Who’s ready for 2018? Break out the noisemakers and pop the sparkling cider because the parties are about to kick off — and the best of them welcome kids. Read on for a handful of bashes in the city and in the ‘burbs that will let your little ones ring in 2018 a few hours early, plus a few that will take them into the new year.
photo: Pretend City
Noon Year’s Eve Celebration
Get a head start on your New Year’s Eve celebration and ring in 2018 with the whole family at KiDiMu. In addition to the annual countdown to noon and balloon drop, enjoy tons of special activities and festivities. Dec. 31 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Bainbridge Island. Free with admission or membership. Event details.
New Year’s Eve Around the World
Want to celebrate the new year with India, Russia, France and Morocco? Head to the Seattle Children’s Museum on New Year’s Eve and you can do just that. From 11 a.m.–5 p.m., families will be able to celebrate with different countries around the world, just as those countries are ringing in 2018 themselves. Each hourly celebration includes an apple juice toast, a craft from that country and cultural traditions. Dec. 31 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Seattle. Free with admission or membership. Event details.
photo: Seattle Children’s Museum
New Year’s Eve Nighttime Pajama Party
If you really want to make this a New Years’s Eve to remember, get your tickets to the Imagine Children’s Museum’s New Year’s Eve party! This year’s theme is a pajama party, so put on your comfy jammies and boggie over to the museum for tons of family fun. The blowout celebration will include special entertainment and activities. Psst…remember to dress for the weather. Rain or shine, the lighted ball will drop outside the museum at 9 p.m. Dec. 31 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Everett. Included with admission. Event details.
New Year’s Eve at the Museum
Ring in the new year a little early at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. In addition to creating your very own musical shaker, join the Museum staff (every hour!) for a dance party with your new music maker! Dec. 31 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tacoma. Pay as you will entrance fee. Event details.
Maggiano’s Little Italy Cake Decorating Class & Early New Year’s Eve Celebration
New Year’s Eve is getting extra sweet at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Bellevue this year. Starting at 10 a.m., kids can learn how to decorate their very own cake with the help of Chef Andrew. Chef Andrew will demonstrate different decorating techniques and assist kids with their very own creation to take home. Then, at noon the New Year’s Eve countdown begins with a sparkling cider toast followed by a delicious buffet lunch from Maggiano’s! Dec. 31 from 10 a.m.-noon. Bellevue. Ages 4-12 and parents. $15-$40. Online reservations required. Event details.
photo: Maggiano’s Little Italy – Bellevue
New Year’s Celebration at KidsQuest Children’s Museum
Who needs fireworks when you can make some really cool popping sounds during a bubble wrap stomp—the highlight of this annual made-for-kids, daytime New Year’s Eve celebration! Other activities that will be happening every hour include a special New Year’s Eve story time, face painting, noise maker workshop during Inventor Hour and much more! Dec. 31 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Bellevue. Free with museum membership or paid admission. No registration required. Event details.
Noon Year’s Eve Party at Hands On Children’s Museum
Celebrate 2018 with a bang at the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia. This year’s New Year’s Eve party has an Aussie style theme which means you’ll get to meet a kangaroo and mother and baby wallaby, create and animate koalas and giant bugs, watch Dr. Science set ice on fire and freeze Vegemite with liquid nitrogen, maneuver like a marsupial in the Museum’s Outback Obstacle Course and “swim” with the sharks in the Black Light Reef Room. Dec. 31 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Olympia. Included with regular admission (members Free). Event details.
First Night Tacoma
Families south of Seattle and in Tacoma have made First Night a New Year’s Eve tradition for 25 years! It doesn’t begin until 6 p.m., but if you’re willing to keep the kiddies up a little bit late, or if you have older kids, everyone in your brood will enjoy strolling around this (alcohol-free) arts-centered New Year’s Eve festival. The main event kicks off with the world’s shortest parade that includes marching bands, costumes, masks and giant puppets. As the parade ends, music, dance, laughter, fire and magic light up dozens of different stages and spaces until midnight. Note: The outdoor events are free to all festival-goers; $12-$14 gives you admission to the indoor stages and artists (kids 10 & under are Free) as well as free all-day activities including free entrance into many of Tacoma’s museums. Dec. 31 from 6 p.m.-midnight. Tacoma. Outdoor activities are Free; access to indoor performances are $12 to $14 (10 & under are Free). Event details.
New Year’s Eve at the Needle
For those of you who are feeling brave this year, there’s nothing like heading down to the Seattle Center to watch the fireworks shoot off the top of the Space Needle when we turn the calendar from 2017 to 2018. The crowds are crazy and it’s freezing cold outside, but it will all be worth it when you see your kids’ eyes light up! Get down there early to enjoy a free rockin’ dance party with cover band Sway (starting at 8 p.m. in The Armory) and be sure to catch the Fountain of Light display at the International Fountain featuring a DJ dance party with plenty of music and visuals projected onto the fountain. Then, grab a good spot under the Needle and wait for the elevator to reach the top and the fireworks to begin. Psst! Don’t forget to bundle up! Dec. 31 from 8 p.m.-midnight. Seattle. Free. Event details.
photo: Space Needle Facebook page
We’d love to hear how you’re spending New Year’s Eve with your kids? Tell us in the comments below!
— Kristina Moy & Katie Kavulla