Making plans? Short on ideas? No worries. See Milva DiDomizio, June Wulff, and Courtney Hollands' picks for the top things to do around the Hub this holiday weekend. Get out!
Boston Family Fireworks: Some young folks just can't make it until midnight. Never fear — the Family Fireworks are here. Presented by Mayor Menino and the Mugar Foundation and produced by Boston 4 Productions, the 12-minute pyrotechnics display by Atlas PyroVision Productions is choreographed to a musical score. The event, which includes music and dance performances, will be telecast on NECN. 6:45 p.m. Free. Boston Common. july4th.org
A Less than Appropriate NYE: A fried Twinkie and bacon bar at 1 a.m.? Yes, please. The Savant Project is serving up these calorie-laden treats as well as music from DJs Alfredo, Jordan, and Benny the Scoundrel. Too much imbibing? Keep your pajamas on and pad over to the bar's New Year's Day Hangover Brunch Saturday morning for omelets, quiet music, and — you guessed it — more bacon. 21+. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. $25, $20 in advance, includes drink ticket and champagne toast ($10 with three-course dinner purchase). Savant Project, 1625 Tremont St., Boston. 617-566-5958. savantproject.com
Soul Resolution: Organizers promise a night of "bohemian decadence, eccentric fun, and all-star funk" at this Beehive fete — sounds right up our alley. Grab your sweetie and shake and shimmy to the sounds of Akashic Record (singer Marsha Lubin, left). Need to refuel? Munch on hors d'oeuvres and desserts as you watch Phaedra Rose and her belly dancers. 21+. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. $95, $65 without food. Reservations recommended. Beehive, 541 Tremont St., Boston. 617-423-0069. beehivenewyearseve.eventbrite.com
Great Gatsby Gala: Vintage black tie dress-up is encouraged at this Swing Central soiree. Feathers, fringe, and pearls for the ladies? Gentlemen, tails may be in order (or just go gangster). Regardless of your duds, be ready to boogie to music by the Fried Bananas. Expect a Charleston lesson, Paper Moon photo booth, and more surprises. 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. $30, $25 students and seniors at the door. Crosby Whistle Stop, 24 Roland St., Charlestown. bostonswingcentral.org
First Day Free: The Gardner Museum says Happy New Year with free admission. It's fitting, since Isabella Stewart Gardner opened her museum's doors for the first time on New Year's Day (in 1903). The community gift is offered in honor of late former museum president Frank Hatch. The Venetian-style palazzo and courtyard is still decked out for "A Holiday Garden," a seasonal exhibit offering a fragrant, flower-filled respite from winter weather. The museum collections include paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, and decorative arts from around the world. Dress warmly in case of lines. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston. 617-566-1401, gardnermuseum.org
New Year's Day 1847: Think it's 2011? Not at Walden Pond. Join Henry David Thoreau (portrayed by historian Richard Smith) for socializing and seasonal literary readings, followed by a First Day Hike with DCR staff to the Thoreau house site. At the end, enjoy hot chocolate at park headquarters. Noon-2 p.m. Free. Walden Pond, Rte. 126, Concord. Meet at Thoreau house replica. 978-369-3254
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
'The Understudy': Jake (Kelby T. Akin) wants to make the switch from Hollywood action star to serious Broadway actor in a Kafka play. Theresa Rebeck's loving poke at the theater world is directed by the funny Larry Coen and presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday (through Jan. 29). $25-$52, $5 senior discount. The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St., Boston. 617-585-5678. lyricstage.com
Cherubs and Angels of Mount Auburn: Some are sweet, some are dignified. All are angelic. Kick off the new year with a walking tour at the famous cemetery that is the final resting place of notables including Mary Baker Eddy, Winslow Homer, and Isabella Stewart Gardner. Docent Rosemarie Smurzynski leads the search for celestial beings carved in marble and granite. 1 p.m. $10. Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge. mountauburn.org
Seafarers' Island Holiday It's not a tropical getaway, but this Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands trip may be the best you can do in a pinch. Bundle up, pack a picnic, board the boat, and explore Spectacle Island's five miles of trails. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. $25, $22 seniors, $20 children and students, babies free but require ticket. Advance reservations recommended. Boat departs from UMass Boston Fox Point Pavilion/Dock. 781-740-4290
Pandelis Karayorgis: This pianist may not be a household name, but he's been quietly wowing jazz audiences for more than 20 years with his Monk-influenced piano stylings. He begins the new year in performance with tenor saxophonist Tom Hall, bassist Jacob William, and drummer Curt Newton. 9 p.m. $10 donation. The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge. lily-pad.net
Stephanie Callahan is a native Bostonian who loves cooking, traveling, spa treatments, and being on the ocean.
Meghan Colloton is a Bostonian who loves traveling, channeling her inner Julia Child, and trying weird things -- from food to bungee jumping.
Milva DiDomizio is a New England native who's fond of cooking, singing, and Boston's arts and culture scene.
Rachel Raczka is a Bostonian who enjoys buttercream frosting, gin cocktails, and conquering cobblestone streets in high heels.
Emily Sweeney is a Boston native who goes out all over, from Irish pubs in Southie to the roller rink in Dorchester.
Emily Wright is a native Cape Codder who enjoys exercising, baking, and the occasional guilty pleasure action movie.