Thanks to Bay Area Discovery Museum for sponsoring our guide to New Year’s Eve with kids!
You already know that New Year’s Eve with kids is a little different than partying with your friends. Luckily, there are some terrific kid-focused daytime celebrations for ringing in the New Year with children. Besides, here on the West Coast, it’s probably New Year’s somewhere. Cheers!
From early to so-late-its-early-again here are our top picks for December 31:
Noon Year’s Eve at the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito
Party from 9am to 2pm. Count down to noon and watch the ball drop in Festival Plaza. Dance along to DJ Mancub. Design your own party crown and noise maker to celebrate the Noon Year. Lots of bubbles and beads. A fun tradition for New Year’s Eve for kids. I visited last year with my children (ages 3, 7, and 9) and we had a blast until naptime! Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended. Reserve your tickets >
Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland
Ring in 2015 with your kids, and the rest of the planet, at this daytime Balloon Drop Celebration happening at 11am, 1pm, and 4pm. Children 5 and under are separated from the bigger kids. Some times/ages still available. Space is limited and registration is required.
Albany Community Center Hall in Albany
Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve in Albany – perfect for kids (and parents) who can’t stay awake past 9pm. FREE party kits, craft stations and music from 11:00-1:00pm. The ball drops at noon (Time-Square style) – don’t miss it.
Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley
Count down to New Years in countries all around the globe, with noisemakers, sparkling cider toasts, and a special balloon drop. 12:00–2:00 p.m., Balloon drop at 2pm is included with admission price.
Rec Room folk music party in Berkeley
Little Folkies will be performing with banjos, fiddles, and old time winter spirit at 3pm, buy tickets in advance.
Super Franks in Pleasanton (UPDATE- JANUARY 2016: Super Franks has closed.)
This family-centric New Years Eve celebration includes buffet dinner, confetti, tons of organized games and activities, arcade tokens, ice cream cake, live entertainment plus a balloon drop at the stroke of 9pm! (We watch the East Coast action, so the kids can get to bed at a decent time.) It sounds like a kid’s dream come true. for $29.99 per person. This event will sell out, so get your tickets soon. 6:30-9:15pm. Fun for those who can handle being up til 9.
Playland-Not-At-The-Beach in El Cerrito
Playland is throwing a New Year’s celebration everyone can enjoy. Bring the whole family (stick the sleepy ones in the “quiet room”) and play pinball, partake in the New Year’s treasure hunt, and drink sparkling cider all night long. Tickets are $30 for everyone 3 and up; no RSVP is required.
New Year’s Overnight at Castle Rock Arabians in Walnut Creek
Parents drop off camper at ranch for a one hour horseback lesson at 3pm. After that, care for horses and put them in their stalls. Kids enjoy time by the fireplace, taco dinner and S’Mores before a horse video and some more treats. Rise in the morning and feed the horses before a hearty breakfast. Parents pick up at 11am. Reservations required.
At home in your house. Sparkling juice, videos, twinkly lights, or however you choose. Kids go to bed when you say!
This post was sponsored by the Bay Area Discovery Museum, but in a totally unrelated move, my family went there last year!
[Photos by Discovery Museum (1,2) and Heather Flett (3,4)]