As we’re counting down the days to 2016, start making some plans to ring in the new year with the kids. There are several family-friendly ways to celebrate around the area, including events happening during the day as well as an easy overnight getaway. Here’s where your crew can get in on the fun. Happy New Year!
Noon Yards Eve
Where: The Yards Park
When: 10am – 1pm
The Yards is once again hosting its Noon Yards Eve festival to ring in 2016! The third annual event will transform the park into a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with fun for both kids and adults. Activities will include music and dancing, balloon artists, bouncy inflatables, trackless trains, face painters, kids crafts, and of course the big balloon drop at 12pm.
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 from a variety of genres. Among the many kids activities will be live entertainment, face painting, story time, balloon sculptures, interactive art activities, and much 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.
The Celebration of Centuries
Where: Medieval Times
Admission: $39.95/adult, $29.95/child (look for a deal)
Experience an epic afternoon of fun and celebration as you countdown to 2016. Along with a four-course feast and thrilling jousting action, there will be special activities for the occasion — knight training, face painting, and princess story time will make the day extra exciting a for young revelers.
Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
Where: Jammin’ Java
When: 10:30am & 1:30pm
For the 9th 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. Doors open half-hour before the show and general admission seating is on a first come, first served basis.
Where: Maryland Science Center
When: 10am – 2pm
Admission: $20.95/adult, $16.95/3-12, free for 2 and under
The Maryland Science Center’s New Year’s Eve family extravaganza will transform the midnight tradition into one the kids can enjoy. The 8th annual Midnight Noon will give kids the opportunity to see the ball drop before bedtime. Guests can dance their way into a very happy “Noon” Year — Grammy-nominated Baltimore kids band Milkshake will take to the stage at 11:30am. Visitors can also decorate party hats, construct noise makers, and more. And the rest of the Science Center will be open for exploration, too!
Noontime New Year
Where: Port Discovery
When: 9:30am – 5pm
Join the children’s museum in Baltimore for a Snow Ball at its annual Noontime New Year Celebration. Kids are encouraged to dress up in their favorite costumes and count down to the New Year at 12 noon with Eric Energy! Toast 2016 with juice and cookies and enjoy a fun day of programs and performances! Be sure to check the schedule for timing of specific events.
Family Yoga NYE Party
Where: lil omm
Start the count down for a new year together, family yoga style! In this special homage to the new year, participants will move together in partner poses, shared laughter and breath, and meditate on what you would like to nurture in the new year. Babies are welcome to enjoy the music and company, though the practice — movement, meditation, and breathing — will be geared for children ages 3 and up and their parents/caregivers. Registration closes December 29, so be sure to sign up in advance!
Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration
Where: West Broad Street in Falls Church
When: 7pm – Midnight
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 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 Entertainment on the Eastern Shore
Where: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay
When: Thursday – Friday
Admission: See room rates on website
How about an easy getaway to ring in 2016? The Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay is offering special family-friendly activities to celebrate the new year. An inflatable fun house, arcade games, a kids’ karaoke and dance party, dive-in movie-watching from the comfort of an indoor pool, and an early ball drop are just some of the festivities hotel guests can enjoy. And there’s even more fun for adults — find details here.