Dec 26, 2011 – Jan 3, 2012: Arty New Years Eve (not at a bar), Polar Plunges, Snowshoeing & Skating, Hikes & Cruises, listing more Fireworks than anyone else!
12/26/11 by Johnny Monsarrat
The Week in Weird
David Foster & Mohegan Sun All Stars – tix giveaway
Still looking for a place to go for New Year’s Eve? How about this party featuring David Foster… 877.571.SHOW.Hanover Theatre, 2 Southbridge St, Worcester, MA.
East Heaven Hot Tub – tix giveaway
Sat 1/1 – Mon 1/31
Didn’t win last week? I have more tix to give! East Heaven has a rooftop hot tub and a variety of spa servics. I’m giving away a half hour tu… 33 West St, Northampton, MA.
Sing-a-Long Sound of Music
Mon 12/26 – Fri 12/30
The Sound of Music, the classic musical is being shown in Arlington along with printed lyrics so you can sing along. How fun!! And it’s happenin… Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA.
First Night Boston
Don’t go to a bar for New Years! Getting drunk is not creative, and you already spend a third of your life asleep… that’s enough blotting out life. for me. How ab… Various Locations, Boston, MA.
First Night Grand Procession & Fireworks
Don’t want to pay? The parade is free, with ice sculptures in Boston Common and fireworks over Boston Harbor a… From Hynes Convention Center to Boston Common, Boston, MA.
First Night at Frog Pond Skating Pink
Boston Common’s pond has ice skating all winter, including New Years Eve. Boston, MA.
New Year’s Eve Dance Party at Folk Arts Center of New England
OK, let’s say you’re afraid of walking in the cold and just want to stay in a single place for New Years. Here’s a … Church, 11 Homer Street, Newton, MA.
New Years Day Walk
Here’s another walk, conveniently in Boston. Below I list a bunch more in state parks all around. 2-4pm. The nearby Franklin Park Zoo is open on New Year’s, too! Franklin Park, Boston, MA.
L Street Brownies New Year’s Day Swim
Every New Years Day, crazy people go for a swim on New Years. Why not show up and cheer them on? What a way … 617-635-5104.Curley Community Center, 1663 Columbia Road, Boston, MA.
Moonlit Snowshoe Tour
Snowshoes!! I’ve never done this, and I really want to go! I have big feet already, but they are not snowshoe sized, so I will need to rent snowshoes. 7:30-9pm. Gorham, NH.
New Years Eve
Mayor’s New Year Open House
This is the closest alternative to Boston’s First Night that’s on public transit. 11:30am professional performance at the ice r… 617 527 8283.City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave, Newton, MA.
First Night Tours at Otis House
While at First Night, visit this historic 1796 mansion right in downtown Boston, 11am-9pm. Even if you are going to a party (this is ac… 617-227-3956.141 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA.
Spirit of Boston New Year’s Cruise
Here’s a creative idea: seeing the fireworks from a ship! Call for reservations. 617-748-1450.Commonwealth Pier, Boston, MA.
Happy Noon Year
This undescribed event is just for kids, but will most likely be fun. 12pm. Boston, MA.
New Year’s Eve Harbor Cruise with a Ranger
Here’s another kid-friendly (but also for adults) afternoony activity for New Years Eve. Cruise with a park ranger for 90 minutes! 1-3pm. 617-770-0040.Boston, MA.
New Years Eve with The Donkey Show
Everyone loves the Donkey Show, where they take Shakespeare and mix it with a disco performance and a dance party you can take part in! Wha… Club Oberon, 2 Arrow St, Cambridge, MA.
Boston’s Resolution Ball
If you have to go to a standard New Years party, this one’s the biggest and best. Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA.
New Years Eve at Nashoba Ski
Beat this, bars that don’t do anything special for New Years! Skiing, riding, tubing until 11:30pm and then a parade and fireworks! Let’s hope… 978-692-5700.79 Powers Road, Westford, MA.
Bessie’s New Year’s Eve PJ Dance Party
Have kids? Attend the Discovery Museum and dance around in your pajamas. Hee hee hee. 10am. Is it really at 10am?? Acton, MA.
New Years’ Eve Contra Dances
Folk dances are a great alternative to nightclubs. People don’t dress like skanks, it’s well lit, and the social dances are constru… 617-547-7781.Scout House, 74 Walden St., Concord, MA.
New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk
This is so great! This church has both indoor and outdoor labyrinth and you can come do a 30-minute walk and reflect on life. I called and they swear… 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin, MA.
