Over four decades ago, Bostonians got together to plan a way for families to celebrate New Year’s Eve. What started as a small local gathering has ballooned into First Night, a massive event, since copied in cities nationwide. This year, 41st edition of First Night First Day Boston festivities will begin at noon on December 31.

First Night Boston

So bundle up and ring in 2018 in a family-friendly way with free First Night First Day Boston celebrations throughout the Back Bay. Live music and ice sculptures from local artists and companies will fill Copley Square, and everything will fall under this year’s theme of Enchanted Forest (think dragons, unicorns, and castles). New for 2017, there will be an interactive scavenger hunt through the sculptures in the Ice Gallery. Brookline native Eli “Paperboy” Reed will headline the music for the day with his soulful sounds.

The People’s Procession will kick off the evening celebrations at 6 pm and then be followed by a family fireworks show at 7 pm on Boston Common. As the evening continues, dozens of bars and restaurants around the city will host concerts and events celebrating the new year. There will also be food trucks selling hot food and drinks to keep everyone warm on the chilly night.

Of course, it all builds up to midnight, when attendees count down to the new year at the Copley Countdown with a light show and pyrotechnics.

First Day Boston

After resting up a bit, welcome in 2018 on First Day with additional activities for families from 11am-2 pm, once again held in Copley Square.

For more information about this Boston tradition, visit First Night Boston’s website. It’s got all the details on shows, events, and scheduling to make for a magical book end to 2017, and a perfect start to 2018.