I don’t think that I have stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve since it was turning 2000, and even then it was forced. It just felt like we “had to” stay up and see it happen. I’ve never been much of a night owl. I would have been perfectly happy with early New Year’s Eve activities when I was in my 20s.
Anyway, I tried to dig up as many family options as I could find, because I think my boys and I might do something that day. We’ve actually never attended one of these early New Year’s Eve events for kids, and it looks like fun. Please keep in mind that this list is for early New Year’s Eve events, not all family friendly events. All of these events are over by 9:00 or 10:00 at night.
I am well aware that there are many “First Night” type activities that are also alcohol-free and family friendly, but most little kids don’t stay up that late.
New Year’s Eve events for kids-Lehigh Valley
Crayola Experience– New Year’s Eve party that ends at 6 pm. See details below.
Peeps Fest! Who knew that there was a Peeps Fest?! Peeps Fest is December 30 and 31, in Bethlehem, PA at the Steel Stacks. There is a countdown to….4:30 in the afternoon when a giant Peep will drop!
New Year’s Eve events for kids-Philadelphia
The main Philadelphia event is the fireworks. The city holds them at 6 pm and again at midnight. But, many family-friendly events have sprouted up around the 6 pm fireworks. Your choices:
- The Blue Cross River Rink is having a party from 5-8 pm, so you would be riverside during the fireworks.
- Dave & Buster’s is having a family-friendly party, make reservations. I think it’s $40-$50 per person.
- You can take your family to the Independence Seaport Museum from 4-7. Activities include a 6 pm toast with ginger ale!
- Franklin Square is having a bunch of family friendly stuff that evening too.
- Of course you can opt to just see the fireworks on the Delaware River Waterfront, and skip any other activities or parties. The first fireworks are at 6 pm!
The Betsy Ross House will have a variety of events from starting at 11 am
Sesame Place-You can celebrate the last day of the year and the last day of A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place. The parade is at 6 pm and then at about 6:25 they are having fireworks. We did this in a few years ago. It was FUN but it was COLD! And it was crowded.
The Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park usually has a countdown to noon. This event usually sells out, so get your tickets now if you want them. (I cannot find a direct link for 2017, sorry!)
New Year’s Eve events for kids-Bucks county
Bucks County Children’s Museum is also hosting a carnival/ festival that starts at 11 am.
New Year’s Eve events for kids-Delaware
Delaware Children’s Museum–New Year’s Rockin’ Noon-December 31 • 11:30am-1:30pm-Ring in 2016 at the DCM during our annual New Year’s Eve celebration without the late bedtime! Grab a bag of confetti, make a noisemaker and let the countdown begin! When the clock strikes 12 NOON we’ll rock out to a special performance by We Kids Rock!
Brandywine Zoo does a “Noon Year’s Eve” 11am-12:15 pm. Celebrate the New Year Zoo-style by ringing in the New Year at NOON! We’ll have games, crafts, and a celebratory atmosphere and of course a sparkling cider toast as the clock strikes 12 (Noon that is!) Program takes place in the zoo so dress for the weather! Fee: $6 per person/$5 per person Delaware Zoological Society Members. (Admission will be charged starting at 10am) NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Alex and the Kaleidoscope Band will be at the Ardmore Music Hall for daytime performances. See link for details and to purchase tickets. We saw them in the city a few years ago and my kids LOVED it. A really fun dance party for little ones.
My local YMCA is having a Countdown to Noon. You may want to check with your local YMCA or similar agency to see if they are doing anything. My local library is not doing anything special, nor are any of the libraries near me.
That’s all I could find, if you know of some, please leave in the comments.