Ready or not, 2017 is here! Go dancing and watch an afternoon ball drop, set sail on a family New Year’s cruise and enjoy front row seats to the fireworks, or say salute at Eataly’s big bash complete with games and an Italian feast. Whether you plan on letting your little party animals stay up late to ring in the New Year or you’re looking for a way to celebrate and still make bedtime, we’ve got plenty of ways for your fam to rock this festive weekend. Read on for all of our fun picks and have a happy New Year!
Photo: Children’s Museum of Manhattan Ball Drop
Hit the Met for a Family Friendly Opera
Here’s the perfect way to introduce your little New Yorkers to the Opera. The Met’s English-language family adaptation of Mozart’s sublime and mystical journey, The Magic Flute, is a holiday tradition in the city. Arrive before the show for a pre-curtain Open House with family-friendly activities related to the production. Met artists and craftspeople will lead a “dress-up” station featuring child-friendly costume pieces; an instrument show-and-tell with members of the orchestra; a live demonstration by the Met scenic artists who create props and set elements for all of the company’s productions; and a lighting display by the Met’s electrics department. Fri. Event details.
Annual Kwanzaa Spectacular
Get ready to dance and sing at this Kwanzaa party staring a live performance by American Idol champion Ruben Studdard. Stroll through the international marketplace and check out some of the exhibits at the museum. Fri. Event details.
Celebrate the New Year with an Afternoon Ball Drop
Want to ring in the New Year but don’t want the kiddies staying up til midnight?! Head to the Children’s Museum where the ball will drop at Noon, 2 and 4 p.m. with a parade to follow. Revelers can also take part in New Year’s Eve Dance Party with DJ Chela, who will create a kid-friendly, dynamic mix of world rhythms to celebrate the eve of 2017. Expect Latin, afrobeats, hip hop, reggae, rock, funk, soul, disco, house and more from 2:30-4 p.m. There will be lots of festive crafts and activities happening all weekend long, including workshops to make noisemakers, special hats, and funny glasses. Fri. & Sat. Event details.
Central Park Fireworks and Midnight Run
Celebrate 2017 in Central Park with a 15-minute fireworks show. There will also be DJs, neon face painting, strobe lights, photo opportunities, and fun giveaways starting at 10:00 p.m. Then cheer on the runners at the annual midnight run. Sat. Event details.
Bake Some New Year’s Confetti Cupcakes
Bring on the pizzazz, the color, the fireworks….introducing the kitchen’s trademark Confetti Cupcakes! Your tiny chefs will learn how to make an oh-so-exciting cupcake that will be lucky if it makes it out of the kitchen before you gobble it up. Even enjoy a glass of kid-friendly bubbly as you toast to 2017. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Set Sail on a New Year’s Eve Family Cruise
Take to the high seas (or really, the East River) for a floating New Year’s bash. This nautical celebration promises dancing, eating, and enjoying spectacular views of NYC and New Jersey, as well as a champagne toast at midnight (buffet dinner included). And of course, front row seats to a fireworks display that won’t disappoint. Sat. Event details.
Countdown to the New Year at Eataly
Salute! Celebrate the end of the year Italian style with a kid friendly “midnight” toast, bubbly Prosecco for you and tasty mocktails for your little party animals. But before the toast there will be plenty of celebrating with games and activities and a full Italian feast of pasta, pizza and desserts. Sat. Event details.
Prospect Park New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Letting the kids stay up late to ring in 2017? Go to Grand Army Plaza to catch entertainment, drink hot chocolate and see dazzling New Year’s Eve fireworks. You can also view the show inside the Prospect Park on West Drive and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. And this year is the 150th Anniversary so expect everything to be bigger and better! Sat. Event details.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Coney Island
Only Coney Island will bring you an amazing fireworks display AND sideshow acts. Head to the beach to enjoy live music, a parachute jump along with sideshow performances and the grand finale fireworks display at midnight. Make sure to take a spin on Deno’s Wonderwheel for amazing views too. The ride is opening and offering free rides from 9-11 p.m. The boardwalk festivities kick of at 9 p.m., but head over earlier and check out the aquarium, they’re staying open late for New Year’s with the last admission at 8:30 p.m. Sat. Event details.
Polar Bear Plunge
Ok, so we by no means condone your little Eskimos jumping into the frigidly cold Atlantic in January. But that doesn’t mean they won’t get a kick out of watching others do it! Head to Coney Island for the annual plunge, where hundreds of swimmers will run into the ocean. Deno’s Wonder Wheel will open up for the day, so take a spin while visiting the boardwalk. Make a day out of it and visit the penguins and fish at the aquarium. Sun. Event details.
Remake the Holidays
ReMake the Holidays is a response to increased consumption and waste during the holiday season and an attempt to give your family inspiration and options to do things differently, while having fun. The theme of this day is glass and metal. Turn an ordinary piece of aluminum into a work of art using a variety of everyday objects and speciality tools in the Makers Space, make metal sculptures in the Design Lab or transform bottle caps and cans into fun creations the Skraptacular Library. Fri. Event details.
All Aboard with Thomas and Friends and the Train Show
The NYBG’s Holiday Train Show continues in January and now you can add on a special fun-filled, sing-along, mini performance adventure by Thomas and Friends. Bring your camera because after the show, you’ll have a photo-op with the favorite train character. Be sure to reserve tickets in advance, the Thomas shows typically sell out. Sat. & Sun. Event details.
How will your family ring in the New Year this weekend? Share with us in the comment section below.