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Start 2024 off right with an activity that sets the tone for the year to come – whatever that means for you. Whether you’d rather relax with a blood orange mimosa or invigorate yourself with a plunge into the cold ocean, we’ve found a few ideas for getting the new year off to a great start

Take a First Day Hike

First Day Hikes are a longstanding tradition that encourages people to spend the first day of the new year exploring and enjoying the natural beauty around them. The state Department of Conservation and Recreation will be offering guided hikes at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, and the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham (where there will also be a group bike ride offered). At Crane Beach, a guided hike through the dunes will welcome in the new year.

And if you’re into the idea of hiking, but want an independent ramble, check out our guide to winter hiking in the area.

New Year’s Day Rocky Neck Plunge, Gloucester

Every year, dozens of intrepid swimmers gather at a small beach on Rocky Neck and plunge into the icy waters of Gloucester Harbor for a bracing start to the new year. They also collect donations for The Open Door Food Pantry, a major provider of food assistance on Cape Ann an beyond. Interested in a chilly challenge? Learn more at

Great blue heron at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary | Photograph by Janice Koskey

Birdwatching at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

Start the new year off bright and early with an 8 a.m. birdwatching outing at Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield. Experienced guides will lead you on a three-hour quest to find feathered friends, learn about bird identification and behaviors, and explore the beautiful sanctuary. Reserve your spot at

Run a road race, Salem, Salisbury, or Woburn

Hit the ground running in 2024. In Salem, join the four-mile Frosty Four New Year’s Day Race, raising money for scholarships for area high school students. In Salisbury, the Winner’s Circle Running Club’s New Year’s Day Hangover Classic 10K and 5K Road Races include scenic beachfront routes and a post-race party. And in Woburn, the Shamrock Run Your Hangover Off race tops off a five-mile run with a potluck lunch.

Sogno | Photograph by Anthony Tieuli

Brunch at Sogno, Woburn

If running and swimming aren’t your New Year’s Day style, book at cozy booth at Sogno in Woburn for a brunch including challah French toast, sausage and mushroom frittata, a potato-and-bacon topped breakfast pizza, and favorites from regular menu. Accompany your meal with a Bellini or a Bloody Mary (topped with option bacon or shrimp, if going big is part of your New Year’s resolution). Book your table at

New Year’s Day Ballet and Sip at MAGMA

Everyone from longtime ballet dancers to novices who have just resolved try out the form are welcome to usher in 2024 on their toes at MAGMA dance studio’s first class of the year. The hour-an-a-half class will include instruction for all levels, topped off with a sparkling wine (or cider) toast. Learn more and sign up at