New Year’s Eve at the Irish Cultural Center of New England
This looks like a nightclubby experience but the Irish Cultural Centre generally has good entertainment. 7pm-1am. 200 New Boston Dr, Canton, MA.
New Year’s Needham, MA
This one’s the closest real ‘first night’ to Boston. They have a trolley so you can get around without driving. 10am-12:30am. No fireworks, but there’s a laser light show at the … Needham, MA.
City Celebrates! New Year’s Eve, New Bedford, MA
A national park in New Bedford will have arts, a parade, and fireworks, from 4-8pm. Although it says 2011, this really is their “New Ye… 508-996-8253.New Bedford, MA.
First Night Worcester, MA
I’ve discovered another 30 cities in New England that hold First Nights, too! Why not get a hotel room and visit another city? This one has shuttles so you don’t have to dri… Worcester, MA.
New Year’s Eve at Wachusett Mountain
Most ski resorts are having a New Years celebration. The best ones like Wachusett Mountain have fireworks and let you ski at night until midni… Wachusett Mountain, Princeton, MA.
Billerica Family First Night
In Billerica they’ll have “music and entertainment” in front of city hall, but no town-wide performances. Last year they had ice sculptures and a parade. 4-8pm. Billerica, MA.
New Years Rockport Eve
There will also be short 45-minute performances at 15 venues in the downtown area of Rockport. 6pm-midnight. They refuse to call it 2012 for some reason…. Rockport Downtown area, Rockport, MA.
Beverly’s New Year
This one ends early, it runs 3-8pm. There’s a parade but there don’t seem to be fireworks. 978-922-8558.Cabot Street, Beverly, MA.
Wenham Museum’s New Years Countdown
Although it’s meant for kids, you could do worse than see a magic show and sing silly songs, all at a convenient 10am-1pm. That’s AM as in “morning”. :)…. 132 Main St, Wenham, MA.
First Night Orange, MA
Orange has fireworks! And hayrides, and a parade with giant puppets! But no oranges. 6-11pm. 978-544-2821.Orange, MA.
New Years’s Jam at Earthdance
Tue 12/27 – Sat 1/1
They claim this all-weekend dance festival sells out, so buy early. It’s an off-beat way to spend New Years. 413-634-5678.Plainfield, MA.
First Night, Jr. at Holyoke
This one’s also for kids, with a carousel, a magician, ice sculptures, juggler, and balloon an… 413-534-1723 or 413-530-0893.Holyoke Heritage State Park, 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.
First Night Northampton, MA
Further away but trying hard is First Night Northampton, with 23 venues of performances. 11:59pm-12pm, with fireworks at 6:15pm. Northampton, MA.
Jiminy Peak New Years
A parade and fireworks are fine excuses to go skiing for New Years Eve! Jiminy Peak, Hancock, MA.
First Night Chatham, MA
Fri 12/30 – Sat 12/31
This is the only First Night celebration on Cape Cod. They have 70 performers and an afternoon as well as an evening schedule. 12pm-11:59pm. Then fireworks at midnig… Chatham, MA.
Martha’s Vineyard Fireworks
Although these fireworks are meant for residents of the Harbor View Hotel and Resort, if you’re in town, it’s free to see them. I called to confirm this… Harbor View Hotel, Edgartown, MA.
Bright Night Providence
Providence has a First Night experience, 12pm-11:59pm, with 17 venues, and world-famous magician as the headliner! No fireworks, though, the state won’t allow it (boo). Providence, RI.
Every Saturday through mid-March this ski resort will have events and fireworks. They have a Fun Zone indoor amusement park, too. And snow tubing. Cranmore Mountain, North Conway, NH.
First Night Portsmouth, NH
I couldn’t find anything in Concord, the capitol of New Hampshire, but they’re having a First Night celebration in Portsmouth. 1pm-11:59pm. Portsmouth, NH.
First Night Wolfeboro, NH
This is the only other one in NH that I found. 603-569-2200.Wolfeboro, NH.
New Years at Santa’s Village
Santa’s Village is an amusement park, featuring a DJ and fireworks at 8pm. 4-9pm. Jefferson, NH.
First Night Danbury, CT
First Nights continue. This one’s in Danbury, a series of performances at multiple venues. Danbury, CT.
First Night Hartford, CT
This one’s got a carousel, 16 venues of performances, and two fireworks displays — at 6pm and midnight. Bushnell Park, Hartford, CT.
