The final days of 2016 are upon us and that means one thing–time to find out how you will be ringing in 2017. New Year’s Eve parties aren’t just for college kids and twenty-somethings anymore–there are plenty of fun and exciting family events in the city. For clans with older kids, there are parties that go through midnight, while little ones can celebrate earlier in the day and still get to bed on time. Check out our list of favorites below and pick the one that’s right for you!
10am – 3pm
If you and your kids won’t last until midnight, party earlier in the day at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in lower Manhattan. Kids will get the opportunity to make their own party hats and animate fireworks displays in the media lab! Make sure you’re there for the countdown to the New Year at noon. Have your fun, and then get some rest that night!
Throughout the day on December 30th and 31st
Over the final two days of 2016, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan in the Upper West Side will have a series of fun programs. Arts and crafts fans will love the opportunity to make a silly hat and glasses combo to wear as the clock ticks down, while some parents might need ear plugs after their children make noisemakers. From 2:30 to 4 on the 31st, there will be a dance party with DJ Chela, and finally, there will be an early ball drop culminating in the late afternoon for all ages.
11am – 5pm on New Year’s Eve, 11am – 8pm on New Year’s Day
Brooklyn Bowl offers day-time bowling fun for the whole family on December 31st and January 1st. There will be food and drink from Blue Ribbon, including their famous fried chicken, jumbo sandwiches, and French bread pizzas. Brooklyn Bowl has all sorts of great music and entertainment while you bowl in one of the coolest places in Brooklyn, on 61 Wythe Avenue.
7pm – 9pm
If regular New Year’s parties seem too excessive and wasteful, your family might enjoy a quieter, more meaningful way to welcome 2017. Founded in 1984 by Leonard Bernstein, this concert is about joining together with your community in appreciation of all that you have, and nurturing hope for a better new year. This year’s concert will feature a musical response to the tragic shooting in Orlando in June, as well as spirituals from African-American composers. The concert takes place at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
Rides begin between 9:45pm and 10:20pm; meet at Belvedere Castle at 11:45pm
Anyone who loves to get moving, even after dark, will love this bike ride and party. Groups will meet at three places south of Central Park and everyone will ride up to Belvedere Castle. Dress up in your most festive biking gear and bring your loudest noisemakers! Whole families often attend, including pets!
Party starts at 10pm and the run begins on the stroke of midnight
If you want the exercise but biking through city streets isn’t your thing, join the Midnight Run. Taking place in Central Park, the run will be four miles long and lined with spectators and volunteers. At 10pm, the festivities begin with a dance party at Rumsey Playfield for runners and their guests – there will be face painting for all ages. As a bonus, runners who finish the race, as well as volunteers, will receive credit to the 2017 TCS New York Marathon.
Festivities begin at 9pm
Visit one of New York City’s most famous sites and ring in the New Year with a fantastic fireworks display on the beach. There will be music and giveaways galore, and performers from Coney Island will entertain and amaze you and your family as you enjoy the final hours of 2016. Don’t miss the 8,000 LEDs on the Parachute Jump!
11pm – 2pm
Celebrate the 150th year of Prospect Park with this fireworks display. You can see the fireworks from all over the park, though the best places include Grand Army Plaza, the Park’s West Drive and along Prospect Park West. Bring a blanket and make an evening of it–celebrate with food, watch the fireworks, and welcome the New Year.
Boats depart at 9:20pm and 9:30pm, boarding begins 30 minutes prior to departure
Welcome in the New Year on the waves! Hop on a cruise along New York’s waterways with food, drinks, and games for kids of all ages. When the clock hits 12, you will get to enjoy New York City’s famous fireworks spectacular from the water: a truly unique view. Boats depart from Pier 16 on 89 South Street. There are several security rules so make sure you read them ahead of time.
6pm to 1am
If you want to celebrate without the little ones, don’t get a babysitter–get your kids a spot on the Countdown Bus! Beginning at 6pm with boarding and dinner, the bus will drive throughout Brooklyn, stopping for a movie, holiday lights tours, and hot chocolate! Then the kids will get to count down to midnight with their friends, before parents can pick them up beginning at 12:15am. Ages four and up are welcome, boarding takes places at 110 Schermerhorn street.
If your family loves bowling, you can party before, during, or after the big midnight party. Bowlmor AMF, which features bowling lanes all over the city and tri-state area, has an option to make a reservation during the day on either December 31st or January 1st, or bowl right through the ball drop with parties at 9pm on New Year’s Eve. Either way, you get hours of unlimited bowling, food for the whole family, and champagne for the adults. Start the New Year off with a strike!