Three…two…one…fun! The count down to New Years Eve is here and we’re ready to soak up every last bit of 2016. If you need a little kick to put you in the celebratory mood then join a sing-along, an amazing balloon drop or spend a festive night at the aquarium. Whatever you do, don’t forget to say cheers to 2017.

The Hall’s annual Winter Weeks celebration is back, and better than ever! Celebrate the holiday season with two weeks* of scientific exploration at UC Berkeley’s Public Science Center. Enjoy all your favorite exhibits, activities, and labs like the Animal Discovery Room, Ingenuity Lab, and Planetarium every day during Winter Weeks. During your visit, experience everything that is new at the Hall, including two new films in the National Geographic 3D Theater, and three special screenings of The Polar Express in 3D! *Please note, the Hall will be open 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on December 24 and closed on December 25.

San Francisco

Sing Along to the Sound of Music
An annual holiday tradition is kicking off at the Castro Theater. Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is an all time fave, because when this screening of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical pops up in glorious widescreen it comes with complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along. So warm up the vocal chords and get ready, because the theater is alive with the sound of music. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Ring in the New Year at the Asian Art Museum
Visitors to the museum can ring a 2,100-pound bell from the 16th century as part of this traditional ceremony. The bell-ringing symbolizes getting a fresh start and leaving behind and negativity or bad luck from the previous year. Museum staff recommend you get there by noon to be sure to get a turn! (Free with museum admission). Members only time is from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sat. Event details.

Knock Em’ Down at Presidio Bowl
Burn off some of that holiday energy at the Presidio Bowl. Open on New Years Eve and New Years Day! The location can’t be beat (heart of the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco) and the menu will please your little ones: hot dogs, hamburgers, and PB&J, and parents will appreciate the wine and beer selection! Daily. Event details.

East Bay

Celebrate Winter Weeks at The Hall
The Hall’s annual Winter Weeks celebration is back. Celebrate the holiday season with two weeks of scientific exploration at UC Berkeley’s Public Science Center. Enjoy exhibits, activities, and labs like the Animal Discovery Room, Ingenuity Lab, and Planetarium every day during Winter Weeks. During your visit, experience everything that is new at the Hall, including two new films in the National Geographic 3D Theater, and three special screenings of The Polar Express in 3D. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

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Pop Over for a Balloon Drop Celebration at Chabot
Ring in the New Year without staying up all night! Celebrate strokes of midnight from around the world at 11am, 1pm, and 4pm! Kids count down and catch hundreds of colorful balloons as they drop from the ceiling and participate in fun activities to receive a special prize. Now the kids can ring in the New Year without staying up past their bedtime. Sat. Event details.

Butterfly Over Here on New Years Day
Flutter over to Ardenwood on New Years Day for a special visit to the Monarch Butterfly Nursery. Children can learn the life cycles of these winged beauties as well as how they make it through the frigid Bay Area winter.  Butterfly walks are at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sun. Event details.

Peninsula

Put on the Ritz at this Kids New Year’s Soirée
Dress your little ones up in their holiday best and take them to the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay where kids will enjoy a party all their own. Movies, games, a children’s dinner, and a countdown complete with noisemakers, party hats, bubbles, strobe light and a toast of sparkling cider. Sat. Event details.

Take Off Into 2017 at this Noon Years Eve Party
Soar into the New Year with this celebration including face-painting, a bouncy house, two balloon drops and live entertainment from Cotton Candy Express Music. Plus your ticket includes admission to the museum’s awesome collection of aviation history, including mini-planes, a spy plane, and much more! Sat. Event details.

South Bay

Get Wrapped Up in this NYE Party
Spend the last night of the year in the company of seahorses, octopus, and other life aquatic at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seashore Sleepover. Enjoy a sparkling cider toast at 9 p.m. and an evening snack including a sundae bar, plus lots of activities and exploration throughout the evening. Sleep over with the jellies and wake up to a continental breakfast and watch wildlife from the Great Tide Pool deck. A truly memorable way to enter into 2017! Sat. Event details.

Celebrate NYE Across Time Zones
This night may belong to the adults, but the day belongs to the kids! Celebrate the arrival of 2017 with the whole family. Participate in the “countdown to noon across time zones” with family hugs, a noisy celebration, and the Museum’s version of the famous Ball Drop in Times Square. Advanced ticket purchase recommended. Sat. Event details.

North Bay

Hang Out at the Hanukkah Hut
Come to the Martin Country Mart and connect with other families to nosh on latkes from the Hanukkah Hut, listen to Hanukkah stories, enjoy crafts and play the dreidel game. Friends will gather together to sing Hanukkah songs and light candles together. Dec. 31, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. during the farmers market. Sat. Event details.

Start Out 2017 on the Right Paw
Rise and shine on the first day of 2017 and celebrate Canine Appreciation Day in McInnis Park. Pack up your pup and head to the park for a free BBQ and raffle prizes. This educational afternoon will include chats with rangers and some special guests who will share Marin Park rules, regulations and sensitive wildlife issues pet owners should know. Friendly dogs are welcomes but leashes are required. Sun. Event details.

What will you miss about 2017? Tell us how in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers