First Night, Boston

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

To ring in 2017, we opted to do something a little more special.   Coupled with the fact eldest daughter was at ski camp and we had gifted the kids a trip to NYC for Jan 1st, we built-in a stop in Boston to experience their First Night celebrations.   We’ve heard a lot in the past about First Night in Boston and over the years, many cities have adopted similar types of events.

We headed to Boston from the NH White Mountains.  We needed to pick up the big girl from camp.  She was exhausted so we knew we would be taking the afternoon and evening pretty easy.

Arriving in Boston was straight forward and we had taken the advice from the First Night website to book ahead for parking.   We used Spothero.  What a fantastic service.  Typically in Boston, parking is ridiculously expensive (well to us, the out-of-towners that don’t know the hidden parking havens).   We pre-booked a space with Spothero…..ridiculously cheap, next to the event we were attending and a guaranteed space.  Valet parking to boot. With the app now loaded onto my phone, I’ll definitely be using them again!

We parked up and headed straight into Copley Square/ Boston Public Library.   First Night Boston is now 100% funded so there is no need to purchase ‘buttons’ any more.  Despite this, and the absolute bitter cold, navigating the area and really understanding what to do and where to go was a bit of a headache and a tad confusing for first timers like us.

The Public Library is a great building dating back to 1828  and as we hadn’t been inside before we headed there.  Sadly, many events were full or closing so after a quick rest room break we ventured back outside.

Copley Square offered stages and singing events together with street food and similar things.   I found this area less appealing and it may have been due to the fact that it was well below freezing with a howling wind!

Other events were happening around the city but due to the time we arrived, they were winding down.

To pass time until the parade, we headed to Newbury Street.   We strolled the street and went into a few stores.  It’s a pricey street but we enjoyed looking 🙂

We hadn’t booked a restaurant for dinner and with the crowds, getting a table was impossible so we made the decision to eat after parade and fireworks!

The advertised parade ran the route of Boylston – Copley Square to Boston Common.  We managed to get a fairly decent vantage point and waited for the parade to start.  Boston is a highly Patriotic city and we enjoyed the likes of colonial marching bands and drummers. There was also the usual nod to Firefighters and the Chinese population of the city.   The parade was smaller and not quite as grand as we anticipated so it was over pretty quickly.  We joined onto the back of the parade and headed towards to Common for the fireworks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Redcoats marching and playing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chinese dragons

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flag bearers

First Night offers 2 sets of fireworks.  Early show at 7pm for families and a later 12 midnight show for all the party goers.  With 3 kids in tow, we opted for the 7pm show.  7pm just so happens to be midnight in England so it seemed appropriate for us to celebrate New Year along with London and the rest of the UK. The fireworks are by far the highlight of First Night.   At Boston Common, there really isn’t a bad vantage point and the fireworks were excellent….worth the wait (my photos wont do them justice)!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fireworks at Boston Common

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fireworks at Boston Common

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fireworks at Boston Common

After fireworks were done, we headed back to the Prudential Center for dinner.  Earlier we has spied a Wagamamas in there that we decided would be good for dinner…and also close to the car/ parking.

With full bellies we headed back on the road onto Connecticut.  We were staying overnight in CT to then take the train into NYC on New Years Day.  A big surprise was in store for the kids!   As midnight rolled in on NYE, we were in an elevator of a Hyatt in CT….so glad we got to celebrate a few hours earlier in Boston!