Thank you to Chabot Space and Science Center for sponsoring our guide to family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations with kids in the East Bay, because parents and little kids can’t always stay up until midnight!
See ya, 2022! Make plans to celebrate 2023 with your kiddos without staying up way past anyone’s bedtime. It’s time to celebrate the coming of a sparkling New Year! This year there are many in-person kid-focused daytime celebrations happening for ringing in the New Year with children. Cheers!
Celebrations that look super fun for a Family-Friendly New Years Eve
Ring in the New Year without staying up all night! If you’re ready to leave the house for a fabulous Noon Year’s Eve, these places are ready for you.
Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland)
Celebrate strokes of midnight around the world at 11 am, noon, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm under the rotunda. When it’s noon in Oakland, it will be 2023 somewhere on the planet. Kids will count down and celebrate with hundreds of colorful balloons dropping from above. This popular event regularly sells out, so be sure to get tickets early.
Little kids under 5 are hosted earlier in the day — No late-night shenanigans or missed bedtimes here.
Advance ticket purchase is required, and capacity will be limited. We especially love the age-grouping balloon drop options to keep the little kids from getting jostled by the big kids:
11 am: Ages 5 & Under (Rotunda)
noon: Ages 5 & Under (Rotunda)
2 pm: Ages 6 – 12 (Rotunda)
3 pm: Ages 6 – 12 (Rotunda)
4 pm: Ages 6 – 12 (Rotunda)
When: Saturday, December 31, 10 am – 5 pm.
Cost: Members: $10 per child | Non-members: $29 per child (Accompanying adults require General Admission Ticket)
Where: Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd. Oakland
Buy Tickets >
Kids Play Zone (Oakland)
Celebrate the New Year at KPZ, a lovely indoor children’s play space with an extra special balloon drop and glow party. Enjoy a glow necklace, cider for the adults, apple juice for the kids, plus pizza for all to enjoy.
When: Saturday, December 31, 11 am – 1 pm
Cost: $20 per child (max 2 adults per child)
Where: Kids Play Zone, 900 Market Street, Suite M, Oakland
Berkeley Public Library: Central Branch (Berkeley)
Learn about New Year’s traditions around the world and celebrate the coming of 2023 with a countdown. Best for kids 3-6 years old.
When: Saturday, December 31, 11 am – 11:30 am
Where: Central Library | Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge Berkeley, Berkeley
Piedmont Recreation Department (Piedmont)
Ring in 2023 at Piedmont’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration– a sweet way for your kiddos to celebrate the new year! Celebrate with music, crafts, a countdown at noon, a balloon drop, and a whole lot of fun!
When: Saturday, December 31, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Cost: $10 per child, children under 2 years are free (Parent attendance is required)
Where: Piedmont Veterans Memorial Building, 401 Highland Avenue, Piedmont
Register here >
The Lawrence (Berkeley)
The Lawrence Hall of Science 2022 Grande Finale is a joyful event that’s full of holiday cheer. Families can enjoy seasonal activities, explore the museum, and experience the magic of confetti cannons. Confetti launches run every 45 minutes starting at 10:45 am through 4 pm; reserve a slot when purchasing tickets.
When: Saturday, December 31, 10 am – 4 pm
Cost: Included with general admission ($20 per person; children 2 and under are free)
Where: The Lawrence, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley
Swings & Wings (Alameda)
Join the New Year’s Eve party at Swings & Wings, a super fun indoor playspace in Alameda. Have a fun evening of music, play, a photo booth, and yummy treats! For children 8 or younger, with an adult.
Cost: $18.75 per person advance reservation or $22.75 at the door; Children 6 months or younger are free.
When: Saturday, December 31, 4 pm – 6 pm
Where: Swings and Wings, 2307 Blanding Ave, Alameda
Oakland Public Library: Piedmont Ave Branch (Oakland)
Say “cheers” to 2023 at this library party. Enjoy games, crafts, snacks, and a marble ball drop at noon! Children of all ages, plus an adult, are welcome to drop in at any time during the program.
When: Saturday, December 31, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Where: Piedmont Ave. Branch | Oakland Public Library, 80 Echo Avenue, Oakland
Color Me Mine (Alameda)
If you’re looking for some kid-free time, reserve a space at Color Me Mine’s New Year’s Eve Kids Night Out. Children will celebrate with ceramic painting, pizza dinner, movie and popcorn, and bingo games. For children 5 years and older.
When: Saturday, December 31, 5 pm – 9 pm
Cost: $65 (plus tax) per child
Where: Color Me Mine, 2205 S Shore Center, Alameda
Baby Rave @ BACT (Berkeley)
Ring in the new year at an all ages dance party. Baby Rave is a celebration for the whole family, filled with dancing, crafts, snacks, facepainting, New Year toasts, and a countdown to “midnight” that’s convenient for little ones. Choose from two sessions. This event is also a fundraiser for BACT’s Education Outreach programs, so you’ll be having fun and supporting the community at this event.
