How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Boston
The ultimate guide to ringing in 2022.
It’s the age-old predicament of trying to come up with a solid plan for New Year’s Eve. Should you go all out or choose to lay low and avoid the hoopla completely? No matter which strategy sounds more appealing to you, there’s no shortage of activities to help you say goodbye to 2021 and ring in the new year in Boston this year. If you’re in need of a little inspiration for New Year’s plans, look no further: Here are the top ways to spend NYE in Boston this year.
First Night Boston is back to ring in the New Year, with a packed list of performers kicking off December 31 at noon all the way up until midnight. The celebration takes place in Copley, featuring live bands, quartet performances, ice skating at the Frog Pond, a parade at 6 pm, ice sculptures by local artists, and more, ending with a bang (literally) during the fireworks display at midnight along the Boston Harbor. There’s also a light show happening at midnight on the Copley stage and a multi-sensory display above the Fairmont Copley Hotel that you can see from the event.
Time Out Market Boston, the culinary and cultural hub at 401 Park in Fenway, is hosting a New Year’s Eve party all night long featuring late-night bites, Champagne, and $60 toward the venue’s bars and kitchens. There will plenty of entertainment as well, including live music, tarot card readings, caricature artists, and to top it all off, a show courtesy of Cirque de Light. In case you’re worried about getting home and the inevitable Uber surges, for your ticket purchase, you’ll receive a discount code redeemable December 31 only for 15% off a one-night stay at the nearby Verb Hotel—and the first 200 guests to purchase tickets to the event will also be entered into a raffle for a free hotel room. Talk about a game plan!
Cost: $90 per ticket
Feast on some of the city’s best menus
NYE activities tend to lead to extravagant celebrations, so why not look for an extravagant menu? Seaport’s Committee Ouzeri + Bar is planning a lavish Greek-inspired menu featuring finely crafted cocktails—not to mention DJ Ryan Brown playing his funky beats throughout the evening. Woods Hill Pier 4, another Seaport staple, invites guests to indulge in their caviar service and special dinner-for-two menu featuring butter-poached lobster and dry-aged Woods Hill park loin. Row 34, you guessed it, in Seaport, will feature chef and owner Jeremy Sewall’s annual pairing of Ossetra Caviar and NV Krug Grand Cuvee champagne at cost for one night only. If your night takes you to East Boston, gastropub Cunard Tavern is preparing a four-course prix-fixe dinner crafted by chef Anthony Pico, coming in at $75 per person or $100 for dinner, fireworks, and a Champagne toast. See the restaurants’ websites for pricing, reservations, and more information.
Cost: Prices vary
Bounce around brewery parties
If you prefer to toast with an IPA in hand, Night Shift Brewing in Everett is hosting a Masquerade ball-themed New Year’s Eve party in their taproom, featuring live music, food from Brato Brewhouse, and more. Tickets are $50 per person, which will get you one food and drink ticket (and not to worry, a Champagne toast at midnight). Meanwhile, over in Dorchester, DBco is hosting its New Year’s Eve Hopservatory Bash inside the brewery’s upstairs “Hopservatory” overlooking the city. For only $10 a ticket, you’ll get a draft pour of your choosing, which also includes a special slushie offering. Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville is also having a New Year’s Eve disco party featuring live drag performances and treats from Union Square’s Juliet. General admission is $40, which includes a commemorative glass and midnight pour of the event-exclusive Glitter Beer.
Cost: $10-$50 per ticket
The Liberty Hotel is ready to ring in the New Year with its Reverie: a New Year’s Eve Fantasy party, taking advantage of its multi-level, exposed floors, which were designed to preserve the look of the former jailhouse (yep, you read that right). A general admission ticket will get you access to both the fourth and fifth levels, where you’ll find DJs, dancing, a light buffet, and more.
Cost: $120 per general admission ticket
Book a worthwhile, luxurious staycation
If you’re looking for luxury, or simply a night to treat yourself and your plus one, the city has some spectacular stays for a mini vacation AKA time away from your apartment. Boston Harbor Hotel in Rowes Wharf has romantic accommodations for two, including a bottle of Moët Champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries delivered to your room on December 31 and an $80 credit toward breakfast the next morning. If the price tag is a bit too steep, you can choose slightly friendlier rates at The Revolution Hotel in the South End, The Boxer Hotel in the West End, Fairmont Copley Plaza in Copley Square, and more.
