New Year’s Eve Events for the Family

Old Town rings in 2012 at last year's First night Alexandria

Old Town Rings in 2012 at last year’s First night Alexandria

Looking for family-friendly ways to ring in 2013? Here are some events happening around the area that not only welcome kids, but in many cases, center around them. (And while you’re out enjoying them, chill the bubbly so it’s all ready to pop open when you get back home.) Happy New Year!

Noon Year’s Eve
Where: National Children’s Museum
When: 10am – 5pm
Admission: $10

The brand new museum at National Harbor welcomes the public to ring in 2013 at this event that will include parades led by some of the museum’s favorite characters, as well as theatre performances and programs involving New Year’s-themed crafts. Timed tickets will be issued for 10am-12pm, 12-2pm, and 2-4pm. For guaranteed admission, visitors may purchase timed tickets in advance for the next available admission time (on the same day at the Museum’s box office), and will receive a wristband to return to the Museum at the designated time. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

First Night Alexandria
Where: Old Town
When: Starting at 1pm
Admission: $20, kids 12 and under are free

Fun and entertainment will be in abundance at the area’s largest family-friendy New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be more than 100 performances on indoor stages throughout Old Town Alexandria, with entertainment by blue grass musicians, honky-tonk bands, clowns, magicians, and classical musicians. Among the kids activities will be story time, games, moon bouncing, face painting, magic shows, crafts, and more. 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
When: 2pm
Admission: $10

The widely popular band that always gets kids rockin’ will be playing a special New Year’s Eve gig at Jammin’ Java, and tickets are still available for the 2pm show. Sing a long to some of your favorite tunes and hear songs from their latest album “Colonel Purple Turtle.”

Midnight Noon
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $16.95/adult, $13.95/3-12, free for 2 and under

Head to Baltimore for the Maryland Science Center’s 5th annual Midnight Noon, where children can enjoy the ball drop before bed time. Special crafts will be available from 10am-2pm while supplies last. Guests can decorate party hats, make noisemakers and create wintry snow globes. Festivities will continue with the sounds of popular kids band Milkshake as they take the stage at 11:30am. There will be even more fun when Blue Sky Puppet Theatre performes Pig Tales, a story about friendship and sharing, at 10:30am and 1pm. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!

Noon Year’s Eve Jump
Where: Pump it Up in Lanham
When: 10am – 12pm & 12-2pm
Admission: $12/child, free for parents

Celebrate 2013 with some bouncing, sliding, and climbing in Pump it Up’s large rooms full of giant inflatables. Admission also includes two slices of pizza and a drink, plus there will be a big countdown to the new year at noon.

Family Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Yoga
Where: lil omm
When: 4-6pm
Admission: $40/family

Get a spiritual start to 2013, as you ring in the New Year with family-filled fun at lil omm — a Family Yoga class from 4-6pm. It’s open to kids of all ages, so bring the entire family to practice together! Yoga is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional, physical, and spiritual bonding, and the Family Yoga class includes postures for the whole family, including appropriate variations to accommodate everyone. This class will have some fun music and allow everyone to explore their own inner rock-star! Register in advance online.

Midnight at 7
Where: Symphony of Lights in Columbia
When: 5pm
Admission: $20/individual, $40/group of 3, $50/group of 4

The New Year’s fireworks start early at the Symphony of Lights in Columbia, where their annual drive-through light show has been dazzling oglers throughout the holiday season. You can enjoy it on foot on Saturday, along with a toasty bonfire, food vendors, music, party favors, face painting and more.  It all begins at 5pm when gates open, then watch the fireworks at 7pm. Register here.

Watch Night: The City of Falls Church New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: Broad (Rt. 7) & Washington (Rt. 29) Streets in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year with free, family-friendly festivities at Falls Church’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, music, singing, dancing, entertainment, performances and interactive festivities that appeal to all ages. Highlights include restaurants with Walking Watch Night Menus, a children’s scavenger hunt, a wide variety of inflatables, free balloons, karaoke, face painting, caricaturist drawings, free popcorn and more. The evening concludes at midnight with the traditional countdown and lowering of the City of Falls Church Star. All events take place within three blocks of the intersection of Broad Street and Washington 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.  

Ceremonial Bell Ringing
Where: National Archives
When: 11:30pm
Admission: Free

Recall times past as we celebrate time passing at the National Archives — if you can make it to the final hours of 2012. Festivities begin at 11:30 with a performance by the Washington Revels Heritage Voices, followed by a ceremonial bell ringing by a historical re-enactor portraying Harriet Tubman.

Celebrate at Home – Daily Candy has a bunch of cute ideas to help you and the kids ring in 2013 at home.


Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Museums, Music, New Years, Outdoor, Seasonal, Virginia, Weekdays

2 Responses to New Year’s Eve Events for the Family

  1. Anna

    thanks! Can you or any readers recommend a nice kid-friendly place for lunch (four kids aged between 8 months and 13) on New Year’s day that would also please my mom visiting from Italy? Ps: Thanks for all the helpful information. We moved to DC from Europe three months ago and your blog has been a godsend!!

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Hi Anna – So glad my blog has been helpful since you moved here! As for New Years lunch, there was just a discussion about this on the KFDC Facebook page. You can view it here:

      I also recommend: Carmine’s, The Hamilton, Founding Farmers, & Old Ebbit Grill (all in the Penn Quarter/Downtown DC area)

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