Whether you’re nursing a newborn or chasing a toddler, ringing in the New Year can still be a fun, family affair. Here’s a roundup of the best places to celebrate with the entire brood. Several events happen early, so you can watch the ball drop well before bedtime. Everyone starts 2018 with plenty of sleep!
Photo: Yards Park
Noon Yards Eve
Yards Park turns into a family-friendly wonderland with interactive activities for the kids and adults, including train rides, moon bounces, crafting, face painting, magicians, and more. The celebration features a countdown and balloon drop at noon.
301 Water St., SE
Time: 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
If your family is full of early birds, the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a good place to ring in the New Year during the daylight hours. Kids can dance to music from the band Milkshake and enjoy other interactive and fun activities.
Maryland Science Center
Baltimore Inner Harbor
601 Light St. (Baltimore, Md)
When: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: $20.95 for adults; $16.95 for kids 3-12; free, kids/under 3
Noon Time New Year’s Celebration
Don’t wear just anything to this New Year’s Eve celebration. Kids are encouraged to dress in their favorite costumes and join in an energetic countdown to the new year. There will be live performances, dancing, and snacks.
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
35 Market Pl. (Baltimore, Md)
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $15.95/ages 2 and up
New Year’s Annapolis
Bring the family to Annapolis for an early celebration filled with live music and fireworks. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. the event focuses on family-friendly entertainment, including face painting, an obstacle course, moon bounces and children’s rock bands. There’s also a 5:30 p.m. fireworks show. You can be home in time for dinner!
Wheems Whelan Fields
Maryland Hall and Bates Middle School
801 Chase St. (Annapolis, Md)
When: 3 p.m.–6 p.m.
Midnight at 7
Welcome the new year with a walk through the Symphony of Lights and a dazzling display of fireworks. There will be music, party favors, face painting, food and more. Proceeds from the event benefit the Howard County General Hospital.
First Night Alexandria
Old Town’s quaint and festive streets fill with fun and entertainment for our area’s largest family-friendly New Year’s Eve party. Kids will enjoy over 100 live performances, face painting, story telling, balloon art, crafting and more. Make your way down to the foot of King Street to ring in 2018 with a spectacular fireworks show on the Potomac River.
Old Town Alexandria
When: 1 p.m.–1 a.m.
Cost: $30; kids 12 and under are free
Rocknoceros New Year’s Eve Party
If your kids haven’t experienced the festive music of this popular children’s band, then Jammin’ Java’s New Year’s Eve party is the perfect time. Band members Coach, Williebob and Boogie Bennie with get the crowd singing along to their fun and interactive tunes. You can order food and drinks from the café’s menu.
Photo: Pete via flickr
Watch Night – Falls Church
Bundle up and get ready to welcome the new year with family-friendly entertainment. There will be live music, dancing, games, and food. Kids can participate in a scavenger hunt, plus face painting, karaoke, puppet shows, and free balloons. Take advantage of the free shuttle bus that runs every 30 minutes from the East Falls Church Metro station from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
100 block of West Broad St.
When: 7 p.m.–Midnight
Join area locals as they gather in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy food, live music, kid’s games, an interactive drum circle, bounce house, obstacle course, bubble wrap stomp, fire pits, and more. There will be an early countdown and ping pong ball drop at 9 p.m.
Sophia St. (Fredericksburg, Va)
When: 6pm – 9pm
How do you plan on ringing in 2017 with your family? Tell us in the comments section below.