Updated for 2020
Are you looking for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration to take your kiddos to this year? If so, then SoCal Field Trips got you covered with the Best Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Southern California and beyond!
In fact, if you attend one of these events virtually or in person you might just be able to tuck your children in before the ball drops at midnight in Times Square. Please visit each individual celebration’s website for dates, times, pricing and locations.
2021 Virtual New Year’s Eve Celebrations
Grand Park N.Y.E.L.A, Downtown Los Angeles, 12/31 @ 11:00 pm (Virtual)
Noon Year’s Eve, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, 12/31 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (Virtual)
Join an Aquarium educator as you and your family celebrate the New Year. Create a fish party hat, meet a live Ambassador Animal, and dance your way to the Noon Year’s countdown with the Pacific Pals puppets! Make sure to have your craft supplies ready to create the party hat for our festivities. The event will be hosted on zoom. Advance registration is required. Cost: $5.
Live Stream Times Square Ball Drop, New York, 12/31 @ 6:00 pm EST (Virtual)
The first New Year’s Eve Ball lowering celebration atop One Times Square was in 1907. This proud tradition is now a universal symbol of the New Year and is watched by millions around the world. You and your family can enjoy a commercial-free, webcast coverage of the festivities leading up to the Ball Drop starting at 6 p.m. (EST).
New Year’s Eve with The San Diego Symphony, San Diego, 12/31 @ 7:30 pm (Virtual)
To celebrate the launch of a healthy and hopeful 2021, the San Diego Symphony is proud to present an “at home” New Year’s Eve concert program of joyous music by Johannes Brahms, “Duke” Ellington, J. Strauss Jr. and Sr., plus a special performance of George Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue featuring young piano sensation Ray Ushikubo. The concert will be led by music director Rafael Payare, and for a minimum donation of just $25 you can enjoy exclusive access to this lovely hour of music as part of your own New Year’s celebrations from the comfort of your own home!
Pacific Park New Year’s Eve Celebration, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, 12/21 @ 11:30 pm (Virtual)
Pacific Park at the Santa Monica Pier will have a cool New Year’s Eve countdown online for free. The ferris wheel will display fun, colorful designs with a 60-second countdown at 11:59 pm.
Noon Year’s Eve Virtual Party, Gilbert House Children’s Museum, Oregon, 12/31 @ 12:00 pm (Virtual)
Purchase your party package complete with balloons, noisemakers and confetti and watch the balloon drop in the comfort of your own home through their special video presentation.
Annual New Year’s Eve Musical Revue, Santa Monica Playhouse, Santa Monica, 12/31 @ 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm (Virtual)
New Year’s Eve will be a little different at Santa Monica Playhouse this year, but just as much fun, as internationally acclaimed Actors’ Repertory Theatre livestreams a highly entertaining, family-friendly Rudie-DeCarlo musical revue, with Playhouse alumni from around the globe joining in the singing, dancing, humor and other delights culled from 6 decades of audience favorite Santa Monica Playhouse productions.
The 10:30 PST livestream performance features a midnight countdown with the cast.The early-bird 7:30 PST livestream celebration is a great way to enjoy New Year’s Eve with the entire family, letting the kids have a real New Year’s Eve treat, or kick off an evening of post-show dining and celebrating, and it’s perfect for those on the East Coast to celebrate their midnight countdown, too.
New Philharmonic New Year’s Eve Concert, DuPage’s McAninch Art Center, Illinois 12/31 @ 2:00 pm CST (Virtual)
College of DuPage’s McAninch Arts Center is ready to help you ring in 2021 with New Philharmonic and Maestro Kirk Muspratt. Introduce the kids to Strauss waltzes and polkas, arias, light classical, pop tunes and movie music all done virtually. Cost: $50
Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve, Seattle Aquarium, Washington, 12/31 @ 11:30 am (Virtual)
Celebrate the beginning of a new year with the Seattle Aquarium’s Rockin’ Rockfish Noon Year’s Eve! Gather the family to enjoy the full New Year’s Eve experience without staying up past bedtime. Join this free virtual event featuring music from Mikey the Rad Scientist, a dance party, fun facts about how the animals in the Aquarium’s care are spending the holiday, a count down at noon and more.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations In Person
New Year’s Eve Brunch Cruise, San Diego , 12/31 @ 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Hornblower Cruise lines is offering a lavish champagne brunch on the San Diego Bay. Kids ages three and under are free. Find out all the details and how to book your tickets here.
Wyatt’s New Year’s Eve Party, Big Bear Convention Center, Big Bear, 12/31 @ 5:00 pm – 1/1 at 11:30 pm
The family-friendly celebration at the Big Bear Convention Center includes activities for the kids, games, live music with the Doo-Wah Riders, party favors, shuttle service and champagne at midnight. Reservations required.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations Returning in 2021
New Year’s Eve Celebrations in the Inland Empire
New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade at Snow Summit, Big Bear, 12/31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Returning in 2021!)
