Your Guide to 2012 New Year's in Needham

A quick look at what's open, what's closed and what's happening this weekend, as we say goodbye to 2011.

The new year is nearly upon us! As we look ahead to 2012 and say farewell to 2011, here’s a quick guide to the New Year’s Eve holiday weekend in Needham.



  • : Town offices are closed on weekends and will be closed on Monday, Jan. 2 as well for the New Year’s holiday.
  • : The library is open on Saturday, Dec. 31 and will host special holiday events, including puppet shows at 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., a storyteller at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. and a magician at 2:30, 3:15 and 4:00 p.m. The library will be closed on Sunday, Jan. 1 and Monday, Jan. 2. It will reopen at it usual time on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
  • Council on Aging: The is closed on weekends and will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 2 in observance of New Year’s Day.
  • Banks: In addition to their usual weekend closures, several banks, such as , may be closed on Monday, Jan. 2 in observance of New Year’s.
  • Local government: State and county offices are typically closed on the weekends and will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 2.
  • : The local schools are on winter break through Monday, Jan. 2. Classes will resume at their usual time on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
  • Post office: The U.S. Postal Service will observe the New Year’s Day holiday on Monday, Jan. 2, so both Needham post offices will be closed.



Looking to dine out on New Year’s Eve? Some Needham restaurants will be open late to offer drink and dinner specials for those looking to ring in 2012 in style. ’s New Year’s Eve celebration includes menu specials served from 4:00-11:00 p.m. and a special dinner package for two for reservations after 8:00 p.m. Check out their Web site for more information, and be sure to call ahead. Know of another great spot to celebrate at? Tell us in the comments.



The Needham Cultural Council’s fifth annual New Year’s Needham celebration will be held all day on Saturday, Dec. 31 at various locations. Be sure to get your New Year’s button for $5 so you can join the festivities. Buttons are available at many places around town, including: , Needham Park and Recreation Dept. at the , selectmen's office at the , , , , , and . The button provides access to all New Year’s Needham events except for the NYN dance celebration in the VFW Hall.

Below is a full schedule of events for NYN ’12:

