Thanks to Lawrence Hall of Science 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:
Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley)
Bring the whole family to the Hall on New Year’s Eve day! Ring in another year of scientific discovery and fun at this annual New Year’s Eve balloon drop celebration.
The big balloon drop has truly ballooned (pun intended!) to an incredible celebration. To ensure safety and fun with large crowds, the Hall will hold three timed and ticketed balloon drops, at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 & 3:00 p.m. These count-down events require advance tickets but are FREE with paid admission. Pre-registration is required for Members and the general public. Register for your tickets >
The New Year's Eve Celebration is part of Winter Weeks, two exciting weeks of science activities at the Hall, Saturday, December 16, 2017 to Monday, January 1, 2018.
Albany Community Center Hall (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, trivia and music. Best for K through 5th graders.
When: From 11am to 1pm; The ball drops at noon – don't miss it.
Willy Wonka's New Year's Eve (Downtown Berkeley)
The Bay Area Children’s Theatre fundraising party. Dress to impress for a “scrumptious” New Year’s Eve party with Willy Wonka and friends. Expect festive food, a special performance of Willy Wonka, games and prizes, 9pm New Year’s Eve toast, and dancing. This event WILL SELL OUT.
Cost: Adults $85 and children $55 (it's a fundraiser!)
When: 6pm to 9:30pm
Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland)
Ring in 2018 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. Price is $5 additional to entrance fees. Register here >
When: From 11am to 4:30pm
Playland-Not-At-The-Beach (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. Hourly celebration for turn of the new year at 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, and midnight Pacific time! Tickets are $30 for everyone 3 and up; no RSVP is required.
When: From 8pm to 12:30am
LEGO Brickshow (San Leandro)
Play with a world of LEGO bricks during one of the few remaining days of this pop-up exhibit for $2 each (two and under FREE). A fun special activity that has nothing really to do with New Year's Eve might be just the ticket for a low-key celebration.
When: Open from noon to 5pm
John's Incredible New Year (Newark)
For $18 per person, enjoy nearly all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-play arcade games and rides, pretty rad. New Year's accessories like hats, glow sticks, and noise maker provided. Ball drops on the big screen. Kids also earn prizes along the way. VIP upgrade offers more games available for $10 extra per person.
When: Open from 7pm to 1am
Noon Year's Eve at the Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)
Count down to noon and watch the ball drop in Festival Plaza. 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. Heather visited in the past with her children (ages 3, 7, and 9) and had a blast until naptime. Regular admission price applies.
When: From 9am to 2pm
At home in your house. Sparkling juice, videos, twinkly lights, or however you choose. Kids go to bed when you say!
When: When you say so
This post was sponsored by Lawrence Hall of Science.