this 90 minute romantic evening cruise past iconic attractions along the Boston waterfront - Find out more
  • Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor as you enjoy this 2 hour narrated cruise including hot chocolate and brunch (Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and spiked hot chocolate available at the bar) - Find out more
  • Cocoa & Blues Holiday Cruise - Enjoy Boston's sparkling skyline at night along with spiked hot chocolate or a glass of champagne as City of Four, Northern Lights' house R&B/funk band, plays contemporary versions of holiday classics inspired by Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and the Temptations - Find out more
Classic Harbor Line Gift Card

Save 10% on a gift certificate for Classic Harbor Line's Boston Harbor cruises on Northern Lights and Adirondack IIIBook through this link and enter BDGIFT10 when purchasing to get your 10% discount.  Offer valid through December 31, 2019.

First Night Boston

First Night Boston ice sculpture of Tadpole Playground in Boston Common

Ice sculptures, a huge parade down Boylston Street, non-stop entertainment, music and dancing, Countdown to Midnight in Copley Square - Boston's annual First Night celebration offers something fun for everyone. 

With events starting at noon, the alcohol-free, family-friendly First Night Boston is the city's largest New Year's Eve celebration. 

Best of all:  All official First Night/First Day events are free.

More about First Night Boston events, schedule, hotels, transportation, and parking

New Year's Eve Shows & Theater in Boston

From Blue Man Group to Lake Street Dive, you can choose from several shows in Boston's theaters on New Year's Eve:

TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLWINTER to get $10 off orders of $250+
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Find more shows in Boston

New Year's Eve Comedy Shows

Start the New Year with a laugh. 

Bryan Callen is appearing at the Wilbur Theatre on New Year's Eve (find tickets), and Boston's comedy clubs will have exciting lineups as well.

More about Boston's comedy clubs

Boston Sports on New Year's Eve 

TD Garden is usually a good bet for New Year's Eve entertainment - but not this year!  If you want to catch a Celtics, Bruins, or Harlem Globetrotters game there this year, head over on Christmas Day or Wednesday or Thursday.

TicketLiquidator Discount Code - Enter TLWINTER to get $10 off orders of $250+
TicketNetwork Discount Code - Enter TNTIX to get $10 off orders of $300+



More at the Garden

Check out New Year's Eve parties instead!

More New Year's Eve Events & Parties in Boston

 Save BIG on half-price & discount New Year's Eve and New Year's Day event ttickets from Goldstar

New Year's Eve (and Day) on the Waterfront

In addition to the Midnight Harbor Fireworks, lots more mostly free fun activities take place along the Waterfront throughout New Year's Eve and New Year's Day:

Ice Sculpture Stroll

The annual Ice Sculpture Stroll along Boston Harbor is bigger and better than ever this year, with imaginative ice sculptures and activities for you to enjoy in these (mostly) waterfront locations:

North End Ice Sculpture Locations

  • Atlantic Wharf
  • Battery Wharf Hotel
  • Christopher Columbus Park

Charlestown End Ice Sculpture Locations

  • Charlestown Navy Yard

Downtown Waterfront Ice Sculpture Locations

  • Marriott Long Wharf
  • New England Aquarium
  • Harbor Towers
  • International Place
  • Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center (Greenway)
  • Boston Harbor Hotel

Seaport/South Boston Waterfront Ice Sculpture Locations

  • Envoy Hotel
  • Fan Pier/Fallon CBRE
  • Fjällräven
  • Kings Dining & Entertainment
  • LL Bean
  • Moakley Courthouse
  • Sephora Seaport
  • WS Development Seaport
  • Yotel

More New Year's Eve Along the Waterfront Activities - December 31

  • Wharf District Harborwalk Tour
  • 1pm-4pm - First Responder Touch-a-Truck/Boat at the Envoy Hotel in Seaport
  • Harbor Map Tour at the Boston Harbor Hotel

New Year's Day Activities - January 1

  • 12 noon-about 1pm - First Day Hike from Old North Church (meet there at noon) to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown  (to be confirmed)
  • 12 noon-4pm - Seafarer's Island Holiday - New Year's Cruise to Thompson Island from Rowes Wharf on the Downtown Waterfront - Tickets $30 adults and $20 children 3-12 - buy tickets online in advance or on the day of the trip; more details here: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3620789   (to be confirmed)

Public Transportation on New Year's Eve

MBTA provides extended subway and commuter rail service on New Year's Eve with until approximately 2am. 

Additional subway cars will operate and provide rush-hour level service throughout the evening. 

And as a bonus, the T (subway) will be free between 8pm and approximately 2am. 

The Commuter Rail does its part by providing additional trains, making all stops on the way to destinations, and following a weekday schedule.  

Buses, the Silver Line, and trackless trollies also operate on a weekday schedule. 

So don't even thing about driving into, around, or out of Boston on New Year's Eve!

More about Boston's subway service

More details about New Year's Eve service (including bicycle restrictions during certain hours) here:  https://blog.mass.gov/transportation/mbta/mbta-new-years-eve-free-service

More Things to Do in Boston on New Year's Eve

Q & A about First Night: You ask, we'll answer . . .

Fireworks at First Night Boston - photo courtesy of Kris Who- www.boston-discovery-guide.com

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 . . . see our recommendations about vegetarian and vegan places to dine in Chinatown and near Copley Square


More to Do in Boston in December

Events and things to do in Boston in December

More to See and Do in Boston during December


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First Night Boston ice sculpture of frogs - photo courtesy of Tim Sackton
Ice sculpture on the Greenway during the Ice Sculpture Scroll - Photo courtesy Boston Harbor Now