The countdown to 2019 is on, and if you’re looking for ways to ring it in with young revelers, you have many options! There are a bunch of family-friendly ways to celebrate around the area, from organized events to plan-it-yourself activities. Here are details and inspiration for your gang to get in on the fun — all of them taking place on December 31 unless otherwise noted. Happy New Year!
Noon Year’s Eve
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: December 30, 11:30-12:30pm
Admission: $5/child members, $8/non-members (free for adults)
Ring in the New Year a day early with your little one at this special holiday Tudor Tots! Enjoy a festive counting-themed storytime, then count down together to 12pm. Celebrate the noon-year with noisemakers, confetti, a sparkling craft, and toast 2019 with juice. For ages 2-4 and accompanying adults.
A Fancy (Nancy) Celebration
Where: Adventure Theatre | Glen Echo, MD
When: 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm
Join Fancy Nancy, for a performance of Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas on New Year’s Eve! There are a few showtimes throughout the day, and they’ll all include a sparkling cider toast and a rendition of Ald Lang Syne (that’s fancy for memories). It’s the fanciest way to bring in the New Year with the kiddos!
Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: 10am – 1pm
The Yards is once again hosting its Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2018! The sixth annual event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include trackless train rides through the park, inflatable moon bounces, glitter tattoo artists, balloon artistry, music, and a countdown and big balloon drop at noon.
First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town | Alexandria, VA
When: Starting at 6pm
Admission: $30-35/adult, free/age 12 & under
Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. There Kids Karnivals in three locations, with loads of activities for young revelers — face painting, story time, balloon sculptures, interactive games, and much more. And more than 100 performances on 30 indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria will feature live entertainment from an amazing variety of genres. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display on the Potomac River at the foot of King Street. For details on where shows will take place, see the schedule on the website.
Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
Where: Jammin Java | Vienna, VA
When: 11am & 2pm
For the 12th straight year, the widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin Java. Sing along to some of your favorite tunes and enjoy the full menu of food and drinks while you’re there. Opt for the lunchtime show at 11am, or go in the afternoon at 2pm. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.
End the Year Medieval-Style
Where: Medieval Times | Hanover, MD
When: 3:30pm (doors open at 2pm)
Admission: $37.95/adult, $30.95/child
Experience an epic afternoon of fun and celebration as you countdown to 2019. Along with a four-course feast and thrilling jousting action, young guests can experience special activities just for the occasion before the extravaganza begins. Knight training, a queen story time, and free posters will make the day extra exciting a for young revelers. Be sure to use the code NYE18 for the ticket discount!
Where: Maryland Science Center | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $24.95/adult, $18.95/3-12, free/2 & under
Join the MSC for their annual New Year’s Eve celebration, Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bedtime. There will be fun New Year’s festivities throughout the day, including a live concert by popular kids band Milkshake — their Grammy-nominated tunes will keep everyone dancing throughout the day. And, of course, the rest of the museum will be open to explore! All activities are free with paid admission (and completely free to members).
Noontime New Year’s Celebration
Where: Port Discovery | Baltimore, MD
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $15.95 ages 2+
Out with the old, in with the new! Celebrate the wonderful memories, fun, and adventures of 2018 — and the magical new things to come in 2019 — at the children’s museum in Baltimore! Festivities will include a noontime countdown, juice and cookie toast, indoor dance party, special performances from Eric Energy, The Kolonder’s, The Kindersinger, a fairy dancer, and more. Along with the New Years’ themed fun, this event will also be a great opportunity to explore Port Discovery’s much-loved exhibits ahead of the wonderful transformations planned for 2019. Check out the Noontime New Year’s schedule of activities on the website for more details.
Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: 100 Block of West Broad Street | Falls Church, VA
When: 7pm – Midnight
Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s 21st annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, and restaurants with special Walking Watch Night Menus at local restaurants. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within a four-block area that begins on the 100 Block of West Broad Street. A free shuttle bus stops at each venue and the East Falls Church Metro throughout the evening, including a shuttle from the East Falls Church Metro station.
Family Fun on the Eastern Shore
Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay | Cambridge, MD
When: December 31 – January 1
Admission: See room rates on website
How about an easy getaway to ring in 2019? The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is offering special room rates and family-friendly activities to celebrate the new year. The fun includes a magician, indoor mini golf, carnival games, bounce houses, a game room, photo booth, indoor pool, s’mores, and more. There will also be several special dining options, live music, and strolling entertainment around the resort.
Swoosh into 2019
Where: Ski Liberty | Carroll Valley, PA
When: 5pm – 1am
Admission: Lift tickets start at $24/child (free/5 & under)
Hit the slopes to ring in the new year! Ski Liberty’s celebration will include late-night skiing and snowboarding until 1am, fireworks at midnight, and a variety of special events happening around the resort. Enjoy a decadent fixe prix dinner at Ike’s Chophouse. There is also a special, by reservations only, party at Boulder Ridge with Snow Tubing from 10pm to 1am. Find something for everyone and every age!
Glide into 2019
Where: Ice rinks around the DMV
When: Throughout the day & evening
Admission: Varies by rink
Skate under the stars to celebrate the start of the new year. Gliding on ice surrounded by twinkling lights, art sculptures, and/or the hubbub of people in festive spirits is a fun, active way to revel. Join a special event like Rock & Skate at Washington Harbour or just do your own thang. Be sure to check times for each rink, as hours may change for the holiday.
New Year’s Night Lights
Where: Around the DMV
When: After dark
Admission: Varies by locale
Start your own family New Year’s Eve tradition with a seasonal treat: Bundle up for a stroll or take a drive through one of several spectacular light displays! Most of the light shows that dazzle this time of year are open on New Year’s Eve. Combine an outing to see them with dinner out — this guide from Edible DC from last year has suggestions on where to eat nearby all the holiday lights. If you’re enjoying it from the comfort of a car, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, yummy snacks, and prepare a festive playlist for the ride.