Events

How to Have a Safe and Fun New Year’s Eve in Boston

Goodbye, 2020. We won’t miss you.

First Night Boston
New Year's Eve Masquerade | First Night Boston
New Year's Eve Masquerade | First Night Boston

It’s the age-old predicament of trying to come up with a solid plan for New Year’s Eve. Some go all out while some choose to lay low. And this year, while we reflect again on how New Year’s parties aren’t for everyone, we’re also reminded that they’re not for anybody this year. To accommodate your change of plans, we’ve come up with a few different ways you can ring in the New Year whether that’s spent at home or elsewhere. As always, make sure to check out any restaurants, resorts or any other establishments’ guidelines ahead of time to ensure you’re following the COVID-19 rules and regulations.
 

Celebrate First Night Boston’s festivities from home

Homestead
Since 1975, crowds have gathered at the Boston Common and in Copley for the annual New Year’s Eve celebration First Night Boston—filled with music, fireworks, and fun that invades your personal space. This year, First Night Boston is happening online, and will include musical performances, special hometown guests, and tributes to local frontline workers. To tune in, you can visit firstnightboston.org or watch NECN and NBC Sports Boston starting at 11 pm on New Year’s Eve.
Cost: Free

Craft the perfect cocktail with these kits or take them to-go

Homestead
Before you secure your bottle of champagne, and to help get you to midnight, local restaurants are still offering cocktails to-go and crafty kits. Try something strong from Chickadee, with youtr choice of two daiquiris, lemon drops, mai tais, and much more available for pickup. You can also try Loco’s holiday margarita kits or Burro Bar’s spicy cocktails and margs. Speakeasy Drink is also offering their finely crafted cocktails to-go along with their signature curated drinks. Pick between your preferred cocktail style—citrus and refreshing or stirred and spirit forward—for a spirited surprise.
Cost: Prices vary
 

Or whip up something sweet for midnight 

Homestead
South Boston’s Fox and the Knife, acclaimed Chef Karen Akunowicz’s first solo restaurant, is known for mouthwatering pasta dishes served with top-notch ingredients and sauces. Yet, when you take a closer look at the online menu, the restaurant is also offering sugar cookie kits. Pair the cookie kit with one of the restaurant’s fine wines and you’ll be more than content celebrating the festivities at home this year. 
Cost: Kits are $15
 

Reserve your table for a New Year’s Eve-themed feast 

Various locations
For some ambience outside of the house, there are a bunch of local restaurants around Boston offering holiday-inspired meals and unconventional ways to enjoy your annual night out. Eataly’s greenhouse-inspired restaurant Terra in Copley is hosting a five-course sit-down dinner for $80 per person, with New England’s largest Italian wine list and seasonal cocktails at your fingertips. You can also check out Lincoln in Southie, Branch Line in Watertown or Barcelona Wine Bar’s South End location for an early toast during their “Midnight in Spain” celebration at 6 pm.
Cost: Prices vary

Book a luxurious stay 

Various locations
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. If the price tag is a bit too steep despite trying to rationalize your lack of spending this year, you can choose from friendlier rates at The Revolution Hotel in the South End, The Verb Hotel in Fenway, or the famous Fairmont Copley Plaza
Cost: Boston Harbor Hotel can run you upwards of $700/night

Or head to the mountains 

Princeton, MA
More of the adventurous type? Wachusett Mountain in Princeton has over 25 trails, eight lifts, and ideal skiing conditions and sights for those avid winter sport enthusiasts. The resort is also having a New Year’s Eve celebration with skiing from 4-9 pm, and suites 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 pass out before midnight. 
Cost: Prices vary
 

Enjoy outdoor activities on the waterfront

Various locations
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 find ice sculptures lined up as part of Boston Harbor’s “Ice Sculpture Stroll.” And in Charlestown, at The Anchor in Shipyard Park, there’s going to be a live ice sculpture carving starting at 4pm, featuring s’mores and hot cocoa for bystanders.
Cost: Free
 

Gather goods for a charcuterie-themed evening 

Homestead
Nothing says a night in like a good old fashioned cheese board. And since you’re prepping for New Year’s Eve, you have no choice but to go all out. For the freshest ingredients, stop by Curds & Co. at the Boston Public Market or you can order delivery online. Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and the South End is yet another go-to spot to grab your essentials, with artisan cheeses and a wide variety of meats. Restaurants American Provisions and Taberna de Haro are also serving up prepared charcuterie boards available for pickup in case you’d rather leave it up to the professionals to assemble.
Cost: Prices vary

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.