December 31, 2009

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FIRST DAY FREE The Gardner Museum celebrates 2010 with free admission on New Year’s Day. The gift is offered in honor of former museum president Frank Hatch. Bring the family and enjoy the lovely courtyard, artwork, and current exhibition “Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections.’’ Jan. 1, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston. 617-566-1401,

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT Applause Unlimited uses adorable hand puppets, storytelling, and music to tell Margery Williams’s heartwarming tale of a child who loves her stuffed bunny to life. Dec. 31-Jan. 3, 1 and 3 p.m. $10. Reservations recommended. Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St., Brookline. 617-731-6400,

CITY OF BOSTON 2010 INAUGURAL CELEBRATIONS Boston Public Library branches celebrate Mayor Menino’s fifth inaugural with free shows and book giveaways around the city. Performers include Rosalita’s Puppets, Bonaparte the Magician, and storyteller Tony Toledo. Jan. 2, 1-4 p.m. Various Boston Public Library branches. 617-536-5400, MILVA DIDOMIZIO

RESOLUTION BALL This annual New Year’s Eve fete takes place in two locations. At the Cyclorama, guests (mostly young professionals) dance under the copper skylight dome to the Felix Brown Band. At the Top of the Hub, groove to the Love Dogs and enjoy great views of the city. Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at the Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St. or 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Top of the Hub Skywalk Level, 800 Boylston St. 781-444-7771,

2010 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC SPECTATOR PLAZA Even if you didn’t get tickets to see the Bruins play at Fenway Park, you’re invited to this free fan festival. It features interviews with Bruins alumni, interactive hockey-themed attractions, ice sculpting displays, and live music by the Zoo. Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Brookline Avenue Parking Lot at Yawkey Way, Boston.

COMMUNITY DAY If spending New Year’s Eve day exploring a nice, warm museum sounds like your idea of fun, you’re in luck. All are invited to check out the permanent collection and special exhibits including “The Secrets of Tomb 10A: Egypt 2000 BC.’’ Guided tours, gallery talks, and family activities are planned. Dec. 31, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Free. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 617-267-9300,

NEW YEAR’S DAY WALK Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get in shape? Start right in on fulfilling it at the Waltham Land Trust & Prospect Hill Park Advocacy Group’s annual event. Dress for the weather, and be prepared for a fairly steep, rocky climb. The payoff comes at Boston Rock, with hot beverages and panoramic views of Waltham and the Boston skyline. Jan. 1, 1 p.m. Free. Gather at South Gate to Prospect Hill Park, Prospect Hill Rd., Waltham. 781-893-3355, MILVA DIDOMIZIO

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