First Night Wesport, CT
A “First Night” is a series of performances around town. Here are more, in Westport CT and Weston, CT. Westport, CT.
This one’s got vendors, kids activities, and fireworks. 5-8pm. Danielson, CT.
Nudist resort New Years’
Or, perhaps you’d like to try a party at a nudist resort. Woodstock, CT.
Bangor Downtown Countdown
With live music, dancing, and street performers, this presumably outdoor celebration seems fun. 5pm-11:59pm. Bangor, ME.
L.L.Bean New Year’s Celebration
L.L. Bean brings it with live music and fireworks, but this event seems kids oriented. Freeport, ME.
Belfast New Year’s By the Bay
This one’s got 12 venues withi performances. 12-11:59pm. Belfast, ME.
First Night Old Orchard Beach
Ooo! A bonfire with marshmallow toasting, cocoa, starts at 4:30pm with fireworks at 5:30pm. Old Orchard Beach, ME.
First Night Burlington, VT
Vermont is getting in on the game as well. Theirs looks especially well organized, with 15 arts venues, 12-11:59pm. Are there fireworks again this year? Burlington, VT.
First Night Montpelier, VT
Burlington is not actually the capitol of Vermont. It’s Montpelier, the “smallest capitol in the nation”, which is doing it too, with 17 venues. 12-10:30pm. Parade and dis… Montpelier, VT.
First Night St. Johnsbury, VT
St. Johnsbury, VT is about as far north as Montpelier. Maybe you could visit and go skiing, too. They’ll have 50 performances, fireworks, and “dancing sky lanterns”…. St. Johnsbury, VT.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Torchlight Parade (Sugarbush Resort)
Oo! There’s a dog parade, live music, a parade of torchlights, and fireworks. Sugarbush Resort, Warren, VT.
New Year’s Eve at Okemo Mountain Resort
Free skate rentals, marshmallow roasting, showshoeing, fireworks. Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, VT.
Mount Snow Torchlight Parade and Fireworks
New Years Eve comes early to this ski attraction in Vermont. West Dover, VT.
New Years Day
First Day Fall River & Polar Plunge
Sat 1/1 – Sun 1/2
Instead of trying to compete, Fall River is having their celebration on New Year’s DAY. First, at 10am, a P… 508-324-2600 or 508-676-0324.Kennedy Park, Fall River, MA.
Block Island Polar Plunge
Crazy people dive into cold water for charity. 12pm. Town Beach, Block Island, RI.
New Years’ Day Polar Bear Plunge
Also in Rhode Island… more cold water for charity. Yikes! Can’t I just donate without diving? 401-846-0028.Easton’s Beach, Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI.
Here’s another one in Boston, this time to benefit kids with terminal illness. Crazy people jump into the water. Wow. 1663 Columbia Road, Boston, MA.
Let’s go for a cruise! 12-4pm. Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA.
New Years Day Kite Fly – Portland, ME
I’ve been to a kite fly. You’ll meet a lot of big hobbyists to show you how to fly properly, and you can get a two-stringed “stunt kite”! 12pm. Portland, ME.
Wicked Frosty Four Race
There are also a bunch of New Years Day races. Here is one, a great excuse to check out Salem’s many attractions. Starts at Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem, MA.
First Day Hikes at Blue Hills
But I’d rather go for a guided hike than a race. They’re all free, all over the state. The Blue Hills is the tallest ‘mountain’ near Boston. Various state parks, All Over.
Breakheart-Fells Weekly Hikes
Going for a hike is a fantastic New Years Day activity, and it’s followed by clam chowder. Mmm. 12pm. Breakheart Reservation Visitors Center, 177 Forest St, Saugus, MA.
I used to think for this one they pushed special needs kids into cold water. “Hey Jimmy, let’s go for a dip!” But it turns out it’s others who jump to raise money to help … Mackeral Cove, Jamestown, RI.
Seawall Splash 2012
And here’s another. Registration is free, they say. Greeaaaaat… It’s free to dive into icy water…. 10am check-in, 12pm splash. Warwick, RI.
Hangover Classic (race and polar swim)
This one’s near Newburyport, MA on the North Shore. Sure, let’s both race AND swim in the cold. A doubly-bad idea. 11:30am. Salisbury Beach, 3 Broadway Street, Salisbury, MA.
Boston Vegetarian Society New Years Dinner
Are vegetarians insane? Not any more so than people who dive into icy water for charity. Maybe it’s the future!… 617-254-8883.Grasshopper, 1 North Beacon Street, Allston, MA.
