New Year’s Eve is not just for adults. Families can enjoy ringing in the New Year together at some of these fun events happening in Southern California. Whether families want to ring in the New Year with your children at noon or midnight, we have all the happenings.
The Great Park Irvine Family Celebration
Families can ring in the New Year in this alcohol-free event. There will be plenty of music, dancing and fun for all ages. The event will reflect back to images from the present back to the 1940’s paired with music to each era. The carousel will be open for children to ride and trips in the large balloon that flies over Orange County. The event will take place on December 31st from 5:30-9:30pm. The event is free with $10 parking.
Knott’s Berry Farm New Year’s Eve Celebration
Thrill seeker families can enjoy ringing in the New Year on some of the best thrill rides in Orange County. Knott’s Berry Farm will light up the sky with the midnight mayhem fireworks show with dance parties happening throughout the park. There will be salsa instructional classes happening in the Knott’s fiesta plaza and line dancing in the Knott’s Wilderness dance hall. Families will not want to miss when America’s most beloved dog, Snoopy, hits the ice for the annual holiday ice show. The Knott’s New Year’s celebration will be included in the regular price admission. The park will be open from 10am-1am.
Families can ring in the “noon-year” at Pretend City this year. Pretend City is the best place for children to use their imagination and play! Pretend City will have a massive dance party as the clock strikes noon. It would not be a party without festive holiday wear, so children are welcome to make holiday party hats in the craft studio. The fun will end with a memorable story time reading of The Night Before Christmas. The event will happen from 10am-12pm, with Pretend City closing at 1pm. The event is included in the regular price admission.
Discovery Science Center
Ring in the New Year mid-day with your children at the Discovery Science Center. Children can learn the science behind the New Year with various science activities happening at the center. Children can make Alka Seltzer rockers, paper party poppers, tambourines and learn about time zones around the world. There will be two New Year’s celebrations at 12 noon and 2pm. Guest can celebrate with hats, beaded necklaces, noise makers and a ginger ale toast. The event is open to the public with the price of regular admission.
Treat the family to a 3-course dinner while enjoying entertainment by the Stilt Circus with spinning DJ. If guests just want to enjoy the show, there is an admission of $65 per person that includes the entertainment along with the champagne or sparkling cider toast. There are three seating’s available for the 3-course meal. Guests can dine from 6-6:30 for $75, 8-8:30 for $100 or 10-10:30 for $125. Reservations are required by calling.
Santa Monica Pier
A popular family hangout on New Year’s Eve is the Santa Monica Pier. The pier offers fun entertainment for all ages. Visitors can enjoy the various rides at the Pacific Park amusement park or savor a delicious burger at the popular Pier Burger restaurant. Parking is easily accessible on both sides of the pier. The pier can get cold in the evening so bring plenty of warm jackets.
Relax in the beautiful Etiwanda Gardens while ringing in the New Year. The festivities will include a jazz concert festival, holiday entertainment and a New Year’s toast. Dinner packages start at $85 with appetizers served at 8pm and the main course meal starting at 9pm. Reservations are recommended.
Old Town Temecula – New Year’s Eve Grape Drop
The third annual Temecula grape drop has become a beloved tradition for the community of Temecula. The festivities will begin at 5pm and go until midnight. There are family events happening from 5-9pm that include face painting, bounce house, magic show and balloons from “Dynamite Dave.” Families can dance to live music or skate at the ice skating rink at the normal admission price. There will be the large grape drop at 9pm and midnight when the giant grape of 3,300 LED lights comes down to ring in the New Year.
Shelby Barone is a local freelance writer in Orange County. She is a Mom to three young children and spends her free time doing volunteer work in her community. She is passionate about health, nutrition and helping people to live with food allergies. She currently writes at Glitterful Felt Stories.