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New Year’s in Boston

Concerts, fireworks, theater, and a walk in the woods on tap

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As 2012 draws to an end, it’s time to ring in the New Year. For those of you planning to be in the Boston area on New Year’s Eve, we’ve put together a list of events to help you enjoy the end of the holiday season.

First Night

Monday, December 31

For 35 years, Bostonians have been celebrating New Year’s Eve with a daylong (and evening) First Night Festival of the Arts. Sponsored by the nonprofit First Night, Inc., which delivers arts education opportunities throughout the year to underserved children and teenagers, First Night showcases 1,000 artists in 200 performances and exhibitions at 25 indoor and outdoor venues throughout the downtown area. Many museums and other cultural institutions throughout the city offer free admission at certain times to those with First Night buttons. To gain general admission to the festival events, you must purchase a $15 button.

Some of the highlights of this year’s festival include performances by the Skyriders, a team of award-winning trampoline acrobats, ice sculptures at Copley Square and Boylston Plaza (a perennial First Night favorite), the Boston Poetry Slam, film festivals, and, of course, midnight fireworks to herald the arrival of the new year.

Times and locations vary by event. A complete list of First Night events is here.

Concerts

Monday, December 31

What would New Year’s Eve be without music? There are concerts for every musical taste taking place in and around the city. Performances include My Morning Jacket at Agganis Arena, Deer Tick at the Sinclair in Cambridge, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at House of Blues, Soulive at Paradise Rock Club, and the Bad Rabbits at Brighton Music Hall.

Prices, locations, and times vary by concert. You can find this information and purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.

More Music

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Photo courtesy of GirlsGunsAndGlory.com

Boston Baroque’s New Year’s Eve and First Day Concerts
Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1

Boston Baroque’s annual New Year’s Eve and First Day concerts are at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University. This world-renowned musical ensemble, under the direction of Martin Pearlman, a College of Fine Arts professor of performance and applied study, was founded in 1973 and is the first permanent Baroque orchestra in North America. The centerpiece for this year’s concerts is Giovanni Pergolesi’s 1733 one-act comic opera La Serva Padrona. Preconcert talks take place one hour before each performance.

The Boston Baroque Gala New Year’s Eve and First Day Concerts will take place Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1, 2013, at 8 p.m. at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, Mass. To order tickets, call the Boston Baroque box office at 617-987-8600, Ext. 1, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets range from $25 to $80. To get to Sanders Theatre, take a Red Line MBTA trolley to Harvard Square.

Girls, Guns and Glory Tribute to Hank Williams
Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1

After a whirlwind year performing all over the United States and Europe, Boston-based Girls, Guns and Glory (GGG) returns to the Lizard Lounge to perform its third annual tribute to country legend Hank Williams for two shows: New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Featuring the music of Williams, GGG will also perform a few obscurities. Miss Tess & The Talkbacks opens each show with a mix of original material and a special tribute to ol’ Hank.

Girls, Guns and Glory Tribute to Hank Williams takes place Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1, at 9 p.m. at the Lizard Lounge, 1667 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. Phone: 617-547-0759. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Take a Red Line MBTA trolley to Harvard Square and walk north on Mass. Ave. for approximately four blocks. Lizard Lounge is below the Cambridge Common restaurant.

Theater

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Help solve a mystery murder at an interactive production of Shear Madness at the Charles Playhouse Stage . Photo courtesy of ShearMadness.com

Shear Madness
Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1

This lighthearted, interactive whodunit has the distinction of being the longest-running production ever in the United States. During the show—a combination of improvisation, humor, and mystery—a murder is committed. The audience gets to spot clues, question the suspects, and solve the mystery. As a result, the ending is always different, and many audience members return more than once.

Shear Madness has performances on Monday, December 31, at 8 p.m. and on Tuesday, January 1, at 3 p.m. at the Charles Playhouse Stage II, 74 Warrenton St. Take the MBTA Green Line trolley to Boylston Street. From there, turn right onto Tremont Street, right on Stuart Street, and left on Warrenton Street. Tickets are $50 (plus a $4 service charge if you buy them online). To avoid the service charge, visit the Charles Playhouse box office at 74 Warrenton St. Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Buy tickets here.

Blue Man Group
Monday, December 31

This unique theatrical experience, staged upstairs at the Charles Playhouse, blends comedy, art, science, stunning visual effects, and original music that earned a Grammy nomination. Perfect for audiences of all ages, Blue Man Group has become a global phenomenon since its founding in 1987, with current productions also in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Berlin, Germany.

Blue Man Group will perform on Monday, December 31, at 2, 5, and 8 p.m. and on Tuesday, January 1, at 2 and 5 p.m. at the Charles Playhouse, 74 Warrenton St. Tickets are $49 to $100. Student rush tickets are sometimes available for $30 with a valid college ID (limit two per customer). Call 617-426-6912 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased online here or by going to the Charles Playhouse box office, 74 Warrenton St., Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

Take the MBTA Green Line trolley to Boylston Street. From there, turn right onto Tremont Street, take another right on Stuart Street, and then make a left on Warrenton Street.

