Back for its 43rd annual celebration, First Night Boston is a fun, free, and family-friendly way to celebrate the new year with your city. The celebration will include hours of live entertainment, including live music, dancing, ice skating shows, an ice-skating show and a parade. With dazzling ice sculptures and two fireworks shows, it’s a super spectacle you don’t want to miss! The First Night festivities will run from 12 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, 2022 through 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
The Historical significance of First Night Boston
First Night Boston typically attracts over 1 million people every year. First Night Boston began in 1976, as an idea from artist and visionary Clara Wainwright to create a radically different experience than the boring New Year’s Eve parties her and her husband used to attend. For the very first First Night, Clara inspired dozens of artists to perform, put on a fireworks show, and focused on creating one of the world’s first family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations.
First Night Boston was such a hit, press in other states were writing about it, and it quickly inspired over 55 of similar events across the U.S as well and even globally in countries like New Zealand and Canada. While New York’s Times Square Ball Drop dates back to 1907, First Night is recognized as the “country’s oldest and largest New Year’s Eve arts festival”- according to their Instagram.
Featured events for this year’s First Night Boston
Many venues around Boston will be hosting events and entertainment, such as the Boston Public Library, Copley Place, Boston Common, and surrounding establishments. Check out the First Night schedule for more details on the times and locations of events.
- 1 pm: Emancipation Proclamation Concert at Trinity Church. Hosted by the Handel and Haydn Society and the Museum of African American History, this concert commemorates Boston’s historic role in the abolition movement and the role of music in creating an alliance and belonging.
- 1:30-4:15: Puppet Showplace Theater at the Center Court at Copley Place. This free puppet show is a great family-friendly activity for your afternoon.
- 3 pm: Organ Concert at Old South Church. This church’s mighty 1921 E. M. Skinner pipe organ boasts a massive surround sound experience, and it’s something you’ll have to hear to believe. Affectionately dubbed the “Copley Philharmonic Organ,” this organ concert will showcase an array of Christmas tunes that’ll be fun for the whole family to enjoy.
- 6:00-6:30 pm: Skating Spectacular at Frog Pond. Experience a spectacular ice-skating show of national champions, local soloists, synchronized skaters and Theater on Ice.
- 7:30 – 11:30 pm: Performances at Copley Square. Leading up to midnight, multiple artists will perform lively sets, including R&B singers Alli Haber and Nancia and the high-energy cover bands, The Sultans, Sons of Levin, and Silver Arrow Band.
First Night Boston Fireworks display locations
The highlight of First Night is the annual fireworks and Pyrotechnic Show! What a way to ring in the new year!
There are three spots to enjoy the expansive fireworks displays on First Night. Fireworks will go off at midnight until 12:30 AM on New Year’s Eve at:
- the Boston Common
- the Boston Inner Harbor(Long wharf)
- Fairmont Copley Hotel
At 7 PM on December 31 there will be an additional “family-friendly” Boston Common firework display for those who can’t make it to midnight! The Common fireworks will take place where the bulk of festivities lay and the harbor fireworks are off in a quainter setting near Seaport and above the water which creates a stunning reflection of lights!
Find the Boston Inner Harbor across the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor located at 101 Harborside Dr.(harbor fireworks will be visible from Jefferies Point, Waterfront, and Seaport neighborhoods)
Find the Boston Common at 139 Tremont St.
Find Copley Square and the Fairmont at 560 Boylston St.