Even though the biggest Boston New Year's Eve event for 2021 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
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
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:
- Northern Lights Sunset Cruise - Unwind on this popular after-work cruise as the sky changes brilliant colors and light music plays in the background. Stop by the bar for a drink, watch the sights go by, and hear the USS Constitution's traditional sunset salute - Through Dec 4
- Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise - Sip hot chocolate and treats as you listen to jazzy holiday favorites on this festive cruise - Book now
- Holiday Brunch Cruise - See historic sights and panoramic views around Boston Harbor with friends and family as you enjoy this relaxing cruise with brunch, hot chocolate, and holiday cheer - Book now
- An Irish Christmas Carol Cruise - Get into the holiday spirit on the Northern Lights as you raise your glass and toast the holidays with festive holiday music playing in the background on this popular Harbor cruise - Book now
- New Year's Day Brunch Cruise - Welcome the New Year with a tasty hot 3-course brunch on this relaxing sightseeing tour around Boston Harbor
- Gift Card - Give the perfect holiday gift!
First Night Boston
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.
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.
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.
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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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
- Kings Dining & Entertainment
- LL Bean
- Moakley Courthouse
- Sephora Seaport
- WS Development Seaport
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)
Cheap Flights & Cozy Hotels for New Year's Eve in Boston
Need a cheap flight to Boston for your New Year's Eve celebration? Check out our tips for finding flight bargains, including last-minute deals.
Now that you've saved on your flight, treat yourself to a cozy Boston hotel with fireplace. Rates are at their lowest
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 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 . . .
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
More to See and Do in Boston during December
Check Out More Top Boston Events Each Month
More Articles about New Year's Eve in Boston
- New Year's Eve Boston Hotel Packages - Special deals to make you really celebrate!
- First Night Boston - The city's biggest New Year's Eve event
- Romantic Things to Do in Boston during the Holidays
- More Fun Things to do in Boston in January
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