Celebrate New Years Eve in Boston

Boston City lights

New Years Eve in Boston was a refreshing surprise

Do something different!  Celebrate New Years Eve in Boston.  When the temperatures drop in Boston, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

Winter visit was cold for a couple of Aussies who live in the tropics, but we rugged up and survived on hot chocolate and indoor venues!

There was so much on our ‘to do’ list to explore in Boston however when we arrived, I came down with a bad case of the flu leaving me curled up in bed through the worst of it.  Although we didn’t see as much as we planned, we managed to cover much of our wish list and vowed to return to Boston.

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What to do on New Years Eve

Copley Park: Copley Park was a buzz with people preparing for First Night celebrations and locals and visitors to Boston coming out to celebrate New Years Eve.  The streets were lit up with lights and decorations and excitement filled the air as people gathered waiting for the celebrations to begin.  Live performances were the highlight of the night.

First Night:  One of the most popular events in Boston is the special New Year’s Eve celebrations that takes place over Copley Square and the Back Bay attracting more than a million people each year and includes fireworks, live performances, a grand parade, crafts, ice sculptures and more.

New Years Eve Ice Sculptures

Ices Sculptures:  An ice carving display and a countdown to midnight takes place in Copley Square on the night of New Year’s Eve with intricate displays being sculpted for the display.  An amazing sight to see for travelers from the tropics!

Places you must visit

Boston Library:  An amazing example of architecture of the late 1890’s opposite Copley Square.  Several murals by prominent artists, including a series by John Singer Sargent, and an Italian Renaissance-inspired interior courtyard with bubbling fountains, arched pathways and grand marble staircases.

Skywalk Observatory: The view from the top of the Prudential Center across the skyline of Boston was amazing.   The building boasts 360° views of all the famous sites around Boston. It was a clear day when we visited which made it easy to see the different architecture styles throughout the city and we could easily see some of the key tourist destinations.  Notice the ice building up on the outside of the windows exposed to the elements!

Boston from the SkyWalk Observatory

Boston Common:  Wandering through Boston Common we were excited to see Squirrels everywhere.  Fascinating creatures, busy ferreting around gathering nuts to store through the winter.  We don’t have squirrels back home.  The Boston Common was a fantastic park with lakes for ducks and plenty of people accessing the park despite the cold.

Boston CommonA visit to Cheers:  From the popular TV series with Ted Danson & Shelley Long, we were surprised to learn that the only part from the set were the small steps descending from the pavement into the bar.  We ordered an Irish Coffee which came with a peppermint ‘creme de menthe’ drizzled over the top.  The fun part was choosing gifts for those back home!   Our favourite T’shirt was “where nobody knows your name”!

Things to do

Old Town Trolley Tour:  We took advantage of the Hop on Hop off Trolley Tours to see as many of the city’s popular attractions and historical sights around Boston city. It’s a great way to get around Boston especially when the weather is unpredictable.

Hot Chocolate:  We discovered our need for Hot Chocolate!  There truly is nothing nicer than sitting in a warm cafe looking at others scurrying by trying to avoid the icy snow flurries drifting down.  Very surreal for a couple of Aussies who’ve not spent a lot of time in the snow!

Theatre:  We were looking for a night of light humour so we headed off to the Charles Playhouse to see the BlueMan Group as recommended by some friends.   Three bald, blue men took us on a theatrical journey bursting with music, laughter and surprises.  Everyone was supplied with rain ponchos – don’t ask why!  Just be sure to put yours on.

Blueman Group - Boston

Ice Hockey:  Check the season you’re visiting, as Ice Hockey is very popular.  If we’d have realised the Boston Bruins were playing we’d certainly have taken the opportunity to be in the crowds.  There’s nothing like an ice hockey match on home ground and we have discovered if it’s one thing that Americans do well, it’s sport!

Where to Eat

Bar 10:   In hotel restaurant with great atmosphere, warm and friendly service.

PJ Changs:  Apparently authentic Chinese food which was nothing like the traditional Chinese food we have at home but interesting food albeit somewhat Americanized.  A great meal following a night at the theatre.

Fogo De Chao: Brazilian Restaurant with amazing service, roaming waiters carving freshly cooked roast selections at your table, fine wine and quite probably the very best restaurant experience we had in the States.

Fogo de Chao

Where we stayed

Westin Hotel, Copley Place:  Suite with views down Huntington Avenue, close all the Boston Library, Copley Square and the shopping centre, Coply Place.

What we loved most:  We loved the fireplace in the lobby where we enjoyed Irish Coffees by the hearth – a first for this pair of Aussies.   The Hotel featured a number of bars and restaurants, with a great choice of cocktails and snacks.  We had a corner suite at the Westin with fantastic soft bed and an outlook over Copley Place.  We loved the warm homely feel of this hotel and their staff were amazing!

On our ‘to do’ list for next visit

Relive the Boston Tea Party at the Annual Reenactment:  Annually on December 16, visitors and locals gather to commemorate the fateful night that forever changed America’s history. The event begins at the Old South Meeting House as more than 100 re-enactors  bring the Boston Tea Party to life. You’ll march alongside the colonists to Griffin’s Wharf, dump tea overboard and learn about the Boston Tea Party and how it sparked the American Revolution.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremonies:  If you’re visiting Boston in December, you can get into the spirit of the season by enjoying several different tree lighting ceremonies. The Boston Common ceremony takes place in early December and includes games, prizes and activities such as the lighting of the special tree that was a gift from Nova Scotia. There are also ceremonies at Copley Square and the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. It marks the beginning of the holiday season in Boston.

Go Ice Skating at Frog Pond:  One of the most popular spots in the city to go ice-skating, Frog Pond is located within Boston Common. Rent skates to enjoy this skating venue at it’s best.  The café offers delicious hot cocoa to warm you up when you need a break.

In summary

We visited Boston as part of a recent tour through the United States.  Handpicking a few cities that were on our Bucket List, we mapped out a mammoth 50 day holiday covering 10 cities and a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean before returning home to Australia.

We found Boston to be such an interesting place with so much history.  The architecture fascinated us especially the Boston Library – both inside and outside.  Everything was so grand and told of days gone by reflecting the importance of Boston in America’s past.

With only 3 days in Boston we didn’t have time to see it all so will plan to stay longer next visit.  Perhaps a visit during Autumn or Spring will be better for us as we struggled with the low temperatures of winter.

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Celebrate New Years Eve in Boston
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Is there anything you recommend we add to our ‘to do’ list for our next visit?   What is your most favourite Boston experience?  We’d love it if you let us know in the comments below.