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.

Yards Park
301 Water St., SE
Time: 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Online: theyardsdc.com

Midnight Noon
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
Online: mdsci.org

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)
410-727-8120
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: $15.95/ages 2 and up
Online: portdiscovery.org

photo: CCM

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.
Cost: Free
Online: visitannapolis.org

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.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods
10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy (Columbia, Md)
When: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.
Cost: $15 in advance; $20 at the door; free/kids under 4
Online: hopkinsmedicine.org

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
Online: firstnightalexandria.org

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.

Jammin Java Café
227 Maple Ave. (Vienna, Va)
When: 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: $10
Online: jamminjava.com

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
Cost: Free
Online: watchnightfallschurch.com

Riverfront Park
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
Cost: FREE
Online: downtown31.com

How do you plan on ringing in 2017 with your family? Tell us in the comments section below. 

—Jamy Bond

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