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Boston's Best New Year's Eve Parties

Bostonians know how to throw parties. Whether it's for kids, grown-ups, students, professionals and just about everyone in between, somewhere in the city is bound to have you covered. That's certainly the case for the 2012-2013 New Year's Eve celebrations. There are parties for families, foodies, drinkers, clubbers and those who like a little risqué fun. Finding a party is not difficult. The hard part is getting in, so remember to buy tickets for any event well in advance. Here are some of the best NYE celebrations in the city.
12.23.11 - Family & Pets - Guide to Boston's First Night  - Babe, the big Blue Ox
Photo Credit: Paul Robicheau

First Night Festival of the Arts

Boston, MA
Click here for venues
Price: $18/free children younger than 4
Hours: Dec. 31 – 10 a.m. to early Jan. 1

The First Night Festival of Arts is an all-day, city-wide event in Boston. Guests can purchase buttons from a number of local retailers. The button gets revelers into a variety of venues that normally charge separate admission fees - like the Children's Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Many of the First Night venues are already free. This event features dozens of options spanning 14 hours and is suitable for families, couples and singles.

Related: College Picks for New Year's Eve in Boston

(Photo Credit; The Greatest Bar)

The Gatsby Mansion

The Greatest Bar
262 Friend St.
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 367-0544
Price: $60 to $2,000/Click here for ticketing
Hours: Dec. 31 – 9 p.m. to Jan.1 -– 2 a.m.

With music by Mr. Sisko and a relaxed come-as-you-are or come-as-a-flapper dress code, this party is a modern take on a Gatsby gathering. The theme comes straight from "The Great Gatsby" and the prohibition era. The idea is that guests feel like they're entering a speakeasy or the Gatsby mansion. Either will serve the purpose for this night of dancing, drinking and music to ring in the New Year. This is one of the more pricey events, but the more expensive tickets accommodate large groups.

pub crawl
(Photo credit: Pubcrawls)

New Year's Eve Pub Crawl

Boston, MA
Price: $20.13
Hours: Dec. 31 – 12 p.m. to Jan. 1 – 2 p.m.

Guests for Boston's New Year's Eve Pub Crawl spend the night walking between participating bars and spending a bit of time at each location. The close proximity of bars makes Boston a popular city for pub crawls. There is plenty of public transportation and lodging within walking distance as well. Be sure to buy tickets for this popular annual pub crawl and book lodging well in advance. Trains out of the city are crowded on New Year's Eve, and hotels book quickly.

resolution ball
(Photo Credit: Boston Event Guide)

Boston's Resolution Ball

Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Copley Hotel
39 Dalton St.
Boston, Ma 02199
(617) 236-2000
Click here for prices
Hours: Dec. 31 – 7 p.m. to Jan. 1 – 2 a.m.

Mix 104.1's Greg Daniels will host this year's annual Resolution Ball. Music from The Felix Brown Band and D.J. Samuel L. spanning the past four decades will keep the ballroom floor busy. This event is strongly geared toward professionals -- typically grown-ups age 40 and under. Basically, you can expect it to be a classier party than some of the youth-oriented New Year's Eve events. The dress code is cocktail formal, and food is provided.

donkey show
(Photo Credit: A.R.T)

The Donkey Show

American Repertory Theatre's Oberon 
2 Arrow St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 496-8004
Price: $40 to $70
Hours: Dec. 31 – 9 p.m.

The Donkey Show at the American Repertory Theater is typically a Saturday event. However, the cast and venue put on an extra showing for New Year's Eve because there is no better way for some Bostonians to ring in the New Year than with some naughty Shakespearean fun. It is like "A Midsummer's Night Dream" meets Studio 54 if Studio 54 were a roller disco. Maybe it is a little hard to explain, but it is easy to enjoy for those who do not mind a little risqué and taboo dance theater.

Related: Guide to a Low-Key New Year's Eve

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at

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