Ring in 2019 at the 55th annual Snow Summit Torchlight Parade. Watch 200+ skiers and snowboarders light up the night as they make their way down the face of the mountain in the dark with torches to create a spellbinding spectacle of light before the (snow)ball drops. Other activities include DJ entertainment, activation booths, face painting, champagne toast, stilt walkers, fire dancers, a photobooth and bounce house for kids. Come early and enjoy the snow!
New Year’s Eve Grape Drop, Temecula, 12/31 @ 6:00 pm – 12:30 am (Returning in 2021!)
Ring in 2020 Temecula-style at the annual Grape Drop with two countdowns – east coast style (9 pm) and west coast style (midnight). The celebration offers live bands and a free fun zone for kids (open 6 pm – 10 pm) with hat making, calligraphy art, face painting and a giant slide. Patio heaters and some chairs provided. Bring jackets to keep warm and extra chairs for extra seating.
Festival of Lights Family Celebration, Main Library Plaza, Mission Inn, Riverside, 12/31 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Returning in 2021!)
If you want to have an early night, there will be a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event with music, activities and a confetti celebration in addition to the usual Festival of Lights happenings.
Pennypickle’s Workshop New Year’s Event, Temecula, 12/31 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (Returning in 2021!)
Celebrate the New Year Pennypickle-style…at noon instead of midnight! You won’t want to miss the Professor’s very special party for those too young to stay up late. Call 951-308-6376 to reserve tickets. Space is limited.
John’s Incredible Pizza, Riverside and Montclair, 12/31 @ 7:00 pm – 1:00 am (Returning in 2021!)
John‘s Incredible Pizza will celebrate New Year’s Eve with special hours and celebration packages. Each John‘s location will be open from 7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Los Angeles
LA Zoo’s Family New Year’s Eve Party, Los Angeles, 12/31 @ 6:00 – 9:00 pm (Returning in 2021!)
Attend the annal LA Zoo Family New Year’s Eve Party! Celebrate the new year in style with express entry to the LA Zoo Lights, a dinner buffet that includes soft drinks and dessert, a carousel ride, games, dance party, and live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop. Raise a toast to the new year with complimentary champagne for adults (21+) and sparkling apple cider for kids. Festive photos courtesy of PRIMs Photo Booth. After the party, families are welcome to enjoy L.A. Zoo Lights until closing. Fun for all ages!
Old Town Music Hall New Year’s Eve, Los Angeles, 12/31 @ 8:30 pm – Midnight (Returning in 2021!)
The New Year’s celebration at Old Town Music Hall features music, great performers, a grab bag of classic shorts and a surprise feature film. Guests can enjoy complimentary light refreshments and sparkling apple cider. For ages 10 and up. Reservations required.
New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks Cruise, Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach, 12/31 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm (Returning in 2021!)
Harbor Breeze Cruises is hosting a special evening lights and fireworks cruise on the waters of Long Beach Harbor. Boarding at 7:30 pm you will have a narrated cruise to view Long Beach harbor lit up at night. Observe the awe-inspiring firework displays performed at 9 pm.
New Year’s Eve at the Waterfront, Shoreline Village, Long Beach, 12/31 @ 5:00 pm – 10:30 pm (Returning in 2021!
This free family-friendly celebration takes place from 5:00 to 10:00 pm at Rainbow Harbor. There will be live music, a photo booth, face painting, interactive games, arts & crafts, food, jugglers and stilt-walkers. Then at 9 p.m., the sky will light up for an East Coast countdown with a fireworks spectacular from Rainbow Harbor’s lighthouse peninsula!
New Year’s Eve Glow Party, Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey, 12/31 @ 7:oo pm – Midnight (Returning in 2021!)
Join us for a Glow Party at 7 pm with fun activities for the whole family! Featuring Live DJs, dance music, dancers, circuit breaker robot, face painting, bubbles, photo booth, food trucks and more. At 8:59 p.m, there will be 30-second countdown and view of the Times Square ball drop followed by an amazing 10-minute fireworks display. Then at 11:59 pm, there will be another 30-second countdown to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Marina del Rey followed by another amazing ten-minute fireworks display. Watch the spectacular fireworks from Burton Chace Park, Fisherman’s Village, or the many waterfront restaurants in Marina del Rey! Parking is $8.00.
Boomer’s Noon Year’s Eve Celebration, Upland, 12/31 @ 11:30 am (Returning in 2021!)
Who says you have to wait until midnight to celebrate? Join Boomer’s in Irvine as we ring in the New Year with a fun, new twist! The party starts at 11:30AM— that’s right, AM! There will be a fun photo op, party hats and noisemakers, a traditional countdown to 12 o’clock, a balloon drop when the clock strikes noon and a new year’s toast with kid-friendly bubbly. All the fun and excitement of New Year’s without missing bedtime!