Fun Things to Do in Boston on New Year's Eve

The ball is about to drop, and you don't have plans. But you do have options.

The ball is about to drop, and you don't yet have plans for New Year's Eve. Whether you have the family in tow, you want the best view for your Champagne toast, or you're a die-hard foodie getting in a last feast before resolutions kick in, here in Boston you have plenty of options. 


Enchanted Evening

In the Fan Pier area of the Seaport District, the mod-contemporary Envoy Hotel holds a family fun time by day and a sophisticated experience by night. During the day, catch the display of emergency response vehicles on site. Take pictures on a vintage firetruck, or see a Coast Guard Cutter form USCG Base Boston up close. Then, in the evening, dive into a three-course, prix-fixe menu from Chef Tatiana Rosana (think roasted sea bass with grilled fennel, heirloom carrots, black lentils and carrot buerre blanc) at the Outlook Kitchen & Bar. Finish the year with the New Year's Package, which includes overnight luxe accommodations for two and a complimentary bottle of Champagne waiting for you to ring in the New Year. Dinner: $75 per person; accommodation packages start at $419.

Lookout Rooftop Bar looks right out onto Boston Harbor

Catch the NYE fireworks as you glide across the harbor with a New Year's Eve Odyssey Dinner Cruise. A gourmet plated dinner and live music are followed up by flowing champagne at the midnight toast. Cruise boards at 8 pm and lasts 9 pm-1 am; tickets: $199.90 per person.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the place to wow your eyes: catch the spectacular light show Blink! with 350,000 LED lights dancing along to holiday music, or gaze at the magnificent illuminated ice sculptures, and don't forget the twinkling lights on the tree. An eclectic lineup of live music will perform all weekend, with Brian Stankus, Natalie Sellers, Boston Piano Kid, Jared Hanrahan and Joe Skakan serenading New Year revelers. 


Get Sky-High

Fireplaces, the starry night sky above, and an up-close, eye-level view of the midnight fireworks spectacle over Boston Harbor are all part of the New Year's Eve celebration at Legal Harborside. Head for the popular Seaport seafood restaurant's third floor, glass-enclosed roof deck and grab a noisemaker and a glass of Moët & Chandon. And then enjoy one of the most beautifully scenic affairs capping off 2015. Tickets: $80 per person; $600 per reserved table (up to 6 people).

The tallest restaurant in Boston is, of course, a highly sought-after destination on Dec. 31, for its bird's-eye view of the entire city and, even, parts of New England. As the landmark enters 2017, party goers will at Top of the Hub can choose between two dinner seatings (at 5 and 8:30 pm) rather than just one, featuring a four-course prix-fixe menu, and then dance the night away to live jazz of the Sam DeRosa Band. Tickets: $150 per person early seating; $200 per person late seating. 


Embrace the Arts

For 40 years now, the U.S.’s oldest and largest New Year’s Eve arts festival, First Night First Day, has been ringing in the New Year by celebrating local culture. Most events and attractions—all free—take place outdoors in and around Copley Square, the Boston Common and Boston Harbor, and highlights range from the Family Festival with skating and ice sculptures to the Copley Countdown with a fireworks display in Copley Square at midnight. Dec. 31 at 10 am through Jan. 1 at 2 pm. 

As is annual tradition for classical music fans in Boston, you can toast the New Year with a glass of champagne from the hall at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, where period instrument orchestra Boston Baroque holds its annual celebratory concert featuring Handel's "Music for Royal Fireworks" with concertmaster Christina Day Martinson, the same composer’s Concerto for Sopranino Recorder, and Corelli’s Concerto Grosso in F. Dec. 31 at 8 pm, Jan. 1 at 3 pm. Tickets: $30-90.

Boston Ballet in Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker

Over at the Opera House, Mikko Nissinen treats audiences to a special, single-night version of Boston Ballet's "The Nutcracker" to complete its holiday season run. Pre-show pop-up champagne carts, live orchestral performances, and other unexpected flourishes are part of the fun. Dec. 31 at 7:30 pm. Tickets: $45-199.


Eat Like It's Your Last Supper

Wishes do come true, and for foodies, it's Tony Maws' celebratory New Year's Eve dinner at The Kirkland Tap & Trotter. Beginning at 9:30 pm, "The Bash" takes over, and celebrants should expect nothing less than a feast rife with briny oysters, house-made hummus and smoky grilled vegetables. Live music, a taco bar and plenty of bubbly round out the evening. Tickets: $58 per person.

You don't have to stick to any resolutions yet, so eat up at Puritan & Co. where Chef-owner Will Gilson plates a hearty, regionally inspired four-course prix-fixe stocked with such choices as bay scallop crudo, wood-grilled duck breast dressed in dried-cherry jus, and cauliflower and black truffle soup. Tickets: $75 per person, $40 additional for wine pairing.

Harvard Square favorite Alden & Harlow fancies up its menu on NYE with some pretty outrageous vittles. Thanks to Chef-owner Michael Scelfo, you'll be wolfing down seared A5 Kobe with celery root, rye lumache with lobster and broth, roasted pork shank with white truffle and turnip gnocchi, and the Baller Burger with whipped bone marrow, shaved white truffle, smoked bacon and lobster, and then washing it down with a French 75. Reservations required, 617.864.2100.


Rock Out

In what has become a standing, 25-year tradition, singer-songwriter Ellis Paul holds a series of New Year's Eve shows at legendary Club Passim—the stage that launched American folk artists including Shawn Colvin, Joan Baez and Suzanne Vega. Make merry to the sounds off Paul's most recent album release, "Chasing Beauty", and his signature classics. Dec. 30-31 at 7 pm and 10 pm. Tickets: $40-50.

Ellis Paul hosts his 24th New Year's Eve concert series at Club Passim

At The Langham, restaurant-lounge BOND serves up a Great Gatsby-themed dance party that begins at 10 pm. Expect a midnight champagne toast, dancing to DJ Matty D and a midnight balloon drop. Tickets: $85 per person $320 for VIP table.