When you become a parent, spending New Year’s Eve in exciting places may feel like a thing in the past. But you’d be delighted to know that you can still make every New Year special and travel with your little ones. You can jazz up this yearly celebration and make it more fun as you go to your dream family getaway. With that said, we have a list you can choose from to help you find the best place to spend New Year’s Eve with kids and plan your trips better.
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Places in the World
Are you ready to experience the largest New Year’s celebrations in the world? If so, then you better go to Edinburgh, Scotland, and bring your children with you! This event is known as the Gaelic “Hogmanay” and is the most important holiday in the country. In fact, the celebration can go on for several days. The National Museum of Scotland even hosts some engaging activities made especially for families on the last day of the year.
The place also has a special Torchlight Procession that kids can participate in. Plus, you can take your little ones to their first-ever outdoor concert and listen to some beautiful live music in the kid-friendly event called Bairns Afore. This is then followed by a bright fireworks display to bring out extra light on this family New Year’s Eve event.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bring your family to Chiang Mai, Thailand, and experience a magical New Year’s Eve you all surely won’t ever forget. This special location is alive and bustling as they welcome the year. Your senses will be filled with the delicious street food stalls of Thai sausage, chicken satay skewers, crispy noodles, smoothies, and many more local delicacies. Beautifully illuminated temples, fun local music group performances, and some of the brightest fireworks are only some of the reasons why it’s the perfect place to spend New Year’s Eve with your family.
Perhaps the highlight of this place is the thousands of light lanterns flying everywhere as everybody welcomes the year! Plus you can also release one or two with your kids and look at your own lanternshining into the night sky.
Take your family on a cultural trip and travel to this colonial city in Ecuador. Cuenca is considered one of the most beautiful places in the country and it’s filled with many New Year’s Eve traditions. Don’t worry about getting lost as this is a close-knitted city and can easily be explored with its hop-on hop-off bus.
Your family can also get in the streets on the night of December 31st and see people in interesting masks roaming around. Locals are also known to create mannequins that are then set on fire as the New Year starts. This represents the bad things and trials from the old year that they’d like to burn and leave behind.
You better buy some grapes ahead, though, as it is a custom for families to eat together twelve grapes per person within the final minute of the year! It is said to bring good luck for the next twelve months. If you like exploring different cultures and traditions with your family, this is most certainly a great option.
Nothing beats the magic of a beautiful fireworks display to start the year. People of all ages enjoy looking at the astonishing illuminated sky wherever they are. And in London, they take this tradition very seriously. As the clock strikes twelve, expect the night skies to be ablaze of light and color with their stunning pyrotechnics in the South Bank, right at the London Eye. It’s so massive that everyone all across London can see it. That means you can opt to stay at the hotel with your family and watch it from afar or book the tickets in advance to watch it launch right before your eyes.
But what really makes this a perfect place to spend New Year’s Eve with kids are family-friendly raves (yes, it’s a thing) and London’s New Year’s Day Parade. Think of incredible tunes, colorful balloons, glitter, face paints, foam, and a lot of games. So, if you’re worried about your kids not enjoying the holiday, London is the place for you. All of you will surely be filled with good vibes and tons of fun.
Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland
Visit Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Switzerland, and get the chance to celebrate the New Year twice. They call this event Silvesterchläusen. But unlike the usual celebrations, the party starts early at 5 AM on December 31st and ends at midnight when the rest of the world is just starting their festivities. The next celebration then takes place on January 13th, at the same time. This makes it perfect for those parents who don’t want to stay up too late and who can have a 2-week holiday vacation.
Their colorful, loud, and folkloristic celebration full of amazing costumes is also something your children will surely love. Let them join in the fun and follow the Chläusen as they go from house to house or farm to farm. They usually do this all day to wish every landlord a Happy New Year.
You probably heard of the lavish and shining Dubai, UAE. Home of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, what many people don’t know is that this is also a perfect place to spend New Year’s Eve with your family. As the countdown ends and everybody is ready to say goodbye to the past year, the entire city then glitters ever-beautifully, you wouldn’t believe your own eyes. Expect to see special light shows and fireworks here and there. For an extra treat, you can also take your family to Burj Khalifa and welcome the New Year with some spellbound pyrotechnics, and special laser and LED shows.
Disneyland Paris, France
Be ready to give your kid the vacation of a lifetime and celebrate the New Year at the ‘happiest place on earth. In case you don’t know yet, Disneyland, Paris has a special ticketed event solely for New Year’s Eve. Splurge in a little and make your kid among the happiest and luckiest children as you go on a parade with all the beloved Disney characters. You also have the choice to catch the evening fireworks with your little one or stay up a bit longer and join in the countdown for the wonderful midnight fireworks show.
