It’s fair to say that the last night of the year is the most exciting. New Year’s Eve is celebrated across Massachusetts in style, with a plethora of family-oriented events available from Boston to Springfield. With great food, drinks, music, firework displays, and more, here’s 10 of the very best New Year’s Eve events in Massachusetts.
Beginning with live entertainment in Copley Square on the afternoon of Dec. 31, First Night Boston features a wealth of indoor locations providing family entertainment. Family Fireworks provided by the City of Boston start at 7 p.m., and the official New Year’s countdown begins just prior to midnight, at which time Copley Pyrotechnics and Light Show kick off their presentation at Copley Square. There will also be a scavenger hunt for the whole family to enjoy! This event is free and open to all.
Beverly’s First Night celebration is geared to the younger (or maybe even the older!) set, in that it ends at 7 p.m. instead of midnight. Taking place along Cabot Street starting at 3 p.m., it will feature a parade and a beach ball drop at 7 p.m. for the kids. In addition, there will be music, entertainment and arts and crafts for the whole family. Buttons go on sale in local stores soon.
A bigger crowd than usual is expected this year at First Night Northampton, since it falls on a Sunday. It is expected to be part of many people’s long holiday weekend celebration. Fireworks, entertainment, music and more will take place beginning on Sunday afternoon. It will culminate in a “ball raising” at the Hotel Northampton at midnight. Buttons are available via a variety of retailers that are listed on their website.
Buttons are already on sale for First Night Chatham. Check their website for the list of vendors selling them. This is the 27th year for their First Night celebration, and it will be a full day event. An alcohol-free family celebration, there will be a town photo taken at the lighthouse at noon, after which a day and evening of fun and entertainment will kick off. Fireworks begin at Oyster Pond at the stroke of midnight.
First Night Sandwich begins at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31 with a variety of indoor music and cultural programs. Check the website for this year’s locations. Outdoor activities and displays include ice sculptures, a lighted fairy garden, ice skating and more. A parade finishes out the rather early First Night celebration. It begins at 8 p.m. Fireworks on Shawme Pond follow the parade. Buttons are available for purchase.
While it doesn’t have the late-night hours of most First Night celebrations, LAUNCH! New Year’s Eve in Salem is an event all its own—for the whole family to enjoy. Kicking off at 4 p.m. at Old Town Hall and Derby Square, the event is free and family friendly. A $5 donation is suggested. Enjoy music and entertainment, as well as an early countdown to 2018 that begins at 6 p.m.
Starry Starry Night New Year’s Eve Celebration will take place in Orange beginning at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 with a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities. There will be puppet shows, a comedian, music, dancers, ice sculptures and more. Their Parade of Stars begins at 10 p.m., followed by fireworks at 10:15.
Rockport New Year’s Eve offers people a different way to ring in the New Year. Taking place at the Community House, attendees will be treated to the readings of eight winners from the 10 Minute Play Contest. Taking place from 6-9 p.m., this is perfect for those who want to stay indoors and celebrate the end of 2017 in a cultural way.
A New Year’s Eve event for children, Bright Nights at Forest Park presents a Santa’s Magical Forest. Children receive their choice of a free noisemaker or hat and can enjoy a free amusement ride, too. The event is from 5:30-8 p.m. Check the website for directions.
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This is an absolute can’t-miss event for your little ones! Before the evening festivities begin, take your child to the Discovery Museum in Acton at 11:45 a.m. for Bessie’s Bundled-Up New Year’s Eve Pajama Dance Party. Little ones are encouraged to dress up in their pajamas and dance the late morning away as they countdown to 12 (noon). This event is held in Discovery Woods, so inclement weather could change some details.