  • All day. Annual Ice Sculpture ()—This year’s creation will include castles, unicorns and other fantasies.
  • 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Needham Art Association exhibit ()—Exhibit featuring Needham’s local artists
  • 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Puppet Show (library)—Ages 3 and up will enjoy the Pumpernickel Puppets as they present “Sir George and the Dragon.” Larger than life size puppets will present a fun and colorful twist on classic stories.
  • Noon and 3:30 p.m. Creative Movement & Arts Center open house ()—Ages 1-8 are invited to the to enjoy an afternoon of arts and crafts, special performances, sports, karaoke and open gym for the kids.
  • 12:30 p.m. Storyteller (library)—Storyteller Katie Latimer’s trademark fast-paced and witty style and unforgettable stories are sure to make you laugh.
  • 12:30 p.m. Stories and Songs (Creative Movement & Arts Center, red gym)—Stacey Peasley will combine catchy songs, music, dancing and storytelling to inspire children and parents to enjoy music together.
  • 1:00 p.m. The Needham Youth Chamber Ensemble , sanctuary)—Needham residents joined by area students from New England Conservatory and Longy Prep will present a wide variety of classics and popular music.
  • 1:00 p.m. Needham Dance Theatre (, fellowship hall)—A repertoire of jazz, hip-hop and ballet. Dancers of all ages will entertain with beautiful choreography that is stirring as well as clever and fun.
  • 1:00 p.m. The Singing Trooper (, Kennedy gym)—Sgt. Daniel M. Clark is known as “The Singing Trooper.” People Magazine published an article on Clark, prompting his appearances on the “Rosie O’Donnell Show” and the “Donnie and Marie Show.”
  • 1:30 p.m. Storyteller (library)— Storyteller Katie Latimer will give an encore peformance.
  • 2:00 p.m. Charles River Ballet (, Powers Hall)—CRBA dancers move beyond technique to bring classical and contemporary pieces to life in an exciting performance.
  • 2:00 p.m. O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dancing (Christ Episcopal Church, fellowship hall)—Irish step dancers will combine traditional and contemporary dances in a truly exciting way.
  • 2:00 p.m. Quinobequin Quilters ()—The quilters will present a colorful show featuring the work of local artists.
  • 2:30 p.m. Magician Chris Bolter (library)—One of New England’s premier children’s entertainers will captivate the minds and hearts of children of every age.
  • 2:30 p.m. Needham High School Honors Quartet (The Congregational Church of Needham, sanctuary)—Musicians from Needham High School will play from their repertoire. 
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m. The Exchange Club Train ()—Come hop in and take a ride on the kid’s train.
  • 3:00 p.m. Kirk Family Band (, downstairs)—Fun and upbeat folk and folk rock harmonies, guitars, sax and harmonica—fun for all ages.
  • 3:00 p.m. Fermata Nowhere (Christ Episcopal Church of Needham, sanctuary)—Needham High School’s largest all-female a cappella group will perform.
  • 3:15 and 4:00 p.m. Magician Chris Bolter (library)—One of New England’s premier children’s entertainers will captivate the minds and hearts of children of every age.
  • 4:00 p.m. Folk music (Christian Science Reading Room, sanctuary)—Dan and Faith will play inspired original folk music. Dan plays guitar and harmonica, while Faith plays the mandolin, bass guitar, tenor banjo and the harmonica. 
  • 4:00 p.m. Great Plain Squares ()—Square dance fun for all, ages 8 and up. No experience needed.
  • 5:00 p.m. Acoustic music (Christian Science Reading Room)—Kirsten and Dave play acoustic pop, country, acoustic blues or folk/ bluegrass. They play a mix of covers and original tunes.
  • 5:00 p.m. West Newton Ceili Band (Christ Episcopal Church, sanctuary)—The West Newton Ceili Band will delight the audience with jigs, reels and other dance tunes of a fine traditional Irish session.
  • 5:30 p.m. Classical music (The Congregational Church of Needham, sanctuary)—Kurt Munstedt will perform solo sonatas of Brahms, Beethoven, and Sarasate for violin and piano with accompaniment.
  • 6:00-9:00 p.m. Plugged In Teen Bands ()—Needham’s own rising talents, ages 8-18, will play a variety of cover songs and originals.
  • 6:00-10:00 p.m. Outdoor Music and Light Show ()—See the ice sculpture and enjoy musical accompaniment.
  • 6:00 p.m. Magician Chris Bolter: Adult Magic Show (Town Hall, Powers Hall)—Award-winning magician and mind reader whose performances are full of wit, comedy and jaw-dropping feats of magic.
  • 6:00 p.m. Songwriter Beth DeSombre (Christian Science Reading Room, sanctuary)—DeSombre writes smart and uplifting songs, telling stories of people and places along life’s crooked highways.
  • 6:00 p.m. Ballroom Dance New England (Christ Episcopal Church, fellowship hall)—Merengue the night away with instructors from Needham’s premier ballroom dance studio. No partner needed!
  • 7:00 p.m. Melodius Funk (Town Hall, Powers Hall)—Melodius Funk is Needham’s longest running independent jazz group. Their name says it all—jazz with strong melodies, played funky.
  • 7:00 p.m. Sound Investment (Christian Science Reading Room, sanctuary)—A throw-back to the days of college octets and glee clubs, sings timeless favorites that appeal to a variety of musical tastes and generations.
  • 7:00 p.m. Needham Concert Society (The Congregational Church of Needham, sanctuary)—Several of Needham’s professional musician residents will join with young musicians to perform works of Bach, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Mozart and more.
  • 7:00 p.m. Longwood Opera presents Broadway and opera selections (Christ Episcopal Church, sanctuary)—An opportunity for the whole family to enjoy both genres.
  • 8:15 p.m. Needham Community Theatre (Christ Episcopal Church, sanctuary)—Come hear this local troupe perform show tunes and songs from your favorite musicals.
  • 8:00-9:30 p.m. Comedian Jim Colliton (Town Hall, Powers Hall)—This husband and father of three has a hilarious insights of life in the suburbs that we all can relate to.
  • 8:00 p.m. to midnight. The Homegrown Coffeehouse (First Parish in Needham)

—8:00 p.m. Jerry Wasserman & Friends: A perennial NYN favorite, with a folk-pop vibe
—9:00 p.m. Singer Margaret Sargent; NHS student Sophie London performs original folk-rock tunes
—10:00 p.m. until midnight: Folk music and poetry in the round with host Chris Pahud.

  • 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Hipsocket Band Dance Party ()—This seven-piece band has been a hip part of the area music scene for two decades playing jazz, Motown, soul, funk and pop. For ages 21 and up.



On New Year’s Day, Sunday, Jan. 1, join or cheer on runners in the Needham New Year’s Day 5K. Fee is $20 if paid in advance and $25 on race day. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. at the on Great Plain Avenue. The race will start at 11:00 a.m. Register or learn more online at www.needhamrunningclub.com.


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