Like everything else 2020, New Year’s Eve will be different this year. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be fun. (Bonus: much less FOMO!)  We’ve rounded up kid-friendly New Year’s activities where families can celebrate together, from in-person light shows to online dance parties, and yes, the completely reimagined, virtual New Year’s Eve in Times Square experience! Read on to find the NYC kid-friendly New Year’s Eve event perfect for your family!

photo: VNYE

Celebrate in Times Square Virtually with VNYE

Clearly, hundreds of thousands of people will not be gathering in Times Square to watch the ball drop on New Year's Eve. But the party will rage on, virtually. One Times Square has "gamified" the Ball Drop experience with Virtual New Year’s Eve,  an interactive gaming experience that is so jam-packed, it started 12/19.

"Players" can be in the center of Times Square, via a personalized avatar and a downloadable app. There's a lot to do: tour the 2020 Remembrance Hall, a look back at the past year; explore Times Square Plaza, and head to an observation deck where you can take in the sights of the city and Times Square’s iconic billboards.

Plus: there's a gaming lounge, performances by emerging musical artists Alex Boyé , Armani White, and Chloe Gilligan (as avatars), a dance floor, and an art gallery of 60 works by more than 45 contemporary artists. The show "Hi-Resolution" focuses on New Year’s resolutions, and how we can set our intentions for the coming year. 

On December 31 at midnight, a livestreamed Ball Drop event will top it off—and you can attend with friends and family from anywhere! 

Online: nye2021.com

photo: Story Pirates

DJ Squirm-a-lot's New Years Bash

Celebrate with the Story Pirates on New Years Eve (day). DJ Squirm-a-lot is planning a huge party to ring in 2021, but his old nemesis Yorma the ice dragon is trying to spoil the fun. With your kids' help, DJ Squirm and the Story Pirates might be able to save the bash. 
This one-of-a-kind event will have games, songs, surprises and a thrilling caper involving dragon magic. And yes, DJ Squirm-a-Lot will lead a huge celebration to close out the year! 

Tickets: $15/family
Dec. 31, 3-4 p.m.

Click here to learn more!

photo: King County Library System

The Rock Cats in Concert

This is a west coast event, but how could we resist? Comprised of animagi, The Rock Cats are the only cat band in the entire world! Disguised for muggles as ordinary house cats, this troupe of former orphans, rescues and strays travel across the country performing entertaining and educational shows while encouraging and supporting feline fostering, rescue and adoption. (Their sister group, the Amazing Acro-Cats, even appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.) Space is limited--register now! 

Dec. 31, 8-8:30 p.m.

Click here for more info!

Celebrate with Snoopy & the Schulz Museum

The Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California holds a New Years Eve celebration every year—and now you can go, too! Enjoy a virtual "Noon-year’s eve" celebration with Peanuts-themed crafts, special appearances by Snoopy and Woodstock, and a countdown to the Museum’s annual up-down balloon drop at Noon. (Which will be at 3 p.m. ET.) 

Tickets: $15
Dec. 31, 2-3 p.m.

Click here for more info! 

photo: iStock

Attend a Baby Rave

The award-winning Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s popular Baby Rave is inviting families with toddlers nationwide to join the party this New Year's Eve. This fun and inspired childhood development-focused dance party encourages participants to “rock out” live with DJ ET live! Join up to 1,000 families around the country for this live streaming video of dance parties in action. And don't forget to dress up!

Click here for more info! 

photo: WCS/Bronx Zoo

Get Wild at the Zoo

Head to The Bronx Zoo for a night of illuminated animal lanterns, ice carving, hot chocolate and more wintry fun. Dazzling light displays cover several acres of the zoo in a walk-through experience with wildlife-themed displays, custom Asian lanterns, and animated light shows on the historic Astor Court.

Click here for more info!

—Mimi O’Connor

featured photo: VNYE

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