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The Best Places To Celebrate New Year’s Eve As A Family

Depending on the age of the children in your family, you may not be able to wait for midnight to celebrate the new year. And in southern California, that’s no problem. There are lots of family-friendly ways to celebrate the new year!

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New Year's Eve at Knott's Berry Farm is one of the Fun events for families to celebrate the new year

Noon Year’s Eve
Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91103

Kidspace wants to celebrate the new year with your family on Saturday, December 31st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. At 12:00 pm, there will be a huge balloon drop (be sure to arrive early so you don’t miss it). Families can enjoy sparkling cider, and children will have fun with the noisemakers they’ll create. Come dressed to party and get ready to dance and have fun. (Be sure to arrive early. The balloon drop is a first-come, first-served event and there are generally big delays in Pasadena due to preparations for the Rose Bowl parade).

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration at L.A. Zoo Lights
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Families are invited to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Los Angeles Zoo from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Marvel at L.A. Zoo Lights, enjoy a dinner buffet, play games, join the DJ dance party, watch a live broadcast of New York’s Times Square ball drop at 9:00 pm and more. While many of the Zoo’s animals will be asleep, families will be able to view the LAIR’s amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Tickets are available here. ($69 for adults, $45 for children). 

Annual Noon-Year’s Confetti Countdown!
Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618

Your family can count down to the New Year at Pretend City’s annual celebration. Pretend City will be celebrating the New Year at different times throughout the day as the sun travels across the different time zones. Get ready for confetti as the sun sets in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens, and London. Art activities include making party hats, noise makers, and clocks. Check the website for a schedule of activities. The fun starts at 10:00 am and continues until 5:00 pm.

New Year’s Eve at Knott’s Merry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA 90620

Families will enjoy a festive New Year’s Eve experience at Knott’s Merry Farm. You’ll find stage shows, live musical performances, and a fireworks finale! Knott’s will be open on December 31st from 10:00 am to 1:00 am and all New Year’s Eve festivities are included with regular daytime admission. Check the website for information about admission prices.

New Year’s Eve L.A. (N.Y.E.L.A.)
Grand Park
200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

This event may be more suitable for families with older children, because the festivities begin on New Year’s Eve at 8:00 pm and continue through until 1:00 am. Families can expect to enjoy live music, dancing, a large-scale art installation, a light show, and more. (To guarantee safety, all bags will be checked. Be sure to look at the website for a list of items that will not be allowed into the celebration).

New Year’s Noon Party!
The Children’s Museum at La Habra
301 S. Euclid St., La Habra, CA 90631

The Children’s Museum at La Habra invites families to its New Year’s Noon Party! Families can countdown to 12:00 pm and enjoy a variety of activities including hat making, face painting, dancing, and a balloon drop.The fun begins at 10:00 am. Call the Museum at (562) 383-4236 to reserve your spot. (Admission is $8 per person).

Kids’ New Year’s Eve
LEGOLAND California Resort
5885 The Crossing Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008

If you’re looking to get out of town for New Year’s, then LEGOLAND might be the place for your family. Celebrate New Year’s the LEGOLAND way — they are recreating the Times Square ball drop with a giant LEGO brick falling 22 feet in the air. And, the countdown is happening at 6:00 pm so no one misses a bedtime. Celebrate with party hats, special glasses, and an incredible fireworks display.

New Year’s Eve Eve Party!
Zimmer Children’s Museum
6505 Wilshire Blvd. #100, Los Angeles, CA 90048

The Zimmer Children’s Museum is celebrating New Year’s early — on Friday, December 30th. There will be a balloon drop throughout the day at 11:17 am, 12:17 pm, 1:17 pm, 2:17 pm, and 3:17 pm. In addition, children can make their own party accessories and noisemakers. (Admission is $7.50 per person).

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Burton Chace Park
13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

You can celebrate the New Year twice if you choose to celebrate in Marina del Rey. There will be a jumbo screen showing a live broadcast of CNN’s coverage of the Time Square celebration. The screening begins at 7:00 pm and will conclude with a countdown to the ball drop and a 10-minute fireworks show at 9:00 pm. Then, families can celebrate again with another countdown and another fireworks show at midnight.

Disneyland Resort
1313 Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA 92802

Some may think that the best place to ring in the New Year is the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Disneyland invites families to celebrate the New Year with music, festivities, and of course, fireworks. And if you didn’t get a chance to enjoy it yet, you’ll be able to experience the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure Park and Holiday Magic at Disneyland.

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Wendy Kennar (329 Posts)

Wendy is a freelance writer who finds inspiration in her eight-year-old son and from her experiences from her twelve-year teaching career. Her writing has appeared in several publications and anthologies, both in print and online. She prefers sunflowers to roses and thinks chocolate is okay at any meal. You can find her at wendykennar.com.


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