Most of the events will take place in the Back Bay and Copley Square, beginning with a musical performance by The Dempsey Sisters at 11:45 a.m.
Other local bands and performers will grace 10 stages across several venues, including locations in the Boston Public Library, Copley Place Mall, Old South Church, and others. The evening will end with a midnight Copley Countdown pyrotechnics and light show in Copley Square as well as fireworks over Boston Harbor.
For those trekking into the city, here’s everything you need to know to make the most of the festivities.
Taking the T
The best way to get into the city is to take the T. The MBTA will not be collecting fares on any of its lines between 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 2 a.m. New Year’s Day — a gesture city officials said they hope those who are celebrating will take advantage of.
All lines will run on a weekday schedule, according to the MBTA’s website.
Frequency will ramp up to rush-hour levels from about 3 p.m. Tuesday to 2 a.m. Wednesday, when they will cease running for the night. Both the Commuter Rail and subway will run on Sunday schedules on New Year’s Day, event organizers said.
The Commuter Rail will also have additional late trains running until about 1 a.m., the MBTA said.
Parking restrictions and road closures
If you must drive in, paid parking is available at Clarendon Garage at 100 Clarendon St., Copley Place, the Prudential Center, and the Boston Common Garage. Street parking is available on some streets but will be extremely limited.
Some roads will be closed to traffic or have restricted parking near First Night venues.
From 8 a.m. Tuesday to 1 a.m. Wednesday, Dartmouth Street between Saint James Avenue and Boylston Street will be closed to traffic, according to city officials.
The stretch of Boylston Street between Ring Road and Charles Street will be closed to traffic from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. And part of Charles Street between Boylston Street and Beacon Street will be closed from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m Tuesday.
Fun things to do with the family
Illuminated ice sculptures of all shapes and sizes will be on display across the city.
First Night-goers can view an ice replica of the Mayflower that was created to honor Plymouth’s 400th anniversary, or a frozen dancing couple that event organizers said are swinging their way into 2020.
Sculptures will be lit up in the Copley Square Fountain and at businesses in the Back Bay, including at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston at 200 Boylston Street.
First-night goers will also find sculptures at the Boston Public Library’s Dartmouth Street Entrance and the WGBH Studios space.
The library and the Copley Place Mall will provide kid-friendly programming throughout the afternoon and evening. Sketch-comedy performances by ImprovBoston will be put on every 45 minutes from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. between Fendi and Dior at 100 Huntington Avenue.
Dancing Buns Studios will hold ballroom dancing lessons at the library at noon. Other dancers, like the Chu Ling Dance Academy, will also grace stages.
Puppet Shows performed by Puppet Showplace Theater will take place at the Copley Place Mall every half hour from noon to 3 p.m.
Where to catch the best views of the harbor fireworks
Two sets of firework displays will illuminate the city. The first one starts at 7 p.m. in the Boston Common, perfect for tired tots (and, ahem, grown ups) before they head home on the T.
For those still celebrating in the city when the New Year breaks, a second fireworks show will take place over the harbor between Long Wharf and Fan Pier at midnight.
Christopher Columbus Park in the North End, the East Boston Harborwalk, and Fan Pier in the Seaport District serve as the best places to watch the midnight show, according to the event’s website.
What will the weather be like?
Temperatures look to be mild Tuesday with a high of 43 degrees. Morning rain should taper off by about 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, but light rain is likely to return in the afternoon. Tuesday night starts cloudy, but looks to clear out later. Low around 33 degrees with a light westerly wind, so dress warmly. New Year’s Day will be sunnier, with a high of 41.