Truth, Lies and Politics w/ Barney Frank
That lecture with congressman Barney Frank, who is retiring, has been rescheduled to Jan 3. He’s a liberal icon and well wor… Leventhal-Sidman JCC, 333 Nahanton St, Newton, MA.
DCU Presents an Open Skate
Do you live in Worcester? There’s free skating at the DCU! 11am-6pm. Worcester, MA.
Holiday Luncheon & Sled Rides!
Tue 12/27 – Thu 12/29
Someday I’ve got to visit this museum, which continually holds interesting events. This one has a bonfore, snowshoe … 603-323-7591.58 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Wed 12/7 – Sat 1/1
If you’re a little hesitant to see Shakespeare, this comedy will be very accessible, with physical gags, sharp wit, and the spir… Davis Square Theatre, 255 Elm St, Somerville, MA.
The Christmas Revels – our review
Mon 12/12 – Sat 12/31
Revels puts on a fantastic annual performance, with comedy, carols, and and this year find the Lord of the Dance. Click for our review! Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, MA.
Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream – live on stage & screen
Comedian Jimmy Tingle will do a live show, take questions, and screen his new satirical movie on politics. What an inventive… Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA.
Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin New Years Eve Show
I’m too young to care about Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, but it’s sure a creative way to spend New Years Eve. 6-8pm. 377 North Main St, Mansfield MA.
|Holiday Lights & Santa Events||grade||Mon 12/26||Tue 12/27||Wed 12/28||Thu 12/29||Fri 12/30||Sat 12/31||Sun 1/1||Mon 1/2|
|Stone Zoo’s ZoolightsStoneham, MA||B-||M||T||W||R||F||S||S|
|Holiday LandscapesStoneham, MA||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S|
|Petting Zoo in front of Seasons Four Furniture StoreLexington, MA
This is a merchant event with a petting zoo, Santa, elmo, face painting, singers, balloon animals, etc. I called and they couldn’t be bothered to give me the dates, so this is my best guess.
1265 Massachusetts Avenue, 781-861-1200. facebook
|Edaville Railroad’s Christmas Festival of LightsCarver, MA
The biggest and best “holiday lights” display in New England is quite non-religious, with Santa letting kids sit on his lap but also plenty of generic fare like Frosty the Snowman and a tip of the hat to Hannukah. They have a train ride, ferris wheel, carousel, and other rides, with 7 million lights. Tons of fun even for adults! 2011: Mon-Fri 4-9pm, Sat-Sun 2-9pm.
Pine Street, 877-EDAVILLE. twitter facebook
|La Salette Shrine Festival of LightsAttleboro, MA||B+||M||T||W||R||F||S||S|
|Springfield’s Bright Night at Forest ParkSpringfield, MA
2011: Sun-Thu, 5-9pm, Fri-Sun, 5-11pm. 550,000 lights. Great! 2nd best to Edaville. Check out the Springfield Museums or zoo (open during school holidays in Dec) while you’re there.
Rt 83, 413-733-3800. facebook
|Look Park’s Winter WonderlandFlorence, MA
Hayrides, night lights, zoo. 39,000 bulbs. 2011: 4-9pm. Breakfast with Santa 12/3.
300 North Main Street, 413.584.5457. facebook
|Cape Codder Enchanted VillageHyannis, MA||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S|
|Gift of Lights at New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayLoudon, NH||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S|
|La Salette Shrine & CenterEnfield, NH
Another very religious site has 45,000 evening lights spread across 30 acres. Here’s the idea. Two kids said they saw the Virgin Mary, and the parents based an entire church on that. And I couldn’t even get away with “the dog ate my homework”! 2011: 5-9pm except opening celebration 11/26.
|Santa’s Village Christmas MagicJefferson, NH||?||S|
|Holiday Light FantasiaHartford, CT||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|Fantasy of LightsNew Haven, CT||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|WinterFest at Connecticut Trolley MuseumEast Windsor, CT||?||M||T||W||R||F|
|Festival of Silver Lights at Hubbard ParkMeriden, CT||?||M||T||W||R||F||S||S||M|
|Christmas by the SeaMystic, CT||?||R||F||S||S|
|Lantern Light ToursMystic, CT||?||M||T|
|Lights On LovleyPlantsville, CT
Drive up and tune your radio to 96.1FM. 2011: Daily 5-11pm.
14 Lovley Dr facebook