First Night Tips
Hundreds of thousands of people attend the First Night celebration each New Year's Eve. The following is a list of helpful information and tips concerning this huge event:
Plan Ahead - Check the official website frequently for potential program changes. All performances and events are subject to change without notice. The many venues are served on a first-come, first-serve basis, and prospective visitors may want to review the schedule long before attending. There are so many different performances that a TV listing-style format is used to publish the official schedule. It's also preferred that visitors arrive early to individual performances, as capacity is limited for most events to prevent overcrowding.
Weather - Rain or shine, snow or sleet, the festival takes place. The buttons (tickets) are non-refundable, so visitors should be prepared for prevailing weather conditions. Dress warm, in layers, with any protection needed for the environment. Hats, gloves, scarves, etc., are a good idea. Attendees should carry their cell phones if applicable. The weather can actually create a distinctive character each New Year's, and makes the First Night venue truly unique.
Getting There - It's best to take public transportation to First Night. The MBTA transit authority increases trains and buses on New Year's Eve, and historically offers free service around midnight for those returning home. A few parking garages usually sponsor First Night which are listed on the official web site. Please remember that many streets are closed during the evening, and using public transportation avoids any potential traffic jambs.
Restrooms & Wheel Chair Access - Portable restrooms are set up at City Hall Plaza, Boston Common, and Copley Square. Venues such as the Hynes Convention Center and Prudential Center also have public restrooms. About visitors with special needs, almost all venues have wheel chair access. The official website brochure will list any locations that do not have such access. There are no special parking locations for people with special needs, as thousands upon thousands of people attend First Night.
Emergency & Medical Services - Boston Emergency Medical Services Department (EMS) increases resources for First Night, with vehicles and personnel stationed in various places in the city. In an emergency, please dial 911. Literally, thousands of staff support the event and make it as safe as possible. Additionally, there are Lost Child stations set up in the city. Please refer to the map in the official program for lost child recovery locations.
Etiquette - Alcoholic beverages are strictly forbidden in public areas of Boston. Violators are subject to arrest. Public drunkenness or lewdness are not tolerated. Smoking is also strictly restricted, and often dedicated outdoor areas are available for smokers at major restaurants and hotels. Also, many events take place in churches or cultural centers. Please be respectful and courteous at such venues.
Contact Information & Address:
Boston Common Venue (First Night, Inc.)
Tremont & Park Streets, Boston, MA