2011: Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Events in Western MA

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Western MA, 2011

The 2012 original poster by Stephen St. Francis Decky.  Stephen St. Francis Decky is an artist and filmmaker from Northampton. His paintings and films have appeared in galleries and festivals nationally and internationally, and his short fiction has been published in several literary journals. He is currently working on his Masters Degree at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Celebrate New Year’s in Hampshire County all day on the 31st at First Night Northampton starting at 12noon!  First Night is a fundraiser for the Northampton Center for the Arts, and it provides an opportunity for families to enjoy many different forms of art, including live music and dance performances.  Over 20 different studios and businesses in downtown Northampton participate in the event, offering a wide variety of venues for showcasing art!

Family-friendly event highlights include a performance from A2Z’s yo-yo team at the Academy of Music Theater, a parade through downtown with the Offbeat Drumming Ensemble and Hooping Harmony, and an acrobat performance from SHOW Circus Studio. Fireworks light up the night sky at 6:15pm, which can be seen from almost anywhere in town! Check their program schedule for a full schedule of events.

Not only is the event fun and for a good cause, but it’s also a way to present new forms of art and expression to your kids.  Try attending a performance of a new kind of dance or a concert of music you’ve never heard!  The “ticket” to the event is a button, which can be purchased on the event’s website.  For more information, visit www.firstnightnorthampton.org. ($$)

Other New Year’s Eve Highlights for Families in the Four Counties:


12noon-10pm –  GAMES & PLAY: Celebrate the new year with a day of role-playing games and sword play!  There will be rounds of Magic the Gathering, Neflheimer, roleplaying games, and more.  Takes place at Western Mass Family Golf.  Call to register. 413-824-0008. 249 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  ($$)


11am-1pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY: Kid’s countdown to noon at Chandlers Restaurant. Great food, party favors and sparkling apple cider to toast with. Live music and a sing-a-long too! Reservations recommended: 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($)

6-10:30pm – FIRST NIGHT: 16th Annual Starry Starry Night celebrates New Year’s Eve int he heart of downtown Orange with live music, dancing, hayrides, giant puppet parade and fireworks! Orange, MA (FREE)


10am-4pm – FIRST NIGHT, JR.: Holyoke’s First Night, Jr. celebration takes place today!  Families can enjoy live music, magic, free admission to the Children’s Museum, a visit to the Merry-Go-Round, ice sculptures, and a ball drop (earlier in the day, just for little ones!).  Holyoke, MA.  ($)


11am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: SHOW Circus Spectacular presents a circus show at the Berkshire Museum as part of Under the Big Top, the museum’s special Christmas Tree exhibit!  There will be fantastic performances of acrobatics, juggling, and contortion.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

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