Cost: Rates vary
More of the adventurous type? Wachusett Mountain in Princeton has more than 25 trails, eight lifts, and ideal skiing conditions and sights for those avid winter sport enthusiasts. The resort is also hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration with skiing from 7 pm to midnight, an outdoor DJ, parade, and more—not to mention their suites are available featuring stunning views and top-tier dinner options. If you’re looking to only spend the day, check out our list of the best ski slopes in New England for more ideas. Just beware that you’ll probably pack up your gear way before midnight.
Cost: Lift ticket prices vary
New Year’s Eve gets a pretty bad rep with the stress of, well, coming up with plans. So this year, why not spend the day taking in the city’s picturesque backdrop and carving time out for a leisurely stroll? Along downtown’s waterfront, you can admire the ice sculptures lined up as part of Boston Harbor’s Ice Sculpture Stroll from 1 pm until dusk. And while you’re there, stay a while to eventually catch a glimpse of the holiday lights and get a pic under the trellis at Christopher Columbus Park.
The Anchor, Boston’s multi-story public gathering space, performing arts venue, and open-air wine and beer garden, is hosting its Navy Yard New Year party starting at 7 pm. You can reserve your package online, with offerings from the “Pop, Fizz, Clink,” which gets you a glass of prosecco, fleece blanket, and set of hand warmers or the “Ring in the New Year,” perfect for larger groups, which includes a glass of prosecco, fleece blanket along with a mulled beverage, access to the dessert bar, $50 food and beverage credit and more.
Cost: Packages run from $19.99 to $499
South End’s Shore Leave is pretty much the perfect holiday dining destination with its Sippin’ Santa’s Surf Shack pop-up running right up until New Year’s Day. As part of the Miracle family of Christmas-themed pop-up bars, Shore Leave was chosen as one of 23 bars in the country to host Sippin’ Santa. Holiday cocktails and original favorites will be served along with a new sushi menu. The decor isn’t too shabby either, with all the lights, garland, and ribbon you can imagine. Unfortunately, reservations are currently sold out on Resy, but there are a few walk-in tables serving the full menu available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Cost: Prices vary
For some mid-day activity, The Rink at 401 Park will be open on New Year’s Eve from 11 am to 6 pm. While you’re there, you have all the food and drink options around you considering its Fenway neighborhood location, and more specifically, this gem is conveniently the center point between Time Out Market Boston and Trillium Fenway. For more ice rinks, check out our list of the top spots around Boston for skating.
Cost: Depending on the rink, admission is either free or tickets can range from $6-$10
If you’re looking for the coolest of cool NYE parties, head to OFFSUIT for the intimate cocktail bar’s three-part party. From 5 to 7 pm on December 31, enjoy sounds from their Golden Age of Hip Hop theme ($120 per ticket), then starting at 8 pm, the bar will transition into two hours of punk music ($120 per ticket) then finally, ending with their TAYLOR.F******.SWIFT. party from 11 pm to 1 am ($150 per ticket). Choose wisely, friends.
Cost: $120-$140 per ticket
Celebrate in a speakeasy with the Beehive
The Beehive never fails to host epic theme parties. And this year, the speakeasy-esque jubilee gets started with a fabulous a la carte menu at 5 pm and three-course prix-fixe option at 8:30 pm. But if you’re solely looking for entertainment, you can buy bar tickets for their late-night activities starting at 8:30 pm, which includes burlesque performances and Latin-inspired rhythms leading you to midnight. The spot’s South End sister restaurant, Cósmica, is also hosting a NYE party featuring Cal-Mex favorites, live mariachi music, a piñata, and more.
Cost: $40-$215 per ticket
Take one last stroll to the tree
If you haven’t made a trip to Boston’s famous Christmas tree—you know, the white spruce that made its way all the way from Nova Scotia—you might want to soak up the tradition before its display comes to a close on December 31. And while you’re there, you might as well lengthen the leisurely walk and bask under the strings of lights that line the park.
While this is a New Year’s Eve guide, it’s also important to include some hair-of-the-dog-type activities for those who are up for it on the first day of the new year. Harpoon’s Spoons, Toons, N’ Brews brunch on January 1 is perfect for those battling a manageable hangover. Each ticket includes one drink, unlimited access to their cereal bar (with a stout milk option with Harpoon’s Boston Irish Stout), a nostalgic cereal bowl and spoon to take home, a chance to play classic video games and watch old cartoons, early access to the Beer Hall, and last but not least, you’ll be one of the first to take home their new Retro Rye IPA. FYI, Harpoon will be open on NYE from noon to 10 pm. Just make sure you go home in between the evening’s festivities and brunch.
Cost: $35 per brunch ticket