Pippin
Monday, December 31

The classic, Tony Award–winning musical about the firstborn son of Charlemagne has received a critically lauded, imaginative restaging by the American Repertory Theater under the direction of Tony winner Diane Paulus. Featuring a string of Broadway standards by Steven Schwartz (Wicked), this production has a circus theme, including acrobats, a trapeze, and giant hoops. The cast includes Tony winner Andrea Martin and Tony-nominated actress Charlotte d’Amboise.

Pippin runs at the American Repertory Theater, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, through January 20. Tickets are still available for the December 31 performance at 7:30 p.m. (There is no show on January 1). Tickets run between $50 and $80 and can be purchased here or by calling the ART box office at 617-547-8300 Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. Take the MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street and transfer to an outbound Red Line train to the Harvard Square station.

The Donkey Show
Monday, December 31

The American Repertory Theater reprises its acclaimed hit staging of The Donkey Show at its Club Oberon. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the production features disco hits, mirrored balls, roller skaters, and hustle queens. Tickets are still available for the 9 p.m. show on New Year’s Eve, which will also feature a special champagne toast at midnight.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve performance of The Donkey Show can be purchased here for $55 (standing only) and $95. Club Oberon is at 2 Arrow St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass. Phone: 617-495-2668. Take any Green Line trolley to Park Street and switch to an outbound Red Line train to Harvard Square.

The Great Outdoors

Boston University BU, things to do New Years first night, ice skating Boston Common frog pond, Kendall Square skating

Photo courtesy of Brian Talbot

Ice-skating at the Boston Common
Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1

Go for a skate, and enjoy the festive holiday lights at Boston Common’s Frog Pond. Bring your own skates or rent them there ($5 for children, $9 for adults).

Boston Common’s Frog Pond, at Beacon and Walnut Streets, is open for public skating Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Adult admission is $5. Take any MBTA Green Line or Red Line trolley to Park Street. Phone: 617-635-2120.

Ice-skating in Community Ice-Skating @ Kendall Square
Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1

If you want to spend a day in the Cambridge area, stop by Kendall Square’s outdoor ice-skating rink. The rink offers skate rentals, lessons, and a café with snacks and hot drinks.

The rink is at 300 Athenaeum St., Cambridge. One-day admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. A complete list of rates is here. Take the MBTA Green Line trolley to Park Street, transfer to the Red Line (toward Alewife) to the Kendall/MIT station, and walk down 3rd Street.

Boston Common and Public Garden Walking Tour
Monday, December 31

Here’s your chance to walk in a winter wonderland. This tour, sponsored by Boston By Foot, will take you through two of the city’s most beloved parks. Your guide will provide a history of these iconic spaces and regale visitors with stories about the parks’ sculptures, ponds, and ornamental plantings.

The Boston Common and Public Garden Walking Tour will take place Monday, December 31, at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $12 for general admission, free for First Night button holders. This event is 18-plus only. Meet your guide outside the Park Street T station on the Boston Common at 2:30 sharp.

New Year’s Day 1847 and First Day Hike
Tuesday, January 1

After a New Year’s Eve spent reveling, a hike in the great outdoors on New Year’s Day may be just the thing. Head over to Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord, Mass., for a midday hike. You’ll be met by Henry David Thoreau (portrayed by historian Richard Smith), who will entertain visitors from noon to 1 p.m. at the house replica near the main parking lot. From 1 to 2 p.m., join Thoreau and state Department of Conservation and Recreation guides for a First Day hike to the Thoreau house site (about a mile, round-trip). The hike is free. Parking is $5.

Walden Pond State Reservation is at 915 Walden St., Concord, Mass. Phone: 978-369-3254.

Campus Sports

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Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Residence halls and classroom buildings may still be dark, but the Terriers will have plenty going on during the first week of 2013. Below is a compilation of home games you won’t want to miss.

  • Friday, January 4: BU men’s hockey hosts the Rensselear Red Hawks at 7:30 p.m. at Agganis Arena.
  • Saturday, January 5: BU men’s basketball hosts Hartford at 1 p.m. at the Case Center.
  • Tuesday, January 8: BU men’s basketball hosts Vermont at 7 p.m. at the Case Center.
  • Wednesday, January 9: BU women’s basketball hosts Vermont at 5 p.m. at the Case Center.
  • Wednesday, January 9: BU men’s hockey hosts Harvard at 7 p.m. at Agganis Arena.
  • Saturday, January 12: BU men’s and women’s basketball teams host a doubleheader against Binghamton at 1 and 3 p.m., respectively, at the Case Center.

Prices and times vary by game. More information is at ticketmaster.com.

Andreia DeVries can be reached at adevries@bu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @andreia_dev.

1 Comments

One Comment on New Year’s in Boston

  • jeff p on 12.26.2012 at 6:34 am

    These events look great! Where are the party options?

    Here is an invitaion to a large scale party I am hosting featuring a
    Felix Brown and video dj playing top 40 dance music.

    Http//www.bostoneventguide.com/events/nye.htm

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