New Year's Eve Fireworks over the San Francisco Bay Bridge
Wondering what to do this New Year’s Eve, besides stay home and watch movies and play board games (not that there is anything wrong with board games!)? Think there must be a better option for families in the Bay Area? Well, you are right. Several local spots are getting in on the action this New Year’s with family-centric activities designed to put everyone in the celebratory mood.
Hiller Aviation Museum (San Carlos)
Together with Bay Area Parent, the Hiller Aviation Museum invites families to join in the fun from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. as they celebrate Noon Years Eve Party with entertainment, activities and exhibits, including the Lizard Lady! $6 – 10, Children 4 and under FREE
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)
Join the Bay Area Discovery Museum for the second annual Noon Year’s Eve Party, Friday, December 31 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon. Count down to 12noon and watch the ball drop in Festival Plaza. Listen to music by DJ Mancub and create party hats and noise makers to celebrate the Noon Year. A fun tradition for New Year’s Eve for kids and parents! The Bay Area Discovery Museum closes at 2pm on New Year’s Eve.
Children’s Discovery Museum (San Jose)
Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve with the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose with handmade noisemakers, decorated party hats and countdowns across the world. Radio Disney will be hand 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., with music, games and prizes. The museum is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., with Noon Year’s Eve balloon drops at 12:00, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.
Chabot Space & Science Center (Oakland)
Excitement abounds at the Chabot Space & Science Center as they celebrate New Year’s Eve with the annual New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop. Different drops for kids age 5 and under, and 6 – 12 years, beginning at 10:45 a.m. with the last drop at 3:45 p.m. Chabot members are free, regular center guests are just $4 plus admission. Must reserve tickets in advance (510) 336-7373.
Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley)
The Lawrence Hall of Science figures it is midnight somewhere around the globe, so each hour from 12noon – 2 p.m., join the New Year’s Eve Day party and countdown with countries around the world with noisemakers, sparkling cider and balloon drop. This fun activity is included as part of the regular admission to the science center.
Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay (Half Moon Bay)
Even children can experience the thrill of celebrating New Year’s at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Arts and crafts, games, dancing, and a special children’s buffet are complemented by a private pool party available only to attending children, all from 6 p.m – 12:30 a.m. S’mores, flashlight tag, a kids’ countdown to midnight and mini-balloon drop will highlight the evening, ending in a toast of sparkling apple cider. $110 per child five to 12; each additional sibling receives a $20 discount and reservations are required, 650.712.7667. Be sure to check out the corresponding adult parties at the Ritz while making reservations.
Cal Skate of Milpitas (Milpitas)
Join fellow roller skaters at Cal Skate of Milpitas for their annual New Year’s Eve Skating Party, from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. Games, raffles and contests, along with a midnight balloon drop with more prizes. For those of you looking for a place to park the kids, Cal Skate advertises this event as a “lock-in” skate; no minors will leave the building before 12:45 am without a parent or guardian!
Monterey Bay Aquarium (Monterey)
Slightly outside the Bay Area, but awesome nonetheless, is the annual New Year’s Eve Family Event and Sleepover at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Explore the aquarium without all the daytime crowds, and enjoy special activities, behind-the-scenes sneak peaks, and a kelp forest diver program. And the best part? You can sleep next to your favorite exhibit! Events start at 7 p.m., with a cider toast at 9 p.m., bedtime snacks and late-night nature movies. In the morning, wake up with fishes and enjoy a continental breakfast in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Cafe and Restaurant. Ages 5 to adult, $95 per person general public; $75 per person Aquarium members. For more information, call (831) 648-4800.
Photo courtesy of k_perry on Flickr.