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 courtesy of Bill Damon

First Night Boston

First Night Boston ice sculpture of Tadpole Playground in Boston Common

Ice sculptures, a huge parade, 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:

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New Year's Eve Comedy Shows

Start the New Year with a laugh.  Both the Wilbur Theatre and Laugh Boston have top comedians scheduled for New Year's Eve:

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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.

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More at the Garden

Check out New Year's Eve parties instead!

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!

More holiday cruises:

More New Year's Eve Events & Parties in Boston

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New Year's Eve Fireworks on Boston Harbor

First Night Boston ice sculpture of frogs - photo courtesy of Tim Sackton

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, Seaport, the East Boston Harborwalk, Charlestown, 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 (and Day) on the Waterfront

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

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:

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

  • 9am-4pm - Boston Harbor Photo Gallery opening at Moakley Courthouse
  • 11am-12 noon - Historic Harbor Map Tour with Harvard Professor Alex Krieger in the at the Boston Harbor Hotel
  • 1pm-4pm - Ice Sculpture Stroll - 17 locations of sculptures and activities along the North End, Downtown, and Seaport Waterfronts (find a list of locations and walking map at
  • 1pm-2pm - Wharf District Harborwalk Tour
  • 1pm-4pm - First Responder Touch-a-Truck/Boat at the Envoy Hotel in Seaport

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
  • 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:

Public Transportation on New Year's Eve

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

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

The T (subway) will be free between 8pm and approximately 2am. 

The Commuter Rail will also operate additional trains, make all stops on the way to destinations, and follow a weekday schedule.  

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

More about Boston's subway service; more details about New Year's Eve service (including bicycle restrictions during certain hours) here:

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

Q & A about New Year's Eve . . . You ask, we'll answer

Fireworks at First Night Boston - photo courtesy of Kris Who-
Photo courtesy courtesy of Kriswho

Where to have dinner near the 7pm First Night Fireworks on New Year's Eve?

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 . . . more

More to Do in Boston in December

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