While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to get on all your favorite rides. Just be sure to book the tickets ahead of time as they’re almost always sold out. If you don’t consider this as the best place to spend New Year’s Eve with kids, I surely don’t know what is.
Places in the US
For a “bricktastic” New Year celebration with your kids, go to Legoland California Resort. Get your pint-sized rockers to enjoy San Diego’s largest Kids New Year’s Eve Party without missing their bedtime. Every year, they prepare special replicas of the world’s greatest cities for families to enjoy. This includes both real places and fantastic fictional realms.
You can now skip the crowded NY Times Square just to witness the ball drop as this place perfectly recreates them with a giant LEGO brick falling 22 feet from the sky along with a striking fireworks display! And as promised, this all happens at a bed-friendly time because “midnight” comes early in Legoland at exactly 6 PM. This is a perfect place for imaginative kids who love legos and toys in general.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Looking for a change of sight to celebrate the coming year? What about going to the beach? Feel the sand in your toes and watch an 800-pound colorful beach ball glide 100 feet in the air. This makes it look more like a seaside take of the iconic and sparking ball drop in Times Square. But this highlight isn’t the only thing the place can offer. Your little ones can enjoy the carnival atmosphere early on as you take them to the boardwalk before the main event.
Let them watch some fun street performers and stilt walkers that surely work like a charm or let them play in bounce houses. In case you’re wondering, the beach ball drop takes place at 8 PM which is perfect if you don’t like your children staying up late.
Great Wolf Lodge, Texas
Feel the fun a cold winter can bring without going too far from home and splash into the New Year with your family. The Great Wolf Lodge resort in Texas has exciting indoor water parks and other attractions everyone will absolutely love. They’ve even made sure to make your kids’ stay extra memorable by recreating Santa’s very own home, the North Pole filled with many interesting holiday decorations.
Called Snowland, it’s the perfect place for your little ones to have fun and enjoy the holiday spirit. They even have indoor snow showers! And if your kids still have more energy in them after the exciting, special water park, you can even bring them to the Snowball party filled and join in the family karaoke. Great Wolf Lodge is a great place to spend New Year’s Eve in a festive carnival mood.
Beaver Creek Resort
Get into a fun holiday getaway with your kids and join in Beaver Creek‘s Family New Year’s Event for some premium outing experience. The place offers many different entertainments suited for a variety of ages. So, you know everyone in the family will surely enjoy the celebration! Dance your heart out in the ballroom or join the kids as they play arcade games, ping pong, and other amusing activities. And then fill those growling little stomachs with their elegant and delicious meals.
But the real star of this spot is their stellar ski school where you and your little ones can glide and enjoy the snow. Don’t forget to have some of their daily hot cocoa and chocolate chips for extra warmth and energy. Finally, on New Year’s Eve, be in awe as a group of skiers of all ages happily glides down the slopes with their glow-sticks at hand, twinkling around the white landscape. Top this off with the bright and beautiful fireworks display at 7:45 p.m. You can also opt to join the balloon drop and celebratory toast later at 10:00 PM. Either way, you and your family will definitely have fun and still get enough sleep to face the first day of the year.
Louisiana Children’s Museum, New Orleans
Maybe you haven’t thought of a museum as the best place to spend New Year’s Eve with Kids. But it certainly can be. Celebrate the New Year early on and join the Louisiana Children’s Museum for a “New Year’s Eve” countdown by noontime! That’s right, instead of going all night and missing sleep, let your children enjoy some old-fashioned playtime to celebrate the year ahead. At exactly 12 PM, expect the loud ringing bells, fun bubbles, colorful confetti, and beach balls everywhere for your energetic munchkins to indulge in.
And did we mention that they also offer special activities to help you prepare before the countdown? Feel the holiday spirit and level up the excitement by letting them decorate their own paper bag party hats and confetti. And for some extra fun, let them have their face painted with beautiful designs. A classic children’s party that your little angels with definitely want to go back to the next year.
Being a parent, it’s often difficult to get on board with your kids for New Year’s Eve and actually have fun- but it’s not impossible! With the right location and ambiance, going outside the box and exploring a different location with your family for the holiday may just be the best decision you’ve ever made. We hope this list has inspired you to find the best place to spend New Year’s Eve with kids. We can’t wait to hear all your stories and experiences celebrating the most beautiful time of the year in one of these remarkable family-friendly spots.