First Night Festival of the Arts
The First Night Festival of Arts is an all-day, city-wide event in Boston. Guests can purchase buttons from a number of local retailers. The button gets revelers into a variety of venues that normally charge separate admission fees – like the Children’s Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Many of the First Night venues are already free. This event features dozens of options spanning 14 hours and is suitable for families, couples and singles.
The Gatsby Mansion
With music by Mr. Sisko and a relaxed come-as-you-are or come-as-a-flapper dress code, this party is a modern take on a Gatsby gathering. The theme comes straight from “The Great Gatsby” and the prohibition era. The idea is that guests feel like they’re entering a speakeasy or the Gatsby mansion. Either will serve the purpose for this night of dancing, drinking and music to ring in the New Year. This is one of the more pricey events, but the more expensive tickets accommodate large groups.
New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl
Hours: Dec. 31 – 12 p.m. to Jan. 1 – 2 p.m.
Guests for Boston’s New Year’s Eve Pub Crawl spend the night walking between participating bars and spending a bit of time at each location. The close proximity of bars makes Boston a popular city for pub crawls. There is plenty of public transportation and lodging within walking distance as well. Be sure to buy tickets for this popular annual pub crawl and book lodging well in advance. Trains out of the city are crowded on New Year’s Eve, and hotels book quickly.
Boston’s Resolution Ball
Mix 104.1’s Greg Daniels will host this year’s annual Resolution Ball. Music from The Felix Brown Band and D.J. Samuel L. spanning the past four decades will keep the ballroom floor busy. This event is strongly geared toward professionals — typically grown-ups age 40 and under. Basically, you can expect it to be a classier party than some of the youth-oriented New Year’s Eve events. The dress code is cocktail formal, and food is provided.
The Donkey Show
American Repertory Theatre’s Oberon
2 Arrow St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Price: $40 to $70
Hours: Dec. 31 – 9 p.m.
The Donkey Show at the American Repertory Theater is typically a Saturday event. However, the cast and venue put on an extra showing for New Year’s Eve because there is no better way for some Bostonians to ring in the New Year than with some naughty Shakespearean fun. It is like “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” meets Studio 54 if Studio 54 were a roller disco. Maybe it is a little hard to explain, but it is easy to enjoy for those who do not mind a little risqué and taboo dance theater.
Related: Guide to a Low-Key New Year’s Eve
Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.