Usher in 2024 in style with these revelrous offerings
Free Outdoor Fun: For afternoon fun, Boston Harbor Now hosts its 11th annual New Year’s Eve Waterfront Ice Sculpture Stroll from 1–5 p.m., where kids and their parents can participate in the touch-a-truck event with first responders at the Envoy Hotel, bask in the glow of colorful holiday lights at the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Christopher Columbus Park, and take in the winter wonderland that is the Seaport’s seasonal transformation into Snowport —which just happens to be a great perch from which to witness the midnight fireworks for anyone that wants to stick around late. Speaking of which, First Night Boston 2024 is the granddaddy of all North American NYE arts fests, continuing into its 48th year from noon to midnight. Highlights include all-day music performances on an outdoor stage at City Hall Plaza, the Skating Club of Boston’s Skating Spectacular showcase on the Boston Common Frog Pond ice sheet at 6 p.m., family-friendly fireworks on Boston Common at 7 p.m., a laser show and countdown at City Hall Plaza beginning at 11:30 p.m., and the grand finale midnight pyrotechnics over Boston Harbor.
Cruises: Speaking of which, why not head out on the water to witness the dazzling colors emblazon the night sky? Visitors can hop aboard ships from a number of local cruise lines—including the Sir Winston luxury yacht, Boston Harbor City Cruises and Massachusetts Bay Lines, which hosts a 1920s speakeasy-themed soiree aboard its Music City Queen courtesy of Boston Nightlife—for Boston Harbor excursions that boast food, music, adult beverages and more.
Parties: Boston’s bars and clubs are sure to have no shortage of New Year’s shindigs for the 21+ crowd. Two of the biggest bashes are bound to be the Resolution Ball and the Back Bay Ball, both at the Westin Copley Place hotel. While the former is targeted at a younger audience and the latter geared more toward the 30+ set, both feature food, cocktails, dancing, live music and a silent auction to benefit the breast cancer support services of The Ellie Fund. Over at High Street Place, revelers can experience a Willy Wonka-themed gathering, highlighted by giant candy decorations, libations from the food hall’s three acclaimed bars, dance music from dueling DJs, an all-night candy buffet, late-night eats and much more.
Concerts: Live music is a great way to ring in another 365 days (or 366, in the case of 2024). Savor the sounds of such acts as psychedelic funk-sters Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the House of Blues in the Fenway, local folk legend Ellis Paul at Harvard Square’s Club Passim, soulful duo Dwight & Nicole at Regattabar nearby in Cambridge and saxophonist Elan Trotman at Scullers Jazz Club in Allston. For classical sounds, check out Boston Baroque’s annual New Year’s celebration at the GBH Calderwood Studio in Brighton (or, if you miss it, on the afternoon of January 1 at the Sanders Theatre on the campus of Harvard University).
Dining: A fine meal is also a satisfying way to greet 2024, and there are many special New Year’s dinners planned for foodies of all stripes, including Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, which offers special menus at many of its locations until midnight, as well as a special fireworks-viewing package at the Seaport outpost. All Row 34 locations boast a Krug champagne and caviar party (pictured), while the South End’s Bar Mezzana has an optional four-course menu, music, a countdown and midnight bubbly on tap from 5 p.m.–1 a.m.