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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Wondering where and how to ring in the New Year in Massachusetts? How about a First Night celebration! From the beloved tradition of First Night Boston to First Night Northampton, in Massachusetts, there’s a New Year’s celebration perfect for all ages.

So, for those still looking to lock down New Year’s plan, here’s a roundup of five First Night celebrations across the state:
First Night in Boston, MA
Boston’s premier New Year celebration returns again on December 31, beginning bright and early at 10:00 a.m. with a handful of events around the city, including free admission to early arrivers at the Boston Children’s Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
From there, the day will fill up with events, including a grand procession that features a wide range of family-friendly performers, a skating spectacular at Frog Pond and fireworks on Boston Common. There will be many more First Night Boston events to go along with the few named above and you can peruse the complete listing here.
Tickets to First Night Boston are available in advance through the Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular or in person at a number of locations. With the $10 button comes entry to all First Night evening attractions and the First Night Twitter account will also be announcing a new button perk each day leading up to New Year’s Eve. MBTA service will be free after 8 p.m. as well.


Photo: First Night Boston via MOTT

First Night in Worcester, MA
First Night Worcester takes place in the heart of the city, right next to the DCU Center, where revelers will welcome 2014 alongside a host of artists and performers. The evening will feature acrobats, jesters, live animal presentations and plenty of music, which you can explore in full here. As the big night draws near, the price of buttons will inch up, so it’s best to get your hands on one before December 25. You can do that here.
First Night in Chatham, MA
The commencement of each New Year has a decidedly maritime twist in Chatham, which is no surprise given the town’s seaside location. Performers of all persuasions will fill up the town, including, for the first time, the Orpheum Theater, and there won’t be any shortage of food, either. The festivities will all lead up to the descent of the Countdown Cod, which will drop at midnight as fireworks soar into the sky. For info on transportation, parking and nearby accommodations at First Night Chatham, just click here. For buttons, click here.


Photo: VALVE: A New World Circus, the group that will kick off First Year Northampton, via Facebook

First Night in Northampton, MA
Northampton is renowned for its vibrant arts scene and First Night Northampton gives residents and visitors the opportunity to see that talent in action. More than 20 different venues will host musicians, dancers, puppeteers, yo-yo exhibitionists and one professional balloon man; you can see all of those events listed in one place here. One button, which can be purchased online or at several brick-and-mortar stores, will open the door to every event, giving folks plenty of bang for their buck at First Night Northampton.
First Night in Beverly, MA
When it comes to family-friendly New Year celebrations, Beverly has one of the best around. Families can ring in 2014 enjoying the entertainment provided by train rides, fire spinners, magicians, craftsmen, curious critters and much more. Countdown for the kids, not all of who might make it to the traditional midnight celebration, takes places at 6:45 p.m., culminating in a beach ball drop. Admission buttons are $5 for early birds, who will also get free entry to the Cabot House Museum, The Witch House and the Lynn Museum if they buy buttons before Christmas Eve. To see the schedule of events, just click here.
First Night in New Bedford, MA
To the south in New Bedford, New Year’s Eve will also offer a bevy of family-friendly activities. Kicking off at 4 p.m., the festivities will feature fire eaters, ice sculptors, street performances and more, which are free to attend! There’ll be much more kids’ fun as the night moves on, too, with a magic circus, productions from the New Bedford High School Drama Club and plenty of other hands-on activities. Following some live music around town, fireworks will go off over the historic harbor at 8:30 p.m. After that, revelers will have the option to continue celebrating at a handful of local restaurants as the ball officially drops.
If you’re making a trip into any of these areas for the festivities, there are always plenty of places to stay. To see a full list of holiday events in Massachusetts, click here.
Where are you planning to be when the ball drops? Let us know in the comments!