When: Saturday, December 31, 11 am – 12:30 pm or 5 pm – 6:30 pm
Cost: $40 per child; $50 per adult; Children ages 2 and under are free
Where: Bay Area Children’s Theater, 2055 Center Street, Berkeley,
Danville Public Library (Danville)
For a delightful (and free) way to celebrate the new year, check out a special Noon Year’s Eve Family Storytime at Danville Public Library. Children and caregivers can listen to festive stories and songs, plus celebratory bubble wrap stomp on the floor. Best for children 1-5 years old, but all are welcome.
When: Saturday, December 31, 12 pm – 12:45 pm
Where: Danville Public Library, 400 Front Street, Danville
Hercules Public Library (Hercules)
Join a Noon-Years Eve Dance Party in the library. Enjoy music, dancing, and stories. Stay till noon for a countdown and balloon drop! Best suited for children ages 2-5 with a caregiver, but all ages and abilities are welcome.
When: Saturday, December 31, 11:30 am-noon
Where: Hercules Public Library, 109 Civic Drive, Hercules
Sunol Regional Wilderness (Sunol)
Register for an end-of-year hike in the wilderness. Discover what animals and plants do to prepare for cold months, walk the wintry trails, then with apple cider. One-mile round trip; Easy with about 300ft elevation gain. All ages; parent participation is required. Bring water and sunscreen, plus wear layers.
When: Saturday, December 31, 1 pm – 2:30 pm
Cost: Free but register in advance; $5 Parking fees may apply
Where: Sunol Regional Wilderness, 1895 Geary Rd, Sunol
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)
BADM’s annual Noon Year’s Eve celebration is a favorite with Bay Area families. They offer a noon countdown and ball drop along with artistic activities, iceless skating, and a DJ dance party. Reserve your ticket online (just buy regular museum admission tickets to attend the event).
When: December 31, 9 am – 2 pm (museum closes early this day)
Cost: Regular price of admission ($15-$19)
Where: Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Rd, Sausalito (35-ish minutes from Berkeley)
Asian Art Museum (San Francisco)
The Asian Art Museum continues its Annual Japanese New Year’s Bell-Ringing Ceremony. Celebrate the start of the New Year by taking a swing at a 2,100-pound, 16th-century Japanese temple bell, fold paper cranes, and more at this cultural celebration. The Bell Ringing Ceremony is first come, first served. Be sure to reserve separate tickets to ring the bell at the main entrance once on-site.
When: Saturday, December 31, 9:30 am – 1 pm
Cost: Included with general admission ($14-$20; children 12 and under are free)
Where: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, one block from Civic Center BART
Hiller Aviation Museum (San Carlos)
Kids and parents, come celebrate the New Year with music, activities, puppets, and a countdown to THREE GIANT balloon drops at noon! Tickets will not be sold at the door, so you must reserve them online (they always sell out, so get your tickets early!).
When: Saturday, December 31, 10 am – 1 pm
Cost: Members are FREE but must reserve tickets in advance; kids under four are FREE; ages 5-17 are $11; adults are $18.
Where: Hiller Aviation Museum is in San Carlos Airport, 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos (45-ish minutes from Berkeley)
Road Trip: Charles M. Schulz Museum (Santa Rosa)
The Schulz Museum is hosting its annual Noon Year’s Eve celebration with Peanuts-themed crafts, a visit by Snoopy, and a screening of Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! on the big screen. Plus, do your best Snoopy dance and ring in 2023 with an Up Down Balloon Drop and Baby Balloon Drop (for children 4 and under and their families) at Noon, and a second Balloon Drop at 3 pm.
When: Saturday, December 31, 10 am to 4 pm (Doors open at 10 am, and capacity will be monitored; admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis)
Cost: Included with admission ($5-$12; kids under age three are FREE)
Where: Charles M. Schulz Museum 2301 Hardies Ln, Santa Rosa (about an hour from Berkeley)
Supplies to keep on hand for a festive New Year’s Eve at home
Maybe you’re not ready to venture out of the home for your New Year’s celebration just yet. No worries! Here are some great ideas for creating your own sparkling holiday celebration at home with your family:
Party decor: Be sure to load up on some fun craft projects and party supplies like tiaras, face painting kits, bubbles, noisemakers, balloons for your DIY balloon drop, and maybe some pop poppers and party string if you’re feeling up for it.
Mother Nature’s Gifts. Carol’s family always loved the annual Mother Nature’s Gifts Event at Sulphur Creek Nature Center in Hayward. While Sulphur Creek is still closed due to Covid-19, the supplies are easy to find at home or on a nature walk: pine cones, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, and cereal. They would hang the finished gift from a tree in the backyard, and have fun watching the birds and squirrels enjoy it for the new year. Here’s a tutorial if you’d like to try it.
Party food. Toast the new year with some California sparkling juice cocktails (taste and buy in Watsonville if you’re already in the neighborhood). If you like to go beyond apple juice or hot cocoa, see the fabulous special meal ideas below.
Big Thanks to Chabot Space and Science Center for sponsoring our guide to family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebrations with kids in the East Bay, because parents and little kids can’t always stay up until midnight!
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