7 Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Destinations

Family Friendly New Years Eve

Don’t start off the New Year without the ones you care about the most, your family. Toddlers, teens, and adults alike can blow off steam from the hectic holidays and celebrate a new beginning at these family-friendly New Year’s Eve destinations. Couples, too, will love a mellow and romantic evening out on the town, free from rowdy crowds.

1. Disney World

No place on earth is more fitted to help families ring in the New Year than Disney World, where elaborate firework displays and festive parades are an everyday occurrence and magic seems to rub off on everyone. The three main parks kick it up a notch on December 31st, each offering up their own versions of New Year’s Eve fun. Magic Kingdom keeps things upbeat with the SpectroMagic Parade and Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks; Epcot puts on a special presentation of the pyrotechnics masterpiece IllumiNations: Reflections on Earth; and Hollywood Studios embraces guests with one million glittering lights at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and entertains them with Mickey’s epic battle against Disney villains in Fantasmic! Almost all the parks are open extra late, closing at 12 or 1 am. Compared to hotels, Disney vacation rentals will place you near all the New Year's Eve excitement for the fraction of a cost. 

2. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

Families enjoy Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede on December 31st in Pigeon Forge, Branson, and Myrtle Beach. Stunt riders, ostrich races, live buffalo, and 32 horses (the stars of the show) are just the beginning… for the holiday season, the lively North vs. South reenactment is given a Christmas twist. Actual camels are brought in for the touching nativity scene, and later on, elves engage in a hilarious rivalry. Meanwhile, everyone anticipates the arrival of Old St. Nick. Don't worry about dinner plans; you'll be served four mouth-watering courses throughout the show. 

3. First Night Boston

Downtown Boston is filled with fun for the whole family from 1 pm to midnight on New Year’s Eve. Buy a First Night button and instantly gain access to more than 40 venues, featuring a variety of artists and exhibitions. With so many choices, don’t miss out on the Hynes Convention Center’s Family Festival, where you’ll discover puppet shows, face painting, music and comedy acts performed by kids, and much more. The alcohol-free event is always a hit, thanks to the diversity of high-quality attractions that range from ice sculptures to indie films. For the countdown, head over to Boston Harbor for a great view of the dazzling fireworks! After a busy afternoon and evening, tuck the kids into bed in your cozy Boston vacation home.

Family Friendly New Years Eve Confetti

4. Hershey, Pennsylvania

Throughout the day on December 31st, Pennsylvania’s holiday hub is the host of a variety of kid-friendly events and activities. Play games, eat good food, and watch members of the community and professional acts from around the world take the stage for song and dance. As well, many of the Christmas events Hershey is known for are still underway. At 9 pm, make your way over to Chocolate Avenue, find a nice viewing spot, and listen to live music for a couple hours. At 11:59, local kids will raise a giant Hershey’s Kiss into the sky, culminating in a grand fireworks show.

5. SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld stays open until 1 am to accommodate New Year’s Eve revelers, who – in addition to the spectacular animal shows and thrill rides they’ve come to expect – are treated to live music and special entertainment, which of course includes a climactic midnight fireworks show. You can easily and affordably shelter your whole family for New Year's Eve in an Orlando vacation rental

6. Niagara Falls New Year’s Eve Party

Each year, Queen Victoria Park hosts the Niagara Falls New Year’s Party across the street from the famous waterfalls and best of all, admission is free! The day leading up to the outdoor concert and fireworks extravaganza, take your kids to see the majestic Niagara Falls up close or splash around at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, the largest of its kind in North America. Enjoy two fireworks shows, one at 9 pm and one at midnight. If the little ones get cranky, head home after the first show and make an apple cider toast in your Niagara Falls vacation rental.

7. First Night Williamsburg

All over Virginia on New Year’s Eve, families reminisce about the past year and look forward to a new one without the distraction of alcohol-fueled rambunctiousness. And Williamsburg is an especially good choice for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve destination. Stroll through Merchant’s Square and check out storytellers, jugglers, and live bands; then catch the impressive Fireworks show at William and Mary’s Zable Stadium.

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